As the title does a decent job of suggesting, Hell Yeah! is a stupid game. Like, really stupid. As the former rabbit king of the underworld, riding in a spinning blade jetpack, your job is to hunt down and kill the 100 monsters who may or may not have seen naked pictures of
you. So yeah… Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Fusing platforming, shooting and exploration into one package, Hell Yeah! sticks Ash the dead rabbit in a series of open-plan levels that house the many and mostly innocent demon targets. Exploration is generally channelled to a point by having doors that only open when you defeat a certain quota of bad guys, but there are still plenty of secrets and short cuts to discover, as well as a faint whiff of Metroidvania from the areas that remain sealed until you return to them further down the line with better powers or more notches on your kill tally.
Shooting is simple, a selection of guns and unlimited, recharging ammo letting you blast away to your heart’s content, though platforming is a little more confusing. Rather than a jetpack, it feels like Ash just has a really high, really floaty jump – sometimes it’ll seem like it clings to surfaces, while other times it won’t quite work properly. Similarly, the dash attack can be erratic and the automated screw attack double jump that Ash gets in the rare instances when he leaves the spinny death wheel leaves you completely devoid of control over where you’ll end up.
You’ll soon get a feel for the curious handling – few can profess to being experts on how rabbits riding in spiked jetpacks should control, after all – but it doesn’t even matter that much anyway. You see, the main attraction here is the cast of ridiculous boss enemies and the assortment of mini-games employed in their defeat. While these repeat a little more than we’d like, most of the WarioWare-esque sequences and the victory bloodbath scenes that follow do stand up to repeat viewings, especially with Arkedo eager to chuck in quirky twists to catch you off guard.
There’s a similar variety to gameplay as well, various odd power-ups, bizarre puzzles and even entire genre shifts popping up on the way to the credits. Not knowing what’s around the corner is a true delight, Arkedo a mad conductor leading a symphony of nonsense that builds to daft crescendo after daft crescendo. There’s even a suitably pointless extra mode where you can put all the monsters you’ve defeated to work in a post-death camp, netting you a few extra pennies or the odd new hat.
Swing as it might between different genres and gameplay styles, Wrath Of The Dead Rabbit never dips below brilliant. An inventive and entertaining big-budget debut for Arkedo, and one that confirms its ability to deliver both on the indie scene and the main stage.