Hands On: Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit

Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit felt like someone took the best side-scrollering platformers on the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo, threw them in a blender, added a raw steak, a guitar, and some milk and hit “frappe.” Arkedo Studio is bringing quite an adventure to the digital landscape, and I was fortunate enough to spend some time with the game. I went into the game expecting nothing more than another metroidvania shooter with some attempted humor, but walked away ready to give Arkedo Studio my digital dollars with a large grin on my face.

Even though Hell Yeah! takes place in the fiery depths of the Earth, this game is anything but dark and gritty. The contrasting purples and reds create a very stylistic scene for our boney friend Ash to roam around with his “jetpack.” The jetpack itself makes movement much faster than most metroidvania style games, which is required to jump over certain areas to further your exploration. The levels in Hell Yeah! are anything but linear, but also easy to navigate even without  the accessible map. I never felt lost, but that could also be because I was finding something enjoyable in each area I explored.

Hell Yeah! throws you into giant worlds and allows to progress only after destroying a certain amount of enemies through a variety of murderous ways. When attacking an enemy, you would eventually get thrown into a small quick-time-event or button mashing sequence to then be rewarded with a well-animated obnoxious death scene. Even though I am not a huge fan of quick-time-events myself, nothing felt more satisfying than pulling off certain combos to see my foe ripped in half for the sake of my personal gain.

The item shops in Hell Yeah! are available to meet your stylistic and chaotic needs by selling fashionable hats and costumes as well as deadly weapons. Immediately upon leaving the item shop, the game demands you “try out your new toy,” on the nearest foe. This may have been where I got a little carried away as I would consistently jump back and forth over chasms while firing my rocket launcher, realizing that this game needs to be in my possession immediately.

If there were any game that Hell Yeah! reminded me of it would be Earthworm Jim. Earthworm Jim was known for its nonsensical world and off-the-wall characters that fit perfectly together. Hell Yeah! has these aspects and more due to its hilarious level of cartoon violence. Though I did not throw any cows around junkyards, I did feel like I was controlling a Saturday-morning cartoon again, and for all the right reasons.

Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit is going to be a fun ride for anyone interested in exploration, cartoons, and unnecessary violence. Its release this summer cannot arrive any sooner. My only consolation is that I can play Earthworm Jim and Fur Fighters until I am able to jump in a buzz saw jetpack and cruise the depths of Hades with bazooka in tow.

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