Saturday, April 14, 2012

PAX East 2012: Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit

Sega's booth at PAX East featured a number of games, but one game truly stood out as the most off-the-wall of the bunch: Arkedo Studios' Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit.  At the showfloor, we got to meet the mastermind behind the small-but-deadly game company, Camille Guermonprez, and I got to ask him a few questions about Hell Yeah and Arkedo itself.  See our preview after the break.

I had not expected the altogether charming and endearing developer Arkedo to create such a game as Hell Yeah, but now that I have gotten to play the game briefly, I have to admit it seems to fit their pedigree more than I anticipated!

Hell Yeah stars Ash, the devil rabbit and Prince of Hell, and in Hell, reputation is a top priority.  However, Ash has a scandalous love for rubber duckies and taking baths, things that are quite the opposite of the dark, gritty underworld he is supposed to rule.  When someone takes a photo of his bathing escapades and posts it on the Hell-ternet, he becomes a laughing stock the underworld-over.  Unfortunately, getting rid of the images seems impossible.  Fortunately, getting rid of all those who have seen the images is fun.

The game is a side-scrolling action platformer with dark but colorful world and monster designs.  The level shown at the showfloor was full of blood and red, glowing elements strewn throughout.  As he progresses into each world, Ash will encounter unique monsters, all of which mock him for his behavior and now must die (again).  One example from the demo was Poy Poy, a little blob resembling a Puyo from Sega's Puyo Puyo series.  Poy's safety behind crystal was but a temporary one, though, once Ash received his primary weapon, a large spinning drill!  Needless to say, the little guy was no match for Ash!  While a monster's encounter may be brief, once any of the game's 100 monsters are destroyed, you will be able to see them again in a Monster Index where you can see their mortal background and learn why the ended up in Hell.  It's like Pokemon, only you "Gotta KILL Them All!"

Throughout Hell Yeah's ten worlds, you will have to find different ways to kill the monsters you encounter, and thankfully Ash has a variety of weapons to use.  If you cannot attack with your spinning drill wheel, you will be able to use other weaponry such as a shotgun or a carrot missle launcher to do the deed!  Once a monster is on the verge of death, the game pulls you into a brief micro-game to finish the job.  Nothing feels more satisfying than to quickly charge up a laser beam to over-kill a living piece of poop with a chainsaw sticking out of its head.  The game will have over 30 "Finish Him" moves to make, so players will not get tired of crushing their enemies to death (though why would they?).

The game's cartoony characters and backgrounds moved smoothly through the level, and while I did not get to hear the game's music directly at the showfloor, the game's theme song sounds like an apt start of something delightful.  You get your hard rock and your humorous, over-the-top lyrics, all about a rabbit who is killing everyone for seeing him with a rubber ducky.  Of course, I suspect the music to vary in the levels themselves, but for that I will just have to wait until it comes out this summer to have a more through listen.  At least, I will try to focus on the music when I am too busy dicing up monsters into fresh steaks!

Hell Yeah is slated for this summer for PSN, XBLA, and PC.

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