Published on April 12th, 2012 | by Chris Powell0
PAX East 2012: Hell Yeah!
As Graham and I waited, rather impatiently mind you, for the doors to PAX East to open on the show’s first day, we perused the show floor’s map, planning which booth we wanted to attack first. Being the Sega Nerds that we are, we chose to see Sega’s offerings first.
Sega had two booths, one dedicated solely to Aliens: Colonial Marines, with the other being used to show many of its upcoming downloadable titles including Jet Set Radio, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2, Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing and a game I had no idea even existed called Hell Yeah!: Wrath of the Dead Rabbit.
Hell Yeah! is a Metroidvania style, 2D side-scroller developed by Arkedo Studio and published by Sega, and I have to say after playing through the demo, it was my favorite game I played during PAX East.
It puts you in the role of Ash, a deceased rabbit and prince of hell. After a sexual incident between you and a rubber ducky was secretly photographed and posted to hell’s internet, you have become the laughing stock of the underworld. It’s now your turn to exact revenge on your newfound enemies where you’ll have the chance to decimate your foes in a number of creative and ultra-violent ways.
The first thing that caught my eye when I began to play Hell Yeah! was the game’s bright colors and incredibly cute, yet detailed visual style. The game looks magnificent, almost like a cartoon come to life.
Judging from the demo we played, we started off at the beginning of the game when Ash is essentially defenseless with only the ability to perform a double jump. After a few minutes, I gained control of Ash’s father’s drill (bunny Satan, maybe?), which looks like a giant buzz saw that Ash sits inside of to inflict an ungodly amount of damage on your foes. Once you start sawing into an enemy, blood pours out, shooting all over the screen. It’s both hysterical and satisfying at the same time. In addition to killing enemies, you’ll also use the drill to bust through blocks that are impeding your path.
As you defeat enemies, you collect currency which you can use to purchase additional weapons, costume items or customize your drill. I outfitted mine with neon sticks, which made it look like a raver’s worst nightmare. There were a ton of different options, but only a handfull were unlocked and available to purchase in the demo we played.
Within the level, there were several mini-bosses I had to defeat to advance to the next section. You have a map in the corner that points you to the location of your next victim. As you battle the mini-boss and draining its health to the lowest point, a mini-game pops up that, if performed successfully, allows you to deal a death blow. However, if you screw up, the mini-boss regains a portion of his health and you must try to defeat him again. The mini-games seemed fairly simplistic and easy with one essentially being an arrow that rotated around a wheel that challenged me to stop it within a highlighted area three times to succeed.
There didn’t appear to be any voice acting in the game, and the dialogue is presented entirely in text form. Thankfully, from what I experienced, the writing seemed to be done very well. It never took itself seriously and even poked fun at Sonic the Hedgehog, Dragon Ball Z and other geeky, pop-culture things. There was a lot of potty humor, but with a game so over the top as Hell Yeah!, you have to expect that sort of thing.
The demo was fairly short, but when I finished it, I wanted to keep playing, and there were several times where Graham and I were laughing aloud at how over the top and silly the game was. It appears Arkedo Studio got the most important ingredient of making a game correct – heavy doses of fun.
Hell Yeah! doesn’t have a set date to release, but the SEGA rep assured us they’re targeting for a summer release on XBLA, PSN and Steam.