- GameSetWatch only deals with the most important issues in video games today - and the burning question for this Monday is - why is Rayman Raving Rabbids called that, when the original French name is so subtly different?

I noticed this when Ubisoft sent over some promo notepaper which had the French name for the game, Rayman Contre Les Lapins Cretins, which my schoolboy French translates as 'Rayman Vs. The Crazy Rabbits'. Actually, I think 'cretins' is a little closer to mentally subnormal, aka the politically incorrect 'retarded', isn't it? There's a definition of the English word which claims its derivation: "French crétin, from French dialectal, deformed and mentally retarded person found in certain Alpine valleys."

In any case, the weird thing about the English language title is that it's not 'Rayman Vs. The Raving Rabbids' - the antagonists are just described in a title run-on. Though there's meant to be a colon after the Rayman, I guess, but it doesn't show up in the English game logo. And, of course, it was decided that plain old 'rabbits' wouldn't cut it, so the reference to the 'rabbits' being 'rabid' was added - hence 'rabbid'. Or that's how I read it. The French-language site has some good puns too - one of the options is labeled 'Lapinvasion', hah.

In conclusion - there's really no conclusion. I just thought it was an interesting example of a title being slightly rethought when it changed languages. Possibly much more interesting is this question - did Michel Ancel completely disavow himself from this game?

As the Wikipedia entry notes: "On April 5, 2006, Ubisoft announced Ancel was leading the development of the fourth game in the Rayman series, Rayman Raving Rabbids, for the Nintendo Wii. The game began production in early 2005 and was released on November 15 2006 for the launch of the Wii. However, Ancel was notably absent from the project after its E3 announcement, and he has made no public appearances regarding the game after the development team switched focus from a free-roaming platformer to the final minigames format shortly after E3." So what happened? And what's he doing now?