Welcome to our review of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, the wacky cross between the Super Mario universe and the crazy Rabbids from Ubisoft. A Nintendo Switch exclusive title!
This game can easily be nicknamed the worlds worst kept gaming secret. This game leaked so hard, from pictures to a variety of presentation slides. At the time, I must admit that despite being intrigued, I was not feeling this game. I mean really, a Rabbid in Princess Peach her princess’ gown… Really?
Fast forward to the famous E3 presentation that started with the mischievous Rabbids in front of a Coin block… After the original presentation and the now famous scene with Davide Soliani, who even got a few memes out there, yeah, we sure came a long way since that fabled day.
I was very impressed, to say the least by that presentation, the game turned out to be a great mix of both worlds and the gameplay, a tactical attack game similar to the x-com games really interested me.
I originally played a demo at the Post-E3 event in the Netherlands and I was very amused when I played it, it was fun, it was funny and most of all, it was intriguing to play. The fighting was interesting and it felt comfortable while playing, a feeling that not all strategy games master.
Fast forward to last Friday, I just received the Collector’s Edition in the mail, a version sporting an amazing figurine of the Mario Rabbid, the game, the Soundtrack and some collectors’ cards. It is truly amazing! We have a great video of the unboxing on our YouTube channel and our Instagram has had a few really nice pictures too!
When I first started playing the game, it was my very first introduction to the plot of the game, sure, I knew all about the Rabbids ending up in the Mushroom Kingdom, but never did I realize the real introduction was so cool. They show you the introduction of Beep-o, the mayhem caused by the Rabbids and basically what started this wacky adventure!
Beep-o, the small helper robot that you control throughout the game, is what leads Mario and the rest of the cast to the saving of the Rabbid with the SupaMerge Headset. The main storyline is revealed right from the bat!
Enter the gameplay itself, like all games, you are thrown into the tutorial, a very helpful tutorial, to say the least, it teaches you the way to move the playing field and gives you clear pointers on how to slide, how to jump, …
For those that are not aware how this type of game works, you are basically on a set playing field, which is composed of all squares, you can move a preset amount of squares and then, you are either in position to attack an enemy Rabbid or not. Sometimes they hide behind obstacles, it is your duty to maneuver into a clear line of sight so you can blast your gun and move their health back to zero after which they disappear from the playing field. They respawn as “docile” Rabbids in the Mushroom Kingdom after this.
Sometimes, you are too far off, so you need to use a teammate to use the jump feature, allowing you to pass more distance, but this is where the tactics of the game come into play, by being far away, you also lose the ability to get cover from a teammate as they are far away. You might have set yourself up for a full frontal attack by all the enemy Rabbids by this approach…
Another cool feature you can use, warp pipes. Good old classic Warp pipes. Enter one and come out the other side, use them to sneak up on enemy Rabbids or to escape from them. Yes, the game is very versatile and does not simply end there. While most “battle missions” are about beating your enemies, some are about reaching a goal first. The options are limitless!
One of your first missions is to help Toad find Toadette after which you are shown the way back to Princess Peach. While you advance through the game, you unlock more and more options, find more and more chests, … I love the versatility this game brings to the table. Amidst all the big titles on the Switch, this game is here to stay!
But… do not underestimate this game. It is surprisingly sneaky at times and the enemy can easily catch you off guard when you only prioritize offense. You either think about what you do or you lose the fight when you go in carelessly! In order to face the higher levels, you will need to make sure to keep your weapons and your skills up to date!
When you are not fighting, you are scouring through the Mushroom kingdom, finding coins, upgrades, music or loot! The storyline progresses mostly in the Mushroom Kingdom, but the game is all about getting to the Rabbid wreaking havoc and stopping him.
In between said fights, you are also faced with smaller puzzles in the Mushroom Kingdom, adding to the enjoyment of this title as it is a treat to figure out what to do sometimes, but I have said it before, I love puzzle games and Mario + Rabbids brings the puzzles in a refreshing way.
In conclusion, I just adore this game, the art-style is a perfect blend between two universes that I would never have combined myself, not even in my head. The Rabbids are not outshining Mario and Mario is not outshining the Rabbids. A great example is the big first boss, called Rabbid Kong, after beating him, you have this one Rabbid on your team that just “tips” the scale to your advantage and then you head off into a new world called Sherbet Desert which looks even prettier than the first.
The entire game is filled with shenanigans and just keeps you laughing the entire time!
I also love a game that needs some wit to finish and this game is basically exactly that, while keeping it incredibly fresh. This kind of mixup is what a fanboy like myself can only applaud. I applaud you, Ubisoft and Nintendo, for really thinking outside the box on this game and bringing us a great game.
My rating is a clean 95%.
Can this game be any better? I do not know, maybe when the season pass drops, we will know? I will be revisiting the game when I get the chance to try out the season pass, so do keep your eye on the site when that happens!