Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is the game that no one asked for, but damn am I glad they made it. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was developed by Ubisoft Paris and Milan. Devolopment began when Ubisoft pitched a Mario and Rabidds crossover game to Mario creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, in which he fell in love with the idea and development began immediately. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a turn based strategy game, that sees Mario team up with rabbids, to face the rabbids that have gone wild and restore order to the Mushroom Kingdom. This games story is as crazy and odd as you can find, but I will get to that later. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle offers a great combat system, but it has some flaws that hold it back from being one of the greats.
As Good as it Gets
This game is a blast to play through, and the combat never gets too old or repetitive. At the start of each battle, you can choose between Peach, Luigi, Yoshi, and the rabbids versions of each character to join Mario. From here, you move your characters around on an invisible grid and try to out flank your opponents to gain an advantage. The key to staying alive is constant movement between your three characters, as you can bounce off teammates, which really allows for extra mobility to get your character in position. Each attack has a percentage chance of hitting your target, which makes it more of a strategy game than a guessing game. Some of your weapons also have unique abilities, so if you land a critical hit on an enemy, it can cause the enemy to catch on fire or bounce across the stage, depending on what weapon you’re using.
The boss fights are unique and fun to play through, as you have to approach each fight differently, and no two bosses felt the same. Whether you are fighting a ice golem, or a Hong Kong wannabe, they all differ and require you to actually think. The bosses are challenging but are never to frustrating, and you always get a great feeling after you finally defeat them. This game is also very challenging in general, as it does have some insane difficulty spikes that can really frustrate you, but in the end the challenge is worthwhile.
Exploration on the other hand is not worthwhile, as you do not get any rewards for exploring the game that affect the story or your experience at all. Exploration feels like a missed opportunity, as it starts out fun and interesting, but gets repetitive as you complete similar puzzles repeatedly, as they never offer any real challenge. The rewards from doing these puzzles are minimal as you only unlock the collectibles, which are unmemorable, and weapons are hardly more powerful than the ones you have equipped at the time. Luckily, combat is the main objective here, and most of the problems are minimal and will not affect your experience at all. Combat is as good as it gets, with the creative movement, satisfying challenge and unique and worthwhile boss battles, this is one of the best games in the genre as far as combat is concerned.
Not Your Best Narrative Around
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle’s story is simple, and you do not need to understand it to have a good time. The story starts off with rabbids transporting into a room to become attached to a headset which shoots beams that allows the rabbids to fuse to anything around them. You then travel to the mushroom kingdom, which leads to some dangerous combinations and very interesting enemies, and your job is to stop those crazy combinations from destroying Mushroom Kingdom. The game starts off with a goofy premise and continues to be as crazy as you would expect from a game combining the Mario and Rabbids universe, as enemies from mushroom kingdom are caught in giant underwear, rabbid peach is obsessed with taking selfies at the oddest times, and that is just a few of the odd moments you will encounter.
This story is suited for a younger audience, as my little sister watched me play for a bit, and she was really into it and laughing at just about every cut scene. The goofy premise does get some laughs if you’re a bit older, but for the most part, your enjoyment will not come from the story. The story also drags a bit towards the end as you are completing similar tasks and the only character that talks is beep-o, your robot companion that leads you on your journey. In the end, the story is not needed to enjoy this one.
The Good Outweighs the Bad
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is one of the best-looking games on the Switch. With its unique cartoon art style, that perfectly captures how I picture mushroom kingdom, it feels exactly how a Mario game should look. Whether it is docked or in hand-held mode, Mario + Rabbids looks great, as the colors pop on the screen, and mushroom kingdom has never looked so good. As far as content goes, it took me a little under 15 hours to complete the story, but it could take up to 20 if you plan to do more exploration and go back and complete secret levels. There is also a co-op mode that allows you to play locally with a friend, as you control two heroes a piece and must communicate to win. There is a solid amount of content to complete and you can expect to spend a lot of time with this one. Progression is not very different or unique, unfortunately, as each hero has a skill tree that offers some abilities, but for the most part progression is very generic. Mario + Rabbids gets a lot of things right, and the things it gets wrong are never too important to take away from its strengths.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is one of the best strategy games to release in a while, with its great combat that emphasizes movement, unique art style and incredible boss fights. The combat is unique, refreshing and offers a worthwhile challenge. The story is goofy, over the top and meant for younger audiences. It may give adults a few laughs here and there, but in the end the story is not needed for enjoyment. It is also one of the best-looking games on the Switch, as it perfectly captures mushroom kingdom. Content is solid as it offers plenty of things to do and should satisfy fans of the genre. Progression is generic and offers nothing new to the idea, but does not take anything away from the game. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle strengths outweigh it weaknesses, as it is a worthwhile challenge, I highly recommend this game if your looking for something to play on your Switch. (Ill/8.0).
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