What Frankenstein-Monster is this?
Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is an unusual pairing between Nintendo and Microsoft. The game is a family friendly and whimsical strategy game. It looks bright and colourful and feels chaotic, but beneath the zany exterior is a solid tactical core. In many regards, Mario+Rabbids is one of the best tactical games on the market. And it is certainly one of the best titles to own on the Nintendo Switch.
The above video highlights the original reveal of Mario+Rabbids at E3 2017. This is now over a year ago, but the core mechanics have only become more polished since.
The game focuses on quirky exploration modes – in which you control your team of three fighters and travel around the Mushroom Kingdom collecting unlockables and scouting for battles. There are plenty of humorous or strange visuals to observe as well. Some of these fall flat, others bring delicate chuckles or loud guffaws into action. However, once you enter a battle-field your team is set for combat.
The challenge of Mario+Rabbids is balancing your team dynamics. Each character has a unique set of weapons and abilities, in conjunction with the regular team abilities. For example Rabbid Peach has the ability to heal her teammates. Mario has the ability to shoot enemies when they move. Luigi can use ghostly abilities stolen from the Luigi’s Mansion series. But whatever damage your team receives in combat will stay with them until the next few battles.
Each battle has a different objective. Some battles require you to defeat all enemies within a set amount of moves. These are the stock-standard battles. Other battles require players to bring one teammate to a finishing point to win. While yet other battles require the team to defeat a heavy-duty boss.
The overall combat mechanics allow you to take turns using each character to move, attack and use a special ability. The order of these moves, however, defines the state of the battlefield. Some enemies will move towards characters when attacked. Other enemies will move away or activate their own special abilities. It becomes important for the gamer to carefully structure their movements: will they slide into an enemy to deal movement damage and then fire a weapon from another character? Or will the order of events be to fire a weapon and then use another character’s movement damage? There are numerous options and immense satisfaction from successfully completing a level.
Worth Paying and Playing?
Despite this being a mash-up of Ubisoft and Nintendo franchises, this game retains all of the Nintendo charm. The character models look glorious in HD on the Nintendo Switch, and the combat is easy to understand but satisfying and challenging to master. All in all, this is an excellent, if unexpected pairing and a must-own for the Switch.
For anyone who is yet to pick up a Nintendo Switch, I would strongly encourage considering it. The Nintendo Switch is an excellent portable console (I use mine in addition to my Xbox when travelling for work or on holidays). It provides powerful graphics and frame-rates in the palm of your hands from games such as Bayonetta I and II (which I am currently playing) to Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. And if you do purchase a Switch I would consider adding Mario+Rabbids to the list of ‘must purchase’ games.
Must Purchase Nintendo Switch Games (That I Have Played)
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Bayonetta 1 and 2
- Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
- Mario Kart
- Splatoon 2
And I am cautiously optimistic for Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Octopath traveller. Each of which release later this year.
Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
- Replayable challenges and levels
- Easy to learn, difficult to master mechanics
- Easy pick up and play game
- The Switch's portability makes this an excellent game for the road
- Multiplayer options!
- The exploration mode might seem a little dull in between battles
- The humour falls flat in places
I am the creator and current writer on jonathanterrington.com. My love of books, films and games led me to create a site where I can express my positive thoughts of anything I have been playing, reading or watching recently. Please subscribe and follow The Write Stuff (and feel free to contact us!).