Nintendo’s Creativity Went A Long Way This Time
There is one thing we are used to when it comes to Nintendo – they can offer some bizarre games. That especially goes for Mario, the plumber who has been put into the strangest situations, such as being forced to dance (Mario Mix for the Dance Dance Revolution). However, the new release for Nintendo Switch might beat everything creative that the company offered so far. They joined forces with Ubisoft to offer us a game that combines the heroes from Mario’s world with Rabbids and the infamous sidekicks from Ubisoft’s games into a clone of an entirely different title. Sounds difficult to understand? Just read the title of the next subheading.
Mario plus Rabbids equals an XCOM Clone
Nintendo seems to be going all out to promote its new Switch console. They secured some of the fantastic titles that will also appear on other consoles, such as NBA 2K18, but they are also putting a lot of effort into releasing unique games for their new piece of hardware. The deal with Ubisoft regarding Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle consisted that they work on the title, which is why Ubisoft promoted the new release on E3 earlier this year.
Although there were games that were far more anticipated, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle turned out to be one of the most addictive games at the expo. The idea that Nintendo and Ubisoft had is pretty much like this – combine something that ‘older kids’ know and like (Mario) and something the younger (actual) kids like (Rabbids). Yes, it turns out the Rabbids are popular. There has been more than a decade since they first appeared in Rayman in 2006, but they didn’t make a significant appearance in any of the games, except for the fact that they have become the unofficial mascot of Ubisoft.
Anyway, we got Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, a game that is simply put – an almost complete clone of XCOM. For those of you who might not know, XCOM is a turn-based strategy series that has been around ever since 8-bit PC games existed (Rebelstar, Laser Squad). 2K released a sequel last year, but it didn’t have great success, despite the fact that it is fantastic (make sure to try it if you like strategy genre).
The Good And The Bad News
The good news is that the crossover with Mario and Rabbids isn’t a simplified RPG only for children. The bad news is that it’s a blatant clone of XCOM. The game pits our favorite plumber and his friends (Yoshi, Princess Peach, Luigi) against the Rabbids across various isometric arenas. Your goal is to use your weapons to destroy all the rivals and come out victorious. We had the chance of trying a sci-fi gun that allows Mario to dematerialize the Rabbids and it looks extremely addictive.
The trick is that each of the characters only has one chance to move and fire during a round, which means you will need to deploy the right tactic to win. The main thing you should take care of, at least in the beginning phases, is not to let anyone of your teammates be in the open. If you do that, you are pretty safe. As for firing, the accuracy depends on the weapon you use, as well as the angle and distance. The controls are easy and contribute to everything going smoothly in the arena. There are also some neat tricks you can use, such as using your ally as a trampoline to move twice as allowed.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is actually a pretty complicated game. There are multiple weapons, unique skills, and a bunch of other stuff that will require you to think. An exploration factor is integrated too because you can collect coins and discover secrets as you move around the arena. The graphics are just what you would expect from a game featuring Mario – beautiful, cartoonish, and pleasant to the eye.
It Is Weird, But It Works
There is no doubt that Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is one odd combination, but we should be used to them from Nintendo by now. The important thing is that the result is pretty good – we got an addictive game that can provide us hours of fun with our friends. It also keeps a bright tone, unlike the new Sonic Forces game, and that’s good for a game like this. If you’ve liked XCOM, make sure to give Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle a shot, because it transfers the traditional strategy mechanics to cartoonish and colorful arenas. Also, if you are a fan of turn-based strategies that are easy to play, but tricky to master, this might be the game for you.