Wednesday, 06 September 2017 18:45

REVIEW: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Nintendo Switch)

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The set-up around Mario + Rabbids is a bit of a strange one. The games starts off with a mysterious programmer that's created a device known as the “SupaMerge” capable of merging two objects together. Before you know it, time traveling Rabbids in a washing machine come crashing in. They find the helmet and begin merging everything they lay their eyes on before finding themselves invading Super Mario’s world. Mario and his new best friend Beep-0 must track down ‘Spawny’ before the bad guys get to him first.

The gameplay in Mario + Rabbids is heavily focused around squad-based tactics. At first, I was a little worried as squad-based games aren't usually my cup of tea, but thankfully Mario + Rabbids tones down anything technical and focuses on just core combat mechanics. There is also a little bit of character customization and some simple puzzle solving scattered throughout the Mushroom Kingdom. These are mainly designed to break up the action between battles and involves things like flipping switches or pushing boxes, nothing to difficult.

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At the start of each battle, players must create a squad with Mario and two other teammates which must move around each stage on an invisible grid, darting between different types of cover. So how would your kids go playing this? Well don’t worry, Mario + Rabbids remains friendly to children. While there are no difficulty settings for you to choose from, before every battle you are able to activate “Easy Mode” which gives your team bonus health.

Each stage is broken up in a Mario Bros. style system (World 1-1, 1-2 and so on) with each stage having a condition you must meet before moving onto the next section. These include things such as defeating all the enemies, escaping to the other side of the map, or escorting someone to the end of the level. Also, once a zone is completed, you can go back and replay any sections you like to try to improve your ranking. Being mobile in this game is key. The “Team jump” move allows a player to launch another player across the map with the help of one of your squadmates.

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As for which heroes have which abilities, Mario has an ability which can buff the attack of all nearby allies. Luigi on the other will increase allies’ range of movement while Rabbid Peach can heal, though, you will need to stick close by. Weapons also have stat effects. Bounce can send your enemies flying, same as push, while honey and stone will freeze your enemies where they stand.

As you play, you’ll come across small bonus stages. Completing these within a time frame allows you to unlock more weapons. There are 10 playable heroes in Mario + Rabbids, all with unique skill trees that you can upgrade in various ways using skill points earned as you play. While they don’t change how the abilities work, they can tweak the characters so they become stronger in certain roles. Finally, in the Buddy Dome section, you’ll find a handful of levels especially designed for local co-op play, allowing two players taking control of two characters each.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is yet again another fantastic Nintendo Switch exclusive. It’s fun and super addictive, so if you own a Switch, make sure this is one title you add to your collection.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Ubisoft, Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Milan
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Genre: Strategy, Turn-Based