Mario + Rabbid Kingdom Battle Review
Mario + Rabbid Kingdom Battle is a turn based combat game, taking much inspiration from the XCOM series. It’s a game that surprises you at almost every turn with deep tactical game play set in a magical world that’s delightful, if not a bit silly at times.
The colliding worlds of Ubisoft’s Rabbid’s and the Mushroom Kingdom are wonderfully colorful. It’s strange at first to see these two worlds mixed but the game knows this and plays on its goofiness well, embracing it and providing some pretty interesting combinations.
Self-aware humor lends itself well to Mario + Rabbid Kingdom Battle and the turn based combat is much deeper and harder than you might think at first glance.
There are lots of strange things to see in this game. Besides the man doppelgangers, I still found it most odd seeing Mario and co using guns. Mario + Rabbid Kingdom Battle borrows its combat style from XCOM but differs in that your team works together, combining abilities and quite literally bouncing off one another.
Characters can move, attack and use their special abilities in a single turn. You’re not limited to strict order n doing so either. Mario + Rabbid Kingdom Battle allows the freedom to switch things up a little. Players can attack and then move or can move a little, swap to another character and then attack with that one. You can even use you movement phase to get up close and personal and attack enemies.
This is what Mario + Rabbid Kingdom Battle does well. It allows players to carefully plan their next move and figure out the best way to tackle your enemies, who can be somewhat unforgiving at times.
There is a nice range of tactical options here and that came as a welcomed surprise. The team jump mechanic lets characters bounce off other teammates heads in order to reach out of reach locations. There are also a number of unique special attacks that vary from AOE attacks to straight up single target damage dealers. You’ll need to manage these and learn which is best as this game is no walk in the park.
Enemy Rabbids in Mario + Rabbid Kingdom Battle is hard and I don’t say that lightly. The AI is both smart and mobile and during the early game can confuse you as to just how fast they actually are. Being flanked is a real possibility in Mario + Rabbid Kingdom Battle, so expect the inevitable. The game does provide your characters with abilities to buff and heal, which helps to keep you alive.
You will often find instances where the enemy uses super weapons, which do things like set you on fire and send you running around like a mad man, potentially losing any cover you may have had. This is the same for friendly fire and an AOE attack not planned properly can often result in causing damage to your own team.
When I started to upgrade my characters the game became a little easier. There are still odd spikes in difficulty here and there, but for the most part, I managed. Upgrades can yield some great rewards and can provide opportunities to execute some really satisfying attacks, which makes up for the early game difficulty.
Mario + Rabbid Kingdom Battle still keeps you on your toes throughout however and tactical play is a must. Cover can be easily destroyed and the game seems to promote an aggressive style of play. Your main focus will be taking the fight to the enemy whilst keeping all of your team alive, making the most of your abilities and thus resulting in some real post fight rewards.
There is a real push to perform team maneuvers in every turn possible. This provides you with better rewards and looks great whilst doing so. It’s where Mario + Rabbid Kingdom Battle is at its best. These types of maneuvers showcase what this game is all about.
Despite the surprising difficulty, Mario + Rabbid Kingdom Battle helps you by providing a clean and clear UI. It’s easy to navigate and understand your actions. Full and half cover is easily displayed along with a list of possible actions that never get in the way of player freedom.
The fights in the game generally last around 10 minutes, but I found a few that took me an hour. These were the trial and error levels which resulted in many attempts at overcoming them. Thankfully, you can restart levels on a whim by selecting the option from the pause menu.
At the start of a fight, you are asked if you want to play the level in easy mode. This is nothing but a health boost, but it’s a nice touch for a game that doesn’t shy away from being hard to beat. Even in easy mode, you’re still required to use a degree of tact and planning to make through with a full team.
Between the turn based combat levels and boss battles, which have some pretty unique objectives, Mario + Rabbid Kingdom Battle has you tackle some puzzle levels. They are both seamless and colorful affairs, which showcase the character of the world. These are mildly challenging sections that never half your progress but provides a nice transition between each battlefield.
Mario + Rabbid Kingdom Battle has around 20 hours of content, including elements of character progression and upgrades. Upgrading your weapons costs cash, which you earn from completing levels, and there is also an option to re spec you abilities at any time. I was also pleased to see the inclusion of a co-op mode, which allows 4 characters on the battlefield, instead of the usual 3.
Overall Mario + Rabbid Kingdom Battle provides a colorful world filled with cute and hilarious animations. I’d imagine that even XCOM veterans would find the combat surprisingly hard and challenging. With the varied enemy types and range of character abilities, I found so much more depth than I was expecting from this game. It’s a constant delight to play through the story and I found it endlessly charming and funny.