January 6, 2019 at 4:37 PM #1169
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding
It’d be surprising too many to expect a Rabbids game to be genuinely great. But an even greater surprise for it be to be one of the best turn based strategy games to release in recent times.
The gameplay of Mario + Rabbids is fairly simple on the offset, you choose a team of 3 characters who have up to 2 weapons types and 2 active skill unique to the character and move and attack fight the enemies in turn based grid based combat. Each turn you get to control your three characters, each get to move once, attack once and use of their abilities if you wish. As you clear levels you gain skill points to unlock and power up the character stats and coins to buy new weapons.
Where the game innovates is in the movement mechanics. When moving you can have a character can collide with enemies in their movement path as a "dash attack" while deals damage and moving to a square with an ally initiates perform a "team jump" which allows characters do a jump that covers further distance. Certain characters have passive abilities that adds bonuses to this such as Mario who can use a team jump to land on an enemy deal damage and also cover further distance.
The combinations of separate simple movement mechanics, dash attacks and team jumps adds an outstanding amount of depth to the game. Each character can potentially end up doing a staggering amount of actions per turn that your team of three characters ends up feeling like an army in itself.
The games challenge also complements the surprising level of depth. The game isn’t easy and doesn’t pull any punches. Enemies have access to the same sets of abilities and actions you do so you’ll end up finding the game is designed around taking advantage of these mechanics to effectively route the enemies. However, there is an easy mode option you can select before the start of each map that increases your characters HP by 1.5x for the duration of the battle if there are sections you find particularly tricky.
The story of the game is relatively straightforward Rabbids have invaded Mario’s World and one of is stuck with a device that combine Rabbids and various objects together which due to a bug also turned many of them evil excluding the 4 Rabbids that join the party.
Beep-o, a robot made by the person who created the device, Mario and co.(Peach, Luigi, Yoshi) and their Rabbid counterparts work together to try and mend the chaos while Bowser Jr. tries to take the Rabbid with the combining powers together for his own benefit.
The writing is pretty good and the cutscenes are funny and entertaining. The Mario characters play good straight men to the Rabbid’s wacky antics.
Graphics are top notch for the Switch the characters and environments are excellently designed overall and the animations are very fluid which makes the gameplay even more fun to view. There were a few some framerate drops but nothing too bad.
Sound effects are well done in the game and complement the action well. The soundtrack is rather impressive and gives great amount of atmosphere to the levels, it was composed by Grant Kirkhope so there’s a very Banjo-Kazooie feel to the game.
Overall Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom battle is an excellent strategy game and a genuinely impressive effort all around. It’s simple but with a lot of depths and I feel I could recommend it to newcomers but also feel people who’ve played a lot of strategy games would also be able to appreciate its mechanics.
Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding
Product Release: Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle (EU, 08/29/17)
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