It all starts like any other game, well not so much as all games are different right? start humming the Mario soundtrack, if you have forgotten it, click play as a reminder below
Meet an intelligent girl, obsessed with all things from the Mushroom Kingdom, her room littered with collectibles, Mushroom Kingdom wallpaper, even the iconic pipes, it’s a room, that and Mario Fan would want, even me.
She sits down at her desk humming away while tinkering with what first looks like some form VR Unit, but no, this is The ‘SUPERMERGE’ headset. A headset that takes one item and fuses it with a second item to make an altogether new item. She believes her device will solve the energy crisis our world suffers from, but during her latest test of the device where she fused a lamp with a flower to create a LightFlower, the device overheats, which is not good.
Also during the test you get to meet BEEP-O a flying/hovering AI Robot with digital eyes, which speak some sort of languages with everyone seems to understand, many everyone can see the speech bubbles as well.
Damn, she says to herself, the device is still not working correctly, hoping the overheating issue has been resolved and puts down the SUPERMERGE and leaves the room still humming the Mario Sound Track to herself.
Then from out of know where Que – Back to the Future Soundtrack;
Not a Delorean, instead, in its place the Rabbids Washing Machine, even has the iconic Back to the Future time machine clock. We all know what happens when Rabbids get involved, all hell breaks loose. This is exactly what happens, the ransack the room, bouncing off walls, riding vacuum cleaners, wait, a vacuum cleaner in a young girls room, something wrong there, what teenager cleans their room?
But one Rabbid takes hold of the SUPERMERGE and creates all new Rabbid Merges, welcome Rabbid Peach, Rabbid Mario, even Rabbid Luigi and much more. There fun and frolics in the girl’s room does not end too well, as the Rabbid using the headset targets the washing machine and all the Rabbids get sucked back in, including a poster of the Mushroom Kingdom.
While the Rabbids invade the Kingdom, there is one that is causing, even more, havoc, the one that has the SUPERMERGE, he is still merging his fellow Rabbids with other worldly items, but now, the headset is apart of him, and finally we give him a name ‘Spawny’. The little shit is out of control and needs to be stopped. What will happen to the Mushroom Kingdom, well nothing good that’s for certain, will the heroes band together to save the day? only you will have the say. Will you be able to save the Mushroom Kingdom and all the Rabbids.
So that was the back story, it’s much better if you watch it, as Nintendo are dicks when it comes to YouTube and their IP’s we could not publish a video on our channel showcasing the start, but others can, because they like to sign up to Nintendo’s crazy YouTube’s Partnership Program, so here it is below from a site.
Now, what is Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle? well, it’s the Mushroom Kingdom, with the Mushroom Kingdom Heroes, mixed with Ubisoft’s Rabbids all molded together in a turn-based strategy game, the question is, did it mold well, or did it all fall apart?
Let’s cut to the chase, I have been a fan of Nintendo for many years now, from a young man that owned the NES Console, moving up through each console as it got launched, SNES, N64, Game Cube, Wii, Wii U and Now Nintendo Switch, not forgetting all the handhelds. Mario + Rabbids is a whole new ball game, I can say hand on heart I have never experienced such a game on any of their systems, which uses mixes Nintendo’s iconic characters, with a third party set of characters so well, it genuinely feels fresh and new.
Now there are plenty of turn-based games on Nintendo systems, Paper Mario, Dragon Quest, Advanced Wars, Fire Emblem just to name a few, but I am yet to find a game that is similar to a very popular franchise XCOM from 2KGames and this game comes pretty close, well in some aspects. So as I have played XCOM rather recently and I guess many others have as well, let keep to that game, to differentiate.
You progress to each stage by running around each segment of the world collecting coins, finding secret areas and chests that are scattered around each section, but the main events happen within each stage, aka the battleground.
Like XCOM, you have a cover system that will give you protection for a certain amount of shots, or indefinite, all depending on the makeup of the cover, bricks don’t last that long, metal last forever. If you head to higher ground and shoot down, you get an increase in damage, so very similar to XCOM.
During battles in XCOM you would splinter your teammates to have a better chance of winning the match, in this game you are best working together as a close net team, for instance using the teams ‘Jump Technique’ to reach further, get to higher ground, and in time use Mario’s head stomp mechanic. There are also Group buffs and Group healing just to name a few of the abilities available. There is also weapon buffs, each weapon has its own characteristics, like Bounce, which when used will bounce an enemy around the screen or sometimes off the battle arena, or Hunny which when used will stick an enemy to the ground, making it great against enemies that move towards you when shot.
Everything seems like fun right, NO, it’s no picnic, as enemies have their own skills as well, for example, bosses have AOE abilities and standing too close together will see your whole team taking damage. Some enemies, when hit will move towards you, so you need to be mindful of your distance, as you progress through the game new types of enemies appear as the game progressively gets harder. For, me though there is CHOMP, I love CHOMP, and I used him, in every match I saw him in, he’s a happy chappy as he chomps away at the enemies in his sight unless you’re dumb enough, then it is your arse on the chopping block.
As you progress through the game you gain new weapon blueprints, new abilities can be unlocked and a load of collectibles can be found. Everything you find or want to learn can be found around Peaches Castle. Which Include the following things
- Battle HQ (Can also be accessed before a battle) which allows you to select your team member, purchase, and equip weapons, and upgrade your skills via the skills tree.
- The Museum which allows you to view all the collectibles you have found in the game which include artwork, music scores, 3D figures, and cards.
- The Washing Machine – AKA the Back to the Future time machine – allows you to replay a stage within a world to better your performance.
- Amiibo R&D – Name says it all really.
- Bwaah Gym – Two Player mode – this is well worth playing with a friend.
The game is no picnic, it starts easily within each world and progressively gets harder, you will sometimes find yourself outmatched on times, and you will need to backtrack through levels or even repeat stages to get more coins and upgrade your gear. I was already doing this in world one, I was walking through each stage, perfect, perfect, perfect then it got HARDER, my perfect went down to good and fair, not impressed. I could easily press Easy Mode, which gives you 50% more health before the match starts, but whats the point in doing that, the game is about tactics, strategy, and learning, so there was no way I was going to press that anytime soon.
So I found myself back tracking, replaying challenges, collecting more coins and buying more powerful weapons, I would not be beaten down to a good rating again, but it happened. So the moral I learned here was, don’t expect a walk in the park to be peaceful, grind up your coins and grab the best weapons as and when possible for all your teams mates.
Before any battle, you can use a BEEP-O update called Tacticam, which allows you to survey the battlefield, checkout enemy abilities and work out your best tactics for the best chance of winning a battle, you can also enter Battle HQ and upgrade and choose the best team member for each battle. You will be using Battle HQ a lot during the game, trust me, if you want to do well, get those perfects, choose the right teammates, correct weapons and enjoy.
As with any Mario Games, what comes at the end of the world, a boss and wait till you see what Ubisoft has planned for you, as a hint, look at each stage and you will see hints of what the boss is going to be, a hint for world one barrels.
That’s really it for the game, each world has a certain number of stages to complete, a certain number of collectibles to be found and the elusively hidden stage. I guess the bulk of the reply value comes from collecting everything, playing co-op and getting perfect in each stage, in the end, you will achieve the bulk of what the game offers and most likely will either be happy you did it all, like the old days of gaming, or upset that it’s ended and complain.
I would have liked a Multi-Player feature so we can have WHAABID battles, team vs team with players around the world, maybe even special events and stages popping up now and then and even an online leader board so we have something else to beat, just ideas, but that’s not for me to take note, but the developers of the game to consider if the sales are good.
The game is a bucket of laughs and built beautiful thanks to the Snowdrop Engine, it is not as graphically impressive like Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but why would it be, they are totally different games and totally different genres.
For me, the game made me laugh from beginning to end, from the quirky remarks from BEEP-O to Rabbid Peach meeting the original Peach and having Rabbid Peach inspect her, have a few judgments then walks away, like to say I am better than you, to all the Rabbids dotted around the world doing some crazy shit.
The love and attention to detail from the developers, Ubisoft, Ubisoft Paris and Ubisoft Milan have made me smile, giggle, laugh, and enjoy my time in a world that they have created. I am not a huge fan of turn-based games, but what Ubisoft has done here with Nintendo IP’s and their brand of anarchy the Rabbids, mold really well and I want more, a lot more.