When I initially came across the rumour that Nintendo and Ubisoft had gotten together to make a Super Mario/Raving Rabbids crossover game I chose to ignore it.

The very idea of the letting the trite, irritating humour that defines the latter company’s screaming mascots into Mario’s Mushroom Kingdom just felt like a bad idea to me. I was wrong! Not only is Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle actually a pretty good game, the mascots I rejected before even seeing manage to steal the show!

The Fun Starts Up Right Away

The opening cutscene for Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle starts out with total chaos, Rabbid-styled, and comes complete with toilet humour, slapstick, and, of course a scream, albeit a brief one, but there is no lingering.

The cutscene is instead used as a vehicle for the games’ story: whilst travelling in a combination time/washing machine, the Rabbids happen upon the workshop of a young inventor.

This inventor has managed to create a device that is able to combine any two distinct objects into one hybrid, and the Rabbids make use of it to merge themselves with all the of the Super Mario Bros. memorabilia found in the inventor’s room.

A New Genre Created from the Series that Inspired the Game

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is not like either of the series which inspired the game: it is neither a mini-game collection, its’ not a platform game, nor even one which falls into the comedy adventure genre. In the same way that Rabbids Go Home is, what comes out of this mash-up is a brand-new genre: tactical, turn-based RPG fun. I highly recommend that even if you are caught up in other pursuits like Geelong Cup betting or playing more serious MMO’s, you also give this game a whirl!

At the Electronic Entertainment Expo 3, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle drew comparisons to games like Fire Emblem and XCOM, but this is not entirely accurate.

Like those games, your team is on a grid with enemy troops and destructible cover, but the battle system for Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is not as hardcore. For example, distance just doesn’t play a role in your chance to hit an enemy: if the enemy is in an unobstructed view, you will hit him 100% of the time. If your opponent is behind cover, that percentage drops to 50%. The only way you will miss a shot is if your enemy is completely covered behind a wall.

Nintendo and Ubisoft Work Surprisingly Well Together

I am still in shock as to the fact that Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle even exists. Despite both games separately fitting into a family-friendly genre, Ubisoft and Nintendo are simply not two brands that I ever saw working together.

I am happy to have been mistaken, however. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is a justifiably enjoyable tactical game, and one that is simply overrun with obvious passion for the Nintendo mascot.

The game is fun to play, and it feels like this is so because whoever made it enjoyed themselves. If you simply can’t wait for the Super Mario Odyssey game release, or are just looking for a new way to enjoy Mario, then do yourself a favour and check out Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. It will surprise you, and could even be termed a little of an odyssey in its own right.

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