Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle Impressions – The Mashup We Never Knew We Needed

Hands-On With Kingdom Battle and I Didn’t Want to Let Go

I had a chance to run through the demo for Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle and I couldn’t be happier. The new Ubisoft and Nintendo collaboration puts a fresh spin on the tactics genre. The demo didn’t cover much of the story on how the two worlds collided, but it did show off the battle system and their version of an overworld map. Even with the limited scope of the demo, I was begging them to let me play through again and again.

I know this comparison is probably going to be thrown around a lot, but as someone who has countless hours in XCOM games I felt right at home. Turns are based on a set amount of actions your characters can perform such as move and shoot; however, the unique thing about Mario+Rabbids is how you maximize the utility of the whole map. Some characters have a more limited movement range but get a nice boost from their teammates to another part of the map. Rabbid pipes can be used to combo movement and sneak behind an enemy in full cover. In some cases, you can launch yourself off Mario or a friend, dash and tackle an enemy, use a Rabbid pipe to head back to cover, then use another ally to bounce to a more strategic vantage point all in a single action. On top of that, you can still shoot that same enemy from the safety of your new position. It’s incredibly satisfying to watch Mario dash around the battlefield and jump behind an enemy Rabbid to get a clean shot. In the demo, any shot at an enemy getting flanked or not in full cover had a 100% hit rate so finding those optimal routes for flanking seems to be crucial. It’s unclear whether this mechanic will be different in the full game or for different difficulty modes.

MRKB Dash Move

The demo only showed off three of the playable characters: Mario, Luigi Rabbid, and Peach Rabbid. Each has their own unique set of usable weapons that you can unlock with coins you find in the overworld or that can appear in battle zones. The basic weapons you start with don’t have anything fancy about them, but I was able to get the third tier of weapons for the final battle in the demo and that’s where they’ve added another layer of strategy. Some status effects from the higher tier weapons have a percent chance to proc so the order in which you attach could be crucial. For instance, hitting the boss with a vampire status effect is a great way to get your team to heal up if you’re already planning on focusing fire on it anyways. A quick note on the boss mechanic: defeating the boss does seem to trigger a victory and there doesn’t seem to be a need to farm xp from other Rabbids as coins look to be the primary method of advancing your characters.

MRKB Team Jump

I can’t wait for Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle to hit the Switch on August 29th later this year.