Community Review: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Community Review: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

It’s not often Nintendo lets Mario play with guns. But then again, collaborations like Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle are far and few between.

The fact that Mario + Rabbids even exists is still fascinating to me. It’s another marker of a turning point for Nintendo, which has branched out in all sorts of weird ways this year.

For instance, just look at the art for Splatoon 2. Or the ways Breath of the Wild shook up the Zelda formula.

And then you have … well, this.

I’m still a little surprised at how well Mario + Rabbids works. And I’m kind of surprised that Nintendo hasn’t branched out in this direction, because it fits so, so well. Simplified turn-based strategy is actually kind of a natural fit for Nintendo when you think of what they can do with all of their various characters.

Sure, the whole weapons aspect is still a bit weird. But it works, and there are so many paths Nintendo can go from here.

A couple of grating things is that high ground doesn’t confer as much of an advantage as it probably should. Half cover doesn’t make sense if you’re shooting at someone from above – they shouldn’t be able to hide, but then the difficulty would probably be completely ruined without it.

Games have to sacrifice in silly ways sometimes.

The only other main criticism is that I probably wouldn’t playthrough Mario + Rabbids a second time. It’s not the kind of game where getting every coin and collectible is that fun. The battles have been great, but running around the world shifting stuff around is a little too much busy work for my liking.

How have you found Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle so far?


  • I really like that you can handle all of the speccing and gear buying from anywhere in the game. It makes things run so smoothly.

    I also appreciate the lack of fiddly hit percentages. It’s simple, yeah, but it’s not nearly as frustrating as missing a 90% point blank shot.

    The short loading times are great. Don’t know why, but i feel conditioned to expect longer loading.

    The rabbid version of every character is superior. The animations are nintendo-level good and the french physical humour is a perfect fit.

    I’m up to the back half of the spooky level, and the variety in bosses has been fantastic. You see the same basic units over and over with stat tweaks, but that keeps things relatively understandable. I’ve backtracked a bunch for challenges, and found new areas and plenty of collectable stuff.

    Great game which has masterfully streamlined the xcom genre, and it soldifies the rabbid characters as a worthy creation. I’ve always liked them, MUCH more than the crappy minions everyone fawns over.

  • I enjoy the turn based tactical genre in general and I had a really tough decision to make about buying either this or the X-Com expansion (what sadist released them so close together?!). In reality I know I’d eventually get both but given my limited time for playing games I ended up going for this one, going for portability over familiarity (plus the chance of x-com getting a steam sale, which almost never happens with Nintendo).

    So did I make the right call? I honestly can’t say yet.

    What it did make me realise is how much I am tied to the personal narratives you create for characters in x-com. Kingdom Battle takes the very Mario concept of “death = you learn a lesson” rather than “death = you lose someone you have formed an attachment to”. In essence it wears its “gameyness” on its sleeve a lot more, for better or worse.

    That gameyness does engender some very fun and visceral moments of dashing around in pipes and taking out enemies, but in the end it’s solving a puzzle rather than saving the world. However I feel that if I can take a page from a Disney film that is as ubiquitous as it is annoying and “Let it go” I think there’s a lot to enjoy here.

  • I picked this up and have enjoyed it for the most part, awesome graphics, beautiful animation and amazing attention to detail, however when not battling the game misses a little something for me, even more so when comparing it to something like XCOM (which I find both inevitable and also little unfair);

    There is squad customisation, but having so few on a team plus the fact you have to use Mario just feels overly restrictive to me. With the abilities perhaps they were worried about scaling up in terms of balance and complexity? I need – and perhaps others will – need to get my head around the fact this is meant to be a more lighthearted romp than a tension filled XCOM playthrough, but that fact you can respec at any point etc means the whole thing feels pretty risk free, especially when you can restart a battle anytime with no penalty.

    I’m playing War of the Chosen alongside this and perhaps that’s the issue. It’s not that I dont think Mario Rabbids is a great game, I’d happily recommend anyone try it out, but when i’m not playing either it’s XCOM I’m thinking of because there is agency in any decisions etc. In between battles with Mario the game feels a little empty with challenges and some simple platforming/puzzling – I guess this is the trade off for accessibility?

    All in all it’s an amazingly solid platform onto which I think they could really build – even wonder if they could go down a route similar to Fire Emblem and let you have a base game but buy either an ‘adults’ or ‘kids’ campaign that scales the difficulty/complexity either way? I’ve been wanting them to do something similar with Pokemon for about forever though so I guess it’s somewhat unlikely at this point…

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