Some people complain when Nintendo’s latest release, Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, gets compared to Xcom, and not without merit, really. The way I see it, that’s a massive compliment to it, specially being the first entry in what is (hopefully) an ongoing series.
Hell, in some respects, Kingdom Battle gets rid of some of the micromanaging bullshit you had to put up with in Xcom (I’ll bring it up a lot as a reference point, because they’re very similar): You don’t have to waste an entire turn on reloading (thank f*&%, there is no reloading), and you don’t have to worry about building up a base and building up/worrying about power, etc. Oh, and no shadow douche council breathing down your neck (best part; Love Xcom, hate the council, and I think we can all do without it, no?). This is the best part of Xcom, but with the better parts of strategy and Mario games thrown in.
Some of this might make gatekeepers turn their noses up at the title; yet, seeing Mario + Rabbids as a “My First Strategy Game”, that’s not to say it doesn’t offer a lot of depth. Movement dynamics are varied (jump, slide, etc), and each character comes with their own branching ability tree, offering many choices to those familiar with Xcom. For example: Mario, by default, has Hero Vision unlocked, which works like Overwatch. Rabbid Peach has an area heal for allies, etc.
The greatest thing going for Mario+Rabbids is personality. The Mario crew on its own has its fair share of charisma, but combined with the bizarrely charming and insane Rabbids? Magic happens. The simple but great intro/story just works. You’d also be doing a disservice to yourself if you don’t take time to pay attention to your surroundings. You’ll find funny and weird things if you do (singing Rabbid chillin’ on a giant rubber duckie that’s in the middle of a giant toilet and wearing a spiked choker) .. Oh! And some really cool use of foreground objects with music cues; a small detail, but just trust me — it works out well and adds a lot of atmosphere to the game.
I can’t possibly recommend this partnership between Nintendo and Ubisoft enough. Even if you don’t like strategy games, the learning curve is very smooth. And while not the most challenging game you’ll play (just go replay Dark Souls if you want to break controllers.. stfu), the world crafted in this new franchise is well worth the price of admission. 4.5/5 Rabbibles.
Extra Award: Sassiest character in a game — Rabbid Peach. She’s amazing, and I don’t even like the word “sassiest”.