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Friday, March 18, 2022

Mario Rabbids: Kingdom Battle Gold Edition + Donkey Kong Adventure DLC Review

This game was on sale on the e-shop so needless to say I got it.. and I love it! I went into it not really knowing what to expect but Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is a hidden gem with full of surprises. It’s a turn-based tactics gameplay where you figure out the tactical puzzles of chaining together as many stringed attacks in the least amount of moves possible. It’s oddly satisfying seeing the enemies getting beaten up Mario and Rabbid style.


When you first open up the game it starts with a bizarre story that brings Ubisoft’s Rabbids into the Mushroom Kingdom of Nintendo’s Mario due to a technical accident. A mysterious programmer has designed a VR helmet capable of merging two objects together. 

While said programmer is away for a while, a group of time-traveling Rabbids in a washing machine arrive and snags the VR helmet before finding themselves in the Mushroom Kingdom of Mario. One of the Rabbids decide to don the helmet and begins merging everything it lays its eyes on. This literally mashes both worlds together: Rabbid combined with a piranha plant, one dressed like Luigi and another like Donkey Kong etc…

Most of the altered Rabbids are unhinged and troublesome, while hose dressed as heroes join forces with Mario to stop the chaos from spreading. It’s your job to undo the damage done by defeating the enemies and setting the world right again.

You have quite few characters to choose from which includes both normal and only vaguely related Rabbid-ized versions of Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Yoshi. You can only have 3 on you team at each time though.


With the right mash up of members in your team you get to be entertaining with the antics and humor the Rabbis bring into the game. Your chosen team members can do jump manoeuvres to launch a them across the map with the help of a squadmate, allowing them to reach adorably colorful sniper towers with ease.

The story is delivered through the dialogue of a friendly AI who is there to guide and help you, along with various familiar faces you come across such a Toad. The storyline is simple to follow though, and the game is easy to navigate with its simple presentation and a clean UI help to demonstrate the game concepts such as the combat mechanics, minor character customization and some basic puzzle solving.

Each time you level up, you get coins which you can use to purchase new weapons (use laser guns, hammers, and bombs) and also unlock new skills such as special abilities to maximize movement and damage. There are unique skill trees for all 10 playable heroes. You also get new enemy types constantly being added so it never gets boring doing the same moves repeatedly.

Besides finding Rabbids gone bad and conquering them, you can also indulge in simple puzzles, which involve flipping switches and pushing boxes, scattered throughout the Mushroom Kingdom, designed to break up the action between battles. I use the word “simple” but not all puzzles are straightforward, and you would have to use your brain quite a bit to it solved. The satisfaction is being able to move on in the story, unlock another character, weapon or item chests with collectables (often with music tracks and concept art).

There are also collectibles and some hidden challenge rooms, you can also explore the different sections with visual easter eggs, usually of Rabbids in various states of shenanigans which add life to the game.

Mario + Rabbids does an excellent job making the boss fights stand out: be it a giant Rabbid Kong who scarfs bananas to restore his health or a Phantom of the Opera parody who sings a hell of a song while you knock out the spotlights that sustain his ego, it never fails to make these battles unique and interesting. There are also minibosses (or “midbosses”) as it insists on calling them) which tend to be harder than the boss fights but equal in goofiness and fun.

Donkey Kong DLC

That’s just the Mario Rabbit Kingdom content. The Donkey Kong DLC is even more entertaining as you get different moves in a different world, and adds more hours to gameplay.

As you may have guessed, the gameplay is very much centered around Donkey Kong himself, but there’s so much more. The stages are entirely built and designed around the way in which Donkey Kong can be used, bringing with it a whole new way to strategize and organize team-based attacks. I enjoyed this a bite more than the Mario Rabbit Kingdom content.

This Donkey Kong world is split into 4 new areas, each with their own unique themes such as ‘Lagoon’ and ‘Jungle’. Although they are not as visually varied as the main game, they do have a new Donkey Kong twist that adds yet another layer of fun and love to proceedings.



Verdict

Overall, Mario Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is a very engaging and entertaining game that makes you work out your brain and have fun at the same time without the violence and gore of a typical tactical combat game; all at your own pace. There are some levels which might be tougher and involve some trial-and-error tries, but a good mix of enemies, objectives, weapon and character abilities keep things interesting. Some might find the Rabbids a tad too childish and irritating, but I find them adorable!

Additionally, the Donkey Kong Adventure DLC adds something fresh. It’s not as daunting as the main game, and there are some truly powerful characters often making short work of the slightly-lessened enemy onslaught. The lack of character selection is perhaps the only downside here, as it takes away some of the deeper strategy involved in the main game.


Controls for this game is also simple: press A to select / confirm something, the ZL/ZR to switch between your team, L/R buttons to select an action etc… There’s no need to simultaneously click on multiple buttons, something which might get daunting for new players.

While this game might be everyone’s taste if you are interested to get your own copy, I highly recommend stalking the Nintendo e-shop for their sales and getting the digital version for less than USD$20. It’s a steal since it contains 2 worlds (with the DLC) for you to try out your strategy thinking skills with adorable characters. Otherwise, you could consider getting the physical game for about S$39.90 without the DLC, and choose it get it via the e-shop at a later date. 


Have you played Mario Rabbids: Kingdom Battle? If yes, did you like it, and if no, are you planning to get it or why would you not be getting it? Let us know in the comments below!

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