The preview embargo for the zany Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is up, and people have a lot of thoughts — mostly positive ones. Read on for an overview of the game and early reviews from several people who have gone hands-on with the game.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a bizarre crossover between Nintendo’s Mario franchise and Ubisoft’s Rabbids one, with a lot of XCOM thrown in. It was received pretty poorly originally — how could our favorite Mario characters possibly team up with the Minion-esque Rabbids to actually make a good game? But as soon as Shigeru Miyamoto made the E3 gameplay reveal and people started seeing what it really was, public opinion did a complete 180.
For a squad tactics game — or any game, really — Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is very very different, but that seems to be the point. Those with early access are singing the title’s praises for its unique charm and engaging gameplay, though it won’t thrill hardcore strategy gamers with its combat.
If you’re looking for video previews, both EGM and Easy Allies have some footage to show you. As for written thoughts, here are some excerpts from what a few outlets had to say about Mario + Rabbids:
IGN: “There’s a serendipity to this game coming out on Switch specifically – both the game and the console are stuck halfway between two seemingly opposing ideas: handheld and home, Mario’s welcoming charm and XCOM’s hardcore appeal. And, like the Switch, Mario + Rabbids feels as though it’s balancing both sides surprisingly well. While its tactical intrigue may end up a little on the slim side for dyed-in-the-wool strategists, the unexpected joy of these two worlds colliding might well be enough to keep players watching Peach incinerate her opponents through to the end – it’s weird, but it works.”
NintendoLife: “What’s clear above all else is that Ubisoft has put a lot of passion into this game, along with respect for the Mario IP. The level of quality here is, frankly, well beyond any Rabbids games we’ve seen before now, and gives an almost peculiar mix of whimsy and wacky humour alongside detailed and immersive strategy. It’ll be something fresh and different for Switch, certainly, and this old XCOM fan can’t help but feel it could be a unique spin on its genre. Don’t let the Rabbids put you off – Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is full of exciting potential.”
Destructoid: “I was pretty jazzed for Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle going in and it lived up to those expectations in the few hours I had with it. Provided it’s as delightful and engaging the whole way through, my biggest problem with it is probably going to be buying myself a Nintendo Switch before it comes out at the end of this month.”
Eurogamer: “I’ve been on board with this game’s setting and humour ever since I saw the first cutscene featuring Rabbid Peach, but I’m really pleased to see some depth in its combat. From what I’ve played of the first world, the game introduces these mechanics rather slowly, with the expectation that not everyone will be familiar with this genre. But having played a few of the late-game challenges, it doesn’t seem afraid of introducing some real complexity, even if it takes a little while to get there. Oh, and Princess Peach rocks a flame cannon! So there’s that, too.”
Glixel: “The result, I found after playing an hour or two of Kingdom Battle, is a game that masks its relatively hardcore tactical gameplay under splashy, delightful graphics, character animation and silly computer-driven behavior.”
Reviews for Mario + Rabbids go up August 28th, so look out for more coverage on this game then. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle releases August 29th for Nintendo Switch.