Crossovers like Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle shouldn’t work.
Not because Mario and Rabbids couldn’t coexist. But because the game is a strategy RPG in the vein of X-COM. Sufficed to say, it surprisingly works. Kingdom Battle isn’t just a good game, but a great game. If there was ever an X-COM game for casual players, this is it. Its not to say that there isn’t challenge, there is, but the game is forgiving and allows players to quickly restart combat situations in the instance that they fail.
Kingdom Battle’s visuals are gorgeous. Every character is wonderfully animated and every level is diverse and perfectly realized. Because of the Rabbids inadvertent invasion, every level is littered (literally) with them interacting with the environments with hilarious results. While Mario and company are well represented in this game, the real stars of Kingdom Battle are the Rabbids who make up your party and those that act as bosses during the campaign. When you see Rabbid Kong, you’ll understand, he is awesome and should’ve had far more screen time.
One of the best aspects of Kingdom Battle is its pace. Players are rewarded for navigating a level quickly and efficiently. One of the best methods to traversing the map is jumping off one of your characters to either gain a height advantage or get behind an enemy unit. This type of experimentation is required to be successful. There is a counter on the top right that shows how many turns it should take to beat a level. Even during the most intense fights, it should never take less than twenty turns. I believe the only time I actually had trouble completing this was during the final boss fight.
(All credit to Nintendo and Ubisoft)
If there is a real flaw with Kingdom Battle is that its over too soon. The campaign can take experienced players around 10 hours to complete while players new to the genre will more than likely take up to twenty. Challenge modes exist in every level and while this can extend the length of the game, I feel that there was so much more that Kingdom Battle could offer players.
The Nintendo Switch has been on a roll with great first-party games, who would’ve guessed that one of its best would be a crossover title of the weird variety? Mario with guns? Rabbids who aren’t overly obnoxious? Strategy that makes sense and is fairly in-depth? Kingdom Battle has this and the charm to make it one of the best games on the Switch and one of the best new IP’s from Nintendo. If, on the off-chance, it gets a sequel, I won’t have any reservations in regards to its quality.
I’m through doubting Nintendo. I’ve still got my doubts about Ubisoft. But only because I’m sitting here waiting on a new Splinter Cell.