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E3: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is XCOM?

Mario + Rabbids reveal is not what I expected... in a good way.

After a slew of rumours and leaks, Ubisoft’s collaboration with Nintendo has finally been revealed. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle sees Ubisoft’s Rabbids joining the world of Mario on August 29th, 2017 on Nintendo Switch.

One way or another, the Rabbids have become possessed by an unknown evil force in the Mushroom Kingdom and it’s up to eight heroes to save the day. You play as Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, and four Rabbids dressed as them in turn based tactical RPG gameplay.

Yes, that’s right, tactical RPG gameplay. The gameplay looks almost identical to that of the recent XCOM games. You move characters into and out of cover, fire at enemies with percentage chances to hit, equip them with different gear and abilities and complete objectives along the way. It’s not just an XCOM clone though. They’ve added some specific mechanics to give that Mario feel such as bouncing off teammates’ heads to move extra spaces or using pipes to navigate around the map faster. You also walk around and progress through the world in between battles, which take place every so often.

Peach’s Castle serves as a hub world for you to return to between worlds or battles in order to upgrade gear and characters, choose your party members and revisit old battles. Enemies you defeat are freed of their mind control and sent back to the castle to help out the gang.

Opinion: I’m not gonna lie, when I first heard the rumours of this game I immediately wrote it off as something not worth my time. I expected a stupid party game, the likes of Mario Party and the Rabbids games, but I’m honestly blown away by what I’ve seen here.

I’ve really enjoyed the XCOM reboot but the realistic setting and visuals just felt bland after a while and kept me from really going back to the game. Mario + Rabbids’ beautiful art might be just what I need to really dive deep into one of these games. The style and polish of Nintendo’s mainline games always deliver and this looks like no exception.

The Rabbids, who are akin to Despicable Me’s Minions, have been pretty obnoxious in the past but I’m hoping that their interactions with the Mario crew will make them seem like much more tolerable characters. It does at least look this way from the trailers and that Peach Rabbid is legitimately hilarious.

I’ve gone from having negative interest in this game to considering buying it on release. Expect to hear more on Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle from me in the near future.

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