This game should not work. When people heard that Mario and the Rabbids were going to be in a game together everyone groaned, even more when the first images were leaked showing Mario with a weird arm covering gun. And so we ended up with a game from ubisoft featuring the Mario cast and the Rabbids in a tactile turn based shooter. AND IT WORKED MAGNIFICENTLY.
As mentioned Mario+Rabbids is a turn based tactical shooter. This means your team of 3 characters takes a turn where they can move around, attack, use special abilities and such then the enemies have their turn. Early on the game teaches you the core mechanics such as using cover to lower the chance of being hit/making it impossible to shoot you, run through enemies for some additional damage and have characters use other characters to throw them into the air.
The game starts as we see some child prodigy working on a machine, we can see from posters on the wall she’s a big fan of the Mario games. The machine can fuse items together but she’s still working on it. As she leaves the Rabbids appear in their flying washing machine, one accidentally fuses themselves with the machine and some of the others fuse with stuff around the pace. Most notable is 2 of them fuse with Peach and Luigi figures, creating Rabbid Peach who instantly becomes beloved with her obsession with her smart phone, oh and Rabbid Luigi is there too. This all reacts with the washing machine creating a portal and throwing them into Mario’s world, where the device begins fusing Mario’s world with the Rabbids turning everything crazy.
The game starts you out with Mario, Rabbid Peach and Rabbid Luigi (other people show up, don’t worry, Luigi is a sniper in this). Each character has their own unique abilities, not just weapons, but special weapons, special abilities, different movements. For example when performing a jump (as mentioned earlier) Mario and Luigi can land on enemies for even more damage (do this with rush attacks for even multi hits) while some characters like Rabbid Luigi can do multiple rush attacks. There is a whole level of strategy that comes with what characters you use. Have difficulty with a task, maybe another team combination will do better?
There are 4 worlds to go through in this game, as you explore the world progressing further you will find a battle and it goes from free exploration to turn based battles. While exploring you can find chests containing things like more weapons, art, sound etc. At no point when doing the normal play through did I feel anything was undoable, at times I had difficulty yes, especially if I wanted to clear a hard level in the recommended number of turns for top reward but nothing felt impossible I just needed to approach it differently, understand what to do, maybe use someone else.
So anyway this game contains ubisofts sort of mascot creatures the Rabbids (which spun off from Rayman) and while they can get irksome on some instances in this game, they work really well and are funny. I suspect they end up being so funny here is because Mario gets to work as the straight man to their humour (though Luigi has some very funny moments at the end of world 1) of course Mario doesn’t talk… come to think of it, other than Peach and Bowser jr none of the Nintendo characters do (they rarely anyway, Nintendo is big into the silent protagonists) but the humour is through actions and they all have that lovely level of character that makes them seem so much fun to be around.
Now while the main story didn’t ever feel impossible that didn’t mean the game wasn’t hard especially when it comes to optional challenges. These battles are much more puzzle themed and will leave you scratching your heads often and some post game ones are insidious they do offer nice rewards though.
Oh I forgot to mention, earlier on I said about beating levels with the right amount of turns, well do that to get a gold trophy for that chapter (levels are broken up into chapters) you get ability points for completing chapters (or special challenges and some chests) these can be spent for upgrading your characters. They come in a number of categories and really buff your character up. An example is you can give Rabbid Luigi the vamp effect on his rushes so he heals himself when using them, or Mario and Luigi both have an ability that if an enemy runs into their line of sight and is in range unprotected, they will shoot them a set number of times as that skill allows (this can result in some fun chaining as let’s say you give one of them a gun with the chance that it throws who it shoots at into the air, and when in the air they reach the others line of sight, oh look dead enemy before even making a shot hehehe).
There are so many layers to strategy in this game I can’t really go on about them as I’d be writing this long after you lost interest. But since the game is so strategic, that does mean if you get too stuck on something, there’s probably a video online that should help 🙂
This was a game that when we first heard about it we all scoffed but once we saw it in action, we knew we were going to love this, and you should too. Also the game has now got a golden edition because it sold well that contains all its dlc for free, make sure to get that version.