Words About Video Games

41 Games: Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

This is a game about controlled chaos.

On the one hand, it lacks the randomness of XCOM--every shot not blocked by cover is a guaranteed hit. On the other hand, the chance of a wild secondary effect triggering can rise as high as 50%, giving every shot the chance to produce unintended consequences. Sometimes those consequences work in your favor and an enemy gets frozen in place for a turn. Sometimes it backfires, and the enemy bounces around the level ending up in close range to your vulnerable heroes.

It can be quite unforgiving for a game with Mario on the cover. But the comparison to a puzzle game that some have made isn't exactly accurate. I played the entire game believing a certain character was indispensable, only to see a friend play (quite successfully) with that character sitting on the bench. There is real variety here in tactics; the game simply demands that you use the information available to you well.

What holds it back is a loot system that is basically pointless and the nagging feeling that equipping Mario and his companions with guns instead of their traditional shells and fireballs is a missed opportunity.