When it leaked before E3, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle seemed like an offbeat, kooky spin-off game. When it was officially revealed, people realised that there was in fact more to the game than a Mario cameo. In fact, it was a tactical game which has since been often likened to X-Com in its style of gameplay. However, while Ubisoft and Nintendo have continued to update us with new screenshots and footage, it seems to be a game on the periphery of the consumers’ radar. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle should be on top of the Switch watch-list. Here are the three key reasons why everybody should be carefully watching this game.
It’s Actually A Deep, Difficult Tactics Game
While the Nintendo Switch has benefitted from a growing indie catalogue, and some big name releases in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Splatoon 2, it has lacked the game which can appeal to the wider gamer. Sure, Arms took an unexpected step into the fighting game genre but hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire. At best, the response has been mixed. Nintendo needs something else which will sell, which offers Switch owners something different, and something which shows that Nintendo have learned from the Wii U. They need a game which shows that the Switch has depth and breadth in its catalogue. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle offers a thoughtful, strategic game option for the Switch. While it has options making it accessible for all, the coverage so far has shown that it can get very difficult and has depth with regards to character combinations, weapon selection, and skill trees. This is something Nintendo haven’t really explored outside of the portable Fire Emblem series. While this tactical gameplay may have floundered on its own, Mario and crew give the general gamer a quick attach point before being hooked by the gameplay itself. Overall, Mario + Rabbids has all the ingredients to grip another group of players while still appeasing the Nintendo fanbase.
It Will Be A Real Indication Of The Switch’s Success
Sales of Breath of the Wild were very impressive, with some figures indicating that more copies of the game have been sold than there are Nintendo Switches. It had the benefit of being the first big name game, and realistically was the experience many bought the Switch for. By August 29th, when Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is released, the Switch will have a surprisingly strong collection of games especially for a console still in its release window. There will be a selection of single-player, multiplayer, and indie experiences for Switch owners. In short, they won’t have to buy Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (even though they should), particularly considering the potentially overshadowing Mario release later this year. The sales of Mario + Rabbids will give us a better indication of how the Switch will fare in the long run. Games consoles can only survive and thrive when gamers are choosing to pick up titles when there are other options. The Wii U demonstrated that a console will not succeed when players aren’t buying anything but the flagship titles, or if they are only purchasing a limited number of the titles. Nintendo need a console base with games which drive the consumer to buy more than the minimal amount. So far, we’ve been unable to realistically measure the attach rate and success of the Switch. The sales of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle will give us a clue as to whether the Switch hype has died down, or if the console has a bright future.
It Could Determine Nintendo’s Future Decisions
Main series Mario, Legend of Zelda, and Metroid games are guaranteed sellers for a Nintendo console (even though they still don’t sell like tentpole titles on the other consoles). They will obviously greenlight these games, and heavily support them in development and marketing. Where Nintendo has perhaps faltered in the past has been their first-party support for more experimental games. Titles which have been off-the-beaten-path have previously not been given the push they needed to truly succeed. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle has not only received Nintendo development support, but it has also received Nintendo marketing support at reveal and since. Should Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle not sell as Nintendo are hoping, there is the possibility that they might return to form and refocus on what people might expect from Nintendo. While this may promise them return for their investment, Nintendo will be repeating mistakes made in past generations. Switch owners, and gamers in general, need Mario + Rabbids to be a success to show developers and Nintendo that they can invest in unexpected titles to reap rewards.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is looking like a fun, challenging, and unique title for the Nintendo Switch. It has a visual polish which shows off what the console is capable of graphically, and seems to have matched that with a stand-out sense of humour. From everything we have seen so far, it should be a massive success for Nintendo and Ubisoft. Mario + Rabbids deserves to be a success, and we need it to be.
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What are your thoughts on Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle? Does it look like something you’ll be playing? Let us know in the comments below!