'Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle' Is More Than a Surprise, It's Excellent


Who could have predicted this strange mashup would be one of the year's most interesting games?

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/wjj774/mario-rabbids-kingdom-battle-is-more-than-a-surprise-its-excellent


The most interesting element of this game to me is definitely this:

We’ve all had a moment in XCOM where you roll up to an enemy and miss, despite the game promising a 99% chance of blasting a sectoid in the face. That never happens in Kingdom Battle; it’s far more precise about your chances. The only percentages the game rolls out are 0%, 50%, and 100%, and even during a 50/50 moment, the result of an enemy in cover, it means your bullets start chipping away at what they’re hiding behind.

As someone raised in the post-GBA Fire Emblem tradition (in which it biases the numbers through a ‘True Hit’ system that mean that the percentages shown to you are artfully deceitful), I’ve always found this element of XCOM to be really frustrating. This feature alone is pitching this game to me in a big way, and now I’m torn between Mario + Rabbids and Sonic Mania as my third Switch game. What a world!

(P.S. What if Mario… had a gun?)


In addition to Fire Emblem’s True Hit, Xcom 2 actually lies in the player’s favor. There’s several hidden mechanics that buff hit percentage for every consecutive miss, debuffs the aliens after they hit, and a flat hidden percentage boost based on difficulty. The devs seem to think this makes the game experience more dramatic (the player beating the odds). In reality, it just prevents you from making correctly-informed decisions. It’s frustrating that the major tactical game devs have all decided to obfusticate information from the player for misguided reasons.


This might be an issue for a different topic, but I think I’m going against the grain, to an extent, by honestly preferring these mechanics. Missing a 99% just feels bad, particularly if you had made it the core of your turn. Over a long enough session, you’re going to have a situation where you miss likely shots and the enemies will hit unlikely ones on you. I still nurse grudges for those XCOM rounds where the enemies scored consecutive crits after my sniper flubbed an 80% shot. Personally speaking, I don’t mind if my numbers are massaged to give me an advantage (the enemies have plenty as it is!), even if it’s obfuscatory (particularly given that XCOM has the higher difficulty modes that take those away from you).

With that said, I feel like Mario + Rabbids simplifying it down to crystal clear (and probably factually accurate) information is a great compromise for the type of game that it is.

What are your thoughts on randomness as a design element

Speaking back to XCOM’s erratic feeling numbers. I think it would be better if they seemed to make more sense. But some shots clearly framed a soldier point black range to an enemy that could still miss, while a shot through an opaque wall can crit. At that point it just seems like the cover calculations are wrong, and you need to ignore what you see on screen to learn hidden rules instead.

I like the harshness in theory, but the game of the world seemed to contradict what made sense too often for me to ‘trust’ the system.


I’m stoked for this. I’ve loved Shining Force since I was a kid, but I’ve otherwise not played many SRPG/XCOM-style games. I’m hoping this will get me deeper into the genre. Now the only thing I need is a switch…


Missing anything over 66% feels bad to me, but in X-Com/2’s defense, I don’t think there’s enough talk about how good it feels to nail a prayer shot when you REALLY need one. My Vanilla X-Com 2 play through was defined by a 12% sniper shot that saved two members of my squad, and I feel like, while they totally are different, the vagary and seeming capriciousness of X-Com 2 aren’t necessarily bad, because when it’s good / in your favor, it’s really good.

I think my opinion stems from the fact that I enjoy the XCOM series most primarily for the emergent narrative / implied story elements of the team building, where harsh twists of fate and underdog moments serve the story i’m going with in my head.

Mario Rabbids is gonna be an instabuy for me.


Glad this turned out well. It’s worth noting that Ubisoft developed Ghost Recon Shadow Wars for the 3DS launch which was a turn-based tactical game from one of the creators of X-COM, Julian Gollop, set in the Tom Clancyverse and it was quite good. So this isn’t quite as foreign a genre to Ubi as it seems.

I’m driving to Seattle this afternoon for PAX Dev, I’ll try to download this on the Hotel WiFi this evening.


It’s pretty great that this is coming out at the same time as the XCOM 2 expansion. It sounds like they aren’t exactly going to scratch the same itch but are certainly similar conceptually. If I had a switch I’d be getting this for sure, even though I don’t really like the aesthetics of Mario or of rabbids, but,especially with the XCOM 2 expansion, this isn’t going to get me to buy a switch (not that I could find one anyway). I deffo want to hear what people at large have to say about it, especially anyone who is playing both.


It looks excellent, but

Oh no

'I'm as shocked as you are' — Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle