Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is excellent. Despite how his genre-spanning nature has led him to cover numerous areas of the gaming palette, Nintendo’s plumber had never tackled the turn-based strategy style, which makes it quite smart on Ubisoft’s part to take the partnership between Mario and the Rabbids in that direction. After all, it is easier to generate positive reactions when direct comparisons to the stellar Mario platformers and RPGs are avoided. However, Mario + Rabbids is not great because there is an absence of a bar against which it can be measured: those bars exist. Not only is it among the best Mario spin-offs, but it is also a pretty strong effort inside its genre. And although it is true that Mario could have explored gun-based tactical gameplay without the Rabbids, the wild creatures do a good job showing they are great additions rather than unnecessary extra elements.
A product of Nintendo’s recent tendency to be less protective of its franchises, it is a sign that – when handled by other parties and with the proper oversight – those properties can be taken to remarkable places
For the most part, courageous ideas live on a dangerous tightrope. When they leave the imaginary realm and are pushed towards reality by one daring mind, the tightrope snaps and they fall: the place where they land inevitably determines the way they are perceived by pretty much everyone else. If the idea succeeds, it is considered to be brilliant; if the idea fails, it is condemned as plain crazy. There is no middle ground; there are only extremes, and it is this lack of a safe balanced landing zone that causes most thoughts to never materialize. They are afraid to be because being entails judgment, and sometimes that is simply too…
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