In totality, not a lot has actually changed from the base game. However, upon deeper inspection it’s the way in which you approach the tactics-heavy gameplay this time around that actually does successfully shift at least your thinking towards gameplay. Donkey Kong, for example, has the ability to utilise most interactive things on each battle map -- friends and foes alike -- as weapons. This means he can pick up the Honey boxes, the Explosive boxes, Rabbid Peach -- even ears, and throw them at the enemy. This not only hurts the opposition, it can also prove invaluable in place baddies where you want around the map, or inflict a peripheral debuff, depending on what you throw, on them that might otherwise have not even been utilised in the battle. This shift alone is genius.Click here for our full hands-on with the new Mario + Rabbids DK DLC.
However, DK also has the ability to traverse the map in unique ways with DK-specific launchpads that let you string together expansive movement. And in a game where positioning and territory is super-important, this is an added tactical and fun addition to the game. That being said, the devs have been clever enough to ensure it’s not overused -- at least in the short time I’ve had with the game, so utilising it requires a measured approach.
Bosses are also a very key focus in the game, and they’re both revelatory in the modern gaming landscape (in an ironic kind of way), and hilarious. The irony is because bosses aren’t entirely in vogue these days, but further to this is that the bosses in Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle follow an old-school design philosophy that sees them usually go through three different phases before they’re toppled. But without that being the norm in contemporary gaming, it’s sort of a breath of fresh air. You know, “what’s old is new again”, type of thing. The hilarity side of them is strictly that the Rabbids component of the game has simply allowed Ubisoft to poke as much fun at Nintendo’s beloved characters as they please, and it’s hard to look past Rabbid Kong as far as their best enemy Rabbid creation goes. I desperately want a plush toy of him.Click here for our full Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle review.