Well, today’s the day. Nintendo Switch owners can start playing Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, the crossover game nobody expected, especially to be good.
At first glance, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle aesthetically seems to be a hodgepodge of madness, but some reviews, such as the one by ACG, point out there is a method to the madness. Moreover, Kingdom Battle‘s reliance on guns sounds as if it could never work in a Mario game, but Kotaku‘s review reassures gamers these aren’t the plasma rifles and railguns of XCOM but instead far more kid-friendly weapons that have more in common with Mega Man’s Mega Buster than an assault rifle. Kingdom Battle features plenty of creative-looking weapons that look at home in the Mushroom Kingdom, and while the best way to earn these weapons to buy them with coins, according to Destructoid, coins are earned way too slowly and gate off more content than they should.
Gamers who have watched the gameplay videos of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle know how much the game borrows liberally from XCOM, but Eurogamer openly states that Kingdom Battle includes enough twists on the base combat system to set the game apart from XCOM. These changes include puzzle-like boss battles and, according to IGN, environmental hazards such as fireballs and Chain Chomps. Moreover, Polygon explains that since Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is, well, a kid-friendly Mario game, it’s an excellent way to introduce gamers to squad-based tactics games.
The following the scores given by the reviews mentioned in the article:
ACG: Buy (This channel does not give numerical scores)
“I get it that some people aren’t a fan of this genre, won’t magically make you so, but the fact is what it is it slightly changes the form and function of the particular expectations we have for this genre and the titles therein. Additionally, its IPs you wouldn’t expect, and they nail it.”
Kotaku: No score given
“Mario himself might not have been my favorite part of the game, but the reverence with which the game’s creators hold Mario and friends was evident in every inch of this adventure. And it helped make the game come together well. Almost everything in the game is a reference to something in the wider Mario universe, from the music to the weapons to the enemies. Somehow, none of it feels forced.”
Destructoid: 7.5 (Good)
“Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle‘s guts are impressive, but its main event feels like a [good] expansion for a fleshed-out strategy RPG that has more to offer than a great combat system. By the time it opens up halfway in and you really start to delve into the skill tree, it begs to be played. But until then both exploration and some battles feel like going through the motions in a ‘kinda sorta’ tutorial way.”
Eurogamer: No score given
“On first sight of that leaked artwork, with Mario frowning and pointing his shark-nosed blaster into the camera, many wondered why Nintendo would ever have said yes to the pitch for Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. It seems like such a risk. Even setting the guns and the wobbly tone aside, the Rabbids are not Sonic, and XCOM is not the Olympics. The game’s director Davide Soliani says that Rabbid Peach just made Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto laugh, and it’s true that character embodies a winningly silly sense of fun that permeates the game and is hard to resist. But Miyamoto will also have seen a game put together with great imagination, wit and prudence that makes its chosen genre easier to get along with while also refreshing it; that is at once simple and sophisticated; that fits clean and clever concepts together until they add up to a great deal more than the sum of their parts. And that man knows a beautifully designed video game when he sees one.”
IGN: 7.7 (Good)
“Based on its colorful world, beautiful animation, and source material you might expect Marion + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle to be ‘My first turn-based tactics game.’ But you’re in for a surprise: even for XCOM vets some of its battles are challenging puzzles. Some of its tougher levels do devolve into a trial-and-error slog, but a good mix of enemies, objectives, and character abilities keep things interesting.”
“Mario + Rabbids manages to walk a narrow road, offering up a legitimately challenging squad tactics experience without alienating the family-friendly Mario audience. While it doesn’t have the full layer of spit and polish as an in-house title, Ubisoft’s game comes damn close to capturing that Nintendo magic.
All in all, these reviews praise Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle‘s ability to make a crossover between Mario and the Rabbids work, especially with a tactical combat playstyle never before seen in a Mario game. When Kingdom Battle was announced, gamers assumed it would be a hot mess, but these reviews almost unanimously show that the game is anything but. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is currently available on the Nintendo Switch.
There are strong indications that Persona 3 Reload The Answer DLC may be on the horizon
Speculations about the inclusion of The Answer in the latest Persona 3 Reload have been circulating for some time now and seem to be gaining credibility. After being played for some time, new evidence suggests that more SEES action is on the horizon. Caution: Spoilers ahead for Persona 3 Reload!
Completing the game on merciless difficulty will result in Elizabeth from The Velvet Room giving you a cryptic clue, hinting that The Answer is approaching. According to PC Gamer, YouTuber Faz used a cheat engine to reach that stage and record the conversation. Elizabeth delivers players a mysterious message: “At the end of a great trial, the answer illuminates my path.”
The Answer occurs after the events of Persona 3, focusing on the cyborg warrior Aigis in the weeks following the game’s climax and offering around 30 hours of content. Persona 3 Reload feels unfinished until its latest update, which follows the trend of Atlus finding ways to release enhanced versions of their games, like Persona 4 Golden or Persona 5 Royal. Speculations were circulating about The Answer being in development, which aligns with the findings of dataminers. However, an official confirmation is still pending.
Is it possible that we will uncover the answer in Persona 3 Reload? Are you eagerly anticipating it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Remedy reclaims ownership of Control IP from Publisher 505 Games
Remedy Entertainment has recently revealed that they now have complete ownership of the Control IP, which was previously shared with 505 Games. Remedy allegedly spent 17 million euros for the opportunity; nevertheless, 505 Games will continue as the publisher until 2024 during the transition.
In a recent press release, CEO Tero Virtala mentioned that the company will thoroughly evaluate its options, acknowledging the widespread appeal of the Control franchise among various partners. Furthermore, Virtala shared a quick update on the other ongoing projects now that Alan Wake 2 has been released. “Condor and Control 2 have made significant progress recently, and we anticipate these projects to advance to the next stages of development by the first half of 2024.”
Condor is the codename for Remedy’s multiplayer game set in the Control universe. Control 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the first game, was announced in late 2022 following the developer’s new publishing agreement with 505 Games. The Finnish game studio managed to create a brand-new path for the future at some point in their journey, perhaps as a result of recent successes.
How do you feel about Remedy gaining control of the Control IP from 505 Games? Are you looking forward to what the future holds for the series? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Neil Druckmann, the head of Naughty Dog, is not planning to create games indefinitely
Neil Druckmann, the president of Naughty Dog, believes he may not continue creating video games indefinitely, especially not on the grand scale we’re accustomed to from the renowned creative. He is widely recognized for his contributions to Uncharted and The Last of Us. His positive experience adapting the latter for HBO, combined with a shift in priorities towards family, led him to consider making a significant change.
Druckmann’s reflections were captured in an interview with rapper Logic on his YouTube show, Logically Thinking (thanks to VGC), where he mused, “I guess that I don’t see myself doing this forever at this scale.”. Talking about the importance of spending quality time with one’s children, the subject resonated with the Naughty Dog boss, leading to a thoughtful conversation:
“You mentioned entering a new phase in life where your kids are the top priority, and I can relate because my kids are also my main focus… I understand the value of time and prioritize spending it wisely, especially when others want to share it with me. I’m currently at a stage in my life where I’m contemplating my ultimate goal. When is the right moment to decide to end it?
Druckmann is likely referring to stepping away from AAA game development and studio management to avoid the overwhelming anxiety that comes with those responsibilities, as he mentioned that it can be draining. Managing a large number of people and multiple studios worldwide can be quite overwhelming.
However, he would still need a place to channel all that creativity, and he might not be the only one to fall for Hollywood’s allure: “I can envision myself moving towards something that’s more laid-back and less stressful but still allows me to express my creativity. However, I’ve begun contemplating the number of similar games I have left in me, and it’s not a large quantity.
How many additional projects do you anticipate Neil Druckmann leading? Regardless of the quantity, his impact is expected to endure far into the future as we all eventually depart this world. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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