With its combination of taxing turn-based strategy, famous faces and (of course) those crazy Rabbids, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is certainly one of the most refreshingly different Mario titles in recent years.
Instead of romping your way through the Mushroom Kingdom you're expected to be a little more tactical and methodical with your approach; to that end we've compiled this handy guide which should help you find your feet on the battlefield in no time at all.
Pick the right squad
Not every teammate is created equal, and it's important to build the right group before venturing out into the battlegrounds of the Mushroom Kingdom.
Having the right mix of talents will help you no end when the going gets really tough; Mario is great for striking at the heart of the enemy's ranks, while his sibling Luigi is all about long-range combat.
Rabbid Peach, on the other hand, is best at offering support, and has the ability to heal teammates within range. You might have to experiment a bit to find the right selection, but it's worth the effort.
Grab those coins
As you explore the Mushroom Kingdom you'll notice that there are loads of familiar-looking gold coins to be found, many of which lie off the beaten track.
Coins are used to purchase new weapons and should be snapped up as soon as you lay eyes on them; they also appear during battle, usually when a piece of cover is destroyed.
To collect them in combat, all you have to do is move the cursor over them.
Mix up the order
Each character can perform several actions during their turn, but they don't have to be done one after another; you might sometimes find that it makes sense for one character to shoot and take out a particular enemy before you switch to another who can then move into a more advantageous position without fear of being attacked.
Try to get out of the mindset that you have to expend all of a character's options before moving to the next teammate; being flexible in this regard can reap massive tactical rewards.
Choose your weapon wisely
Each character has a series of weapons they can purchase, each playing to their own particular strengths.
As you work your way through the game you'll come across new options, all of which come with their own unique set of attributes. Some are stronger against certain enemy types while others have more powerful shots or are more likely to trigger certain events, such as bouncing the enemy around the battlefield; if they bounce off the edge of the map, they incur additional damage.
Others have elemental attributes which, if you're lucky, can deal additional damage to your foe. Try to tailor your armament to the opponents you're going to face.
Take the high ground
One of the most basic military principles is owning high ground; being above the enemy is always an advantage.
This axiom is equally true in Mario + Rabbids, as elevated ground gives you a damage bonus on all attacks.
Use your team jump ability to reach high platforms, or keep an eye out for pipes which lead upwards.
Know your enemy
Like any good tactical game, Mario + Rabbids throws a wide range of enemies in your general direction.
The bog-standard Rabbids are limited to the basic moveset, but later on the game you'll encounter ones which can create barriers, jump large distances and even instantly move and attack the moment they're fired upon.
Knowing exactly how each enemy type will react is key to victory, and you should also be careful with what weapons you select, as certain ones are more powerful against particular foes.
Don't be afraid to take the easy way out
If you're finding Mario + Rabbids a little tricky at points, don't give up – there's a way to make those super-hard missions more manageable.
At the start of each mission the camera pans over the battlefield, and at this point you can press Y to put the game into Easy mode. This fully restores any health your character may have lost in previous missions, and also gives you 50 percent health boost.
Master your powers
As well as packing primary and secondary weapons, each character has access to various super abilities which can turn the tide of battle.
Some of these are support-based; for example, Rabbid Luigi and Rabbid Peach can create barriers which limit the damage caused by incoming attacks.
However, some of the most interesting skills are offensive in nature; both Mario and his sibling Luigi have an skill which allows them to open fire automatically on any enemy which enters their line of sight, even if it's not their turn.
The catch here is that the Rabbids you face have their own special abilities, many of which mirror those of your team – so be sure to tread carefully.
Get to the top of the tree
Early on the game you unlock each character's skill tree, which can be expanded by collecting purple orbs in combat.
You can allow the game to automatically populate this tree for you, but it's often a better idea to pick and choose the talents you wish to unlock or enhance; some of these prove to be incredibly important, such as Rabbid Peach's healing ability to Mario's stomp jump.
Focus on the skills you think will be of most use and don't be afraid to stockpile orbs for a while so you have enough to unlock the really cool skills.
Knowledge is power
Before each mission you can enter a mode which allows you to cast your eye over the whole battlefield to look for potential chokepoints, sniper spots and – of course – gain some intel on the enemy.
You can see what weapons each foe is packing and find out what special skills they have, as well as see their movement range. All of this is indispensable data for tricky missions when every move has to count.
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