July 03, 2018

Mario+Rabbids - Donkey Kong Adventure - Review

When Mario+Rabbids first came out, a lot of people wanted more than just the standard Mario gang in there but does the addition of Donkey Kong add enough to the game, or is he just left swinging in the breeze.

The story is a basic one, Rabbid Kong was playing around with the Washing Machine and when he activated it, he, along with some rabbids, Beep-O and Rabbid Peach, were sucked inside with him and they were spat out inside of another dimension, where the Kong’s live. Rabbid Kong lands in a pool of washing machine powered liquid but is not until he eats a tainted banana that things take a turn for the heroes, now more muscle than brain, he sets out to obtain all of the bananas, but seeing Rabbid Peach, puts a stop to that. Thanks to his defeat in the main story, he now holds a grudge against her, at least to begin with, but as he has locked himself behind a very large gate, the crew, Donkey Kong, Rabbid Peach and Rabbid Cranky must collect the keys and right the wrong, all the while collecting parts of the busted washing machine, if they ever hope to return home.

While the story takes more turns than a Donkey Kong minecart, the gameplay is still as solid as it was in the main game, but now imbued with DK elements, it is not just that they are on the screen but woven throughout the game in every way possible. When you are in combat, DK can use special pads to swing around the map, as long as two pads are within his move range, it is possible for him to move from one side of the map to the other, in a single go. But DK is not just about moving around, he is strong, so he can pick up everything, guard walls, explosive blocks, enemies and even allies and then throw them around. If you combine that move with Cranky, his special ability to shoot down at enemies, means you can launch him across the map, deal some damage and then use Cranky as his normal moveset.

But is not just DK that adds a new twist, new enemies and mission types mean there is a lot more to worry about, one specific type of mission has you attempting to stop a bunch of large banana carrying rabbids, the problem is, there are either of them and only three of you and they are near the goal. Learning how to combine all of the moves available, attacks and effects, in order to deal with more than one in a turn, is crucial and by the time you get to that part, you will have learnt how, or failed spectacularly.  Some of the missions are annoying, specifically I am talking about the two mid-bosses, clearing out he smaller enemies so you can focus on the boss means nothing, as the game just keeps spawning little enemies, which is something that the main game did and something I had hoped they would fix for the DLC.

As I mentioned the Donkey Kong DLC is not just a new character, it is so much more, instead of coins, you now collect and spend bananas, puzzle pieces are littered about the world for you to find. Completing a mission rewards, you with more bananas, but also the completion jingle from the Donkey Kong Country games, even the sound of collecting a puzzle piece is the same from the recent Donkey Kong games. The music is not taken from the games, but very heavily inspired by, the games, of course, being composed by Grant Kirkhope, there is a lot of reference back to the old Donkey Kong 64, something that Kirkhope also worked on.

Visually, the game has the same clean, bright and colourful look that the main game sports and it shows, the new characters all look and feel like they have always belonged, Donkey Kong himself looks a treat, though his fur seems a little off in the battle clear screens. If there is a single gripe with the visuals, it is that the camera is still fixed to that isometric overhead, which is fine in the battles, but when exploring the world, it limits the amount of things I can just look at and enjoy.

The Donkey Kong DLC adds even more charm to the game, which was something I thought impossible to do. If you played through the campaign and want more, then I highly recommend this, however if you never finished the game because it was too challenging in the later levels, this will help even that out, as it is far more forgiving. 

Review code provided by Ubisoft

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