We check out Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Monster Hunter Stories, Blood Bowl 2: Legendary Edition and Destiny 2.
Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle
You’ll be raving about this super pairing. Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle quickly proves to be a fabulous marriage of two very different, yet vividly engaging, worlds. The unusual mash-up begins when time-travelling Rabbids crash land into Mario’s back yard having stolen an experimental headset that blends things together, resulting in a weird and wonderful roster of Rabbid enemies crossed with piranha plants, bouncy springs and even Donkey Kong.
Your team must track down the Rabbid responsible, battling through turn-based showdowns that offer surprising levels of tactical depth. The difficulty level might be moderate, but with dynamic elements like destructible cover, character skills and different mission objectives Mario & Rabbids is a complex strategic challenge. Battles are separated by more laid back coin and chest collecting with simple puzzles, but a new and exciting face-off is never too far away.
Brilliant and absurd, strategy gaming at its finest
Monster Hunter Stories
A tale of tails. The Monster Hunter series makes a perfect jump into JRPG (Japanese role-playing = emphasis on cuteness and big emotions) in this handheld edition. The usual focus on agility during real-time battles, full of dodging and anticipating attacks, is funnelled into a less hardware-intensive, but just as tactical turn-based system, the core of which is a scissors-paper-stone schtick where choosing power, technical or speed attacks can overcome incoming assaults from enemies. It’s an attractive Zelda-inspired world to explore, too, and the genre’s tried and tested narrative of youngsters thrust into adult risks and responsibilities dovetails neatly with the MH universe. Essentially it’s Pokemon but with egg-collecting and rearing, but Monster Hunter Stories still offers an appealing personality all of its own.
Fun and lighthearted challenge without demand for sharp hunting skills
Blood Bowl 2: Legendary Edition
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Legendary Edition includes all the DLC for this year old turn-based blend of American football and unremitting violence. Then it crams in eight new teams including the newly minted Kislev Circus (who can field trained bears, natch) for a total of 24 races.
But the best additions are two entirely new singleplayer modes; Challenge and the Eternal League. In Challenge mode you’ll be scrumming your way out of a variety of ridiculous scenarios in a single turn, while the Eternal League is exactly that, a neverending solo career with new tournaments and even the chance to win the fabled Blood Bowl itself. Legendary Edition is brash, fast and riotously enjoyable. Reviewed on Alienware 15 (i7, 16GB, GTX 1070 alienware.co.uk/15).
Singleplayer-focused revamp of brutally fun fantasy sports game.
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Advertising for Destiny 2 is full of Nathan Fillion’s (of cult Firefly and Castle fame) wry Hunter quipping as the world burns. Ironically enough, in a game that aims to fuse the human factor of a massively multiplayer game within a carefully crafted singleplayer story, most players will build more of a relationship with this kind of scripted wit from Destiny’s AI characters than the revolving real-life randoms that pop in and out of the game as you play.
The drama is bombastic and the scope is massive. But unless you’re dedicated to forging a clan or other multiplayer bond, Destiny 2 is either a shortlived solo adventure or an oddly lonely exercise in brief excitement with strangers.
A blockbuster blast but only for committed multiplayer enthusiasts
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