I purchased Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle back in 2017, as a discounted Black Friday pickup. I thoroughly enjoyed the Ubisoft’s odd concoction of Mario characters, turn-based strategy and Rabbids, so I was intrigued to hear Ubisoft was releasing a DLC expansion featuring Donkey Kong. DK Adventure was released on June 26, 2018 and I just recently got around to downloading and swinging back into the Mario + Rabbids universe.
DK Adventure isn’t a standalone DLC, but isn’t a traditional expansion either; you need to own Kingdom Battle to play it and your upgraded weapons and stats for Rabbid Peach don’t carry over.
The story for DK Adventure begins immediately following Rabbid Kong’s defeat by Mario and company in Kingdom Battle. The raging Rabbid comes across the other Rabbid’s Time Washing Machine and damages the laundry appliance causing it to short-circuit. Rabbid Kong is quickly trapped inside the machine’s time/space continuum, along with Beep-0 and Rabbid Peach, who happened to be taking a selfie apart from the rest of the group within the vicinity of the Time Washing Machine.
The device soon crashes on a tropical island, sending broken pieces of the washing machine flying across the area. Rabbid Kong discovers a banana supplied with MegaBug energy, he quickly eats the Bad Banana, absorbing its power and becoming Mega Rabbid Kong. Meanwhile, Beep-0 and Rabbid Peach are approached by Donkey Kong and Rabbid Kranky Kong, they quick band together to recover the broken washing machine pieces and put a stop to Mega Rabbid Kong who has begun an operation smuggling Bad Bananas into his hideout on the island. Goofy, oddball humor forms the basis of the story in DK Adventure, but shouldn’t come as surprising to anyone familiar with the over-the-top mischief typically associated with Ubisoft’s Rabbids.
The colorful, smooth animation style of the main game is found in DK Adventure just as in Kingdom Battle, with a mixture of tropical jungle and icy islands similar to that of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze serve as the backdrop. I loved the fluid running animations of DK and crew during the loading screen and wish they would have been used even more.
The same eclectic mix of instruments used by Grant Kirkhope in Kingdom Battle provide the soundtrack to DK Adventure, but with monkey sounds this time around! As with Kingdom Battle, the highlight is the outstanding soundtrack, making the game(s) nearly worth the price just to listen as you play. The stage clear music from the Donkey Kong Country games is also used upon finishing a battle, one of the many references to previous DK games, such as Donkey Kong 64 whose soundtrack(along with DK Rap) was provided by Kirkhope.
The controls in DK Adventure are as easy to pick up and play as ever, I was effortlessly able to maneuver around the battleground as Donkey Kong, swinging from dandelion vines before snatching up an enemy and tossing him across the area before bouncing the Bwananarang off several more enemies.
It’s Super Effective!
The difficulty spike that I pointed out in the main game isn’t present in DK Adventure and seems pretty balanced from my hours with the game. Outside of the final battle with Rabbid Kong and one or two other battles, I was able to clear and get a Good or Perfect rating on the first attempt. The battles still provide sufficient challenge, but seem generally more balanced.
Another aspect of DK Adventure I really enjoyed was the additional movesets and abilities of Donkey Kong. Being able to pick up and throw objects and enemies alike is a blast, as is the Bwananarang, DK’s main weapon which can ricochet off multiple enemies in a single throw, inflicting damage to all.
It’s Not Very Effective…
It’s difficult to think of really anything I disliked about DK Adventure, the only thing I can think of is the fact you only use three different characters versus the eight playable characters during the main game. It’s a minor quibble, but could have created even greater possibilities for the madcap battles found within.
After playing through DK Adventure, it feels as if Ubisoft Milan was able to fine tune some of the already remarkable game mechanics along with balancing the overall difficulty a little better. The result is a wonderful addition to Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle that I enjoyed even more so than the core game. I also feel it acts as a perfect compliment to Retro Studios’ excellent Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.