When it leaked earlier this year that Mario would be teaming up with none other than the Rabbids, the gaming industry as a whole cried out a collective WTF?! Of all the characters in all of the franchises in all of the games, why had Nintendo chosen the dim-witted long eared Rabbids to make a game with. Since then, and with the full reveal of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, things have cooled down a little. What Ubisoft and Nintendo have shown of the game so far has been pretty awesome (I mean seriously check out this trailer), especially the E3 money shot of Miyamoto striking a pose with a weapon from the game. It seems Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle will actually be a tactical combat game in the vein of XCOM which is, actually really cool. We’ll have to wait until August 29 to see if this strange pairing pays off but in celebration of wacky team-ups everywhere we’re going to count down the 5 Mario team-ups we’d like to see. Let’s get started.
Mario + Metal Gear Solid
Despite the obvious clash of thematic material I believe that the world of Metal Gear Solid has a lot to add to Mario. Think about it, a stealth game in which you sneak around as Mario, hiding in cardboard boxes and using power-ups to distract guards. Not to mention the fun you could have with the over the top boss battles both series’ are known for. I think that a tactical stealth game set in the mushroom kingdom could make for some hilarious results, given it was all tongue in cheek of course. I for one would love to see Mario donning camouflage and shooting sleeping mushrooms into his enemies mouths. It’s the Nintendo charm which would elevate this game though, the trademark humour would be perfect in a scenario where someone as clumsy as Mario is trying to carefully navigate an environment. Mario disguising himself as a goomba, hiding in pipes all as a dumbfounded Snake looks on in disbelief, it writes itself.
Persona + Mario Dancing All Night
Cast your minds back to 2005. Fall Out Boy were top of the charts, no-one cared what a Kardashian was and a little game called Dancing Stage Mario Mix released onto the Nintendo Gamecube. Well, 12 year-old me lapped it up and I’ve been hungry for a new Mario dancing game ever since. The world happens to be in Persona-fever right now. The fifth instalment of the franchise released this year and it was recently announced that three more games will be coming out very soon. Persona has a spin-off series named Dancing all night in which the characters from its main game boogie down and have a ball. What better excuse to bring these two beloved franchises together than a good old fashioned knees up.
Mario + Overwatch
Mario has gone through a number of genres over the years. RPG’s, rhythm games, kart racers, puzzle games you name it. The hero shooter is at the height of its popularity right now with games like Overwatch and Lawbreakers dominating the conversation and mind-share of gamers everywhere. Overwatch thrives due to its eclectic cast of characters each with distinct and unique skill-sets. This one aspect is of course no stranger to Mario, with it being one of the core mechanics that makes Smash Bros tick. Applying the same love and dedication to making sure each character has the same level as depth as those in the Overwatch universe would yield some seriously awesome results. Mario for instance could use his new Odyssey hat as a ranged weapon while Luigi could make use of his ghost-busting equipment from his jaunts in Luigi’s Mansion to take down enemies. The success of Mario as a hero shooter would ultimately come down to the balancing and variety of characters. Thankfully, a varied cast of characters is something that the Mario series has in droves.
Mario + WWE Allstars
While the core WWE series seems to be concerned with being more and more realistic with each iteration, its spin-off WWE All Stars went in a completely different direction entirely. Offering goofy character models of iconic wrestlers and arcade style gameplay, All Stars was a real breath of fresh air and a hell of a good time. Imagine how good it would be to see Mario bounce on John Cena’s grotesquely swollen head while the commentators scream “THE HORROR!”. or seeing Princess Peach take down Seth Rollins with a steel chair. Just seeing wrestling variations of the Mario characters’ outfits would be an absolute riot, not to mention the potential for some truly great entrance sequences. I think honestly, any excuse for a Mario wrestling game is good enough for me and would in my opinion bring back a lot of gamers who used to play wrestling games back when they were in their prime on the PS1/PS2 era.
Mario + Rocket League
Rocket League was recently announced for the Nintendo Switch, complete with Mario toppers and all. But why not take it a step further. What I’m proposing is taking the core Rocket League experience we all know and love, and then injecting the chaos and energy of the Mario Kart series. Imagine going to score a goal and someone hits you with a green shell, or a fireball. The details and balancing would be an absolute nightmare to get right of course, but if anyone could do it it’s a Nintendo x Psyonix super team. I would love to see what Nintendo would do with the Rocket League formula and think it could be genuinely really fun to play. Either that or it would be a jumbled mess which completely ruins everything but hey these are all hypotheticals here.
So there we have it, 5 Mario teams up we’d love to see. Let me know in the comments if you have any that you would like to see and what you are all thinking of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle so far.