Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
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Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a role-playing crossover title between the Mario franchise and Ubisoft's Raving Rabbids titles released for the Nintendo Switch, as well as being the first and only turn-based tactics game in the Mario franchise. Ubisoft released the game in North America, Europe, Oceania, and Hong Kong on August 29, 2017, and is set to be released in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan on January 18, 2018, published by Nintendo themselves.
The Rabbids end up with their Time Washing Machine in the laboratory of a Mario fan who is perfecting, along with her robot assistant Beep-0, a visor able to fuse two objects into one, called the SupaMerge. One Rabbid finds said visor and uses it to create Rabbid Peach, Rabbid Mario, and other Rabbids fused with objects. It also causes the Time Washing Machine to malfunction, sending Beep-0 and the Rabbids to the Mushroom Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Toadette (who is seen among an audience of Toads), Toad, and Princess Peach are inaugurating a new Princess Peach statue. Suddenly, a vortex is formed and sucks Mario and the others in.
In midair over the Ancient Gardens, Beep-0 gains rabbit ears and the outline of two rabbit's teeth on the front. The Rabbid with the SupaMerge fuses with the headset, causing it to be stuck to him. Mario later saves Beep-0 from being crushed by the Time Washing Machine. Upon landing, they soon encounter Rabbid Peach and Rabbid Luigi, who join Mario's team and help them fight off various Ziggies, thanks to weapons attached to a message sent by a mysterious F.B.. As they travel, they get a glimpse of the vortex, later referred to as the Megabug.
Soon after, they meet Luigi and the Rabbid with the SupaMerge headset. They are both scared by a Piranha Plant with which a white Rabbid is playing. Due to the fear, the SupaMerge Rabbid ends up fusing the white Rabbid with the Piranha Plant, creating the Pirabbid Plant. Mario's team successfully defeats the Plant and restore both the Piranha Plant and the white Rabbid to their original selves. Seeing this, Luigi joins their team. Meanwhile, Beep-0 notices that the Megabug has grown in size.
Bowser Jr. has observed what happened with the Pirabbid Plant and, when Mario's team meet the Rabbid with the headset and scares him, takes the chance to befriend him, naming him Spawny. With the intent of using Spawny's powers to take over the Mushroom Kingdom while his father is on vacation, Junior flies away with him on his Junior Clown Car, while Mario's team must face Rabbid Kong. They defeat Rabbid Kong, causing it to fall off of the platform they are standing on.
Mario's team then venture to Sherbet Desert, where thanks to a message from F.B. they discover that the Megabug is growing with every enemy Rabbid defeated. They also find Rabbid Mario frozen in an ice cube. They take him with them, and place the cube in a door in the hopes of freeing him. Said door opens, and they soon encounter Bowser Jr. with Spawny again. Bowser Jr. has Spawny look at Mario's team, which agitates the Rabbid, activating the SupaMerge's powers. Just before it activates, Bowser Jr. turns Spawny away, causing him to create Blizzy and Sandy, who proceed to attack Mario's team. Mario's team defeat both of them and save Rabbid Mario, who joins them. At the end of the desert, Mario's team face off against the Icicle Golem, who freezes them. However, Princess Peach appears and saves them, joining Mario's team in their fight against the monster. They eventually prevail.
Mario's team then go to Spooky Trails. They are directed to find two Relics of Goodness, a gramophone and a Boo-shaped balloon, under the instruction of a mysterious third party who wants them to wake up a being named "Tom Phan" who they claim has the power to defeat Bowser Jr.. After finding the relics, they discover through a message from the mysterious helper that they need a full moon. While finding a way to bring the full moon back, they come across Calavera, who is holding Rabbid Yoshi hostage. Mario's team defeat Calavera and are subsequently joined by Rabbid Yoshi. They then find a clock tower, by manipulating the clock they manage to get the full moon back and they get an invite to cross the now opened Moon Gate from the helper. They later find out that it is actually Bowser Jr. himself, who confronts them in a theater. Bowser Jr. scares Spawny, causing him to fuse a Rabbid with the Relics of Goodness to create the Phantom. The Phantom sings a pre-battle song and is eventually defeated.
Later, they go to the Lava Pit, a volcano which has been transformed into a factory by Bowser Jr.. Here, they battle Junior in his Mecha Jr.. After this battle, Spawny seemingly falls to his doom as Bowser Jr. escapes. However, he is saved by Yoshi, who subsequently joins Mario's team. It is only after this battle that Spawny seems regretful for all the trouble he has caused. After returning Spawny to safety, Mario's team attempt to leave via a crystal mine. However, Spawny is attracted to the Megabug which has grown strong enough to obtain a physical, phoenix-like form. The Megabug absorbs Spawny before heading in the direction of Bowser's Castle. Bowser Jr. returns to tell off Mario's team for allowing Spawny to get kidnapped and the Megabug to escape, noting that at least his father is still away. However, he gets a text message from his father who has decided to return home early. Realizing that his father is in danger, Bowser Jr. flies off to Bowser's Castle while Mario's team chases after. On the way, they encounter two villainous Rabbids resembling Wario and Waluigi, named Bwario and Bwaluigi respectively. They are defeated by Mario's group. Upon their arrival to Bowser's Castle, Bowser Jr. requests them to help Bowser return to his normal self, as he is barely conscious and near the Megabug. The latter fuses with Bowser, creating MegaDragonBowser. In this form, Bowser is defeated, freeing the Megabug that tries to attack Mario's team. Said team attacks the Megabug, destroying it and seemingly closing the rift while also freeing Spawny. Bowser Jr. takes Spawny back to the team and thanks them for what they have done, while also promising to be somewhat better. Fearing being chastised by his father, he tries to convince them to speak to Bowser on his behalf, but Mario's team return to Princess Peach's Castle to tell that the threat is no more, while also inaugurating a new statue of Rabbid Peach. Rabbid Peach then takes a selfie with the group. After this, Beep-0 sends a letter to his past self with weapons through the Time Washing Machine, revealing that F.B. is actually Future Beep-0.
The game is estimated to be composed of 35% exploration elements and 65% turn-based combat. There is also multiplayer, local co-op mode. The combat is weapon-based, with the weapons resembling guns.
The player may use a total of three characters on a team, with Mario and at least one Rabbid always required. These restrictions were made for balancing, as the development team felt some combination of characters were too powerful.
Each character uses two weapons: a primary weapon that can be used every turn and a secondary weapon that requires cooling down in-between turns, as well as two Techniques. One of the techniques is either a line-of-sight technique that allows the user to fire at targets while they move for the Mario characters or a shield with different properties for the Rabbids. The other technique gives a unique effect exclusive to each of the eight characters.
These characters are playable in escort levels. They cannot attack enemies.
Items and objects
There are various weapons in the game, organized in nine categories: Blaster, Melee, Precision, Sentry, Rumblebang, Rocket, Boomshot, Grenaduck and Bworb. Each character can equip both a primary and secondary weapon, both of which pertain to specific classes.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is compatible with amiibo. The ability to scan amiibo in-game is unlocked after World 1-5, Brother, Where Art Thou?, is completed. The compatible amiibo are the characters Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Yoshi, and they each unlock a weapon for these characters and their Rabbid deriratives (i.e. Mario amiibo unlock weapons for Mario and Rabbid Mario, etc.).
A "pixel pack" of eight primary weapons is available via download code for those who preordered Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. Otherwise, it can be downloaded as paid add-on content via Nintendo eShop. The weapons included are as follows:
A season pass of paid add-on content has been announced for Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. The content is set to be released in three packs, which contain the following:
Added through an update released on December 8th, 2017, Versus allows two players to pit their team of characters against each other. Players pick a team of three characters and assign them weapons. Each player is limited to three actions per turn, which are split between the three characters (for example, all three characters can perform one action or one character can perform three actions). The characters players can choose from are not based on those used in the main campaign.
After the Japanese release of Just Dance in 2011, Nintendo and Ubisoft began experimenting a concept featuring a "new genre" with Mario and the Rabbids, in part due to the over 20 year relationship between the companies. According to producer Xavier Manzanare, Ubisoft's Rabbids developers were not going to make another Rabbids party game due to poor sales of later entries and "internal fatigue", but felt that the Rabbids character could bring something unique to other genres of games. Creative Director Davide Soliani and the development team (being "tactical fans") proposed creating a turn-based game, but wanted to "stay true to the Mario universe" and developed it with "tactical combat phases with adventure phases" while creating the enemies and tone. Three weeks after an internal pitch meeting, the development team created a playable prototype, featuring Mario and Luigi recreated from scratch in order to "bring the essence of those two characters", and presented it to Nintendo and Shigeru Miyamoto in Kyoto, Japan. Miyamoto was reportedly impressed, telling the development team he wanted a type of Mario game that was never done before and challenged them to make a Mario game with no jumping.
Although pre-release impressions most often compared Mario + Rabbids to the long-running X-COM series of turn-based tactics games (and indeed, X-Com's creator Julian Gollop had been invited to work on the game), Davide Soliani cited Mario Kart as a key inspiration for the design of the game, stating the goal was to make a turn-based tactics game that was not only quick and accessible, but also spectator friendly. Handling the crossover aspect was a challenge: Soliani stated that early on, the team was conscious about "having a balance" between the Mario and Rabbids universes, but were encouraged by Nintendo to "not worry about it" and Miyamoto, who said "Show me your colors. Show me your Rabbids' humor even more. Show me how crazy you can be". The developers were also apprehensive about the idea of featuring guns as the primary weapon in a Mario game, but Nintendo approved it the first time it was presented. Soliani characterized Nintendo as open-minded, stating "Every time you are proposing something crazy to Nintendo, they are quite open-minded. But you need a good justification and a good logic to create something in the Mario universe.
The game was officially announced at E3 2017 during Ubisoft's press conference, although images of it were leaked prior. The "leak" caused grief to the development team due to the largely negative reaction , although their fears were assuaged after the game's E3 unveiling was met with a positive response. Upon release, the game garnered positive reception (detailed below).
Pre-release and unused content
Goombas that are stuck in honey are rendered eyeless if the camera is positioned so that they appear near the side of the screen.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle has received generally positive reviews from professional critics. It received a score of 8 out of 10 from Russ Frushtick of Polygon. He said that the game "offer[s] up a legitimately challenging squad tactics experience without alienating the family-friendly Mario audience", but also stated that "it doesn’t quite have the full layer of spit and polish of a [Nintendo developed] title". Dan Stapleton of IGN gave the game a 7.7 out of 10 (a "Good" rating). He praised the game's difficulty, animation, and "enemy variety", but criticized the rewards for completing puzzles and "the progression system". The game currently averages 85% on Metacritic based on 91 reviews.
The game has been credited by Ubisoft Milan staff as a "game changer" for the studio as, following the game's critical and commercial success, the studio started receiving ten times more job applications than it had at any point of its history.
As of September 21 2017, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is the best-selling third party game on the Nintendo Switch, and was noted to have outsold at least one first-party game, although no specific numbers were disclosed. According to NPD Group data, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was the 7th best-selling individual game for September 2017.
Awards and acknowledgements
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle won the "Best Strategy Game" award at The Game Awards 2017. Other nominees were XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, Tooth and Tail, Total War: Warhammer II, and Halo Wars 2. It was also nominated for the "Best Family Game" award, but ultimately lost to Super Mario Odyssey.
References to other games
Names in other languages