Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a turn-based tactical title for Nintendo Switch and a cross-over between the Mario franchise and Ubisoft's series. It is the only tactics game in the Mario franchise, and also incorporates some role-playing elements. The game sees Mario and his friends trying to restore order in the Mushroom Kingdom after Rabbids invade and fuse it with their own world using a powerful merging device. They befriend a robot assistant, Beep-0, who guides them in the overworld and can perform various actions to solve puzzles and find secrets. Throughout their journey, the heroes frequently engage in turn-based battles with enemy Rabbids during which they must complete objectives such as defeating a number of enemies or escorting a supporting character to a certain spot.
The game presents a single-player story mode, which involves the above, and a local co-operative mode with separate stages in which multiple human players can face off against enemy Rabbids. A Versus mode was added through an update, enabling players to battle each other locally. The game also offers paid add-on content with new weapons, challenges, and a story expansion focusing on Donkey Kong.
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 Garden 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, Mario's group find Luigi and the Rabbid with the SupaMerge headset. Luigi and the SupaMerge Rabbid are both scared by a Piranha Plant with which a Rabbid is playing. Due to the fear, the SupaMerge Rabbid ends up fusing the other Rabbid with the Piranha Plant, creating the Pirabbid Plant. Mario's team successfully defeats the Plant and restore both the Piranha Plant and the Rabbid that was fused with it 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 find the SupaMerge Rabbid and scare 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 Spawny on his Junior Clown Car, while Mario's team must face a giant, ape-like Rabbid resembling Donkey Kong, named Rabbid Kong. They defeat Rabbid Kong, causing him 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 and manipulate the clock to get the full moon back. The helper gives them an invitation to cross the now opened Moon Gate. 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 song and battles Mario's group, but is 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, Spawny 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, as well as another villainous Rabbid called the Lava Queen, battle and are defeated by Mario's group. Upon their arrival at 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 Peach's Castle to tell that the threat is no more, while also inaugurating a new statue of Rabbid Peach. A delighted 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 primarily resembling guns (notably the Blaster, Boomshot, Rumblerang, and Precision class-weapons), though they also resemble warhammers (Melee-class), rocket launchers (Rocket-class), rubber ducks (Grenaduck-class), yo-yos (Bworb-class), and deployable shuttles (Sentry-class).
The exploration aspect of the game is controlled by Beep-0, a new character. There are seven enemy archetypes, and one mid-boss and boss per world and four world environments. Some of the open world exploring involves puzzles.
The following descriptions are found in the Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle online manual.
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 combinations 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.
Donkey Kong Adventure DLC
In the Donkey Kong Adventure mode, only Donkey Kong, Rabbid Peach, and Rabbid Cranky are playable.
After gaining Power Orbs throughout the game it is possible to spend them to purchase various skill and upgrades for each character. The skills and upgrades are classified in four categories: Movement, Attack, Technique and Other. The upgrades and skills of each category can only be bought after a specific mandatory skill in said category has been bought, and the skills and upgrades in the Other category can only be bought after the three mandatory skills of the other categories have been bought, creating a tree-like structure of requirements and categorization known as Skill Tree.
These characters are playable in escort levels. They cannot attack enemies.
Items and objects
There are various weapons in the game, organized in thirteen categories: Blaster, Melee, Precision, Sentry, Rumblebang, Rocket, Boomshot, Grenaduck, Bworb, Boombow, Bwananarang, DK Ground Pound, and Barrel Bolt. Each character can equip both a primary and secondary weapon, both of which pertain to specific classes. The last four weapon classes are exclusive to the Donkey Kong Adventure DLC, and function similarly to Melee, Boomshot, and Grenaduck weapons; however, only the Bwananarang is a completely unique weapon.
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 was released in three packs, which contain the following:
This content, alongside the base game, is included in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Gold Edition.
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 not based on those used in the main campaign, however each character has three distinct sets based off of their ingame abilities.
Donkey Kong Adventure
The Donkey Kong Adventure Expansion Pack was released on June 26, 2018. As its name suggests, it features Donkey Kong. This expansion sees Rabbid Peach and Beep-0 becoming separated from the others and landing on Donkey Kong Island, where Rabbid Kong, who seeks revenge for his defeat in the main game, has formed an army. A Megabug has also appeared on the island, contaminating bananas and increasing Rabbid Kong's power. Rabbid Peach and Beep-0 work with Donkey Kong and Rabbid Cranky to get Rabbid Kong's army and the Megabug off the island, as well as decontaminate the bananas. Unlike the rest of the season pass, Donkey Kong Adventure can be purchased standalone.
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 characters 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 often compared Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle 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.
There is a random glitch that makes Boos companions of sorts. There is no specific method to make this glitch occur, but during the glitch, Boos won't teleport the player's heroes to different locations during a battle, and they'll also appear in the player's victory screen after winning a battle. In addition, one or more Boos will follow the player out of battle; additionally, the Boos from the battlefield will still appear, and in specifically in Spooky Trails' secret chapter, the player will not be allowed to leave the area (unless they exit the game via the pause menu).
Random flickering object placement glitch
Sometimes in Spooky Trails and Lava Pit, random background objects will randomly flicker around to places they do not belong. Normally, this is a simple thing the game will fix quickly, but in other cases, the glitch will persist and start affecting things around the player, potentially causing coins on moving platforms to get stuck in the ground and similar things. Occasionally, a piece will start to blink over Beep-O, eventually leading to an exception that crashes the game.
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. In France, the game sold over 150,000 copies in 2017.
Awards and acknowledgements
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was nominated for two awards at The Game Awards 2017, winning one, in the following categories:
References to other games
References in later games
Names in other languages