Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

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Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.jpg
Cover artwork, featuring various characters from the Mario and Raving Rabbids series
Developer(s)
Publisher(s) Ubisoft
Director(s) Davide Soliani
Producer(s)
  • Xavier Manzanares
  • Gian Marco Zanna
Designer(s) Damiano Moro
Programmer(s)
  • Sylvain Glaize
  • Tiziano Sardone
Artist(s)
  • Mauro Perini
  • Fabrizio Stibiel
Writer(s)
  • Andrea Babich
  • Ed Kuehnel
Composer(s) Grant Kirkhope
Series
Engine Snowdrop
Platform(s) Nintendo Switch
Release 29 August 2017
Genre(s) Turn-based, tactical role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a turn-based tactical role-playing video game developed and published by Ubisoft for the Nintendo Switch. The game is a crossover of Nintendo's Mario and Ubisoft's Raving Rabbids franchises, and features both single and cooperative gameplay. The game's story sees players controlling Mario, his friends and a group of Rabbids dressed as them, dealing with the aftermath of a sudden invasion by a group of Rabbids, who have accidentally misused a powerful invention that has brought chaos to the Mushroom Kingdom.

The game, developed by Ubisoft's Paris and Milan studio divisions, was conceived in 2014 by Davide Soliani, creative director of the Italian studio, who presented the prototype to Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto. It was released in Europe and North America in August 2017, whilst Nintendo published the game for East Asian countries in January 2018.[1]. It was met with generally favorable reception from critics, who praised its gameplay, depth, and graphics.

Gameplay[edit]

Mario attacking an enemy Rabbid from behind cover

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a tactical strategy game in which Mario teams up with his friends; Luigi, Princess Peach, and Yoshi, along with four Rabbids dressed up like them, to battle against enemy Rabbids that hinder their progress.[2] The main single-player campaign has players control a robot named Beep-O and lead a team of three heroes, including Mario, through four worlds split into multiple chapters, each composed of one or more battles. Along the way, the player can find alternate paths and solve puzzles on the game's overworld to locate hidden chests containing new weapons or bonus material such as 3D models and concept art. As the player progresses through the game, Beep-O can learn new abilities such as pushing blocks and carrying statues to access previously inaccessible areas.

Battles take place when the player reaches an enemy-inhabited territory. While most battles typically require the player to eliminate all or a certain number of enemies, some missions feature other objectives such as reaching a specific area or escorting another character. In these turn-based battles, control alternates between the player's team of three heroes and the enemy team. During each turn, players can perform up to three actions with each of their available heroes; Movement, Attack, and Ability. In the movement phase, players move a cursor to direct a character to a place on the field within their movement range. Characters can dash into enemies to deal extra damage, enter white pipes to reach other parts of the map, and leap off of each other to reach otherwise inaccessible areas. Each hero can attack with their main weapon, which range from simple blasters to wide-spreading shotguns, or secondary weapons such as melee weapons or grenades. Certain weapons may trigger status effects, such as dealing extra damage with Bounce or Fire damage or inhibiting certain actions with Freeze or Honey attacks. The effectiveness of an attack varies depending on whether the target is shielded by the environment (for example, characters hiding behind a half-sized wall have a 50% chance of getting hit). Finally, Abilities are unique support effects, ranging from barriers that can lessen damage to overwatch attacks that can be triggered outside of an Attack command. Certain weapons and abilities have cooldowns, requiring players to wait a certain number of turns before they can be used again. Additionally, certain characters possess passive abilities that are unique to them. For example, Peach can recover health upon landing from a team jump while Rabbid Luigi can absorb health from dashing into opponents.

Players lose a battle when all of their heroes run out of health and are knocked out, or fail a level-specific objective. When the player clears a chapter, they receive coins and Skill Orbs, which can also be found by exploring the overworld, with greater rewards earned clearing battles within a certain number of turns with all characters intact. Coins can be spent on new weapons for each character, with more options becoming available as the player finds Weapon Chests. Skill Orbs can be used on each character's Skill Tree, granting them new unique abilities or increases to stats such as health and movement range. After clearing a world, players can revisit them to take on additional challenge-based missions. Players can also unlock co-operative challenges, in which two players, each with a team of two heroes, must work together to clear objectives.[3] Additional weapons can be unlocked by scanning compatible Amiibo figures.[4]

Plot[edit]

In a certain world, a young inventor, with the help of her robot assistant Beep-O, has invented a device known as the SupaMerge helmet, which can merge any two objects together into a single entity. While the inventor is out of the room, a group of Rabbids arrive in their Time Washing Machine, one of which puts on the SupaMerge helmet and starts causing chaos. While having fun with the helmet, it accidentally hits the Time Washing Machine and causes a malfunction, sucking the Rabbids and Beep-O into an interdimensional vortex. At that time, another vortex appears above the Mushroom Kingdom, sucking up everyone including Mario and his friends. As both Mario's friends and the Rabbids are thrown across the Mushroom Kingdom, Beep-O discovers that the SupaMerge helmet has merged itself with the Rabbid wearing it, who starts causing more chaos by merging more things together. While most of the merged Rabbids end up becoming hostile, Mario and Beep-O end up encountering two good Rabbids: Rabbid Luigi and Rabbid Peach. Aided by a mysterious e-mail contact known only as F.B., the four decide to team up to put a stop to the chaos.

As Mario's team travels across the Mushroom Kingdom, defeating the corrupted Rabbids while also encountering allies both old and Rabbid, Bowser Jr. comes across the Supamerged Rabbid, which he nicknames Spawny, and takes him under his wing to cause more chaos. Resolving to recover Spawny so they can undo the damage he has caused, the team eventually learn that an entity known as the Megabug is behind the mysterious vortex, which grows more powerful as they defeat more corrupted Rabbids. The gang recover Spawny from Bowser Jr. only for him to get kidnapped by the Megabug, who then merges itself with Bowser to become MegaDragonBowser. Mario's team defeats the Megabug, saving both Bowser and Spawny. As peace returns to the Mushroom Kingdom and all the Rabbids are restored to normal, Beep-O comes to the realization that F.B. is actually his future self and uses the Time Washing Machine to help his past comrades.[5]

Development[edit]

The game's score was written by Grant Kirkhope, a British composer formerly of Rare.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was developed by Ubisoft Paris and Ubisoft Milan using Ubisoft's proprietary Snowdrop game engine.[6][2] Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto was impressed by the prototype of a Mario and Rabbids crossover game that was presented to him by Ubisoft Milan's creative director Davide Soliani in 2014.[7][8] That prototype was created in less than a month.[8] Miyamoto felt the concept was easy to understand and that it was refreshing to see Mario placed in a genre of game that he had not anticipated. Development of the game was led under Soliani once their pitch was approved by Nintendo.[7]

The Ubisoft development team traveled to Nintendo's headquarters in Kyoto on several occasions to ensure their understanding of the Mario universe was solid and that their new take on genre had not been covered that much before.[8] Art director Mauro Perini noted that it was important to capture the atmosphere of Nintendo games, however they also wanted to combine the crazier elements of the Rabbids universe with existing components of Mario.[7] Lead producer Xavier Manzanares wanted the game to offer a deep and content-filled experience that was structured so that the game could be played in short sessions. They felt this format was ideal for the Nintendo Switch system which is capable of being a handheld and a home console.[7] Ubisoft enlisted British video game composer Grant Kirkhope to compose the score for the game.[8]

Release[edit]

Information on a cross-over between the Mario and Raving Rabbids franchises was leaked as early as November 2016,[9] although the title Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was first leaked in May 2017, prior to its official announcement during Ubisoft's press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2017.[2] The game was released worldwide for the Nintendo Switch on 29 August 2017.[6] A collector's edition was also released, which came with a soundtrack CD, cards, and a Rabbid Mario figurine.[10] Ubisoft released post-launch downloadable content through a season pass, which includes new weapons, solo challenges, cooperative maps, and story-based content.[11] In June 2018, an expansion known as Donkey Kong Adventure is set for release. It will include a new story featuring Rabbid Peach and Beep-O teaming up with Donkey Kong and Rabbid Cranky to defeat Rabbid Kong, one of the bosses in the main game.[12]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 85/100[13]
Review scores
Publication Score
Destructoid 7.5/10[14]
EGM 8.5/10[15]
Eurogamer Recommended[16]
Game Informer 8.5/10[17]
GameSpot 9/10[18]
GamesRadar+ 4/5 stars[19]
IGN 7.7/10[20]
Nintendo Life 9/10 stars[21]
Nintendo World Report 9/10[22]
Polygon 8/10[23]

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[13] Many critics favorably compared the gameplay to XCOM: Enemy Unknown.[15][16][17][20]

It debuted at number two on the UK physical video game sales charts.[24] It was the best-selling physical video game in Australia in the week ending 3 September.[25] It sold 66,692 copies within its first week on sale in Japan, which placed it at number one on the all format sales chart.[26]

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is the best-selling game on the Switch to have not been published by Nintendo.[27] Eurogamer ranked the game fifth on their list of the "Top 50 Games of 2017",[28] GamesRadar+ ranked it 13th on their list of the 25 best games of 2017,[29] and EGMNow ranked it 14th on their list of the 25 Best Games of 2017,[30] while Polygon ranked it 33rd on their list of the 50 best games of 2017.[31] The game won the award for "Best Strategy Game" in IGN's Best of 2017 Awards,[32] whereas its other nominations were for "Best Switch Game" and "Best Original Music".[33][34]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Result Ref.
2017 Game Critics Awards Best of Show Nominated [35][36]
Best Original Game Won
Best Console Game Nominated
Best Strategy Game Won
Gamescom Best Console Game (Nintendo Switch) Nominated [37][38]
Best Strategy Game Won
Best Casual Game Nominated
Golden Joystick Awards Nintendo Game of the Year Nominated [39]
The Game Awards 2017 Best Family Game Nominated [40]
Best Strategy Game Won
2018 D.I.C.E. Awards Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year Won [41][42]
NAVGTR Awards Game, Strategy Nominated [43][44]
Original Light Mix Score, Franchise Nominated
14th British Academy Games Awards Family Nominated [45][46]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]