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Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle (JP) is a turn-based RPG strategy game developed and published by Ubisoft. It is a crossover of Nintendo's Mario series and Ubisoft's Raving Rabbids franchise.

Story

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, 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 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 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 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.

Gameplay

The game is estimated to be composed of 35% exploration elements and 65% turn-based combat.[1] 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.[2] 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.

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[3], 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.[4] 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.[5] 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[6], 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.[7]

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[8]), 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.[9] 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.[10] 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

Early ideas

Davide Soliani mentioned a few scrapped ideas during an Ask Me Anything session set on Reddit's Nintendo subreddit[11].

  • A Rabbid Whomp character.
  • A mechanic called "Fumble", described as "Some weapons were supposed to be truly powerful, but with a high risk of exploding".
  • A parody of the Sailor Moon transformation sequence featuring Rabbid Peach. The animation had previously been posted on Soliani's Twitter account[12].
  • The Phantom's song was originally meant to have three different styles of music for its three phases, with one phase being an opera song, one being a rap song, and one being a metal song respectively. [13]

Critical reception

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".[14] 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".[15] The game currently averages 85% on Metacritic based on 91 reviews.[16]

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.[17] Ubisoft revealed that the game sold 2 million copies worldwide as of September 2018.

Sales

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.[18] According to NPD Group data, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was the 7th best-selling individual game for September 2017.[19] In France, the game sold over 150k copies in 2017.[20]

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

  • Donkey Kong - The Phantom mentions this game in his song. In the Donkey Kong Adventure DLC, this game's title theme can be heard in the mid-boss theme and the pre-battle theme. Also, a stone structure resembling the 25m stage can been seen, where a Rabbid is found jumping over barrels that another Rabbid is throwing while imitating Donkey Kongs movements and the 25m theme plays in the background. Beep-0 remarks that the Rabbid would be lucky to get to 125 meters unless he finds a Hammer.[22]
  • Super Mario Bros. - The wallpaper in the laboratory in the introductory cutscene is a scene from this game. When clearing all battles in a level, a cover of the fanfare that plays after Mario/Luigi grabs the Goal Pole is played. A cover of the Game Over theme plays when the player loses a battle. The Phantom says "your princess is in another castle" in his song, which is derived from a quote from this game. Rabbid Mario's The Splatformer weapon has a design based on a scene from this game. Also, the description for said weapon mentions the Minus World.
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 - When the Rabbids' Time Washing Machine malfunctions in the introductory cutscene, sprites of Super Mushrooms, ? Blocks, and Mario taken from this game can be seen on the number displays.[23]
  • Super Mario Land - In bonus levels, the Blue Coins make the same sounds as the coins in this game when collected.
  • Donkey Kong Country series - DK Barrels can be seen floating in the ocean as part of the background of World 1-7.[24] The sound effect that plays when a banana bunch is collected in the original Donkey Kong Country can be heard as several bananas fall in front of Rabbid Kong at the beginning of his battle. Also, the bonus room theme from the first game, also known as "Bonus Room Blitz", is remixed in the Donkey Kong Adventure DLC. This arrangement plays in bonus rooms. Weapons modeled after Rambi, Enguarde, Expresso, Winky, and Squawks appear in the same DLC, and the description for the Winky-based weapon mentions Monkey Mines.
  • Mario Kart series - During the Phantom's song he makes a mention toward this series about Mario doing well until he gets hit by a Spiny Shell.[25]
  • Yoshi's Island series - Beep-0 asks Yoshi if it is true that the latter has his own island.
  • Super Mario 64 - The music that plays in the hub world is a rearrangement of the Peach's Castle theme from this game. Also, several of Mario's voice clips from this game are reused.[26]
  • Donkey Kong 64 - Rabbid Kong's battle theme is a rearrangement of Jungle Japes's music from this game. Jungle Japes is also rearranged as one of the battle themes in the Donkey Kong Adventure DLC. A cover of Donkey Kong Island is also played in the overworld of the Donkey Kong Adventure world.[27]
  • Luigi's Mansion - Luigi's primary weapons are all shaped like vacuum cleaners as a reference to the Poltergust 3000. Also, several of Luigi's voice clips from this game are reused.[28]
  • New Super Mario Bros.: A poster featuring artwork from this game appears in the introductory cutscene.
  • Super Mario Galaxy - A tube of honey with a Bee Mushroom design on it appears in World 1-1 and near Peach's castle. A weapon called the "Matter Splatter" shares its name and color scheme with a galaxy from this game. The voice clip of Peach calling for Mario from this game is reused.[29]
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 - A weapon modeled after Gobblegut appears.
  • Mario Party series - The jingle that is heard after activating a switch was previously used in Mario Party 9 and Mario Party 10 for landing on a Bowser Jr. Space. Some of Luigi's animations from Mario Party 10 are reused. A poster featuring artwork from Mario Party: Star Rush appears in the introductory cutscene.
  • Skylanders: SuperChargers - Rabbid Peach's weapon, the Barrel Blaster, has the same name as Donkey Kong's vehicle from this game.

References in later games

  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Rabbid Peach, Rabbid Mario, and Rabbid Kong (using his Mega Rabbid Kong artwork) appear in this game as Spirits.

Names in Other Languages

Names in Other Languages
Language Name Meaning
French Mario + The Lapins Crétins Kingdom Battle Mario + The Idiot Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Russian Марио + Rabbids: битва за Царство Mario +  Rabbids: Battle for the Kingdom
Simplified Chinese 马力欧+疯狂兔子:王国之战 Mario + Rabbids: Battle of the Kingdom

Gallery

  Main article: Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle/gallery

Trivia

  • Kingdom Battle is the first Rabbids game to:
    • Be an RPG as opposed to its usual party genre.
    • Use fully orchestrated soundtracks.
    • Be released on the Nintendo Switch system.
  • First Mario game to be published and developed entirely by a Western third-party company, Ubisoft in its Paris, Milan, and Montpelier officies. However, it is still published by Nintendo in Japan.[30]
  • As Grant Kirkhope's first Mario game, this is also his first orchestral role as a freelancer. He has previously implemented orchestral music in the late-2000's Rare games such as Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts and Viva Piñata performed at The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Kingdom Battle's music was performed at the same studio.
  • Compared to other Rabbids games, this one has a 'darker' tone.
  • In the opening sequence, Genius Girl opens a magazine, which shows herself in a posture referencing Pagan Min, the main antagonist of Ubisoft's Far Cry 4, which is taken from that game's box art.

References

  1. Ronaghan, Neal (May 23, 2017). New Details About Mario + Rabbids: Kingom Battle Confirmed for Switch. Nintendo World Report. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  2. Burch, Jennifer (May 23, 2017). Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle images and information leaked. Nintendo Wire. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  3. Eurogamer. (June 15, 2017). The big interview: Shigeru Miyamoto and Ubisoft's Yves Guillemot. eurogamer.net. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  4. Ben Reeves (August 1, 2017)Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: On Rayman’s Absence And Mario Kart’s Influence. Game Informer. Retrieved September 19, 2017
  5. Nintendo Everything. (June 12, 2017). Ubisoft on Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle – origins. nintendoeverything.com. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  6. Nintendo UK. (June 21, 2017) Interview: Taking Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle from prototype to teary E3 reveal. nintendo.co.uk. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  7. Stefanie Fogel(August 29, 2017) Blending two game worlds in Mario+Rabbids Kingdom Battle. Gamasutra. Retrieved September 19, 2017
  8. Julian Benson (September 22, 2017). X-Com creator Julian Gollop was asked to work on Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. PCGamer.com. Retrieved October 21, 2017
  9. Here's How Ubisoft Convinced Nintendo To Let Mario Use Guns. Kotaku. Retrieved September 19, 2017
  10. Robertson, Liam (May 23, 2017). Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Confirmed, Key Art. WWG.com. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  11. Davide Soliani (October 06, 2017). Hi, I am Davide Soliani, Creative Director of Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle! AMA!". Reddit. Retrieved October 07, 2017
  12. https://twitter.com/DavideSoliani/status/909828559291678721
  13. Grant Kirkhope (January 29, 2018). Let's Interview: Banjo-Kazooie and Mario + Rabbids Composer Grant Kirkhope. Gaming Reinvented. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  14. https://www.polygon.com/2017/8/28/16213294/mario-rabbids-kingdom-battle-review-nintendo-switch-ubisoft
  15. http://au.ign.com/articles/2017/08/28/mario-rabbids-kingdom-battle-review
  16. http://www.metacritic.com/game/switch/mario-+-rabbids-kingdom-battle
  17. Matthew Handrahan (September 29, 107. Ubisoft Milan: "I see a really brilliant future in front of us". Gameindutrybiz. Retrieved September 29, 2017
  18. Tom Philips (September 21, 2017). "Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is Switch's best-selling non-Nintendo game". Eurogamer. Retrieved September 21, 2017
  19. Business Wire (October 19, 2017) Nintendo News: Nintendo Systems Claim Two-Thirds of September Video Game Hardware Sales. Retrieved October 20, 2017
  20. Le Numérique (January 11, 2018). Switch, Super Mario, Zelda, retrogaming... L'incroyable retour de Nintendo Entretien avec Philippe Lavoué, directeur général. Retrieved January 11, 2018
  21. 21.0 21.1 Awards - The Game Awards 2017. The Game Awards. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  22. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9o6e-e6cN8
  23. https://youtu.be/TGL-LHKSWTA?t=2m42s
  24. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNcV2X4o9O8
  25. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzGMkvNvwTY
  26. https://youtu.be/RIU-S48OWxg?t=32s
  27. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTw_lmbSgzM
  28. https://youtu.be/kFVVUqUNHjI
  29. https://youtu.be/bVeqvkrTt00?t=69
  30. Liam Robertson (June 12, 2017). Mario + Rabbids: The Lost Adventure Game Concept. YouTube. Retrieved February 14, 2018

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