Ubisoft sent out a Q&A sheet that covered a lot of information with Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. The game sounds really fun, and these extra details really seal the deal.
What is Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle?
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is the story of an unexpected encounter between some of the most beloved video game characters – Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Yoshi – and the irreverent and chaotic Rabbids. They team up when the Rabbids are transported to the Mushroom Kingdom by their washing time machine, fracturing the once peaceful area and wreaking havoc throughout the world. To put the kingdom back in order, the heroes will battle unpredictable enemies as they engage in turn-based combat, explore new worlds and solve puzzles along the way.
Developed by Ubisoft exclusively for Nintendo Switch, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle will be released on August 29, 2017.
How would you define the genre of the game?
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a turn-based combat adventure game: a great mix between combat, exploration and puzzle solving.
How did the opportunity to develop a game with Mario and friends come about?
Our long history of partnership and trust with Nintendo led to this amazing opportunity to feature Mario and friends in an Ubisoft game on Nintendo Switch.
How did you come with Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle’s concept?
3 years ago, our strong relationship with Nintendo gave us the opportunity to create a game featuring Mario, his friends and our irreverent Rabbids, with a shared vision to create a brand new experience.
Rabbids have their roots in video games. It is in their DNA to twist universes in playful, irreverent ways. So, what would be more surprising than having them partner with Mario and his friends?
For Davide Soliani, creative Director of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, this project was an exciting challenge and a dream come true. He and his team started working on a concept that mixed both franchises with his passion for tactical games, and came up with Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, a turn-based combat adventure that merges the world of Mario with the contagious insanity of the Rabbids.
When the concept was presented to Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario, he was very excited by the team’s passion and the possibilities that could emerge as the result of bringing together these two contrasting universes, which could lead to a surprising and unexpected experience for Mario fans. He approved the concept, and allowed his iconic characters to be lent to Ubisoft studios. After this, Ubisoft teams started to work on delivering an experience that fans of both Mario and the Rabbids would enjoy.
What were the inspirations behind the game?
We are huge fans of Mario, so it was very important for us to stay true to what Nintendo has created. At the same time, we wanted to create something fresh for both universes. As tactical and strategy game enthusiasts, we decided to combine all of these influences to create an entirely new game experience, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.
How accessible is the game?
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is designed for players of all ages, as Mario games are, while providing the depth of gameplay tactical players are looking for. We created a streamlined user interface, keeping all the focus on the action itself, and let the design elements and animations provide feedback to the players. The turn based system used in combat phases allows players to take time to think before triggering their actions: by matching attacks, special techniques and super effects, which can result in chain reactions that can impact the action on the battlefield. This combat system offers new players the opportunity to discover the genre and pick up the game while experienced gamers will find deep tactical challenges as they progress through the adventure.
When will Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle launch, and on which platforms?
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle will launch on August 29, 2017, exclusively on Nintendo Switch.
What is the story of the game?
The Rabbids were transported to the Mushroom Kingdom in an unexpected way, creating a huge vortex which fractured the once peaceful area and wreaked havoc throughout the land. To stop this disaster, Mario will team up with unpredictable Rabbids Heroes. Together they will go on a quest to find and free their scattered friends across the kingdom, and put the world back in order. Players will embark in a tale about friendship, exploring new worlds, solving puzzles and facing surprising enemies in turn-based combat.
What are the gameplay pillars in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle?
The game is a seamless combination of combat & exploration:
Combat- each team (composed of 3 characters: Mario, one Rabbid hero and a third of their choice) will fight against the enemy Rabbids using turn-based combat and tactical skills. Players will have to use all available resources to be victorious: weapons, movement skills and techniques, such as healing or shields.
Exploration- players will lead their team throughout a world twisted by a mysterious power, to solve puzzles, gather collectibles and make unexpected encounters with new allies.
Can you give us more details about combat and the turn-based system?
Each battle takes place on a battlefield filled with cover, pipes, and other interactive elements our heroes and the enemy Rabbids can use in combat. For each of their turns, players use the actions of their heroes: move, attack and use a technique if available (Shield, Heal, React…), to defeat the enemies. They can plot how to use the best out of the battlefield elements, their movement skills & their weapons specificities before the enemies’ turn. Along their journey, players will always face new challenges thanks to specific world events and the unexpected behavior of the new enemies they will encounter, making each map of the game very unique.
Can you describe the skill tree feature?
As players progress through the Mushroom Kingdom, they will collect orbs as rewards. They can spend these orbs in each of their heroes’ skill tree to unlock their secondary weapons, techniques, movement skills or confer passive bonuses. An autofill feature is available for players eager to return to the battlefield!
Can you chose your team composition?
Yes, players always control a team of three heroes which can evolve at each stage of the game when players recruit new allies. As the leader of the adventure, Mario is a permanent team member, and players will also select at least one Rabbid Hero in their roster. The third hero can be either a Yoshi, Luigi, Peach or another Rabbid Hero. Team composition can be changed anytime during the exploration phases or at the beginning of each battle. Each character has their own strengths and abilities, giving players the opportunity to create a complementary team depending on their playstyle.
Can you describe the cooperative feature?
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle features both a single-player experience and single-system co-op challenges that invite players to share their experience and test their skills with friends or family in highly replayable maps. The co-op challenges, designed especially for two players as an addition to the main solo campaign, are well suited for both new and experienced players looking for strong tactical challenges. Multiple control configurations are available, including the ability to play with Joy-Con controllers or to mix Joy-Con with Nintendo Switch Pro Controllers.
HEROES & WORLD
Who are the Rabbids heroes of the game?
The Rabbids Heroes of the game (Rabbid Peach, Rabbid Luigi, Rabbid Mario, Rabbid Yoshi) are Rabbids who took on qualities of their Nintendo counterparts while being teleported to the Mushroom Kingdom. They share some similarities with Mario and his friends, but in exaggerated ways. You can count on them to bring some pep to this crazy crew!
Rabbid Mario: fearless and a bit arrogant
Rabbid Peach: combative and sassy
Rabbid Luigi: naïve, kind and goofy
Rabbid Yoshi: crazy, compulsive and berserk
Can you tell us more about the enemies that the heroes’ roster will encounter?
Common enemies are new versions of Rabbids, twisted when they were transported to the Mushroom Kingdom. As they attack the heroes, you have to fight them on the battlefield to free them. There are many different kind of enemies, who range from basic minions to massive brawlers. But the real threat might actually be something even more dangerous…
Could you describe the heroes’ weapons?
More than 250 unique weapons are available in the game.
Each Hero has access to two different kinds of weapons, depending on their playstyle. For instance, Luigi is an expert of long-range weapons while Rabbid Mario is more specialized in Melee and close-range techniques. Additionally, some weapons can trigger Super Effects like PUSH, which forces the target movement and can push it out of the battlefield’s boundaries, HONEY which can glue the target and restrict its movement for one turn, and many others you will discover in game.
How do Mario and friends and the Rabbids interact?
We worked a lot on the animations to make all characters in the game express various emotions, easy to understand for all players. However, we felt the need to add a translator, and that is the role of Beep-0, a new surprising character able to understand the Rabbids, who will serve as a guide throughout the whole adventure.
Can you describe the world of the game?
The game takes place in a twisted version of the Mushroom Kingdom, invaded by the Rabbids and torn apart by a mysterious evil. It has become a brand new world, where players may see iconic Mario elements but everything is yet to be discovered. We worked a lot on keeping what Mario fans know and love and worked closely with Nintendo’s IP teams to ensure we retained the magic of the Mushroom Kingdom while adding our own Rabbids-spin to the world.
Who composed the game music?
All Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle’s tracks are compositions of the well-known video games composer Grant Kirkhope.
Which studios are involved in the development of the game?
The game has been co-developed by Ubisoft Milan and Ubisoft Paris, with the collaboration of Ubisoft Montpellier.
How did Nintendo help you to create this game?
Ubisoft and Nintendo have a very strong relationship, and the creation of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a great example of how we are able to work together to create something amazing. While the game was fully developed and produced by Ubisoft studios, it was created with the approval and the trust of Nintendo, to use the Mario IP and associate it with the Rabbids. We worked in very close collaboration with Nintendo who acted as our partner, ensuring the characters and worlds they created were accurately represented and to ensure Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle offers an authentic Mario experience.
How is Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle designed for the Nintendo Switch?
The game was designed from the ground-up to perfectly fit the concept of Nintendo Switch: play anytime, anywhere, with anyone. With this in mind, the team focused on creating a game that is as appealing to play in handheld mode as it is in TV mode. The turn-based system and structure of the game suit short gameplay sessions, which can be started at home and easily continued on the go. Players can also enjoy co-op challenges with a friend on the same system using two Joy-Con controllers, or with a combination of Joy-Con and Nintendo Switch Pro Controllers.
What technology is Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle built on?
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was created with Snowdrop, a custom and intelligent engine that powers many of Ubisoft’s games including Tom Clancy’s The Division. Snowdrop’s unbelievable versatility made it the perfect tool to build the world of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. As an interconnected and flexible system, Snowdrop made it possible to fill our unique universe with special effects, dynamic animations, weather & time setups and many more groundbreaking features.