New info and details are still coming from Comicbook.com, the source that first leaked the still unannounced Switch RPG’s key art last week.
As you can read below, it seems that Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was originally planned for WiiU. The game began its development three years ago with Ubisoft Paris and Ubisoft Milan behind it. Ubisoft Milan is handling the core creative direction and Amiibo support is planned.
- Development began three years ago (2014). Ubisoft approached Nintendo with the proposal using the standard pitching process for a game to be greenlit at Nintendo.
- Multiple Ubisoft representatives have claimed that to see prototypes of a Wii U version of the game at various points in development, suggesting it was once planned for Wii U.
- While the game is being made by both Ubisoft Paris and Ubisoft Milan, the latter is handling the core creative direction.
Mario + Rabbids Game Details
The game isn’t all weird in-jokes and meme humour, however. There appears to be a fair deal of substance to its mechanics:
- The 8 playable characters each have an individual skill tree of sorts through which they can develop their own special abilities. Each of them start with a base skill that they can later improve, in addition to learning new ones. For example, Mario has a passive ability which enables him to automatically fire at an enemy if they enter his field of vision during the enemy’s turn. Some of these powers are common across multiple characters, but the unique ones like Peach’s powerful ability to inflate enemies using a foot pump until they explode adds a layer of strategy to the game. Players will have to take care when considering where to place each character.
- If its in-development prototypes are any indication, Mario + Rabbids is set to offer a decent amount of content outside of its 20 or so hour long campaign. Sources recall seeing indications that an online suite was being tested several months back, although this mode was inaccessible in the aforementioned test builds. At the very least, we know the final game is set to offer 2 player co-op locally in some capacity. An additional mode named ‘Arena’ was spotted in the test UI, too, which promised some local co-op action.
Development Of Mario + Rabbids
- From talking to a handful of those involved with it, there is a prevailing sense of Nintendo letting go of the reins with the project. Their involvement with it isn’t as controlling as you might imagine. While representatives of the ‘Big N’ are closely overseeing it and their approval is required for anything concerning the use of their characters; even the most outlandish ideas from the developers have been met with little resistance. Nintendo is letting Ubisoft play freely in the Mario sandbox with few restrictions and that creative freedom is evident in just about every aspect of it.
- Take, for example, the game’s slightly twisted sense of humour. The title from what we’ve heard is laden with surreal, self referential gags and Ubisoft staff argue that it works fairly well in context. In one of the prototypes seen earlier in development, one source recalled a hulky Donkey Kong themed rabbid serving as one of the first boss encounters. The rabbid has access to a pile of bananas that it can use to replenish its health. Players are required to first cut off his food supply to prevent him from recovering before they can do some real damage. The DK rabbid apparently will dab periodically if it lands an attack correctly (a possible reference to DK’s dab from Mario Kart 8). Once the boss is defeated, one member of the player’s party, a rabbid cosplaying as Princess Peach, takes out a smart phone and nabs a selfie with the DK Rabbid as it collapses.
- Amiibo support is planned. There is an apparent “Amiibo Machine” feature, but its functionality is not yet clear.
- Multiple sources claim Ubisoft has been producing prototype figurines of some of the game’s characters.
Reveal and Release
- Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was originally intended to be unveiled in January during Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017, but was pushed back to receive further polish and will instead be revealed at E3 2017.
- The release date is currently scheduld for August, though it may slip into September depending on how the final months of development progress.
Stay tuned, E3 2017 is near.