A new RPG involving the Raving Rabbids and Super Mario characters called Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is coming soon to the Nintendo Switch.
Here’s everything you need to know.
1. Rumors of the Game’s Existence Go As Far Back as October of 2016
The game was first reported by French website GameBlog, calling it “a Yoshi/Rabbid Rabbits crossover.”
Games Journalist Laura Kate Dale also contributed a number of info from sources about the game back in January, including that the game’s music is supposedly going to be made by legendary Composer Grant Kirkhope. Sources also told her that Beyond Good and Evil 2 is going to be a timed exclusive on the Switch.
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier confirmed that a Mario x Rabbids RPG crossover is coming to the Nintendo Switch this August or September.
Kotaku received art assets of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle from an anonymous source who told them not to share them. The assets confirm not only that the game exists but a number of details about the game including the Mario character costumes for the Rabbids, the RPG elements, the laser guns, and the fact that the game is being developed by Ubisoft’s proprietary Snowdrop engine.
The key art for the game was eventually leaked as well as slides supposedly from a presentation about the game.
A 4chan user reportedly leaked the lineup for the Nintendo Spotlight presentation for E3 2017, which includes Super Mario Maker 2. Here’s why it may be legit.
2. It’s a Turn-Based RPG with Laser Guns
The game has Mario and friends along with Rabbids dressed as Mario characters wielding laser guns in turn-based RPG battles.
Players explore a 3D environment, collecting coins, solving puzzles, and interacting with other characters and objects.
Battle has you moving around the field using cover, similar to XCOM. Characters can combine their abilities to help each other.
3. Shigeru Miyamoto Came to Introduce the Game
Shigeru Miyamoto, Creative Fellow of Nintendo and the man behind Mario and more, came to Ubisoft’s E3 Press Conference armed with a life-sized laser cannon.
These are very different to the weapons in Ghost Recon.
Miyamoto came to thank Ubisoft for their collaborations over the years even though they often see each other as rivals. He also has Rabbid figures decorating his desk.
4. It’s Not the First Mario/Rabbids Crossover Game Planned
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle wasn’t the first Mario/Rabbids crossover to be conceived. YouTuber and Comicbook.com Writer Liam Robertson (aka the Game History Guy) said the concept was floating around since 2010. He received info from a source that Ubisoft were experimenting with an adventure game set where the Rabbids invaded the mushroom kingdom as well as concept art for the game to back it up. An early story idea revolved around a “subversive, self-aware take on the Mario series.”
However, a formal pitch was never made and the project ended up as an internal concept and stayed that way. Another source involved with the concept told Robertson that the project may have been shut down by Nintendo before it was even pitched possibly due to their reluctance to let third parties use their Mario IP at the time.
Robertson didn’t find a direct connection between the lost Mario/Rabbids adventure game and Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.
5. It’s One Game in the Decades Old Raving Rabbids Series
The Raving Rabbids appeared in games on a number of Nintendo systems along with other platforms starting with Rayman Raving Rabbids on the Nintendo Wii in 2006. Rayman Raving Rabbids was going to be a more traditional 3D Rayman game in the same vein as the cancelled Rayman 4 before being turned into a minigame collection as a spin-off series for Rayman. Rabbids Land was a launch title on the Wii U.