What is a "crossover"? This is a work of art in which the characters and the worlds of two or more unrelated works are mixed. For examples from the gaming industry, you do not need to go far: Injustice: Gods Among Us, Mario Kart 8, Mortal Kombat X, Super Smash Bros. – in all these games, heroes from different universes collide with each other. But no one could even imagine that the famous Japanese company Nintendo together with the French publishing house Ubisoft will surprise us with a completely unexpected crossover in which the characters of the popular franchises Mario and Raving Rabbids .
Game: Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Platform: The Nintendo Switch
Genre: Turn-based Tactics
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Developer: Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Milan
It all started with an idea born in 2014 in the head of creative director of Ubisoft Milan studio David Soliani. It seemed to him that it would be amusing to introduce Mario and his friends to crazy rabbits who have long become a visiting card of Ubisoft alongside the Assassin's Creed series. The prototype game was created in just a few weeks, after which David went to Japan to visit the "father of Mario" – the famous Japanese game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Miyamoto carefully studied the prototype and, to the surprise of the French, gave them a green light on the further development of the game. At the same time, Nintendo retained the right to carefully monitor the quality level of the future game, because it was important for the Japanese that the characters, beloved by millions of players, be represented in the right light. That's how the light and appeared Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle.
The plot of the game begins in the apartment of a young inventor who created an amazing "helmet of super-fusion", capable of converting two original objects into one. For example, from a flower in a pot and a table lamp, this helmet can make a luminous flower. So, when the girl goes to bed, according to an absurd coincidence, a delegation of crazy rabbits arrives in her laboratory in her "washing machine of time" (a reference to past games). They fool around with scientific equipment, until one of them gets the same helmet on his head and shoots his ray at his friends. Given that the girl is a big fan of the games about Mario, her whole laboratory was covered with posters with her favorite characters. The ray hit one of them, but here it all started to spin. The time machine was activated, and the rabbits were thrown into the world created by Nintendo, densely populated with carnivorous plants, talking mushrooms, romantic princesses and brave mustachioed plumbers.
During the transition from one reality to another, some rabbits under the influence of a helmet turned into villains, and to someone, on the contrary, got the heroic traits of the protagonists of the Super Mario Bros. series. So the rabbit Mario, the rabbit Princess Peach, the rabbit Luigi and the rabbit Yoshi appeared. Characters, of course, scattered throughout the Mushroom Kingdom, and collect the team put together the player. The place of the time washing machine fall attracted the attention of Mario and his friends. Realizing that the kingdom was under serious threat, the brave plumber decides to join forces with his newly-made eared double and his comrades in order to win together over evil. Shoulders to the hero's shoulders go through fire, water and copper pipes, and in the literal sense – there are enough pipes in the game abound. The mushroom kingdom is divided into four huge worlds, each with 8 levels and two bosses each.
As the main genre of the game, French developers have chosen a "tactical turn-based strategy." So that you understand what is at stake, remember the games of the famous series X-COM, Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics. Basic mechanics Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle in many ways resembles these games. A group of three characters (8 characters in total) will move around in locations, solving puzzles, collecting gold coins and discovering treasure chests in secret. From time to time, from the exploration of the surrounding world, they are distracted by battles with evil rabbits and scary bosses. And then all the fun begins.
The fighting system in the game will be familiar to those who at least once faced the genre of Turn-based tactics. The playing field is divided into cells. Your units are on one side, and the enemy on the other. Teams go in turn by all the characters. For one move, the unit can move to a certain number of cells along the field, apply a near or far attack, use its special skill, or simply hide behind a cover from enemy shooters. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle tries to minimize the complicating gameplay details. At the same time, the game offers a number of interesting mechanics, greatly changing the course of the battle and making the game fascinating and maximally tactical.
The goal of the battle can be either the destruction of all opponents without exception, and the killing of a certain number of constantly reviving enemies. Particularly active enemies breed in missions, where you need to get through the battlefield to a safe place. Another kind of such missions is the accompaniment of a friendly character from point "A" to point "B" under heavy fire of the enemy. Unlike your heroes, this character is only able to move to a certain number of cells, so he is completely defenseless against enemy attacks. Strongly simplify the task of the pipes scattered around the level, allowing you to move over long distances. Therefore, at the very beginning of the battle, do not be too lazy to carefully study the location, noting for yourself all the opportunities and bypasses without exception.
Opponents in the game are very diverse. From ordinary shooters to fans throwing grenades, rabbits with springs on their paws, shield guards and even rabbit-ghosts that are able to move over huge distances, teleporting. As I already wrote above, the design of levels, including their interactive component, plays an important role in combat. It is expressed in different weather conditions, when you can easily carry a tornado to the opposite edge of the arena, or from the sky, fire pieces of lava from a nearby volcano will fall directly onto the heroes' heads. Elevations will allow the characters to inflict increased damage on their opponents, so taking an advantageous place in relation to the enemy is a vital moment.
As a weapon, each character uses what he likes most. For example, Mario uses an impressive gun size, Luigi prefers sniper rifles in the form of vacuum cleaners (reference to the Luigi's Mansion series), and Yoshi's dragon spreads enemies to the nines and dust from the grenade launcher. In addition to the main weapon used at long ranges, each hero has a melee weapon or some auxiliary tool. If the rabbit Mario is a giant hammer, then in the rabbit Peach in the arsenal there is a self-guided four-wheeled drone-kamikaze, stuffed with explosives. Each weapon has many versions, differing in power and a number of useful features. More powerful cannons, as a rule, are more effective against certain types of enemies.
Some weapons have very special effects that affect the enemy. For example, the effect of "honey" glues the opponent to the ground and does not allow to escape and hide from your further shots. The effect of "discarding" throws the opponent away on several cells, and if it breaks into the abyss, it takes away additional health. The effect of "vampirism" literally sucks life out of an enemy shot down with each new move. The effect of "ink" does not allow the character to use the weapon. And the effect of "petrification" deprives him of the ability to perform any action. New more powerful weapons you can buy for gold coins in the tactical battle center, opened at the castle of Princess Peach. But beforehand you will need to find drawings of guns on the expanses of the Mushroom Kingdom.
You can also deal damage to enemies in movement. Your characters are able to roll up under the enemies, knocking them off their feet. Another useful skill is the "group jump", when one character hands the second into the air, so that he overcomes a much greater distance than walking, and even can fly across the abyss. Landing after such a jump can also be on the head of an unsuspecting opponent (with the appropriate skill), than you also injure him. With the help of pumping characters in a special menu, you can improve the range of movement, the power of attacks subcategory or in a jump. Do not worry if the experience is distributed incorrectly. At any time you can reset all the pumping and send the EXPO to completely different skills. Fortunately, developers do not prohibit this.
Each character has two unique abilities. Mario, for example, is the ability to intensify the attack of his teammates next to him, as well as to perform additional automatic shots on moving targets during the course of the opponent's team. Rabbit Peach is able to create a protective energy barrier around himself and restore himself and his comrades health. Each new character in your unit fundamentally changes all tactics and approach to combat. But feel the mechanics will not work right away. It will take a couple of times to step on the rake, make a lot of mistakes, before the realization of what is happening on the battlefield. The effectiveness of special abilities is also pumped through a special menu. The gaming experience required for the pumping is obtained for winning battles, and can also be found in chests or obtained for solving puzzles.
The puzzles in the game, by the way, are quite interesting and diverse. If at the very beginning of the game you need to click on the red button to open the red gates, behind which lie the treasure, then closer to the final of the task will be complicated many times. You have to get out of the maze with walls jutting out in front of your nose, roll stone blocks along the ice surface, set up a complex system of mirrors that reflect light in the right direction, and so on. Often the player will have to move from one place to another with the help of special cannons and famous pipes. If you get a dark blue gun on your way – jump into it immediately, because this is the direct path to the bonus puzzle, for which you will receive a particularly valuable prize. And if you see a bright red ring – it means you'll have to collect 8 gold coins for speed, just like in the games about Mario. For the victory, of course, you also get a treasure.
Exploring the four game worlds means that in the future you will return to them. This is facilitated by the regular appearance in your team of new skills that allow you to interact with the decor: move blocks, destroy stone structures, dig out anything from the ground, carry weights on your hands and so on. With the help of these manipulations, the player will be able to discover new corners of already passed levels, new puzzles, get a completely new weapon and earn mountains of additional experience. Based on the results of the battle, the surviving characters of your team are taken into account, as well as the number of moves spent for the fight. Depending on this, you will get a bronze, silver or gold cup. The game constantly podnachivaet you pereprojti not absolutely successful fights on gold. I think that for many players this will be an additional incentive to return to familiar locations. By the way, if you feel that you are not coping with your opponents – you can always activate the "easy mode" when your characters receive additional health points.
Another incentive for those who like to play games 100%, will be the presence in Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle of a huge number of collectibles. Collect will have three-dimensional figures of characters and opponents, art for the game from artists Ubisoft, tarot cards with images of insane rabbits, as well as music tracks written specifically for the game by the famous composer Grant Kirkhope. The latter put his hand to such hits of Nintendo as GoldenEye 007, Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Donkey Kong 64 and many others. The music in the game is really very cool. What is at least a remix of the famous theme from the game Donkey Kong or the chic aria of one of the bosses, in which he mocks Mario. At such moments I applauded standing up.
Graphically the game looks bright and very attractive. Works all this beauty on the engine Snowdrop, which was used in the action movie Tom Clancy's The Division. However, here in the television mode, the Nintendo Switch still does not reach 1080p and produces only 900r. But it is compensated for by excellent anti-aliasing. Artists Ubisoft tried to glory: the game perfectly conveys the spirit of the universe, for decades, painstakingly created by Japanese developers from Nintendo. Each level of the game is permeated with the deepest respect for the source. The decorations are filled with life and charm, and from time to time the player will stumble upon scenes from the life of silly rabbits, mastering themselves in a completely new world for them.
With humor in Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle full order. The ridiculous antics of rabbits and their childish immediacy simply can not help but touch. The names of weapons and locations in the game contain many funny references. Take at least the level of "Gorge of cowards", where rabbits try to dry their underwear in the wind, or a gun called "Gambol" (an explicit reference to the pocket console Game Boy). The game is incredibly good, like many other projects involving Nintendo characters. Even the rabbits defeated by you in combat do not perish, but simply come to their senses and run away to the castle of Princess Peach, where they begin a new life and build various infrastructure facilities that the player can subsequently visit.
The game supports interaction with the collection figures of Amiibo. 100% compatible with her figurines Mario, Princess Peach, Luigi and Yoshi in their different versions. Attaching one of the figures to the console Nintendo Switch, the player will be able to obtain exclusive for these characters weapons. Unfortunately, no matter how I tried to activate other Amiibo in my game from my collection, I did not succeed. If you prefer to play with your friends, the game supports a cooperative local mode for two players. Everyone takes control of the controller Joy-Con and forms his own team of two characters. Players can jointly undergo an additional campaign of 18 trials. A great way to share a pastime with friends.
Now we turn to the drawbacks of the game. They are not very much and most of them are connected with minor technical flaws. The game camera, being in automatic mode, often falls into opaque objects, which for some time deprives you of the opportunity to see the events taking place on the battlefield. Once I came across an impassable bug related to solving a puzzle. Initially, I thought I was misunderstanding something, but when I looked at YouTube, I realized that many other users were facing this. I had to reload the level from the last save. Once during a battle for some unknown reason, the sound of collecting a coin jammed. It was repeated again and again, and again, until I rebooted the game. The game can boast of a quality translation into Russian, but a couple of times I noticed that the localization text does not fit into the space reserved for it.
- Characters of two popular franchises first appeared in one game.
- Low entry threshold, but with wide scope for tactics.
- A huge number of weapons and special skills of characters.
- Bright, eye-pleasing cartoonish graphics and wonderful animation.
- A memorable music, including a chic opera aria about Mario
- Just a huge number of all sorts of collectible items.
- Fascinating puzzles using different decision approaches.
- A fairly high-quality text translation of the game into Russian.
- Wonderful local campaign for two players.
- The game camera sometimes behaves not quite adequately.
- There are impassable bugs in puzzles.
- Other minor technical flaws.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle – a risky experiment to combine two completely different game worlds, which, no doubt, can be considered successful. I will be extremely honest with you: the games series Raving Rabbids in recent years have experienced not the best of their time. Therefore, the acquaintance of rabbits with Mario and his friends unambiguously went eared for good. Игра предлагает нам глубокую тактическую составляющую и тщательно продуманную боевую систему с огромным количеством нюансов. Великолепный добрый юмор, западающая в душу музыка, яркая мультяшная графика и очаровательные персонажи двух знаменитых на весь мир франшиз – вот то, за что вы полюбите эту игру. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle придётся по вкусу поклонникам пошаговых тактик, любителям кооперативного прохождения, а также фанатам персонажей Nintendo. Несмотря на мелкие технические недостатки, игра у Ubisoft получилась просто замечательная, поэтому я ставлю ей 9 баллов из 10.