A tactical role-playing game that gives Mario a gun, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle seems to have been inspired by XCOM. However, this is not the only video game franchise that the upcoming Nintendo Switch title borrows from and fans may be surprised to know that it is also influenced by Mario Kart.
The Mario Kart inspiration was recently discussed by creative director Davide Soliani. Soliani said that the Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle team began development by setting out to create something "totally new" that would "renew the genre a little bit." The team looked at other tactical games and realized that these titles are "known to be slow paced and they tend to be a little niche." Wanting something "dynamic and colorful and fast paced," the team used Mario Kart as a reference.
Soliani explains that the team thought it would be "cool" to put that sort of reactive gameplay in its game. In other tactical games, "You see enemies taking cover and the heroes are doing the same, and they’re both shooting at each other, but they’re not moving much." But much like Mario Kart's speeding vehicles, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle players must "react to the situation, and the action is focused on moving around the battlefield."
Given that Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle includes co-op gameplay and waves of enemies, the Mario Kart influence doesn't make immediate sense. But if Soliani's team is really trying to shake up the genre, then it's not so bizarre. Fans of the Nintendo racer love the series and have tales about well-placed bananas, well-timed shells and perfect cornering, so perhaps Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle's take on the tactical genre could inspire similar stories.
Soliani and his team will also be hoping that the game can sell as well as the latest Mario Kart release. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sold phenomenally well when it was released on the Nintendo Switch in April, becoming one of the console's best-selling titles.
Kingdom Battle is a high profile game that could offer the bright and bold gameplay that tactical fans are looking for and suggestions that the game will get a price drop pre-release may also help considerably. The game looks like it could be a huge system seller, but just it will be interesting to see just how close it will get to Mario Kart's sales numbers.
Mario + Rabbids: Battle Kingdom releases on August 29, 2017 exclusively for Nintendo Switch.
Source: Game Informer