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The Developers of Mario + Rabbids on Working with their Childhood Heroes

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One of the best moments of E3 wasn’t necessarily a game reveal, though it did come during one. Viewers of the Ubisoft conference will remember a heartwarming moment between Shigeru Miyamoto and Davide Soliani, when the Nintendo legend talked about working with the Ubisoft developer on Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. Soliani could barely hold himself together, waving to the camera and holding back tears as he thanked Miyamoto.

This was the end of a mo20-year 20 year long journey Solani took in Miyamoto’s footsteps towards this game. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, he talked about the Nintendo developer’s influence on his career. “Miyamoto-san is the main reason why I do this,” he said. Soliani met Miyamoto after the release of his second game, Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Wild Adventure for the Game Boy:

“I was super proud of it. I remember a review saying that it seemed like a Nintendo game. So the first time I went to E3, I brought my Jungle Book game and I met Miyamoto. But I was so shy, like a little kid, that I just gave him the game and asked him to sign it, without even saying hello, presenting myself and explaining that this was my game. So, Miyamoto-san looked at the box like: ‘Hmmm, this isn’t my game.’ But he signed it anyway because he is such a gentle guy. When he gave me the signed game, which of course I still have, I went out of E3 and cried like a baby.”

In 2002, on a press tour for Wind Waker, Miyamoto came to Milan, where Soliani lives. Soliani called every four and five star hotel to find out where Miyamoto was staying. He waited in the rain for hours until he saw Miyamoto, and he gave him all of Ubisoft Milan’s games. “I’m clearly quite crazy. I am a fan. I recognize that it’s not super rational.”

Soliani was again able to meet his hero in 2014, when he pitched the game to Miyamoto at E3. Miyamoto was impressed with the game, as well as Soliani.

Soliani got to work with another hero, Grant Kirkhope, composer for Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64. It turns out, however, that Kirkhope was just as overwhelmed with the project. He thought he was being brought in to compose for a new Rabbids game, so when he found out Mario was involved, he was shocked into silence. “It struck me… how on earth was I going to write music for Mario after Koji Kondo, who is the greatest games composer in the world?” He continued, “It was super exciting, but it was massively scary. Getting to touch Mario in any capacity… it’s the holy grail.”

Leading up to this past E3, worries of fan reception scared the team. After all, it is a mix between Mario, Rabbids, and XCOM. When a little information on the game leaked, fans were sceptical as to how it would be received by Mario fans like him:

“When the game leaks, no one is happy. Also, let’s be honest, the reaction at the beginning was not ‘sceptical’ – it was a little bit worse than that. It was quite hard on the team morale to read some of those comments.”

Soliani even told his team to “prepare for the worst” at E3. All of that trepidation melted away, however, when Miyamoto walked on stage. The reaction from the audience was strong, and Soliani found himself overwhelmed with emotion. “It took me like two weeks to process what had happened. After the conference, we were walking the streets and people were stopping us and congratulating us.”

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle received 37 E3 award nominations, but that certainly pales in comparison to getting the opportunity to work with your industry heroes and an industry-defining series.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 Sets Dates for the Next Multiplayer Beta

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 is getting closer and closer, and Activision has announced when players will be able to get their hands on the next game. This means that there will be several chances to try it out before it comes out. If you paid a lot, you might be able to play for more than a week at the end of August and beginning of September.

Call of Duty Early Access will run from Friday, August 30th, to Wednesday, September 4th, as announced on its blog. This is two days after the Call of Duty Next showcase, which is set for August 28th. To play, you must have already bought Black Ops 6.

The open beta is the following weekend, and anyone who wants to can join. The fun will start on Friday, September 6th, and end on Monday, September 9th. The full release is set for October 25th of next month on PS5 and PS4.

How excited are you for the next Call of Duty game? Are you going to play Black Ops 6 in either the Early Access or Open Beta versions? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Ten million people play The First Descendant in its first week

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The free-to-play shooter The First Descendant has gotten a lot of attention in its first week. The game’s publisher, Nexon, says that 10 million people have already tried it out.

Insider Gaming pointed out that since there is no cost up front, it’s still too early to tell how many of those players will stick around, but it’s still a big number for a new IP. On Steam alone, it peaked at 264,860 concurrents right after launch and has still managed to break 200,000 in the last 24 hours, so it looks like a lot of people are still really into the game.

It was a “mindless and repetitive grind,” and we gave The First Descendant a 3/10 in our review. Of course, that’s just one opinion; other experts have had different ones. Most people, though, say that the game’s annoying free-to-play model is the worst thing about it.

Are you one of the millions of people who played The First Descendant last week? Are you going to come back for more? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Raiden, the famous shmup series, will come back as a twin-stick shooter on PS5, PS4, and PC

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Raiden has a long and interesting history as a vertical shooter in arcades. However, the series is going to get a Super Stardust HD makeover, which means it will switch to a twin-stick format. It comes out in Japan on October 31. There’s no word yet on when it will come out in the West, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

A Gematsu translation of the game’s website says that the full version will have an arcade mode with up to six stages. There will also be an “Unlimited” option for people who want to be at the top of the rankings. It sounds like a pretty straightforward package in terms of what’s inside, but we think the action will be what makes it worth it.

There’s a trailer up top that should help you figure out what to expect. There are, however, different versions of Raiden 3, Raiden 4, and Raiden 5 that you can play right now on the PS5 and PS4, if you can’t wait for this game to come out in the West.

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