Mario’s comeback on Switch

Five years ago, Nintendo and Ubisoft collaborated for the first time on an exclusive for the Nintendo Switch. The bet was daring as with Mario and the Raving Rabbids Kingdom Battle the two companies offered a strategy game that was quite accessible yet changed from what we were used to seeing with these two cult licenses.

With more than 10 million players on the first game, the success was beyond expectations and the investment paid off. This is why Ubisoft and Nintendo are once again collaborating to offer us a sequel with Sparks of Hope, which will be available on Thursday, October 20, 2022.

Back in power with Mario and the Rabbids? We see that right away!

Mario and Ubisoft, a rolling enterprise

After the great success of the first opus, the first collaboration between Nintendo and Ubisoft on Switch, but also, and above all, between Mario and Rabbids to save the world, we started Sparks of Hope with undisguised pleasure.

Already last month we had the right to a first glimpse directly at Ubisoft’s premises. During this first grip, we were already very satisfied. The game was full of good promises and gave us hope for a sequel that would surpass the first. This feeling can only be confirmed after beating this Mario and the Rabbids Sparks of Hope.

To put it simply, the Ubisoft Milan teams have taken all the good things from Kingdom Battle, improved them and added some thoughtful new features that fit perfectly into this new game.

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This time Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach will once again unite with the rabbis and especially Rabbid Mario, Rabbid Luigi and Rabbid Peach to find the sparks. Strange stars that contain great power and can pose a great threat to our universe if they fall into the wrong hands.

Here we go on a new quest to the four corners of the galaxy. Get ready to discover five open world planets, with a wealth of activities to do. A little icing on the cake, your adventure will of course be sprinkled with Rabbid’s always effective humor!

The rabbits fight back

test mario rabbid's sparks of hope

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In this new opus, you will leave the Mushroom Kingdom to think bigger. Get ready to sail at the speed of light in a ship that will also be able to do the “Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs” every time. Mario and the Rabbids Sparks of Hope takes you to a distant galaxy to discover five planets (Beacon Beach, Pristine Peaks, Palette Prime, Terra Flora and Barrendale Mesa).

Unlike the first opus, every location you visit will be in the open world. Of course, don’t expect to discover giant planets à la No Man’s Sky. These are fairly modest areas, but which you are free to explore. If you want to focus on the main task, you can. If you prefer to explore every corner of the different planets, doing side missions, solving mysteries, finding hidden sparks, facing additional mini-bosses or even stocking up on coins to buy upgrades, you can!

test mario rabbid's sparks of hope

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Mario and the Rabbids Sparks of Hope offers great freedom with many varied and fun activities and challenges. In a straight line, it will take about twenty hours to overcome the main frame. On the other hand, if you plan to finish the game at 100%, you need to find all the sparks, improve them to the maximum level, find all the secrets, memories, etc. It will take between 30 and 40 hours of play.

When you are in free mode and explore the different planets, it will be possible to encounter enemies. Or you decide to bypass them to explore quietly. Either you go to the confrontation. If so, you will automatically be teleported to a battle arena. Passing the test will earn you experience, coins (to buy upgrades), and colored stars to improve your sparks.

Improved matches that provide even more fun

test mario rabbid's sparks of hope

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The battles were already very effective with Kingdom Battle. We’re glad to see that Ubisoft has found a way to perfect these with Sparks of Hope. The main element is that you lose the grid effect on the ground. Now we have areas where our characters can move with a limited number of steps.

Charged attacks (when you tackle your opponents) no longer count as a move. Now you can make a charged attack, move, team jump to move even further, attack with your primary weapon, use your secondary weapon (your ability) or call on your Sparks. The battles will thus gain in dynamism, they are much more action-oriented, while maintaining a strong strategic side.

test mario rabbid's sparks of hope

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Some games won’t be easy. Sparks allow you to change your weapons with special moves: electric, fire, ice, poison, etc. You’ll need to use Beep-0 to scan your enemies, check their strengths and weaknesses, and above all, switch between attacks, skills and the use of Sparks.

By winning matches, you’ll earn colored stars that will allow you to upgrade your Sparks to do more damage. You will earn coins to buy items (mushrooms to earn lives, etc.). As well as experience that allows you to unlock new skills with your characters. On this part it stays very close to the first game, simple and effective.

Graphically, Ubisoft works wonders, the Switch struggles

test mario rabbid's sparks of hope

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In terms of graphics, Mario and the Rabbids Sparks of Hope is very beautiful. The biography gives us a very nice rendering. Even in the game there are no major problems and the Ubisoft Milan teams have even done a remarkable job. Unfortunately, it is the Switch itself that is the problem. We feel that the console is getting old and that 720p in portable mode is starting to look retro in 2022. Thus we find a lot of aliasing on certain textures and others are not very pretty. It’s a shame, although we assure you that the game performs very well and remains very beautiful.

Mario and Rabbids Sparks of Hope, the bwaha-gnant returns

test mario rabbid's sparks of hope

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Our impressions from last month are confirmed without real concerns. This suite is a real little nugget that will keep you entertained. The game is fun, accessible and even addictive. Once you start visiting the galaxies and chaining the battles, it’s hard to put the game down.

The Ubisoft Milan teams have managed to take all the good points of Kingdom Battle, improve them and add some very cool new features. It’s a huge success and once again Mario and the Rabbids will be a staple of the Switch for this end of the year.

Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope

€49.99

Mario Sparks of Hope review

We love

  • Very nice graphics despite the Switch which is getting old
  • The improved gameplay, even more efficient
  • Solid lifetime
  • The open world planet system
  • Side missions, secrets, etc… which are fun and interesting!

We love less

  • A little Aliasing
  • The “Strategy” page might turn some off

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