It’s been a little over five years since Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle saw the light of day. Of course, his announcement came as a total surprise. First, because the Italian plumber rarely shares the screen with third-party characters, aside from Smash of course. On the other hand, because Nintendo almost never cooperates with big publishers. However, Ubisoft has done a fantastic job; so much so that it has become a must-have game on Switch. That same success spawned the sequel we’re looking at today, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope.
For Nintendo and Ubisoft, the easiest thing would have been to repeat the fun formula of the first game, come up with new levels and gain the approval of the player. After all, it’s well known that turn-based fighting games don’t lend themselves well to innovation. But the folks behind Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope didn’t want to comply. Instead of that, took the risk by offering a handful of new features that significantly improve upon what was seen in the previous title.
But before I dive into the gameplay, let’s first talk briefly about the history of the EU. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope. Although it is not the most important section, it serves as a framework to present the characteristics of the EU. gameplay which I will detail later.
In Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, the Italian plumber, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, who is now your ally, yes and the Rabbids, face a new threat. Her name is Corsa a cosmic entity intent on stealing the sparks to conquer the galaxy. Of course, our beloved characters must try to stop his intentions by traveling the galaxy. several planets. All very different from each other.
As soon as you begin your adventure in Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, you will feel a sense of greater freedom. It’s actually one of the biggest news in the game. Primarily worlds are wider and you can cross them almost in their entirety. Admittedly, some areas are blocked off and it’s up to you to find a way to access them. To do this, of course, you need to rely on exploration.
Exploration in Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope has become an important activity. Mainly because you will be able to discover more side quests which, in addition to prolonging your experience, complete it with very varied gameplay suggestions. There are secret locations, puzzles to solve and items to collect. You’ll have fun exploring every corner of the stage until you’re sure there’s nothing left to do. I recommend combining main and side quests to get the most out of the experience. items obtained in both.
That same sense of freedom in worlds has carried over to combat to some degree. On Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle we had a sort of board divided into squares. These therefore limited our movements. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope say goodbye to the network altogether. Characters can move freely in the terrain. However, each character has a limited area they cannot cross.
Does it affect the combat experience? Yes, it really is. Knowing where to place your characters is more important than ever, as your next attack or even the success or failure of your opponent’s attack may depend on it. As a result, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope acquires an even more strategic dimension. You will need to think very carefully about how you move your characters and how you use that freedom to succeed.
Of course, the battle additions don’t stop there. The other big news is about the abilities of the characters. True to its name, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope offers Sparks adorable characters to accompany Mario and company. However, their presence on the battlefield is significant.
bulk, Sparks are a unique skill set which improves your characters abilities. Both in attack and in defence. For example, one of them exposes a shield that is able to protect you from enemy attacks, while another is able to poison enemies. There are several sparks, so it is advisable to know their effects well and choose them according to the challenge you want to face.
Of course, in addition to the spark, your characters can also use an expanded arsenal and classic tools that make action easier. I had already mentioned that even though there is no more square movement, Mario and his friends are still limited to moving in a certain area. This may be limited by the character itself or by the scene. In the latter case, the game gives you certain items to help you avoid obstacles and surprised enemies from a nearby position.
In addition to the above, the skill tree is back. This, it must be remembered, is specific to each character. So as you progress in your adventure and gain levels, you will have the opportunity to unlock skills through points in four categories: health, movement, weapons and technique. I could tell you that it will depend on your play style, but as it says… Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope a tactical title, the right thing to do is find a balance between all four for all your characters.
I’ve already talked a lot about the playability of your characters, but what about the baddies? Pay attention, because they are not far behind. The first thing you need to know is that the same freedom that I described for the side of good is also available for the opposite side. Enemies can move freely and on some occasions surprise you in unexpected places. And the fact is they also have special abilities which you must remember to act upon.
Enemy diversity is what you would expect. Some can actually work in our favor if we make the right choices. And of course there will be no shortage of that last bump. They are impressive not only for their size, but also because they make use of a wide range of very damaging powers.
Is it a difficult game? While there are definitely missions that require more attention and especially good decisions during your turns, the mechanics are explained in detail and at the right time. For this reason, I can assure you that it is a very friendly title. Yes, there will be times that are more difficult than others, but nothing that cannot be overcome after a short period of reasoning.
Overall, I liked Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope an exceptional game. I would even go so far as to say that it is among the top 3 games for Nintendo Switch this year. Ubisoft had the courage to rethink the formula to offer one a new experience and better than the previous title which was already excellent. It is not a bet that everyone dares to take, let alone one that always turns out to be favorable. In this case, everything went well.
If you own the big N’s hybrid console, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is a must-have in your library. The game will be available from 20 October.