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Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is a more dynamic take on tactical RPGs

Enlarge / The gang (and the other gang) is here!

although Mario + Rabbids: sparks of hope is a sequel to a much-loved crossover, it’s still hard to comprehend that it’s a real game. Combining the disparate worlds of Nintendo’s iconic Super Mario franchise and Ubisoft’s wacky and wacky Rabbids series, the original Mario Kingdom Battle + Rabbids he took many liberties with his sources. However, it was still a game that was a passionate tribute to both of them.

The sequel, thankfully, seems to lean more into the weirdness of this odd union while also tapping into even more of what makes Mario and the Rabbids so final. Just before its planned release on October 20, I was able to play several hours of this follow-up to one of Nintendo Switch’s best tactical RPGs and found it to be a charming and enthralling crossover that adds a bit more vibrancy to its solid predecessor.

strange bedfellows

On paper, a Mario crossover with Ubisoft’s Rabbids as guests in a tactical RPG seems odd, but it’s not too far removed from some genres Nintendo has infused with Mario in the past. the Mario + Rabbids The series shares a lot of DNA with people like super mario rpg and the PaperMario but within the framework of the tactical turn-based strategy systems of more mature games like XCOM either final fantasy tactics.

the Mario + Rabbids The series at its core is a family-friendly version of a tactical RPG. One of the great successes of the original is that it presented complex game systems and mechanics in an accessible way, that still felt true to the over-the-top, whimsical platforming action of the Mario games.

The sequel picks up right after the events of kingdom battle, with Mario and his friends, including the Rabbids, who effectively dress up as the Mushroom Kingdom’s most iconic heroes, enjoying a much-needed break. Unfortunately, that peace is short-lived, as a new galactic evil known as Cursa has invaded Mario’s world in search of Sparks, a fusion of Rabbids and the star-shaped Lumas first introduced in super mario galaxy. With this new threat, the heroes team up once again to explore the many planets of the galaxy and take down Cursa and his minions.

BRB, sending this
Enlarge / BRB, sending this “Mario dual-wielding weapons” image back in time to blow my 12-year-old self’s jaws agape.

sparks of hope build on the foundations of what kingdom battle established, allowing you to branch out and develop your own approach to tactical turn-based combat. With an increased focus on exploring strange new worlds and engaging in combat that offers a greater degree of freedom and flexibility, it all comes together in a way that showcases the game’s lush and enchanting adventure across the galaxy.

With your squad, led by Mario and accompanied by other Nintendo characters and Rabbids, you maneuver the team across a battlefield to plan your attack on the opposing forces. By taking advantage of terrain, enemy location, and the myriad abilities your team has, such as Mario’s energy blasters, Rabbid Peach’s rocket launcher, or Luigi’s long-range bow and arrow attacks, you can devise a complex set of plans. to take down your enemies.

sparks of hope Associate producer Quentin Correggi told Ars that he thinks bringing these opposing franchises together brings out some unique qualities of both, creating something that feels original.

“Working in [Mario + Rabbids] It really allows us to do something that has never been done before with Mario and other Nintendo characters,” said Correggi. “Set [Mario + Rabbids] The franchise isn’t just about bringing these characters together, but also about their two worlds colliding. That union of the whimsical world of Nintendo and the chaotic world of Rabbids allows us to do a lot [with the heroes]. That is also seen in every setting of this game, which shows the variety and what players love about this crossover that we have created.”

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