The partnership between Ubisoft and Nintendo started out as a good idea in 2017, although the results weren’t too far from average. The game’s sequel, “Mario + Bunnies: Sparks of Hope” takes the plumber’s encounter with mad bunnies to a much higher level.
The tactical RPG game, out this Thursday (20) for Switch, combines everything that worked in “Kingdom Battle” with innovations that make it more dynamic and less repetitive – one of the big risks associated with the genre.
The new features also make it more accessible and closer to the famous Nintendo mascot title game.
Watch the trailer for “Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope”
“Sparks of the House” is also more ambitious. After taking the audience on a journey to save the Mushroom Kingdom in the predecessor, the sequel is inspired by Super Mario Galaxy.
In addition to fighting space threats on different planets, the game borrows characters and elements from the 2007 game.
Of course, the team of heroes still includes the Mario brothers (always remember that Mario’s full name is Mario Mario) and company and their “rabized” versions – each with different weapons and abilities.
‘Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope’ pits the hero against one of his greatest enemies — Photo: Disclosure
The biggest (and best) innovation in the game is the limited movement exchange in the grid, in which the player had to choose which square to place his characters, for a near real-time system.
Battles continue to be turn-based, but there’s the freedom to control each of the three teams’ heroes almost freely within their reach until the turn is over.
Simple and almost too big a break for the genre, the idea from the start makes the battles more dynamic and makes the player’s choices much clearer.
Another element introduced is header sparks. Mixtures of rabbis with the star creatures of the “Galaxy” Luma, it is they who give the characters secondary abilities – if not limited to one hero.
Its existence, added from the outset to a much larger initial selection than that offered by Battle Royale, Glimpses of Hope will not pass the slow and repetitive opening of the former (or most examples of tactical RPGs).
Sparks empower heroes in Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope — Photo: Disclosure
The co-evolution of all heroes, the greater variation of enemies and their weaknesses, and the more diverse characteristics of weapons allow and facilitate more turns of the team in battles.
It’s possible to keep the core trio active from start to finish (most of the time), but the player who takes the risk and spends a little extra time planning the team and their sparks will surely be rewarded.
Battle Royale was Mario’s dream return to the RPG genre, but the genre’s obsession with the genre’s restrictive rules—perhaps over-regarding its heroes—held it back from reaching its full potential.
In Glimpses of Hope, Ubisoft took a little more inspiration from its rabbit madness to make the series stand up well on its own merits.