Preview: Gaming worlds collide in this oddly charming and confident action-RPG sequel.

mario + rabbids: sparks of hope is a more dynamic take on tactical rpgs

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

Further Reading

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a great introduction to tactical RPGsEven though Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is a sequel to a well-loved crossover, it’s still hard to fathom that it’s a real game. Blending the distinct worlds of Nintendo’s iconic Super Mario franchise and Ubisoft’s raving, oddball Rabbids series, the original Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle took many liberties with its sources. Yet it was still a game that was a passionate tribute to both.

The sequel, thankfully, seems to be leaning further into the strangeness of this odd union while also tapping further into what makes Mario and the Rabbids both so endearing. Just ahead of its planned October 20 release, I got to play several hours of this follow-up to one of the Nintendo Switch’s best tactical RPGs and found a charming and transfixing 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 role-playing game seems strange, but it’s not too far off from some genres Nintendo has infused with Mario in the past. The Mario + Rabbids series shares a lot of DNA with the likes of Super Mario RPG and the Paper Mario series but within the framework of tactical turn-based strategy systems from more mature games like XCOM or Final Fantasy Tactics.

The Mario + Rabbids series at its heart is a family-friendly take on a tactical role-playing game. One of the great successes of the original is that it presented complex gameplay systems and mechanics in an approachable way, which still felt true to the whimsical and over-the-top platforming action of Mario games.

The sequel picks up right after the events of Kingdom Battle, with Mario and friends—including the Rabbids, who effectively cosplay as the Mushroom Kingdom’s most iconic heroes—enjoying some much-needed rest. 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 unite again to explore the galaxy’s many planets to take down Cursa and her minions.

mario + rabbids: sparks of hope is a more dynamic take on tactical rpgs

/ BRB, sending this “Mario dual-wielding guns” image back in time to blow the mind of 12-year-old me.

Sparks of Hope builds on the foundations of what Kingdom Battle established, allowing it to stretch out and develop its own approach to turn-based tactical combat. With more of a focus on exploring strange new worlds and engaging in combat that offers a greater degree of freedom and flexibility, it all comes together in ways that showcase the game’s exuberant and charming adventure across the galaxy.

With your squad, led by Mario and joined by other Nintendo characters and Rabbids, you maneuver the team across a battlefield to plan out your attack on the opposing forces. By taking advantage of terrain, enemy placement, and the myriad skills your team has—such as Mario’s energy blasters, Rabbid Peach’s rocket launcher, or Luigi’s long-range bow-and-arrow strikes—you can come up with a complex set of plans to take down your foes.

Sparks of Hope Associate Producer Quentin Correggi told Ars he believes that pairing these opposite franchises brings out some unique qualities to both, creating something that feels original.

“Working on [Mario + Rabbids] really enables us to do something never done before with Mario and other Nintendo characters,” Correggi said. “The whole [Mario + Rabbids] franchise is not just about getting these characters together, but about their two worlds colliding, too. That union of the whimsical Nintendo world and the very chaotic world of the Rabbids enables us to do much [with the heroes]. You see that in each setting in this game, too, which shows the variety and what players love about this crossover we’ve put together.”

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

TECH'S NEWS RELATED

Blacklisted: Carlos Rodriguez reportedly forced to sell G2 Esports shares by Riot

Photo via Riot Games Carlos Rodriguez has been blacklisted by Riot Games and is being forced to sell his shares in G2 Esports, according to Esportmaniacos. Rodriguez recently stepped down as the CEO of G2 after he posted a video of himself partying with known misogynist and alleged human ...

View more: Blacklisted: Carlos Rodriguez reportedly forced to sell G2 Esports shares by Riot

Terra Invicta Early Access Review

An ambitious but overwhelming alien invasion strategy game.

View more: Terra Invicta Early Access Review

RuneScape's Fresh Start Worlds event that levels the playing field for everyone is live

RuneScape Mobile’s much-awaited update that was announced last month is out now. Named Fresh Start Worlds, this new event does exactly what it says on the tin, it gives newcomers and veterans alike a chance to relive RuneScape’s magic all over again. It’s not exactly a reboot but in ...

View more: RuneScape's Fresh Start Worlds event that levels the playing field for everyone is live

Halo Infinite support studio has spent two years making "something big and new for the franchise"

"Close to 100 developers" are working on an unannounced addition to Halo Infinite

View more: Halo Infinite support studio has spent two years making "something big and new for the franchise"

Return to Monkey Island Walkthrough - Full Game Hard Mode - IGN

In this Return to Monkey Island walkthrough we complete the entire game on hard mode. 00:00 Prelude An Unexpected Story Begins 13:27 Part 1 A Friendly Place 01:18:31 Part 2 A Dangerous Journey 02:02:27 Part 3 Return to Monkey Island 02:40:49 Part 4 Things Get Complicated 04:28:07 Part 5 ...

View more: Return to Monkey Island Walkthrough - Full Game Hard Mode - IGN

Final Fantasy Tactics Content Is Coming To Brave Exvius

Earn free rewards by logging into Final Fantasy Brave Exvius.

View more: Final Fantasy Tactics Content Is Coming To Brave Exvius

The Last of Us HBO Series Receives Debut Trailer, Coming 2023

A new trailer shows several characters, locations, and scenes that fans of the game will recognize, and offers glimpses of new additions.

View more: The Last of Us HBO Series Receives Debut Trailer, Coming 2023

Netflix Opens New Games Studio

Netflix has established a brand new games studio in Helsinki, Finland. To help further the media giant’s position in the gaming industry, Netflix has established a brand new studio, which will operate from Helsinki, Finland. This decision comes after the team recently purchased several additional firms for its flourishing ...

View more: Netflix Opens New Games Studio

Big Darkest Dungeon 2 update introduces progression system and hero 'memories'

Feature: How Accessibility Options Help Disabled Gamers Beat The Last of Us: Part I

The 10 most expensive shoes in GTA Online, and how much they cost

Where to find Hunter Slime in Slime Rancher 2

How to craft the Grounded Axe Level 2 insect axe

5 Video Games That Let You Have a Family

Will Omega Strikers be on consoles? Answered

Genshin Impact's 2022 Concert is set to hit YouTube next week

Netflix Opens Its Own Game Studio in Finland

Dead by Daylight: Team Reveals Anti-Cheating Plans

How to get the Reactive Pulse mod in Destiny 2 and what it does

Uncharted Waters Online: Latest Chapter in Seven Wonders Saga Now Available

OTHER TECH NEWS

;