Ubisoft Forward featured a bunch of new details for the upcoming Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, showing off new content from the game and building up to a big bossbattle with a Wiggler. The turn-based tactical adventure will be released for Nintendo Switch on 20th October 2022.
Three DLC are planned for the game over the coming year, and Ubisoft teased that the final one featuring a brand new hero character: Rayman!
With the Mario and Rabbids universes merged together, the Mushroom Kingdom’s heroes and their Rabbids alter-egos now have a new galactic threat to face in the form of Cursa. This malevolent force wants to capture all of the Sparks – the Rabbid version of Lunas – and drain them of their power, and she’s stolen Bowser’s army in order to do so. So Mario and chums hop into a spaceship to go and save the universe.
The Ubisoft Forward showcase gave us a deeper look at the gameplay and the planet of Terra Flora, such as how you’ll explore the world, chat to fun NPCs, solve environments puzzles and more. The point of this area is to get up to the top of a volcano, and you need to catch the Wiggler train to get there, building up to a boss battle.
Turn-based combat is still at the heart of the game, but it’s transformed from the first game. The grid-based battlgrounds are gone in favour of completely freeform movement, within a particular range from a character. This allows for greater fluidity in the strategic choices you make, mixing together different character abilities in freeform combos.
As previously revealed of the heroes have a specific weapon – Mario has double shot pistols, Rabbids Mario has techy boxing gloves, Luigi a sharpshooter bow that’s more powerful the further away he shoots from – as well as unique class-like techniques and the ability to use Sparks to unleash special attacks. There’s also new characters like Rabbids Rosalina, who is basically the exact opposite of regular Rosalina, her special technique putting people to sleep, while there’s an all new sword-wielding character called Edge, and Bowser’s (with his rocket launcher!) is teaming up with the good guys because he wants his army of minions back.
The gameplay walkthrough shows off how character synergies can beef up your damage potential and tactical options, how different Sparks can give you various abilities like invisibility, hovering after a jump, and more.
Grant Kirkhope is returning from the first game for the game soundtrack, but is joined by Gareth Coker and Yoko Shimomura for an almighty trio of composers. In fact, game director Davide Soliani’s so confident in them that he says “If our composers don’t get awards for this, I will change my job.” Quite bold!
Looking back on our review of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Dave said:
“As strange as Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle sounds on paper, there are some really good ideas in the mix. Having XCOM’s battle gameplay presented in a more light lighthearted fashion and greatly enhancing character movement are both excellent touches. It’s not perfect, but there’s a lot to like from this unlikely combination.”
You can read the full Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Review here.