Rayman is for everyone that of my generation, the 90s, almost an icon: we are not talking about Super Mario or Sonic, but about a character who conquered the role of protagonist in a really funny game of the same name, to the point that even the last chapter, which arrived almost everywhere, offered some ingenious ideas. If we talk about supporting actors, or rather, of extras, it must be said that i Rabbids instead they are unique in their kind, and all this is perceived even in Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, a game that makes them protagonists again.
A sort of ante-litteram minions, these funny characters have already appeared in this comic-hued crossover in Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, a game that despite laying the foundations for this new chapter, it is very different from the new adventure of Mario and companions made by Ubisoft (which we remember, he received permission from Nintendo to work on this game, and this alone could be a sort of loyalty stamp).
Let's start with the basics: after the events of Kingdom Battle, now Mario is ready to return to the adventure together with his companions and the Rabbids on a galactic journey. "Space" for the Super Mario saga means "Sfavillotti", which however find life here as fused with the Rabbids with the name of Spark, rather strange creatures that serve the villain on duty to acquire power.
Without even having it repeated twice, Mario and Co., together with the Rabbids in Nintendian colors, leave for defeat Cursa and restore peace to the galaxy. The game proposes a revamped gameplay, but on the basis of the previous one you will be able to exploit the 9 game characters, some Rabbids and some not, to counter the enemy forces in the 5 proposed worlds (if we exclude the initial, a kind of tutorial, and the ending).
The game offers a very "classic" main line of plot, which acts as a background to a fun and new adventure from the point of view of gameplay - at least in part. Many present secondary missions then, which thanks to the exploration will reveal themselves in front of you and allow you to carry out really fun tasks. Then there is no shortage collectable as useful as the Keys-Planet, to unlock crirps, and optional challenges such as Pools of Darkness: the latter, which are part of the special objects, can be purchased using the coins that the challenges (such as the Puddles) will give you.
In terms of plot, this time it seems that the Nintendo world is less present: let's not talk about the story - consider the vibes that Super Mario Galaxy that every now and then they feel - but precisely of presence in the various phases of the game, that if before they offered this strange dialogue between Mario and Rabbids, now it seems that the hand is inclined more towards these strange rabbits.
Il game system has made a couple of really striking changes: we are talking about a game system that, if before it offered movement boxes, now prefers a greater freedom and therefore a game system that at times could be less punitive.
We don't know if the change was made to open the doors to young people, but basically you will now be able to take advantage of some dynamics (both new like free movement, and old like team jumping) to have more movement e more margin for error.
La depth of play however - which we invite you not to judge in the first tutorial planet - increases when Sparks come into play: using these little creatures, (maximum two per character) you can confer powers different to your attacks, in order to expand the moves you can do (through passive bonuses and active skills). Therefore, if the movement (now free inside the action area), the slide and the team jump remain, now with the action points you can attack, use objects, use powers and use the Sparks.
In the course of your adventure in Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope you will be able to power up your characters (through the skill tree) and your Sparks (by improving their skills). The latter will be about 30, which is why the combinations of heroes and Spark will greatly expand the builds you can apply (choosing the best one for your play style).
Change is good (?)
The choice to move the gameplay towards something more permissive makes sense: the game is fluid, fun and flows well. Too bad for some comedic choice too forced and for the lack of presence of Mario (not in terms of time, but in terms of relevance in some phases), but otherwise we feel that Ubisoft has taken the trend of the previous game to move forward. Or maybe not.
The gameplay in fact, in an inversely proportional way, has decided to take a different path from the style of the original adventure, and you will notice this right away. Remain i shifts, the characters remain, but this total opening of the movement and the various clever combos make the game a great challenge, albeit slightly lower in difficulty than Kingdom Battle (at least in the initial stages).
The changing of the enemies, the increasingly structured combat and the secondary missions at one third of the game manage to resume the right rhythm, and all this turns into a really fun, enjoyable and hilarious experience.Review
- Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope (Tested on Switch) 8.5 Final grade
Mario and the Rabbids are back in this Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, a game that incorporates the aesthetic and interweaving style of the previous Kingdom Battle but offers new, fresh, agile and fast gameplay. Maybe too much for those who loved the old style, but trust us if we tell you that over time you will adapt to wonder. Maximum depth with the Spark system and the 9 playable characters, and the secondary ones (complete with currency to unlock other items) can give longevity to the title. Then get ready to laugh, as the Rabbids are back in style, ready to make you giggle with laughter.