Mario and Rabbids: Sparks of Hope Review-in-Progress Part 1
Mario and Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was a big surprise when Nintendo and Ubisoft announced it. A crossover of the Mario and Rabbids franchise? Who saw that coming? And it also turned out to be a really good game. So, when a sequel was announced, that was no surprise. Mario and Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is out later this week and we received a review copy late last week. Our review isn’t ready yet, but here is what we think of the game so far! Is it as good or better than the first game?
Mario and Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is a tactical turn-based action rpg staring Mario and his friends, plus Ubisoft’s wacky Rabbids. It’s the sequel to Mario and Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. If you’ve never played Kingdom Battle, don’t worry. The story isn’t connected to the first game and all the gameplay is clearly explained. You can play Sparks of Hope even if you never played Kingdom Battle. And best of all is that Sparks of Hope is a much better game!
Don’t get us wrong: Kingdom Battle was a very good game. That said, Ubisoft takes the franchise to the next level with Sparks of Hope. The strategy battle system is similar to the first game with some cool additions such as the ‘sparks’ in the title. We’ll talk about the battle system more in a future review-in-progress. For now we want to talk about the biggest difference between the two games and that’s just how much more open Sparks of Hope is.
When not in combat, you have big open areas to explore. Its not just outside either. You can go into houses, caves, and other places too. Sparks of Hope offers several open worlds to explore and even when you’ve completed the main mission on each planet, theres still a bunch more things to do. Its so amazing. There are tons of things just scattered around the planets. Its very easy to get sidetracked. And special exploration powers help you get around the map even more.
You’ll gain powers that you can use outside of battle to help in your exploration, such as a sonic ability that helps you remove obstacles from your path. It’s a pretty cool power and I just found another outside of battle power that I don’t want to spoil. Its so awesome though. I love how the game gives you plenty of things to do outside of battle: finding coins, throwing penguins, exploring hidden areas, and much more!
Sparks of Hope is an impressive game so far. We haven’t completed it yet, but the scope of the game is epic, bringing in the combat you expect with neat twists and a massive amount of exploration and an interesting story.
If you loved Kingdom Battle, then you’ll love Sparks of Hope too. If you’ve never played Kingdom Battle, then you should check out Sparks of Hope anyway. Ubisoft has created something really special with Sparks of Hope: a game that’s full of strategy but also lets you explore amazing planets. We will continue to play Sparks of Hope and have another review-in-progress soon!
A digital code was provided for this review. Mario and Rabbids: Sparks of Hope will be out on October 20th, 2022 at retail and in the Nintendo Switch eshop!