Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope review: per aspera ad Astrosamantha

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The Italian mustache points to the stars in every sense: will Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope arrive in review of the coveted ten of NRU?

Don’t bother dusting off our previous three specials dedicated to Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hopebecause we will better contextualize the above sentence only at the end of the review. Suffice it to say, however, that the tangible passion in the presentation of the game, in the tour of the offices of Ubisoft Milano and in the interview with Andrea Babich it is more than evident in the finished product. Whether it is well or badly placed, then, remains a matter of discussion for the next few lines. Even without going through the background of part of the development team in the trade press, however, a general note remains.

The Italian character of Mario, understood as a character, has recently been questioned by Nintendo. The plumber boasts an Italian name as much as his brother, yet for some mysterious reason he is canonically Japanese. Whatever they say about the conception that Kyoto carved in marble for his hairy-lipped hero, this incarnation of the character and the world of him is purely Italian. Without ifs and buts. It is our compatriots who have recreated a world, or rather a universe, around the original vision of the face of the Great N. And sorry if it is little.

Super Mario Galaxy 3 to honor

If there is perhaps only one aspect of Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope that makes us turn up our noses a little, although it is mere fussiness, it is the narrative section of our review. The franchise is known (or rather, infamous) for its allergy to constant continuity, and this unfortunately is also reflected in one of the most successful spinoffs that the plumber can boast. There is a (very welcome) recap feature after the first few bars, but the game expects a certain familiarity with the new hybrid world (populated by inhabitants of the Mushroom Kingdom and hare counterparts) from the player. We will come to the aforementioned Memoirs later.

Be that as it may, the new threat is course, a dark creature from the darkest depths of the cosmos. And it is she who interrupts what promises to be a quiet day for Mario and his associates. Of course, the mustache and Rabbid Peach are the first to resolve the situation. Once the tutorial is complete, they are joined by the remaining (initial) heroes: Luigi, Rabbid Mario, Peach and Rabbid Luigi. The cursor (and audience surrogate) Beep-0 introduces us to the artificial intelligence that manages the spacecraft. Without introduction too, of course. If nothing else, the harmony of a well-constructed game world (between Rabbid and Spark) soon takes the place of the initial whiplash.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope review: per aspera ad Astrosamantha

A lot of meat on the fire, but without a grill – Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope review

And it is during the initial tutorial that the gameplay by Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope opens its wings, albeit without immediately taking flight (that will come later in the review). We take this opportunity to see how much they coexist in the game due anime, which coexist like water and oil. In case, we’re not alluding to the mustache and Lapins Cretins sharing the stage. Rather, our wink is all for the two opposing voices during our visit to the Ubisoft Milan studios. Some spoke of an upheaval, while others spoke of a much more harmonious continuation.

In reality, both are valid claims. One hand has definitely washed the other, and anything that could not convince the undecided about Kingdom Battle has been ousted. What worked, however, remained. For this reason, the fans of the grill they will have to get used to the idea that only a few crumbs remain during the clashes. Of course the news are many, but the first clashes only get us used to becoming familiar with the controls. Barring a few changes, from a more rounded range for the range of motion to combo jumps now more like glides, the essence remained the same.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope review: per aspera ad Astrosamantha

Tinkering with the Armory – Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope review

Looking critically at the differences between Kingdom Battle and this new sequel, it is evident what the development team considered youth mistakes and what not. The choice of weapons, first dependent on the characters and on covertly tailored strategies for the player, has completely set aside certain forcing. Beyond a buildable team as it sees fit in terms of characters, now everyone can manage only one. No secondary weapons, so. On the other hand, every offensive option (except classic blaster and turrets) of the predecessor makes its triumphant return.

We were talking about potential “mistakes of youth”. The random component of side effects now also leaves more room for the player’s free will. We are free to compose our strategies thanks to Spark, in equal parts creatures to be saved and tools for our progress, as equipping them during the clashes allows us to corroborate the effects of the weapons at will. There are constraints such as recharge times and any resistance to these effects, but the former can be circumvented by leveling up the various Sparks while the latter do not travel one-way. We too can be resistant (or vulnerable) to certain elements. Accessible and at the same time deeper: the Soliani team got it right.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope review: per aspera ad Astrosamantha

High Level Progress – Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope Review

The growth heroes, in a similar way, now also happens through level increase. Where the Sparks can be enhanced with Astroschegge Obtainable during the battles and in the exploration phases, the characters feed on the good old experience points. L’skill tree it has not been set aside: it is still there to increase the right parameters, from health to movement, passing through the functioning of the weapons and the skills related to the techniques. It is up to the player to decide what to prioritize and, therefore, on what to spend the Prisms included with each level increase. If nothing else, we can now give up on a single skill without resetting its entire branch.

Ironically, in its accessibility and the gradual introduction of strategic depths (we are initially limited in the number of sparks that can be equipped and heroes in one team), the game is also much more demanding. The player can still enjoy many more difficulty options compared to Kingdom Battle. While the predecessor made the extra hit points a true all-purpose patch, you can now choose between three Solomonic standards. And if the latter weren’t enough, you can also combine their settings to create a bespoke challenge rate for all tastes.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope review: per aspera ad Astrosamantha

From the water of combat to the oil of exploration – Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope

It’s not just the level increases that make you feel like you have a Role playing game. In the predecessor the battlefields were an integral part of the worlds design (penalizing it), but now the two are officially distinct scenarios. The clashes take place in small abstract dioramas, and consequently the worlds are free to be what they are: settings more alive than ever, through NPCs, shops and so on. The only enemies that appear in the overworld are our ticket to the next conflict. To accompany them, the level recommended to the player also peeps out.

As you may have guessed from the last sentence, not all fights are initially within our reach. The backtracking of its predecessor makes its return here too, although all the angles necessary to contextualize it have been rounded off. Beep-0’s ability to break new ground during the overworld stages, unlocked without explanation at the end of each Kingdom Battle world, is now a update obtained with a new Spark at the start of the next world. Exploration is encouraged here too, but compared to the previous chapter we have not run into obstacles to mark in pencil before the inevitable second visit.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope review: per aspera ad Astrosamantha

I remain wary in my wandering wandering – Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope review

Speaking of exploration, the to-do list has grown dramatically. The NPC they certainly do not come alone: ​​the side quests they overlap quickly. They can range from missions in which to purge an area ofOscutiferium, or viscous manifestations of Cursa’s power, to simple favors to be done without a fight. Even green coins, to be collected in even more rapid succession than their red counterparts, and (unexpectedly) also minigames.

Fortunately, the map allows you to keep an eye on any possible progress left unfinished. The mere fact that there is one is pure fresh air compared to the headaches brought on by the worlds of Kingdom Battle. To make everything even more attractive, however, thelist of missions. What derives from it is a more ambitious and full-bodied title in terms of content, with the various and possible means to obtain everything. Keeping track of the completion is therefore much easier, thanks to a good one legend on our map, to the aforementioned list and, last but not least, to a screen dedicated to total progress.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope review: per aspera ad Astrosamantha

For Completionists – Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope Review

It goes without saying that i you have completed they will be curious to know what this means for the approach to the game. Going through entire worlds (perhaps more compact than the very long pseudo-corridors of Kingdom Battle) through the sieve is no small feat. To give a sense of proportion to the whole, just think that in the overworld proudly stand out flags to be used for the teleportation, not unlike Super Mario Odyssey. And just about the latter, there is one local currency. Emporiums use it to obtain the weapon skins (as having separate weapons with different effects now lacks meaning) and more.

Specifically, we also allude to keys to access additional secondary areas e Memory to be consulted in the menu next to that of the map. The latter offer no little backstory for the characters and the worlds they come from, translating into a management of the lore almost comparable to Dark Souls. Local currency can be obtained by completing side quests, but universal coins remain a staple. You can use them to be treated by Bot-Tegaio 9.99 + VAT (yes, that’s his name) before a battle or to buy instrumentsanother new entry with which to make up for their strategic shortcomings in the clashes.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope review: per aspera ad Astrosamantha

Ubisoft Forward – Review Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope

The all-Italian flavor of this product can be perceived in many small aspects. Beyond the illustrations at the corner in the loading screen (with a distinct Italian character, although perceptible only by a trained eye), even in the cutscenes (in greater number) there is a great desire not to get lost in anonymity. The animations of the characters, you can find them in the dialogues (like that “Did you know”, which we did not miss) and much more give the production a artistic vocation