Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope

released on Oct 20, 2022

Team up with Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Rabbid Peach, Rabbid Luigi, and their friends on a galactic journey to defeat a malevolent entity and save your Spark companions. Explore planets throughout the galaxy as you uncover mysterious secrets and compelling quests!

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The strategy gameplay is more polished and as fun as before, but the game runs a little past its welcome, especially if you complete a decent amount of the optional content. The writing isn't bad, but its not nearly good enough for as much as there is.

It's weird; it was fun while I played but I stopped like halfway through. Now I have zero desire to play (exactly what happened with the first game).

I love a lot of the clever ways this streamlines fidgety norms of squad tactics games, and how the heroes provide distinctly different strengths and team compositions, and that the character leveling gives a decent number of rule-breaking abilities instead of just “10% more damage” type stuff. The slapstick writing is mostly pretty cute and rarely annoying, and the missions can get surprisingly challenging.
It’s a shame then, that this is a great 20-25 hour game that Ubisoft decided instead to make 40-50+ hours. For every minute of clever mission design that demands thoughtful squad choices and mid-mission maneuvering, there’s just as much time spent on the equivalent of old JRPG random field battles, 1-2 turn snores that require no thought and are just begging for a faster way to skip through all the animation and end battle screen overhead of each fight. There’s also an odd clumsiness to moving characters and aiming them at interaction items, ironic given Mario’s longtime reputation as a pioneer and standard-bearer of great 3D platforming game feel.
UbiBloat strikes again, but the underlying charm still shines through a decent bit.

Es un juego divertido, y esa es su mejor cualidad. Mi animadversión hacia los Rabbids no conoce límites, pero en este juego no te obligan a tener uno constantemente en tu equipo así que a tope. Mejora en todo al primero básicamente.

This game was fun. The gameplay loop was fun, with the boss fights being highlights. The characters are also fun; Luigi and Rabbid Rosalina especially are new favorites. Finally, the game is just the right length, being just enough before I got tired of it.