Although Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope builds on the core idea of its predecessor, Kingdom Battle, its formula also features some big changes. In particular, Sparks of Hope completely transforms the flow of combat, removing the grid-based movement and strict action economy of Kingdom Battle to incorporate a wider variety of meaningful choices you can make for each character on their turn. The result is a combat experience similar to what you might find in a tabletop RPG like Dungeons & Dragons, where move economy (all available moves) and action economy (all possible actions) influence each other. .
Following the events of Kingdom Battle, Sparks of Hope sees Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Beep-0, and their new Rabbids friends teaming up to defeat a mysterious monster known only as Cursa. To do so, they will have to team up with various Sparks, a fusion of Lumas and Rabbids, and travel to a variety of planets throughout the galaxy, where they will meet and also team up with Rabbid Rosalina, Bowser. , and a mysterious Rabbid who only goes by Edge. Like its predecessor, Sparks of Hope is a turn-based strategy adventure game, where heroes and villains take turns moving through a separate arena and shooting at each other.
Tuve la oportunidad de jugar tres horas de Sparks of Hope en un evento de vista previa, que incluyó el prólogo del juego, el primer mundo y un mundo posterior a la mitad del juego. Realmente disfruté mi tiempo con Sparks of Hope: la dirección mucho más cinematográfica de la trama y la mayor personalización de los Rabbids inyectan mucho encanto divertido en la historia. Me gusta especialmente Rabbid Peach, cuyo actor de doblaje hace un trabajo maravilloso al gotear la energía de una chica mala hilarantemente estereotipada en cada línea, pero la eternamente deprimida y perezosa Rabbid Rosalina también es divertida. Beep-0 es un poco molesto, y en base a su personalidad de sabelotodo, creo que eso es exactamente lo que buscan Ubisoft Milan y Ubisoft Paris, pero por lo demás me gustan mucho todos los personajes que aparecen.
Pero lo que realmente me llamó la atención fue la jugabilidad, que enfatiza la importancia del movimiento en el combate táctico. En la mayoría de los casos, los juegos de estrategia por turnos separan la economía de movimiento y la economía de acción. Cada personaje tiene una colección de acciones que puede realizar, así como una cantidad limitada de movimiento por turno. Y aunque una economía puede afectar a la otra, como un personaje que se mueve hacia un enemigo para ponerlo al alcance de un ataque, las dos generalmente no se mezclan. Cuando se mezclan, casi siempre es en forma de acción que complementa el movimiento, como un ataque que acerca a un personaje a su objetivo, o una habilidad que hace que un personaje sea invisible. Sin embargo, es más raro que en este tipo de juegos el movimiento influya en la economía de acción, lo que te permite realizar acciones especiales al moverte. Esto resulta en mucho de juegos tácticos por turnos donde el movimiento es la parte más aburrida del combate, ya que es la forma de ir del punto A al punto B.
Cuando hablé con el productor asociado de Mario + Rabbids Spark of Hope, Quentin Correggi, me dijo que el equipo de desarrollo recibió muchos comentarios positivos con respecto a la economía de movimiento de Kingdom Battle. Y así, cuando llegó el momento de hacer una secuela, el equipo decidió redoblar esfuerzos y desarrollarla más.
“La gente realmente disfrutó todo lo que podías hacer durante tu movimiento”, me dijo Correggi. “En Kingdom Battle, creo [movement] was what really set us apart from other games: you could do a lot in your movement phase. You could dash at enemies, team jump, grab a pipe, [hide behind] cover, cover a lot of ground, etc., has always been at the core of our combat experience.”
Sparks of Hope ditches grid-based movement, creating more opportunities to use your movement creatively. On their turn, all characters can move, use pipes, jump from allies to float elsewhere, dash through an enemy to damage and trip them, parkour over low cover, and hide behind cover. Various characters also have unique move actions. Mario, for example, can go into a slow-motion bullet time while airborne to shoot two targets with his twin pistols, and Edge can be upgraded so he can pull off three runs in one move. Additionally, Salvaged Sparks can be equipped to your characters, unlocking even more abilities for your characters on top of what they can already do (like adding fire damage to a board).
And since there’s no order of operations in the action economy, you have a surprising amount of agency each turn in how and when you use your move. If you want, you can move to go through an enemy, use an item, and then move again to jump from an ally and move to a new spot, finally attacking. And you can change who you’re leading at any time, increasing the vast possibility of strategies you can pull off in a single turn of combat. You do not have total freedom, as there are some limitations within this framework that you will have to consider. First of all, even if each character can take whatever actions they want and in whatever order they want, they are limited to only two actions per turn. And second, once a character performs his attack action, he can no longer use any of his movement. However, a character can still use his full movement economy after using an item, his special technique, or one of his two Spark abilities.
As Correggi explains, that second rule is to ensure that players continue to prioritize taking cover as part of the tactical experience of combat. Originally, the game didn’t have that second consideration, allowing players to easily direct their characters out of cover to attack enemies and then retreat back into cover in the same turn, unintentionally transforming strong close-range fighters like Peach. . and battle Rabbid Mario, armed with gauntlets, to turn them into devastating hit-and-run specialists.
“Positioning has to be a very strong commitment,” Correggi said. “You need it to be part of the strategy. If you can only move, attack and go back, then there is no meaningful option. We realized that we need to put limits … So we fixed it and in the end we came up with the situation that we have now , which works great because you’re already free to move around and use your Spark. [your character’s] technique, its items, you can still move after using them. The real commitment is your attack. You really need to think about where you’re going to attack.”
I like this structure as it encourages you to pay more attention to the type of movement options you have first. That’s where real-time items really come into play, as many allow you to use your movement to attack enemies. Running through a Bob-omb will light its fuse, for example, giving you very little time to pick it up and throw it before it explodes. It’s a risky move, but one that gives you an additional area of effect attack. Some stages also have elemental hazards, such as fans that will intermittently turn on and blow any unprotected creatures off the map and into oblivion. In those cases, your movement is tied to both your survival and your enemy’s: you need to watch out for zealots on your turn, and be aware of how you can move around the map for zealots to take down your opponent.
The increased movement economy isn’t the only big change in Sparks of Hope. The game also starts when you have a wider choice of characters to choose from. Kingdom Battle sees you start out with just Mario, Rabbid Peach, and Rabbid Luigi, with more characters joining your party throughout the story. But in Sparks of Hope, you can build your party of playable characters from an initial group of six (Mario, Luigi, Peach, Rabbid Mario, Rabbid Luigi, and Rabbid Peach) and unlock a seventh option, Edge, after completing both the prologue and the first zone. You simply have many more options before.
“We wanted to give the player that freedom and agency as soon as possible,” Correggi said. “So it was really important for us to give as much as possible, but just to make sure the player didn’t get overwhelmed. That’s why, for example, at the beginning of the game, you only control two characters instead of the standard 3. It’s perfect because you still have the synergies between your two characters, but at least the number of skills and actions you can perform and the complexity between them, the depth is reduced a little bit. So you can properly incorporate and familiarize yourself with your characters and the rules of combat”.
It’s a lot to keep track of and experiment with, but man, does it all make for an insanely fun game that I can’t wait to fully play. Each battle felt like an opportunity to switch things up and try something new to further refine how I make the most of my movement and each character’s unique skill set; even after the full three hours I had, I left the preview event. thinking about how he hadn’t had the opportunity to try absolutely every combination available. Sparks of Hope is definitely a game to watch and is coming to Switch on October 20.
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