Tactical RPGs can be depressing. While the gameplay is incredibly satisfying, its stories often revolve around political conflicts and various betrayals. This year alone, Square Enix has three tactical RPGs on the schedule: Triangle Strategy, The DioField ChronicleY Ogre Tactics: Reborn. But the combination of challenging gameplay and heavy themes can make the genre as a whole feel hard to wrap your head around.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hopethe product of the association of Nintendo and Ubisoft, it is the solution to the high barrier to entry of the tactical RPG genre.
make them laugh
The idea of a crossover game between Nintendo’s star plumber and Ubisoft’s wacky Rabbids isn’t an obvious match. Wilder still is the idea that it would be a game based on tactics. There are so many different pieces on the board that it shouldn’t work, but it does.
“Normally you’re not associating tactics and Rabbids,” said creative director Davide Soliani. Reverse.
but from 2017 Mario Kingdom Battle + Rabbids threaded the needle and was released to critical acclaim, still remaining one of the best tactical strategy games on the Nintendo Switch. During the development of kingdom battle as well as the upcoming sequel sparks of hopeSoliani says the team didn’t settle for making a good strategy game, but rather a welcoming one.
“So why are people sometimes afraid of tactical games? Mainly because of the color schemes, sometimes it’s because of the control schemes that are very complex.” Mario’s almost technicolor palette and hilarious Rabbids are the key to what makes Mario’s tactical gameplay sparks of hope go down as smoothly as you do.
It’s fun to watch and experience.
As strange as it sounds in the genre of perma unit death and tense decision making, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope causes laughter Choosing your target during combat causes said target to raise their hands in a cartoonish “You’ve got me!” pose and a shocked expression on their face until you decide to pull the trigger or spare them this turn.
The traditional comedic double act in entertainment is defined by the “straight guy/funny guy” dichotomy. The two feed off each other, acting as foils that send the comedy act to heights unattainable by just one of these archetypes. In sparks of hope, the cast of Mario are the straight men and the Rabbids are the funny men. Moments like Rabbid Peach taking time from climactic moments to do her hair are absurd, but they’re crafted with a perfect understanding of the comedic timing that always animates. Mario + Rabbids.
suitable for beginners
while the original Mario + Rabbids It was already an accessible game, sparks of hope seeks to take this even further and appeal to a larger audience. Weather sparks of hope it’s good to look at, accessibility only works if the game is equally easy to learn. kingdom battle it was a classic turn-based tactics game, and a sequel could easily have repeated this formula, but the team at Ubisoft wanted to improve what they had.
In sparks of hope combat occurs in turns in a battle setting, but unlike kingdom battle players can freely control characters within a set movement distance. Outside of combat, the game is more like traditional 3D. Mario game too, seamlessly blending exploration and battle. All of this makes combat feel faster and more active on the part of the player, while still retaining the tactical core.
To allow players to choose how they experience the game, there is a dialogue option in the first few minutes of sparks of hope which acts as a difficulty slider. This can be changed at any time to adjust to how players find combat at any given time.
sparks of hopeCombat is deceptively simple. Your party is made up of 2 or 3 characters and each character has some special actions. Easy enough. But as you unlock new systems, the interconnected network grows larger and larger, and bosses will require you to pay attention and learn how to use them if you want to play optimally. A new addition is the titular sparks, which act as equippable items that grant special abilities to party members.
This combination of mood and gameplay makes sparks of hope a worthy follow-up kingdom battle. However, the greatest joy of Solianis is when fans use these games as a starting point to enter the genre. He remembers a fan who told him that they had started playing XCOM after kingdom battle“That to me was the best compliment of all.”
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope It will arrive on Nintendo Switch on October 20, 2022.