In the Ubisoft Italy offices we tried Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, the new exclusive wait for the Nintendo Switch from Ubisoft Milan.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was the classic underdog story I made. Since the unforgettable presentation at E3 2017, with HM King Shigeru Miyamoto on stage and David Soliani in tears in the audience, everything fits perfectly to ensure that Ubisoft Milan (And Paris) managed to achieve great success, but also with the audience. The ten million people the game has reached also pretend.
As soon as work on the popular DLC starring Donkey Kong closed, a new phase in studio life for Milan (and Paris) began: with the spotlight on it and the well-deserved trust from Nintendo and the parent company behind it, the pressure to create a follow-up to Kingdom Battle should be high.
Sulliani’s ambitions too, Christina Nava However, their partners were on high, and rather than settle for a sequel to Cliffiana memoria (bigger, better, and more badass), Ubisoft Milano chose to target the stars.
thanks for the Mario + Rapids Sparks of Hope Test Which we were able to do in the Ubisoft Italy offices, we were able to begin to experience many of the innovations presented in this ambitious second semester. Let’s find out which ones.
Super Mario (+ Rapids) Galaxy
The first thing you notice in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is the fact that Ubisoft Milan, like inspiration In general, he only chose Super Mario Galaxy. From a Wii masterpiece, Soliani’s team certainly stole the structure of levels that, even in this case, are planets, as well as some of the main co-stars: in fact, Sparks is a perfect fusion between Mario’s Sfavillotti and rabbis. , while Rabbid Rosalina is, well, self-explanatory. The new ‘Princess is a bit’ the antithesis of Rapid Beach: If the latter is always in a good, boisterous mood, the new playable character is definitely less energetic,’ jokes Ubisoft Milan’s first co-producer Kristina Nava, ‘We’re All Monday Morning’.
Despite this, hmm spark The real stars of the whole production. Not only because they named this second chapter, but also because they are a symbol of the collaboration between Ubisoft and Nintendo. We’ve been told their design, in fact, comes from a joint venture between the French company and Big N, and is always very careful about how they use all their intellectual property. Not to mention Mario.
However, the great co-producer told us how a Nintendo product has always been A healthy and constructive relationship Which has never led to conflicts between the parties, although the Rapids are always (delicious) tough, very far from the composure of almost all the characters of the Kyoto giant. Yes Wario, we’re referring to you.
We are the first to be gods Nintendo lovers And we want to be loyal and in tune with his characters,” Nava repeated, “that is why we knew what limits we could not cross.” A statement that we did not find difficult to believe, given that among the ranks of Ubisoft Milan now there are many former journalists who have contributed to Nintendo deployed teams in Italy with the NRU as Davide Soliani himself, but also Andrea Babich, Ugo Laviano, Claudio Magistretti and others.
So references and citations to the Mushroom Kingdom come naturally, even if in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope we notice more desire to try to engage more people, with quotes Outside of Ubisoft and Nintendo like the flow of guidance, the desire to try and create a legacy of unpublished characters, situations, and stories.
It is no coincidence that it begins exactly at the end of the battle of the kingdom: Mario and the Rapids are about to enjoy the well-deserved rest after saving the world, when a new catastrophe comes that will disturb the Mushroom Kingdom and will force our heroes to do so. galaxy travel In order to defeat the new threat.
Thanks to this excuse, the development team will take the team around the planets scattered around the Marisk Galaxy. A clever narrative choice that allows the team to simplify their lives thanks toLinear Planetary ExplorationThis, however, introduces an element of exploration and diversity within it. In fact, each new orb will be freely exploreable and will allow the player to choose whether to go directly to the final boss or devote himself to various secondary missions, which is useful for gathering resources and experience.
No more grilling
From the point of view Play The biggest novelty in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is the abandonment of the square grid, which is a key element not only of Kingdom Battle, but also of all turn-based strategies. The purpose of Ubisoft Milano is to abandon an exotic and typical element of a niche genre, to make the gameplay more dynamic, fast and exciting. Much more Mario in 3D than XCOM.
change that Doesn’t change the backbone of all Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hopebut it definitely changes perception and usage, because you will never be in your hands, because between the Bob-ombs to be collected and thrown and the team jumping to direct, there will be something to do even once the transformation has begun.
the others Ads They will become more visible as the game progresses. Unlike Kingdom Battle, in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, the different characters won’t change weapons during the game and you’ll be instantly more specific. Mario has a double whammy, Mario Rabbid is a force close, Luigi from afar, Rabbid Peach is a wizard, while the real princess protects her companions.
To ensure diversity and sense of progress During the game, Ubisoft Milano decided to take advantage of the Sparks and introduce a more complex and deeper skill tree. Genetically modified Luma is able to grant unique abilities to weapons and characters: there are those that increase damage and others that grant basic power to weapons, those that heal and those that enhance chips. Pairing them with specific heroes seems to be the most sensible option: Edge (the new Rabbid Emo), for example, is an expert in sliding and the spark that enhances this move seems to be the most effective option, but you can also try out new combos, just to enjoy the flexibility of gameplay .
Before every fight, in fact, they can Freely redistribute all experience points It was set until then, not only to give players the opportunity to enjoy all the options, but also to model the team based on the enemies they encounter. Before each battle, in fact, you can explore the level and study each enemy in the field until you arrive prepared: there is no point in having many electric sparks if the enemies are resisting this element.
The rest of the game structure has remained virtually unchanged: you can explore the level in search of useful items to solve simple environmental puzzles that fragment progression, or steps to reach those areas of the planet that seem inaccessible. Meanwhile, you can collide with the enemies that are scattered in the area: by doing so, you will be taken to an independent and closed area where the actual combat will take place.
Here you will find the classic elements of the series, such as tubes To quickly move from one point to another on the map, vertical development to use to your advantage or types of tasks to complete to beat the task.
Snow fell to the ninth degree
Another element that immediately catches the eye is the aesthetic component. Although the development team is the same, the console has more than 5 years of age and the graphics engine is always Snowdrop, and Ubisoft Paris (and Milan) managed it Click on the old Nintendo flagship. Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope retains the style and setting of the Kingdom Battle, but is incredibly richer in details, special effects, and clips.
All with a more complex world to count, created to be explored in 360 degrees and with many other variables to manage, such as facing side quests or not, or having powers equipped instead of others.
this is level of detail Bigger everything allows Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope to have more character than in the past, to tell a story in a more epic and cinematic way, to give greater depth to the different characters, without sacrificing the funny humor that pervaded this crazy union between the Mushroom Kingdom and the crazy Rabbids.
At the moment, we do not express ourselves in the audio sector, except by noting the presence of dubbing in Italian for part of the dialogues: the music of the trio of wonders formed by Grant Kirkhop, Yoko Shimomura and Gareth Cocker They deserve to be heard with due attention, which is something that cannot be done at a press event for many reasons.
Testing conducted by Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope showed how Ubisoft Milano studio has matured in recent years. If the action of Kingdom Battle was the first act that also surprised him thanks to the fact that he arrived a little quietly, then this second chapter has more pressure on him and it will not be easy to meet all expectations. Instead of a conservative sequel, the Milan studio has chosen to change the structure of the gameplay, giving more freedom of movement, options and possibilities to players, who will experience an adventure more epic and complex than in the past. to improve? It’s too early to say, but we’ll have to wait a bit, as Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope arrives exclusively on Nintendo Switch on October 20.
- Enhanced gameplay
- More freedom and flexibility
- Technically Fantastic
- Will he be able to maintain high expectations?
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