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Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope – Things The Sequel Does Better Than Kingdom Battle

GameRant 11/28/2022 Jessica Lynn Radcliffe
© Provided by GameRant

Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is the long-awaited sequel to the ever-popular combination of the worlds of Mario and the Rabbids. As with the first installment in the series, players will form their teams of three characters that must include Mario and one Rabbid; however, this time, their journey is quite a bit different as they must embark on an intergalactic journey to save the entire galaxy from utter destruction, leaving the Mushroom Kingdom behind.

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While the world expected Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope to be different from its predecessor, no one realized exactly how massive those changes would be. Many have touted the sequel to be exceptionally better in terms of gameplay mechanics and other features. Here's a look at what it does better than Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle.

No More Movement Grids Or Limitations During Turns

Gone are the days of players being locked into the movement grid while in battle. Instead, they can move each of their characters freely within their range, opening an array of possibilities for combat options, including real-time strategy. They're also no longer limited in the number of movements they can make. In Kingdom Battle, each character was allowed one move.

While performing a team jump still requires characters to move within range of one another, it no longer uses up their move in Sparks of Hope. Additionally, the free movement adds more real-time actions to the characters' turns. Players must make decisions based on limited information, which is also a new feature of the game, but makes it much more like a Mario game.

Completely Revamped Overworld

In Kingdom Battle, the Overworld was structured linearly much like a traditional Mario title. The worlds players explored were broken down into distinct combat levels that followed a straight path, while its fixed camera focused on an isometric view of the gameplay. Players would progress from one level to the next with a few side quests mixed in, knowing exactly where they were going from beginning to end.

RELATED: Mario + Rabbids: Sparks Of Hope - Best Sparks To Equip To BowserSparks of Hope has completely revamped the entire system. The camera system has been replaced with a right-stick controlled third-person camera. The worlds are no longer linear and are instead vast RPG-style worlds featuring NPCs and quests. It is apparent that the game's development was heavily influenced by Super Mario Odyssey and not one of the traditional titles.

Sparks Boost The Gameplay Mechanics

One major advantage in Sparks of Hope was the addition of the Sparks. With the addition of their passive and active skills, characters can be seriously buffed. They can completely change the course of battle, guaranteeing a win for the player's team. While using their abilities will cost the player a turn, they can be extremely powerful and deal a lot of damage or protect the equipped character from receiving heavy damage.

Sparks can also be fully upgraded to increase the strength of their abilities. Providing them with star bits will allow the player to increase their levels. As the game allows players to review their enemies' weaknesses, they can use the appropriate Sparks to do the most damage, smashing through levels with ease. The more quickly their level up their Sparks, the more efficient they will be.

More Variety In Things To Do On Each Planet

While gameplay in the Sparks of Hope Overworld is not linear, it allows for greater exploration than in Kingdom Battle. Players will find there is so much more to do on each world in this game than there was in the previous installment. They'll spend their time collection green and blue coins, completing tactical challenges, and solving puzzles when not working on the main story.

RELATED: Mario + Rabbids Sparks Of Hope: All Beacon Beach Memory LocationsBy thoroughly exploring each world, they'll get hours of gameplay just on one planet. Completing all side quests is also encouraged as it leads to getting a Planet Key, which will unlock a chest with a new Spark inside. With everything that's hidden on each planet, there's absolutely no shortage of activities to do and not always a set order in which they need to be done, giving the player freedom of exploration.

Presentation Of Rabbid Lore And History

An interesting feature of the sequel is its focus on the Rabbids. Despite having Mario in the title, the game is not, in fact, about him for once. On each planet, players will find paintings depicting the history of the Rabbids, with a deeper look into who they are and where they come from.

Additionally, there are memory collectibles that will reveal Rabbid lore to the player as they are found that would not otherwise be revealed as part of the main story. So, for the players looking for an education on Rabbids and their history, Sparks of Hope offers plenty of it.

Alternative Healing Method

Depending on the quest or boss battle, Rabbid Peach may not be an option for players to add to their team. This leaves players relying heavily on their consumable items for healing purposes. When they ran out in Kingdom Battle, that was it, no more healing.

Sparks of Hope introduced another option for healing. Coins can now be used to heal party members. While the cost increases each time this method is used, if the player uses it strategically, it can be a real game-changer, potentially meaning the difference between life and death.

Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is available now on Nintendo Switch.

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