Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope preview and our exclusive interview with Ubisoft

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope preview and our exclusive interview with Ubisoft

A day after sharing the new update at the Nintendo Direct Mini event, tonight Ubisoft hosted a special demo for Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope. We happened to have the opportunity to watch the demo beforehand via a separate invite, so now we can finally talk more about the game, including an exclusive interview with producer Xavier Manzanares.

Thrilling new tactical adventure game

As a continuation of the Kingdom Battle series, it turns out Mario + Rabbit Hope Sparks is closer to a spiritual sequel, and now comes with all kinds of big changes. Ubisoft still calls it a “tactical adventure” game, combining real-time elements and strategy as its main focus. In the game, you will travel with Mario and friends across a galaxy ravaged by the Kusa invasion on an epic adventure while helping the inhabitants of various planets and saving creatures named Sparks who play an important role throughout the game.

Unlike the Kingdom Battle series, the developers hope to make the combat crazier than most turn-based games through various creative systems. For example, they removed the cursor and grid on the battlefield, giving players more freedom to control their characters each turn. Sparks also play an important role in the game, and you can harness the power of their elements to maximize your fighting style and unlock new tactical options.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope preview and our exclusive interview with Ubisoft

Don’t forget that each character has its own special trick that is always useful in any situation, especially if you can execute it at the best of times. Some of these abilities include support skills that can deal maximum damage to enemies. Victory in each battle gives you experience to strengthen your character, including unlocking more special and passive skills, which have been packaged in a special skill tree.

In addition to brand new gameplay, hopefully Sparks brings a wider range of level designs this time around. So different from Kingdom Battle, which takes you from one battle to the next without multiple pauses, now players really have the opportunity to explore the planet freely, like playing a 3D Mario that has always had exploration as the main element Same game. In Sparks of Hope, you’ll be transported to planets with unique atmospheres, and on each planet you can do a variety of activities, from following the main story to helping the inhabitants complete interesting side quests.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope preview and our exclusive interview with Ubisoft

Don’t miss the game also brings some very interesting new characters. One of the most notable is Rabbid Rosalina, especially since her character has become so lazy and so different from the original Rosalina. After that, there is a Rabbid character named Edge, who does have a design for Edgy, but it can also be seen that he is a powerful frontline fighter. Another surprising character who later joined Team Mario was Bowser, a decision he was forced to make as they faced a more extreme source of danger this time around.

Summary of our interview with producer Xavier Manzanares

After the presentation, we also got an exclusive 15-minute interview with producer Xavier Manzanares. Unfortunately, we can’t ask all the questions we want, but at least this interview still provides a lot of interesting insights into the game, especially during the past few years in development.

First, we asked Xavier how the team came up with some unique and ambitious ideas compared to previous series. He then explained that they were always driven to bring an element of surprise, which felt like a necessity for the realization of this project. In early 2018, he joined the Ubisoft Milan team for a direct discussion with Davide Soliani, who exchanged views on what makes the game different, while maintaining the DNA of the Mario + Rabbids series itself.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope preview and our exclusive interview with Ubisoft

The space theme brought to the game came when they felt the concept could be very epic and cool for Sparks of Hope, especially since they could also take elements solidly built from the Mario Galaxy series. From there, they finally figured out what kind of gameplay and combat system they want to develop. An overhaul of what was built in Kingdom Clash was considered, but the developers decided to bring something new and make the project even more effective with an element of surprise. Xavier explained the discussion process, which was “wonderful” for every aspect of the game, including Spark design and their involvement throughout the story. All of these processes he describes are like peeling an onion.

Rather than following specific feedback or simply overhauling Kingdom Battle’s build, the developers wanted to bring many new approaches, such as a combat system with smoother action elements. The decision to remove the cursor and grid was ultimately met with positive responses, including reinforcing the humorous element of the game by bringing Bowser to the main roster and watching him interact with the rabbit. Being able to bring Bowser into the game was no easy task, as the development team had to always coordinate with Nintendo, who was really involved, throughout the project, especially when it came to greenlighting the many new elements they wanted to bring to the game. game.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope preview and our exclusive interview with Ubisoft

We also asked about Xavier’s experience working with a bigger team than Kingdom Battle. He said it’s something they should be able to get used to, especially now that Xavier is in the lead producer position and has to connect the big team with Nintendo. They’re not alone, as Spark of Hope was developed in collaboration with several different studios, which of course required more coordination. All of this has nothing to do with COVID-19, which still has a huge impact on the development process like most other game developers in the world. Although it’s been a big challenge, he’s still very happy with the progress they’ve made so far.

After that, we asked again about the gameplay going on, especially now that there are a lot of new elements and the combat is real-time. Most of what Xavier said covers what the game has shown so far, but an interesting fact about Spark is how the developers decided that players could only use one Spark per battle. But they ended up upgrading the slot in half, which ended up creating a completely different feel. The rest of Xavier also discusses how Spark plays a very important role in providing active and passive rewards in combat, as well as various other tweaks, through the addition of the Auto-Field feature.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope preview and our exclusive interview with Ubisoft

Lastly, we also wanted to learn more about how Ubisoft got famous composers Gareth Coker and Yoko Shimomura involved in their project. Xavier then replied that the reason for this was the desire to incorporate artistic elements into the game, so they ultimately wanted to hire a new composer to work with lead composer Grant Kirkhope. Of course, since each composer’s style is different, Ubisoft has given a more specific musical direction to the Mario series itself and the space theme that Spark of Hope carries. Xavier went on to say that they managed to create all kinds of amazing soundtracks and can’t wait for fans to hear them.

Well, that’s it for the brief preview summary and our interview with Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope. Thanks to Ubisoft for this opportunity, hopefully we can participate in early hands-on sessions before the game launches.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is scheduled to release exclusively on Nintendo Switch on October 20. The game itself will be available in three editions, starting with Standard, Cosmic, and Gold, which will also provide access to future Season Pass content.And for all players who do pre order Will be rewarded in the form of the Megabug weapon pack. Not to be missed, you can purchase additional items in the form of two figurines of Rabbid Mario and Rabbid Peach through the official Ubisoft Store: counter.

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