Mario has certainly had his own fair share of crazy adventures over the years. He’s saved a princess more times to count, been a part of many sports games, and saved the galaxy multiple times. The same can also be said about the Rabbids who also had their fair share of wacky adventures. However, if someone were to tell me that these two franchises crossed over together to make a fun tactical based role-playing game where in the sequel Mario duel wields blasters then I would say, “That sounds bizarre” which is what most people say about the Rabbids, but I’m happy to say that this sequel to an unexpected collaboration has led to a very good game.
The story of the game takes place after the events of Mario+Rabbids Kingdom Battle. Mario, Luigi, Peach, their Rabbid counterparts and the robot Beep-o are celebrating their victory in the Mushroom Kingdom. However, their celebration is interrupted when suddenly, a Spark crash lands into the kingdom. Just before the crew can figure out why the Spark is there a new enemy appears in the form of Cursa a giant being that is controlling a symbiotic substance called the Darkmess which it uses to take over the galaxy. After a tutorial mission that goes over the gameplay, Mario and his friends escape from Cursa with the Spark. After their escape they proceed to analyze the Spark and discover that it’s a combination of a Rabbid and a Luma one of Rosalina’s star creatures from the Super Mario Galaxy series. They also discover that these Sparks are the only thing standing between Cursa and the complete takeover of the galaxy which is why Cursa is hunting them down. Once they make these discoveries, the crew’s goal becomes clear which is to find Rosalina so that they can find out more about the Sparks, rescue all the Sparks, and save the galaxy from Cursa and her Spark Hunters.
The combat of this game is easy to understand once the player gets used to the mechanics. This game is a turn-based action role playing game. At the start of the game the player is given 6 out of 9 playable characters who each have their own special abilities. The player is only given two-character slots but later are given three by the end of the first world. Each character on the players team is also allowed to equip one of thirty Sparks which will later become two Sparks by the end of the second world. The Sparks each have their own abilities that give specific support/elemental abilities that the player can use to exploit enemy weaknesses. The basic combat of the game is divided into three different types of moves: 1) the basic attack which is the character’s main attack ability, 2) the Spark buff which can buff characters or their attacks once per turn, and 3) the special ability which is the super move of the character. All of these attack and support abilities can be upgraded to make their attacks and Spark buffs even more powerful and effective in combat.
The game has five different explorable planets that each have their own unique enemies and quests. There are the main story quests, but also side missions that involve interesting and unique side characters. There are also some quests that involve the game picking the team for you which is a great way to try out characters the player never used, and many secrets, puzzles, and races to find around the different maps. The puzzles aren’t completely challenging and are very rewarding.
The game has different forms of currency that can be gathered from both exploration and clearing battles. The gold coins can be used to purchase items that can be used in battles, collectables that add to the overall story and gameplay, and weapon skins that change the color of the weapons each character uses. The gold coins can also restore teammates health before and after battle. There are also multicolored stars that are used to level up the Sparks abilities.
The Graphics of this game have been improved compared to its predecessor. Each character is much more polished, and the animations are smoother especially when playing in handheld mode. I enjoyed how bright the colors were on both the characters and the different worlds that can be visited. This helped each world stand out from the beach island paradise world called Beacon Beach to a world that’s set in the season of fall called Palette Prime.
Overall, I had a very fun time playing and exploring the worlds in this game. It was very charming, and it had a lot of funny humor. What makes the game even better is that anyone could play this game regardless of if they’ve ever played the first one. The game is also very friendly to those who haven’t played tactical role-playing games by having the ability to change the enemy AI settings that way anyone from any age can play this game which makes it much more accommodating. The only downside of this game is the map layout because the map isn’t clear as to where you have been and what area you need to go to in order to get to where you need to go. However despite the map layout it didn’t stop me from enjoying the game and I am grateful for being introduced to this wacky, but fun franchise.
Score: 9 out of 10
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch