One of the new features in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope are creatures known as Sparks, which provide a wide variety of bonuses to the player.
Nintendo and Ubisoft are no strangers to collaboration with one another. Over the past few years, the companies have worked together on a variety of projects including bringing special Star Fox content to the Switch version of the ill-fated toys-to-game title called Starlink: Battle for Atlas. However, that was just the tip of the iceberg as a year earlier, the two companies collaborated on a game that brought the Rabbids and Mario together inside a new title called Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle.
The turn-based title went on to become a big hit, as well as spotlighting Ubisoft game director Davide Soliani, and it wasn’t long before the two companies began working on a sequel. Originally introduced at the all-digital E3 2021, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope expanded the series even further by adding more characters like Rabbid Rosalina, Bowser, and a new character named Edge. Levels are also less linear and the grid-style combat system has been replaced entirely for something a little more free and open.
The recent Ubisoft Forward showcase also gave fans a brand-new look at the upcoming game, as well as an expanded deep dive into how the combat has evolved. While fighting a massive and angry Wiggler from a train, the footage goes over things like new enemy archetypes, combat abilities, as well as freedom of movement. However, the preview also showcased a new mechanic related to companion characters known as Sparks.
During the battle preparation phase of combat and after players select their heroes, players can equip any Sparks they’ve rescued so far. According to Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, Sparks are a hybrid species of Luma and Rabbids, come in a variety of colors and designs, and offer players certain bonuses or elemental abilities when equipped. Players can pick and choose from a variety of options while equipping two per hero.
Sparks in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope
- Starburst – A yellow colored Spark that increases teammate attack strength by 40%.
- Aquanox – Turquoise water Spark that gives the player Splash Attack, which is similar to the move Bounce from the previous game.
- Reflector – Utilizing a mirror-type object, equipping Reflector gives players the ability to send enemy attacks back at them.
- Exosphere – The black Spark with three shields, its ability is Fortify which reduces incoming damage by 35%.
- Glitter – A Disco-ball style Spark, Glitter has an attack called Gather ‘Round which attracts nearby enemies to attack that character and ignore others. Players may see similarities to the previous abilities, Magnet Dance and Magnet Groove from the Donkey Kong Adventure DLC.
- Toxiquake – This slimy green Spark uses Shockwave Ooze to poison nearby enemies.
- Ethering – A Spark that looks to be engulfed in blue fire, players gain the ability Unseen which makes the character invisible for a turn and prevents them from being targeted. Keep in mind that this doesn’t protect against splash damage or Super Effects.
- Vampdash – This purple Spark riding a leaf allows players to heal based on the damage they inflict to enemies, likely by dashing into them.
- Electroid – Infuses player weapons with the Shock Attack ability, causing electric damage.
- Pyrostar – its abilities aren’t confirmed yet, but it is expected that this Spark gives players the Fire Attack ability.
- Zephyrquake – This purple and white Spark can cast 3 gust shockwaves in a radius around the character. Enemies hit may also get flung backwards.
- Pyrogeddon – Riding a fiery cloud similar to the Monkey King or even the Nimbus Cloud from Dragon Ball, this Spark rains meteor storm down on foes.
- Regenesis – A Spark holding onto a ballon, this is a great support option as it regenerates 30% of a character’s maximum HP at the start of the next two turns.
- Electrogeddon – Riding a lightning cloud, this Spark rains down lightning on enemies below it.
- Cryobolide – This ice Spark gives players the Frostbite Attack, inflicting ice damage on enemies.
- Aquaquake – Similar to the other “quake” Sparks, this one casts 3 water shockwaves on nearby enemies.
Some additional Sparks have been identified but not named as of yet. These include a Baby Luma style Spark that is captured by the Darkmess as well as a cyan Spark that can rain an ice storm on enemies.
As Ubisoft has mentioned, each one provides an offensive bonus as well as protection from that particular element. Better yet, these Sparks can be equipped by any hero once unlocked, so players will have the freedom to completely mix and match their loadout to make each combat encounter feel unique. When these are combined with a selection of different weapons and new characters to pick from, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope appears to be giving fans plenty of options and allowing them to play how they want.
Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope will release on October 20, exclusively for Nintendo Switch.