Time is the enemy of any developer, especially when it breaks their game.
The team behind the latest collaboration with Ubisoft, Mario + Rapids sparks of hope, He wanted to push the boundaries of what role-playing strategy could be. So they’ve tried new mechanics, like Sparks, a new way of equipping that gives characters temporary special powers, like reversing attacks or inflicting poison damage.
Creative Director David Soliani says the team initially hoped to implement a spark that would allow players to control time, but soon realized it was too powerful, fundamentally changing the entire combat system. So it was unceremoniously canceled – just another casualty in the game’s ongoing cycle of balance.
“We worked in a balanced manner from day one to the last,” says Soliani. inverse. “The game cannot be broken all the time, otherwise we would have made a mistake on our part.”
New mushroom world
In 2017, Mario + Rapids Kingdom Battle The Mushroom Kingdom and the exotic rabbit mascots from Ubisoft have united in a whimsical RPG that shuts down opponents with its narrow gameplay, fun storyline, and deep customization.
Despite its many successes, kingdom battle It has some limitations. Movement in combat was strictly confined to a grid and the levels were very linear with little exploration. The sequel takes more risks, doing away with the grid system to allow players to explore entire, lush worlds filled with side quests, discoveries, and side quests.
“In order to do sparks of hope “We went back to the drawing board, and we changed a big part of it,” Soliani said. “We wanted to offer a new, relevant experience, because it’s easy to get into sequel mode. But in the end, you don’t bring anything new, which is a pity.”
Reinventing turn-based combat isn’t exactly easy. (There’s a reason the Pokémon series’ core gameplay has barely evolved from a “You take a turn, then you take a turn” episode in over two decades. But Soliani and his team focused on innovation, not doing more of the same. They just had to convince Nintendo that it was Good idea first.
“we prefer Surprise our players and make it full of dangers. “
Any project featuring Mario and other popular Nintendo characters is closely scrutinized by Nintendo. Convincing the Japanese developer that freedom of movement in a tactical genre was not easy, says Soliani. Without their previous success, Nintendo is unlikely to give the green light.
“We gained their trust,” says Soliani. “If we had started with this idea in 2014, we wouldn’t have been able to convince them.”
worlds sparks of hope Full of life, puzzles and strange characters. Whether it’s the immaculate garden of Princess Peach’s castle, or the frozen tundra of Pristine Peaks, there are a variety of vibrant environments to explore.
There are nine playable characters, each of which fills one of the three archetypes: Brutus, Support, and Crowd Control. You can bring three into combat, each with its own unique set of abilities and skills. For example, Mario Rapid can make his way through anyone close to him, while Princess Peach can put on a shield that does some damage. Knowing how to mix and match characters is an essential part of the strategy.
Rosalina Rapide is engaged for the first time, and Edge is a new character in the main game, a Rapide with a large sword inspired by classic Japanese RPGs.
“She has two feelings: with and without the sword,” says Soliani. “She is very stubborn.”
in kingdom battleUbisoft had their own guidelines that Rabbids weren’t allowed to speak. But with the confidence gained from the previous title, the French developer has become more lenient about this limitation. Now the Rabbids have a whole host of dialogues, even when there’s nothing more to worry about than hearing a mustachioed Rabbid yelling Mario phrases and insisting that he’s “your guy.”
One of the most brutal DLC additions to the game is Rayman as a playable character. The star of many platform games and Ubisoft’s oldest mascot has spent the past decade in relative obscurity, only appearing in Rayman Legends The game that has been re-released many times. For Sulliani, this was a dream come true, since it was his first match Rayman on Game Boy Color in 1999.
All of these changes are meant to surprise players and give them something they can change.
“If you don’t bring something new, people will get bored,” said Soliani. “We prefer to surprise our players and make it risky.”
Mario + Rapids sparks of hope Coming to Nintendo Switch on October 20th.
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