Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope dev on improving & evolving its tactics

We sat down with Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope producer Xavier Manzanares to talk about how the team has improved this sequel over its predecessor.


It can't be easy designing a sequel to a beloved Mario game, especially when you're not actually Nintendo, but instead working by the Big N's grace, guidelines, and permissions. That said, Ubisoft seems confident in its approach to Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, and after a recent preview, we're inclined to agree they have every right to be. Sparks of Hope's launch is right around the corner, and ahead of the festivities, we caught up to producer Xavier Manzanares to talk about how this sequel has shaped up to improve upon Kingdom Battle.

According to Manzanares, it started with digging into player feedback and looking at what the team wanted to implement in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, but couldn't at the time. The team wanted to put side quests and levels in the game, and it also wanted to improve upon movement and tactical options. For the latter, that meant cutting free from the grid and allowing for more free form movement on battlefields. For the former, that meant expanding opportunities to explore between battles.

Of course, much of this must go by Nintendo itself, especially when it comes to original Nintendo characters and their Rabbid counterparts. Fortunately, Ubisoft has been working with Nintendo for a long time, building a trusted partnership that has aided in the conversations when it came to getting Nintendo and Ubisoft assets, characters, and settings right. You can learn more by checking out our recent preview of Sparks of Hope.

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Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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