Games of the Year 2022: Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope was an interesting game to play around with.  I made it through the first world and a half before realizing the game wasn't what I was in the mood for.  It has a lot of interesting things going on with it, but ultimately didn't click with me.

Which is interesting, because I could also see this game being the game of the year for certain people.  It's trying new and interesting things in the turn based strategy X-COM-like game space.  I loved the move away from a grid and instead having a certain radius distance you can run.  The addition of movement abilities that don't use your two "actions" each turn was super cool too.  It was consistently fun to do a slide dash through a bob-omb, pick it up, throw it at a group of enemies, watch it explode, and then realize I still had my two primary actions left to play around with that turn.

In the end, it was the Rabbids and some minor annoyances that turned me away.  The game takes a long time to load anything, the animations are too slow, the enemy turns are too slow, the menus are slow and clunky, there's just a lot of tiny friction throughout interacting with the game.  That friction was a major reason why I put the game down.  And, not to hit on this too hard, but... the Rabbids just don't do anything for me.  They actively make me less interested in the world and story.  I think this game would be so much stronger with just the core Mario cast.

With all of the above being said, I still wouldn't be surprised to see a strategy game fan have this high on their list of favorite games this year.  For me, it ended up near the bottom of mine.  Still worth an entry since it held my attention for awhile, but not very high up the list:

  1. Elden Ring
  2. Xenoblade Chronicles 3
  3. FFXIV Endwalker
  4. Citizen Sleeper
  5. The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe
  6. Horizon Forbidden West
  7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge
  8. Pokémon Legends: Arceus
  9. Chrono Cross: Radical Dreamers Edition
  10. Cult of the Lamb
  11. Neon White
  12. Halo Infinite
  13. Vampire Survivors
  14. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin
  15. Playdate Season 1
  16. Immortality
  17. Cyberpunk 2077
  18. Forza Horizon 5 Hot Wheels DLC
  19. Triangle Strategy
  20. Mario Strikers: Battle League
  21. Multiversus Pre-Season
  22. Stray
  23. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
  24. Nobody Saves the World
  25. Unpacking
  26. Kaichu
  27. Tinykin
  28. Splatoon 3
  29. Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope
  30. Shovel Knight Dig
  31. Total War: Warhammer 3
  32. Tunic

Now that it's November, we're getting close to the end of the year.  Not much time left for things to shift around but there are a couple big releases I'm still excited for.  We'll see what kind of impact those have.


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