2017’s Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle had the most effective DLCs we’ve ever seen a sport starring Mario obtain. The Donkey Kong Adventure story enlargement noticed Donkey Kong and Rabbid Cranky workforce up with Rabbid Peach to tackle tons of reworked enemies and tons of tight, tactical challenges. It proved Ubisoft knew find out how to make a high quality DLC. So far, this high quality hasn’t prolonged to the DLC releases for the sequel, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope – whereas each the Tower of Doooom and The Last Spark Hunter gave us extra of what made Sparks of Hope nice, they had been simply that: extra of the identical.
We had excessive hopes for the ultimate DLC enlargement titled Rayman in the Phantom Show. Not solely have we not seen Ubisoft’s platforming poster boy in fairly a while, but it surely appeared prefer it may comply with in Donkey Kong Journey’s footsteps. Nevertheless, after clearing the regrettably brief story, it mirrors Sparks of Hope’s different lacklustre DLCs.
Rayman within the Phantom Present begins with Rayman arriving on the House Opera Community by way of a golden invitation, which is a run-down TV studio that produces on a galactic scale. A lot to his shock, he runs into two Rabbids, Rabbid Peach and Rabbid Mario, who aren’t out to trigger issues for him. Somewhat, additionally they acquired invites and got here to assert galactic stardom together with their robotic pal Beep-0.
If you wish to see Rayman workforce up together with his platforming friends Mario and Luigi, you’re out of luck. Rayman within the Phantom Present is a very separate journey, which means Rayman can not be part of within the quest to cease Cursa and her minions. The truth is, apart from a few post-credits photos, Rayman and the denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom don’t work together, which makes for a slightly disappointing crossover.
An absence of Rayman-specific parts furthers this disappointment. Certain, Rabbids originated as a Rayman enemy, however the House Opera Community has nothing to do with our straw-haired hero’s storied adventures. The Massive Dangerous of the journey isn’t a Rayman rival both, comparable to Mr. Darkish, however slightly a return of Kingdom Battle’s Phantom. Whereas a enjoyable character in his personal proper, the shortage of Rayman parts left us feeling like he deserved higher.
Rayman does, nonetheless, play fairly otherwise than the opposite heroes. As an alternative of utilizing the titular Sparks in battle, Rayman comes outfitted with two of his fits: Vortex and Rocket. Switching to both of those fits modifications the whole lot about him, comparable to giving his fundamental Blaster Shot and Plunger Guards the power to push foes off the map or trigger area-based harm. Rayman can even seize onto flying rings, which is the one component from his video games that Ubisoft included. He can even punch blocks and seize distant objects, which nearly all the overworld puzzles depend on. These puzzles, as you’d anticipate, play very like they do within the base sport: discover a formed key, use Beep-0 to disclose a hidden bridge, and repeat. We grew uninterested in them rapidly.
Fortunately, Sparks of Hope’s freeform tactical battles nonetheless present loads of enjoyable. The Phantom has Rayman and buddies go to three completely different themed units — cowboy, pirate, and mediaeval — to finish a puzzle or two earlier than a boss encounter of some type. Crew hopping to take out Flamin’ Stooges earlier than they’ll hit you with fiery blasts, and discovering a strategy to pop Darkmess Eyes performs as nice because it all the time has. Of those three units, the pirate set stands out with a large cardboard cutout of a Kraken serving as an impediment, whereas the cowboy stage reskins a regular foe and the mediaeval one enlarges a Stooge to function a boss.
Once we completed these three in a number of hours of play, we opened the menu to test our progress and had been stunned to search out the journey was 80% performed. Whereas we nonetheless had loads of little secrets and techniques to uncover and puzzles to resolve all through the House Opera Community, we anticipated one other handful of units to battle by way of or a extra open space, comparable to the bottom sport’s Pristine Peaks, to discover. As an alternative, we merely needed to defeat the Phantom to complete the sport in below 4 hours.
The Phantom himself has a number of enjoyable musical numbers as we took him on, taking digs at how Rayman hasn’t had a sport shortly and lamenting his earlier loss by the hands of Mario. The ultimate encounter with him performs nearly precisely the identical because it did in Kingdom Battle: to interrupt his invulnerability, it’s essential to disable his highlight by destroying the sunshine fixtures close to him first. You need to do that thrice with rising issue, but we had grown uninterested in the mechanic earlier than we completed the primary spherical.
As we haven’t seen Rayman on the Nintendo Swap in fairly a while, Rayman within the Phantom Present comes as a disappointment – particularly when in comparison with Kingdom Battle’s Donkey Kong Journey. The shortage of Rayman particular parts, the lack to play as Rayman within the base sport, and the rehashing of previous enemies and encounters, make this an journey match just for these that may’t get sufficient of Sparks of Hope’s nice tactical battles.