Artistically Speaking: Mario+Rabbids and Characterization

So recently, I’ve been trying to complete some video games on my Nintendo Switch to save space, and one game that I’ve decided to come back to was Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. I know, I know, the concept itself sounds pretty insane and don’t even get me started on the guns. But despite all of the abstract choices, THIS game has to be one of the most notable Mario games in the past century, and it wasn’t even developed by Nintendo. It was created by Ubisoft (and Ubisoft France respectively) as purely a game meant as a love letter to the Mario series. 

The first playable characters Mario, Rabbid Luigi, and Rabbid Peach looking towards an oncoming threat.

Regardless of where it came from, what makes this game so noteworthy? Well there’s plenty to talk about there but for today I think its biggest strength is its portrayal of the residents of the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Yoshi are main playable characters in the game, each with their own Rabbid counterpart who is also playable. And if you know those four characters, then you know how you’d expect them to act. Mario is a mainstay character, taking charge of any situations present with the utmost bravery. Luigi is entirely fearful of the situation that he’s in but still manages to put his foot down. Peach, while usually being kidnapped, is now fighting back with her own royal spunk. And Yoshi is willing to protect his home against any threats while spouting “Yoshiii!” gleefully. The ability of replicating personalities that perfectly fit these four who have not had much characterization in any of their mainline games is a feat in itself.

Mario, Rabbid Luigi, and Rabbid Peach celebrating their well deserved victory!
An awkward interruption occurs while Rabbid Peach is trying to take a photo.

But where the characterization really shines is in their Rabbid friends. They all are perfect dramatizations of their personalities and it’s ABSOLUTELY amazing! Take Rabbid Peach for example, the posterboy (or girl) of the game. She’s a sassy diva-like character who acts as if she’s got the world under her feet and is obsessed with her phone as much as she is with Mario. Her character makes for a very funny character to watch unfold as well as humorous just to see do anything. My favorite Rabbid has GOT to be Rabbid Yoshi, though. He acts completely primal and finds destruction to be a fun little game. 

What’s more is that you see this in characterization EVERYWHERE in the game, from the character menus, to their in-game animations. I remember this one moment in a boss battle where Rabbid Yoshi was captured and if I aimed at the boss who was holding him, Rabbid Yoshi would hold his hands up and I loved every second of it. It’s truly a gift knowing the Mario franchise and then seeing cute portrayals of these standard characters be given such life. And it’s not just about who these Rabbid characters are, but what these counterparts say about the originals that make it funnier. 

The team of Rabbid Mario, Rabbid Peach, and Mario discovering some treasure that gets added to the game’s gallery.
The victory screen after finishing a battle, with Rabbid Peach, Mario, and Rabbid Yoshi.

This game has been on my radar ever since I first heard about it, and while I was skeptical at first, it truly did surpass my expectations and I would recommend it to people who don’t usually play Mario games. It recently was announced that it would getting a sequel next year, so please, if you ever have the time, check this game out and play it. What I’ve talked about is just one small piece of the bigger pie here.

A special cutscene of the characters all together enjoying a job well done! (Spoilers… whoops…)

Published by Jonathan

Hey, it's ME, Jonathan Abney! I tend to write about the artistic attributes of music, video games, television shows and all things of the sort!

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