Mario + Rabbids Sparks Of Hope Is Breaking A Major Rule

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope will feature speaking Rabbids.

By Jason Collins | Published

It would seem that Ubisoft has decided to break its rule cardinal ruler regarding its menace-turned-mascot — the Rabbids — for the upcoming Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope video game. As reported by Destructoid, all Rabbids in the upcoming game will have voices, which is a significant step-up from the non-discernable gibberish the Rabbids used to communicate among themselves. It’s worth noting that, other than strange noises, the Rabbids haven’t uttered a single word since Ubisoft introduced them as the antagonists for one of their 2006 releases.

The Rabbids’ newfound ability to use dialogue understandable to others than themselves is credited to Davide Soliani, the Creative Director of Ubisoft Milan, who also worked on 2017’s Kingdom Battle —a turn-based tactic action-adventure crossover between Nintendo’s Mario and Ubisoft’s Rabbid franchises. The newly-added chattiness between these cartoonish animals allowed the creative team behind Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope to layer up the humor and comedy inside the game, which is quite the idea for the follow-up of Kingdom Battle.

Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is the continuation of the aforementioned title and carries over plenty of its tactical gameplay but adds tons of new characters, more massive battles, and chatting Rabbids. The cartoonish and hilarious animals were first introduced in 2006’s Rayman Raving Rabbids, the spin-off from Ubisoft’s massively popular Rayman series, which used the company’s Jade Engine — the same engine that powered 2001’s Beyond Good & Evil, which is finally getting its long-awaited sequel.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope

Interestingly enough, Rayman Raving Rabbids was also one of the launch games for Nintendo Wii, which sold over 14 million units worldwide following its subsequent release on other platforms —in retrospect, could this be one of the first timed exclusives? Regardless, following the release of Rayman Raving Rabbids, the menacing pets became so popular that they even got their own animated show on Netflix, and Ubisoft had established the rule that the psychotic white bunnies don’t use discernable dialogue to communicate. Luckily, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope changed that.

The no-speech rule was directed to Davide Soliani during the production of Kingdom Battle, where Ubisoft explicitly said that the Rabbids couldn’t, under any circumstance, talk. But luckily for Soliani, nobody said they couldn’t sing. So, the team behind the game designed an opera-singing ghost Rabbid called Phantom, and the bombastic inclusion in the game was exceptionally well-received by both the fans and critics, leading Ubisoft to soften its stance on Rabbits not being able to talk in Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope.

To be entirely honest, the initial reception to the Mario/Rabbids crossover was a bit wary, and Kingdom Battle turned out the be an absolute hit, so there’s really no reason for the Rabbids’ newfound ability to ruin the game. In fact, the fandom is greeting Ubisoft’s decision regarding this, and most are really interested to see how the newfound chattiness will affect them as characters and just how much humor can the development team layer in Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope now that Rabbids can speak.

Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is currently scheduled to release on Nintendo Switch on October 20, and there’s no sign about the game porting to other platforms.