Choose Your Character?

I became curious in class the other day when the Mario Kart players were selecting characters to play as – we got two Waluigis, for example, and some people were playing as characters I’d never even seen before. The couple of times I’ve played Mario Kart in the past year or so, I’ve almost always picked Yoshi, mostly because that was the character I happened to pick the first time I played the game. So, I was wondering what motivated peoples’ choice of characters, and this is a post where I’m hoping people will comment and talk about whether they have character preferences and, if so, why? Not just for Mario Kart necessarily, but really for any game that lets you pick from a large pre-set list. Do you tend to pick characters whose individual games you’ve played before, or do you pick based on certain character traits or skills that are more useful in the competition?

7 thoughts on “Choose Your Character?

  1. Personally, I tend to gravitate towards Yoshi (because as a child, I wanted to get one as a pet) or Toad (because my friend, who is the one I’m usually playing with, hates Toad and that’s funny to me). But the concept of player choice in character is really interesting, especially if you hold a game that the choice is more aesthetic (Mario Kart, with the exception of a few versions where the character’s weight was a factor) against a game where it’s more strategic (like Smash Bros). In Smash Bros, the only player I’m any good at is Kirby (likely due to the fact that I play as Kirby exclusively), but I know people who have multiple characters they’re comfortable as.

  2. One of the Waluigis here. I was the one who kept crashing into fences.

    I picked Waluigi because he always seems like the underdog, and because the game he debuted in has a special place in my heart. Mario Tennis is the only sports game I’ve ever loved, because my older brother has a love of tennis and it was one of the few games we regularly played on our N64. (We also played Perfect Dark and Road Rage.) Waluigi was the only new character in that game, and one of my sisters used him as her main. His character design was always more appealing to me than Wario, and I always empathized more with the Mario villains than the protagonists. So Waluigi was a natural fit for me.

    For what it’s worth, I also considered playing as Link because Twilight Princess is one of my all-time favorite games, and as one of the goofy Mii’s we created for class. I had no experience at all with Mario Kart, so I definitely wasn’t trying to pick a good character, just one I thought I’d enjoy playing with.

  3. I have always played as Link since he was released as DLC for MK8 simply because the Legend of Zelda is the greatest game series ever.

    However in previous iterations I have gravitated toward Yoshi and Bowser. I’ve never really thought about it before but it makes me wonder if part of the reason I seemed to choose non-human characters was because of a lack of connection to the appearance of the human characters. On the other hand, I have no problem playing their games and thoroughly / obsessively enjoying them.

  4. I’ve always chosen female characters ever since I was little–maybe it’s a representation thing. I used to play WWF Smackdown with my cousins and they would always tell me not to chose the female wrestlers because they were “not as good”. I have no idea if that was actually true/ they had lower stats, either way I sucked at the game so I don’t think it really affected my gameplay. In Super Smash Bros, Melee, I always chose Zelda–sometimes I chose Link but only because I liked making him drink milk (why? idk). I did sometimes play other characters but never the really “main” ones, like Yoshi, Mario, Donkey Kong, etc. I think I was just tired of their faces because they were always the ones my cousins played

  5. Whenever I played Mario Kart Wii I’d choose Luigi because he’s just been my favorite Mario universe character since like kindergarten (probably because my brother loved Mario so much). But then I chose to play as Bones one day, and use the standard bike, and that was the first time I’d won with such ease. So, I just sort of stuck with him. Whenever I play Mario Kart Wii, I use Bones and the standard bike, always.

    I think with Mario Kart, the more interesting choice for me to note in players is who chooses a bike versus a cart. I know that particular choice tends to be more strategic, but for me, there’s no real rhyme to the strategy besides aesthetic and it’s easier for me to handle.

  6. I usually go with whoever I feel like playing as because odds are that when I play these games I will either know most if not all the characters or very few of the characters so I don’t mind picking whoever. Usually I just go with the one with a mischievous grin on their face. I also pick Luigi in Mario Kart 8 solely so I can watch the Luigi Death Stare in the highlight reel. Everyone has favorite characters, I am no exception, but I am not going to let that stop me from playing other characters. Now if I have to unlock them, we have a different situation altogether.

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