When Mario Kart 8 first launched in 2014 on the Wii U, the battle mode within it was considered… not the best. It chose to stick with standard Balloon Battle rules, but replaced arenas for the racetracks to give a mode that was just confused in what it attempted.
Racers were scattered across the track, with the ability to do quick turns and drive the other way. Because of this, only certain few tracks were allowed to be within this mode, but such starting positions and rules didn’t give the mode a real reason for existing. There was no lasting appeal. It felt too bland in action.
However, there was a simple way to have fixed that, and such a thing was to treat it as a race but with special rules. Everyone starts at the line, beginning at the same time. Each has three balloons, that they need to protect as they race to complete the three laps. However, you can’t just stay at the back out of the action, as the aim is still to win the race.
The final of these Future of Mario Kart posts have come back around to looking at tracks that could be featured within a new game. Retro tracks started us off, and I’ve even looked a bit at crossover tracks, but now is the time where completely new tracks have to be considered.
Now, I’m not going in depth with these. No massive details about every turn and glide point. This is just to give general ideas as per usual. Just as with the retro tracks, the list below shows how the tracks would be set out with the guide of what they contain.
Last time, I talked about characters, and said that since crossover content would take up more than just characters, it would be separate. Now I’m here to talk about all that content.
Characters make up the largest part of this crossover content, as what came before will almost certainly be included in a new game and added to. Remembering from the Future of Mario Kart post on characters last month, I’d left light characters at 15, with both medium and heavy at 14.
If we now add in the crossover characters, Isabelle brings the light total to 16, Villager and Inkling bring the medium total to 16, and Link brings the heavy total to 15.
The Future of Mario Kart series has so far looked at what retro tracks I’d like to see return, new and returning features, as well as reworking the Grand Prix mode. Now, I’m here to discuss characters, as all mascot kart racers aren’t complete without them.
With the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, I have a label for a group of characters called the Heroes Majority, which basically groups all those characters that appeared in Sonic Heroes as one group of characters who are more than likely to appear in any game. With Mario Kart, the same rule can apply – but the group name becomes the Double Dashers.
Last month focused on the Grand Prix and ways to change it while keeping roughly the same focus. At the end of it, I said that I wouldn’t want Mario Kart to go the way of Crash Team Racing or Diddy Kong Racing and have a story mode with open hubs to explore. The reason for saying such a thing? Bringing back mission mode from the DS game.
The idea was to make use of the mechanics in a way that hadn’t been explored in a Mario Kart before – whether that be forcing the player to drive in reverse through a section of a track, one-on-one racing, or checkpoint races – or learning the player of mechanics such as item usage and power-sliding.
There were even boss battles to complete. It was a varied mode that – like most features – never returned. Well, it inspired the online challenges in Mario Kart Wii, but wasn’t a fully accessible thing (and to me seemed less focused).
Mario Kart as a series has had numerous features. Double Dash introduced numerous features that haven’t returned in any other game, such as two racers per kart and the All-Cup Tour. Missions from MKDS returned in the form of online challenges in MKWii, but haven’t returned since.
The latest features appear to be mainstays of the series, and considering gliders, underwater racing, and anti-gravity affect how the tracks work, removing such features would only be limiting returning tracks that use such features. The one thing that has stayed the same is the way the Grand Prix mode works.
Aside from SNES and GBA games, it has always been 16 tracks, with 16 reworked retro tracks having been added since MKDS for a total of 32. Within this post will be two ways to rework the Grand Prix mode to give it a bit of a refresh.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe only released last year, making any theoretical Mario Kart 10 (or 9 if Deluxe doesn’t count as a main release) way off from releasing – more than likely 2020. However, despite that, I’m getting into it early anyway.
So here is a series that will talk about the future of Mario Kart, starting off with a simple one. If a new entry was to keep the track structure of 16 new and 16 old, which tracks from previous games would return?
The choices for retro tracks in the game are falling short for some previous entries. As you’ll see below, that makes the choice of some tracks easy. Others are more personal choice. First, my choices need to be shown off.
With just under two months to go until Mario Kart 8, I thought I'd revisit a little something I did two years ago with Mario Kart 7. In that first challenge, starting 5/July at 14,205 coins, I had until the end of the month to reach 20,000 coins - the last unlock milestone on the game. I had to race properly though. That was what I'd said to myself.
Race properly or the challenge is void. After all, a challenge is no fun if you’re just staying in last and quickly collecting the coins half a lap behind everyone else. And so, I raced through many GPs, earning podiums almost every time, getting over 30 coins almost every time.
So, after the Nintendo Direct of Wednesday, more footage of Mario Kart 8 was shown. As well as numerous new courses, more returning characters were shown. No new characters or Retro courses were shown, but this does make one think. With nine new courses already shown off in the two trailers, as well as two returning 3DS courses, the tracks in this game are looking great.
We know of the anti-grav feature - allowing traversal on walls and ceilings - as well as the return of gliders, underwater driving and bikes. Customisation will return with more options. Coins do return, but their purpose hasn't been clarified. Some things still remain a mystery, and I'm going to have a crack at giving my predictions and why I think they will happen.
And so, 27 days later and also on the deadline I set, the save data of my Mario Kart 7 cart reads 20,000 coins. Roughly 13 hours put into it, and god knows how many GP cups, the challenge was to reach 20,000 coins by the end of this month thus completing [in a collectable way] the game.
Starting on the 5th of July with 14,205 coins, I input the amount of total coins into an Excel document at the end of each day to track the amount of coins earned on that day, and when seven days came, in the week.