Image credit: (c) Mario Kart 8/ Nintendo
Players around the world inhabit online lobbies for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo Switch) on an everyday basis, so fans might not get the next installment of the Mario Kart series in 2021. With that in mind, the sales and popularity of Mario Kart 8 have not yet declined, despite its initial release being back in 2014. In the following article, I will provide a concept of which tracks I would like to see in the next installment for Mario Kart, and even some new (or returning) features in the game.
Number One: Bring back DK Mountain from Double Dash
2003's Mario Kart: Double Dash was the only franchise release on the Nintendo GameCube, and it was the first I played in the series when I was a kid. One of my favourite tracks featured in the game was DK Mountain. Despite being a simple track, it was pretty fun! During the end of every lap (of three), players are launched towards the finish line through a Donkey Kong-branded barrel. In terms of playing the game as a child, I always enjoyed this particular track. Furthermore, there was also the potential danger of an erupting volcano which provided additional obstacles for players. Another thing, this game was the only franchise installment to feature TWO characters per vehicle. I thought that was pretty cool, so it would be interesting to see it return.
Image Credit: (c) Nintendo/ Mario Kart: Double Dash (2003)
So, why should it return on the Nintendo Switch? My own concept of romanticism is not a factor here, but the next installment of Mario Kart should be the biggest yet. With respect to Mario Kart 8, the original version on the Wii-U console offered paid DLC that included Link from the Legend of Zelda, as well as some Animal Crossing characters and tracks. Despite the franchise originally honouring characters from the Mushroom Kingdom, I think Mario Kart 9 could be a jam-packed roster with Nintendo characters from a wide-range of franchises.
Image Credit: (c) Nintendo/ Mario Kart 8 (2014, 2018)
Number Two: "The Great Plateau"
Image Credit: (c) Nintendo/ The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)
Why would I choose this? Mario Kart 8 featured "Hyrule Circuit" as a Zelda-themed track, which came as part of the DLC. Well, remember how difficult "Rainbow Road" was as a kid? Keeping that in mind the original version on the Wii-U console offered paid DLC that included Link from Zelda. Having a track as complex as the Great Plateau, this could really test the skills of players of all ages. In most cases, Mario Kart features Piranha Plant's which disable players that travel too close to them. Instead, a raceway based on the Great Plateau could feature Chuchus and Bokoblins as recurring obstacles. However, there's something else I would like to see for this particular track. Mario Kart players are familiar with the magical "blue shell", but this track should have an exclusive item to replace it. Think about this... the player is in first place, but the player in last place acquires an item to prevent others from winning, and it should be this right here:
Image Credit: (c) Nintendo/ "Guardian" from the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)
Number Three: Pokémon Stadium
Image Credit: (c) Pokémon (anime), 1998-
The Pokémon franchise celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary this week, and that's something Mario Kart 9 developers can use to their advantage. For instance, the game could feature a stadium raceway (much like Wario Stadium), yet it's based on the Pokémon franchise. Since the Pokémon Company have confirmed remakes of Diamond/ Pearl for late 2021, the beloved character of Dawn and her Piplup could be featured as playable racers in the next Mario Kart. Since the Mario Kart franchise is one which features guest characters from other Nintendo video game worlds, this would be the perfect time to capitalize on Pokémon's twenty-fifth and Zelda's thirty-fifth anniversary, respectively.
Image Credit: (c) Pokémon anime (1998-)
What does everyone else think?
Thank you, and stay safe
The Modernist Son, 2020-