Nintendo game news: What could Mario Kart 9 look like?
Published on 08/12/2022 at 07:10
When Mario Kart 8 was released in 2014 on Wii U, François Hollande was still President of the Republic, the jersey of the French Football Team only sported a single star, Star Wars was limited to 6 films and nobody e had heard of Covid-19… Since then, its Deluxe version has sold more than 38 million copies on Switch, making it the best-selling Nintendo game in history. A mobile game (Mario Kart Tour) and a spin-off later (Mario Kart Home), fans are still waiting for a new main episode to arrive. At JV, we lent ourselves to the exercise of imagining what Mario Kart 9 could look like!
In this article, we have fun imagining the sequel to a cult video game saga. The author’s guesses are based on a combination of his knowledge of the license, industry trends, and possible rumors and leaks… And who knows, one or two things might just come to pass.
Towards a Nintendo Kart?Mario Kart MakerA story modeA more competitive online
Towards a Nintendo Kart?
What if the next Mario Kart extends to more Nintendo licenses? In Mario Kart 7 on 3DS, the mustachioed plumber and his cronies already ventured beyond the borders of the Mushroom Kingdom, through two circuits and an arena located on the Wuhu island of Wii Sports Resort. But it is with Mario Kart 8 on Wii U that a real step has been taken towards a “Nintendo Kart”! The first Nintendo game to have a DLC, the Wii U episode will in this way expand to other licenses from the Japanese giant. This is how Link, Marie and the villager (both from Animal Crossing) entered the trail. The circuits of the Hyrule plain, Animal Crossing and Excite Bike have meanwhile made their arrival, as have the mythical Mute City and Big Blue of F-ZERO. Vehicles from these different licenses have also been incorporated. When released on Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will add Splatoon’s Inklings as racers (along with their vehicles and a battle arena). In sum, these different elements draw the direction that Mario Kart 9 could take.
Pikmin, Star Fox, and Arms could be welcomed into Nintendo’s next installment of the racing game, if leaker Zippo is to be believed. His assertion follows a tweet published a few days earlier by LeakyPandy, a collective of leakers with a rather positive reputation, according to which the next Mario Kart would include various licenses. As always in these cases, tweezers are obviously in order. Still according to LeakyPandy, the game would be called Mario Kart 10 (Mario Kart Tour would therefore be considered number 9, unless it was Mario Kart Home…) or Mario Kart Crossroads. This title, which can be translated as “the crossroads”, would perfectly illustrate this idea of a great meeting of Nintendo licenses on karting circuits. For the moment, there is no indication that licenses outside Nintendo are invited, like what Super Smash Bros. offers. We imagine that it will be difficult to go as far given the complexity of copyright management that such a project entails.
Mario Kart Maker
The future of Mario Kart?
The next Mario Kart could have almost infinite content thanks to a circuit editor! ModNation Racers, the Mario Kart-like of the PlayStation 3, for example, was already doing it very well in 2010. An immense creative potential would then invade the game of kart, just take a look at the Custom Tracks, circuits created by the Mario Kart community via modded versions of the games, to be convinced. We find a lot of these Custom Tracks on Mario Kart Wii (the console being easily hackable…) but there are also some on the Wii U version of Mario Kart 8 and on the other games in the series. The result ? Completely crazy and innovative circuits, as so often when we let players as passionate as they are relentless express themselves. In short, a circuit editor could quickly establish itself as a must in the future of Mario Kart.
In the facts, Nintendo has proven with Super Mario Maker (and “The Video Game Workshop”) that they are capable of developing simple and effective creation tools. Already a good point for our circuit editor! Next, community functions will obviously have to be exemplary : search engine, circuits highlighted and classified according to criteria, possibility of commenting/recommending/sharing a circuit… To project ourselves a little, let’s imagine some nice features: Designing your own grand prizes, like the worlds in Super Mario Maker. A special online mode to discover new tracks, players would compete exclusively on random tracks created by the community. Time trial on tracks created to compete for world records.
A story mode
A Crash Team Racing story mode for Mario Kart?
Among the Mario Kart competitors, some have decided to distinguish themselves from their model by expanding their single-player content with a story mode. It is found for example in the excellent Crash Team Racing or in Chocobo GP. The richness of the Mario universe with its countless stories, characters and environments, could be the perfect breeding ground for a crazy story mode! And even more if, as we mentioned in our first point, the next Mario Kart expands to more Nintendo licenses, we can dream of an adventure as epic as that of the “subspace emissary” of Super Smash Bros Brawl . The trick of the story mode is far too rarely exploited in the sports spin-offs of the Italian plumber. Recently, Mario Tennis Aces has tried it with a convincing adventure mode, although a little light level content. So if the next Mario Kart takes the direction of “extended solo content” as the leaker Zippo evokes, hope is allowed to see a story mode land there.
A boss fight in the adventure mode of Mario Tennis Aces.
A story or adventure mode in Mario Kart would enrich the single-player content of the game, bringing it greater diversity. We all have fond memories of Mario Kart’s Grand Prix mode, but we have to admit that once all the cups have been won, we don’t set foot there again. While the time trial mode, mainly frequented by players looking for optimal performance, is not very popular. The single-player Mario Kart games are therefore quickly abandoned in favor of multiplayer, however a second wind could be breathed into it by a story mode. In addition to “classic” races, it could contain more original events like competing games: boss fights, mini-games, exploration, puzzles… The whole thing would be a great opportunity for fans to discover Mario’s lore from another angle.
A more competitive online
The “competitive” or “classified” modes are now essential in our online games. You may not know it, but there is a competitive Mario Kart community. Although randomness often sticks to the image that we have of Mario Kart, at high level the skill and the strategy can greatly compensate for the randomness linked to the items (without of course annihilating it). Streamers Ponce and Jiraiya have highlighted this aspect on several occasions, by broadcasting and participating in matches between “pro” Mario Kart teams. Faced with Nintendo’s immobility vis-à-vis the competitive scene of their game, the community therefore took matters into their own hands. World Cups have been organized in this way, as has a world circuit called Mario Kart Universal which sees teams from all over the world compete against each other. Now, a discord even offers to participate in a large competitive ranking on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, with an MMR system including ranks (Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, etc.) designed by the community. A response to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s anecdotal point system… All that to say that Nintendo should clearly look to its community to implement a ranked mode worthy of the name in a future Mario Kart (and in its other licenses by the way).