A speculative look at how our beloved series may look on the Wii U
This has to be my favourite Mario-series, simply down to how fun it is for everyone to play. The series is definitely known for its playability and not its ability to change. What can Nintendo do to make the next Mario Kart remain relevant?
U Want Something New? Mario Kart 7 on the 3DS is actually the 9th game in the series so strictly speaking the Wii U iteration will be the 10th. Nintendo partnered with Namco who released two arcade-only Mario Kart’s featuring other characters such as Pac-Man. When Nintendo announced the name Mario Kart 7, many gamers questioned their decision. Why not Mario Kart 3D? It would of made a lot more sense as that was one of the main gameplay enhancements. Nintendo better be more inventive this time, especially as this has the opportunity to be the best Mario Kart to date!
One of the ways Nintendo made Mario Kart 7 feel so fresh was to get outside help from Retro Studios. The second-party was enlisted to aid with track design, what’s to stop Nintendo using another developer again? Perhaps not just for track design, but how about the inclusion of extra characters and worlds similar to Smash Bros?
How do U do? As Mario Kart hasn’t changed drastically over the years it would be easy to make changes. Nintendo has already hinted it has an idea of where its going…
“I can’t get into the specifics, but I do want to create a new and enjoyable Mario Kart that uses the unique functions of the Wii U. Anything beyond that I have to keep secret. Please bear with me for now!” Hideki Konno, Nintendo EAD Software Development Group 1
- The first would be the obvious removal of the HUD to the controller’s screen, but this may be a bit more exciting that it initially seems. With the HUD on the lower screen it would give the player the opportunity to cycle through collected items, and perhaps even target sections of the track, to cause landslides or bridges to collapse.
- Nintendo could allow the player to hold the controller up in front of the screen to see a rear view, or through walls and target other drivers with their shells and bombs.
- Mario Kart 7 marked the first time in the series it was possible to customise your kart, how about going one further and allowing the complete customisation of patterns, colours, textures as well as bringing back the wheels, bodies and wings!
- Mario Kart would also benefit from a track editor, where you could upload and share tracks with friends.
- This one is kind of out there and could turn those frantic races into a minefield but bear with me. How about a new item, that gets left behind like bananas or bombs that can only be seen by holding the controller up to the screen. How about being able to hold up the controller to the TV screen and see a previously invisible short-cut?
U play with others? Mario Kart would be the easiest way to prove themselves online. The frantic fun of multiplayer races and death matches has been done before with Mario Kart, but it’s with Mario Kart 7 that Nintendo set the bar. The ability to join or create communities, could be furthered by using VoIP or even steal Starfox 64 3D’s idea of in-game video of your competitor’s faces as you crush them?
Nintendo could also earn a lot of extra money from me if they made every track ever created available to purchase. This could be applied to extra characters, vehicle parts and track editor tools.
When will U get here? If you look at the quote from Konno above, its evident that Nintendo already have plans for the next Mario Kart. While it would be a suprise for it to be a launch title, launch window may not be out of the question. Mario Kart 7 launched just a few short months after the 3DS and helped turn its slow start around. If Nintendo say they really have learnt their lesson, and won’t make the same mistake with the Wii U, they’re sure to have the software to back it up.
What do U think? Have your say below…