During my usual gaming rounds of playing Taiko Drum Master and Xenoblade nonstop for several hours (I' not addicted, I CAN QUIT WHENEVER I WA- ooh a side-quest!) another game series has always shared a special place in my heart (in exchange for at least 3 years of my life), Mario Kart. I've been with the series since Double Dash!!! and have played every game in the franchise, save for Super Mario Kart, in one form or the other. I've seen the highs and lows, and if I were to make the next Mario Kart game(s) this is how I'd do it:
5. Release Mario Kart GP on consoles (In America/Europe too).
Once upon a time, Namco and Nintendo thought it was damn well time they mixed chocolate with peanut butter, and thus, a Mario Kart/Pac-Man hybrid (Mario Kart GP) was born. Sequels featured a Taiko drum and a Tomagachi as playable characters as well tracks inspired by the former character. It's appearance in America is literally shrouded in obscurity for it only appeared in select arcades, and the Nintendo World Store in New York City wasn't one of them, strangely enough. Why these games have never took off outside of Japan is a baffling mystery to me. Sure, the game featured a ridiculous "take-your-picture-and-have-it-look-like-Donkey-Kong" gimmick, and a ludicrous amount of items, but other than that the games are pretty sane for non-Japanese audiences. Everyone knows who Pac-Man and Blinky are, and that's the only selling point you need. Tune up the gameplay for normal play, make more courses, and port it to the Wii U, Nintendo. Don't make me use a Basin on your head! (Yes, the items are really weird)
4. Do a Crossover with SASASR.
If Mario Kart inspired anything it would have to be copycats. Sega and Sonic All-Stars Racing was one such copycat that actually took a slightly altered path and varied itself from the Mario Kart formula by featuring different items and short cuts every new lap. Now combine that experience with the Mario Kart fanfare. Whatever the result would look like this crossover would be PERFECT. Retro tracks could be combinations from both series (akin to Mario & Sonic: Olympic Games- and also, if we can get that game we can get any M&S crossover), and what the heck, why limit the Nintendo roster with just the Mario universe? Bring in the whole Nintendo gang! I want to race as Captain Falcon on a Mario Galaxy/Sonic Colors inspired course, and by the love of Robert Downy Jr, I'll be disappointed if it doesn't happen this generation.
3. Bring back Special Items.
Ooh yes, you know you want to use this bad boy again.
Double Dash!! was the only Mario Kart game to feature special items, because Nintendo apparently said "pffflthphtffft, we don't need those any more!" and they were completely from the next game, Mario Kart DS. Which was a terrible idea, because the special items were a blast to use. With only one character per kart in today's Mario Kart games, it might seem redundant to go back to limiting bombs to Wario or triple shells to Koopa, but to bypass this ordeal we only need to make new items or return past items (give Toad the Megashroom as a special item for example). But who wants to use those characters when you can throw giant spiny shells with Bowser? Okay, forget everything I said about bringing back special items, let's just bring back that item and we're good.
2. Add Characters we would actually use.
One negative factor from Mario Kart 7 is it's ridiculous unlockable characters. Queen Bee and Lakitu were humorous additions, but Metal Mario has to be the most laziest clone character since Dr.Mario appeared in Smash Bros. Melee (See, this is where special items would've been a good niche to have but nooooooo). Mario Kart Wii was no different, having no fewer than FOUR baby characters not counting Bowser Jr. As much as I...um, like?...playing as Wiggler and Baby Daisy it's time give more Mario characters their spotlight. To name a few: Mallow from Mario RPG, Goombella from Paper Mario: TYD (if you want to go obscure), Fawful from SuperStar saga, and if anything else, please add MC Ballyboo from Mario Party 8. Make a Metal Block an item and ditch Metal Mario ASAP. The Character Select screen is getting as bad as Mortal Kombat.
Forever have I been racing behind the wheel, and never once have I felt the blur of insanity that is to go over 150cc. That has to end. I want a speed limit in Mario Kart to match that of F-Zero- no. No limitations; just speed. We've got none of that. All we have is Mirror Mode, which is a lame joke to make you believe that turning left instead of right counts as a harder difficulty option.
"Holy s***, this is harder than Lost Levels!" -said no one ever.
This isn't making the game harder, it's just giving you the same exact courses as filler content. I hunger more. Give me SPEED. Give me a challenge. Give me a new challenge around every corner, every lap, every drift, and a reason to keep going when I get knocked back to 5th place because ArseMcCloud7 from New Jersey used a Lightning Bolt when I was in a mid-jump for the third straight time.
Don't get me wrong; I'll still buy any and every Mario Kart game that Nintendo makes, but to keep me occupied longer, the series needs at least a few tweaks to keep my engines running. Now if you'll excuse me I have a revenge match to attend to with Mr.Arse.