Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 1, 2017

Email: Mario Kart bloat

Master Malstrom,

I’ve been playing through Mario Kart 8 on Switch right now and it’s very fun and engaging. You’ve mentioned numerous times that Nintendo hasn’t killed Mario Kart’s fundamentals yet, but I don’t think it’s for the lack of trying. There’s been stuff they’ve added in recent Mario Kart games that don’t really make a whole lot of sense and just feel like bloat. The addition of more vehicle types like Bikes and ATVs were once novel but now feel a little redundant and strays from the Kart racing experience. Then you have more and more items that can cause severe rubber band issues for players. I remember this being a huge problem in the Wii version where the AI was just unfair. The hang gliders in 7 made little sense and felt like an unnecessary add on. Finally there’s the anti gravity F-Zero mechanic shoehorned into 8 that also just doesn’t add a whole lot to the game and feels like a weak F-Zero Mario Kart hybrid that doesn’t help either franchise. My hope for the next version is they trim down this bloat and get back to the simpler idea of go kart racing with a small selection of items.

I miss the charm of the simple ‘go-kart’ experience.  But Nintendo will keep doing what sells and Mario Kart 8 sells.

A ‘Mario Kart Maker’ could be a lot of fun. Make our own tracks. Vroom! Vroom!

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