How Would You Improve Mario Kart?

Image: Kotaku

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is officially landing on the Switch next week. It's not an overhaul of the traditional MK8 formula, but Nintendo has shown they are open to improving a classic.

So if you had the choice, how would you improve Mario Kart?

With Battle Mode getting a lot better, the next cab off the rank would be more extensive online leaderboardss. Some form of online ranked play with matchmaking would be endless amounts of fun, although it's also the kind of online support that Nintendo traditionally hasn't done well. That said, some of that might be happening with the tournaments being added to Mario Kart's Switch debut, but we'll see.

I asked people around the office how they would improve Mario Kart, and received a lot of umms and hmms in return. Danny, Kotaku's publisher, suggested more bombastic weapons that crossover with Nintendo IP would be cool to see - think a massive ink gun from Splatoon that covers the track. He also reasoned that any new version of Mario Kart would need its own Rainbow Road moment, although Rainbow Road means different things to different people.

How would you improve Mario Kart, if you could?


    Put it on a machine with a decent online infrastructure and a bit more grunt, would be the obvious answer.

    Can you play 4 player local and online simultaneously on the Switch?
    How about some cross network play (Rocket League style)?

    There’s not a lot you can do with the formula TBH. It’s pretty good as it is.
    I’d just like tons of online options, stat tracking ect to make the individual races a bit more meaningful.

    A split screen in which one person can use the pad, and one the tv, rather than a shared screen on both.

      though I guess that wouldn't work on the switch.

    Alternativly they should get rid of all the weapons and make the tracks narrow and extremely dynamic. Make the Karts WAAAAYYYY faster and open the field up to at least 30-40 racers.
    Then they should streamline the Karts down so they’re built like small spaceships, and get rid of the current characters and replace them with futuristic types with names like Black Shadow, Octoman and Falcon.

    Also they should replace the menu screen music with something METAL AS F*CK (in midi form).

    Nintendo would never do anything like that though….

      Sounds like you want a completely different game.

      What is it with gamers and metal? Seems to be more than a large percentage of people who play games that are obsessed with it. Do you listen to other genres?

        I think you might have missed my reference. I was joking about how they never make new F-Zero games.

        F-Zero X on the N64 had ridiculously over the top guitar music on the menus. It was awesome if only for its enthusiasm (also awesome for its awesomeness).
        I do like metal (noting that’s a very broad genre), but R&B is the only universally terrible music as far as I’m concerned.

          Sorry, never really owned nintendo consoles. Feel like a dumbskull now.

          There's good music in every genre, the problem people make is trying to jump from say, Metallica to Usher, and vice versa. You gotta go on a musical journey that's more like a gradient of sound. It's like that boiling a frog analogy.

            No problem. You should play F Zero if you ever get a chance. It's a classic.

            R&B is irredeemably terrible though.

              You just haven't heard the right songs yet. I recommend Frank Ocean's new album, it probably stretches the genre confines but maybe that's the best place to start.

        But why would you listen to anything else when you can listen to metal instead?

          Because metal only scratches one particular kind of itch, and there's literally an entire world of music that breaks the rules metal enforces in the best way possible. It's also a huge cliche, a gamer who listens to metal exclusively? Be more than a cardboard cutout.

          I was watching an interview with a band and the guy said he had a friend who only listened to metal, and then he heard this song and it flicked a switch inside him that made him appreciate all genres of music. Maybe it'll happen for you too?

            I don't even like most kinds of metal :P

            Probably hit Submit too early on that one, could go into far more on most of that, needless as it may be - I mean it was more just a quip than anything (lighten up, guy :P), but it is kinda funny to be accused of being a cardboard cutout. I think just about anyone who knows me at all would find that hilarious :P That said, I do somewhat listen to metal "exclusively", though even more exclusive than that it's just the one band. Though they do have a pretty vast range over the 14 odd albums, so it's hardly the same thing over and over. Still I do take a break with other things occasionally, but I'll come right back to them afterwards. It's what I enjoy listening to most when driving around, so why not?

            In particular though, I like the adrenaline-pumping excitement of metal and find that it suits the feel of a lot of games extremely well. Especially the high-speed racing of F-Zero X, its soundtrack was perfect and something I could only hope would be matched in a future instalment. Unirally was great too. But it all depends what I'm doing though - I also love ragtime and bluesy jazz stuff when playing piano. And the jazzy/groovy/big band stylings of de Blob are one of my most favourite videogame soundtracks of all time, especially the way it integrated with the players actions throughout the game. HotD Overkill inspired me to compile and create my own soundtrack for the game, it suited the aesthetic so well.

            So yeah. I know I've got fairly limited musical tastes, but there's an eclectic enough mix in there so I'm happy. Fun, fast or funky, that does me well. Can't say what you linked did anything for me though, sorry :P

      I lol'd.

      I would love another F-Zero. Fast Racing Neo was good, but it was just missing
      ... something. I could never put my finger on it.

      Maybe it was missing the awesome soundtrack of X and GX?

        The massive comment thread going off into music is pretty funny.

        I loved the over top music stuff in F Zero on the GameCube. Especially the band in the background of the cutscene for the "bet race".

    Decent soundtrack. Go the Sonic & All-Stars Racing transformed route and have slammin' beats that pay tribute to classic tunes. Mario Kart soundtracks have always been - bar a handful of select tunes - the musical equivalent of a shrug.

    Microtransactions. Think of how awesome it would be to buy colours for your kart or purchase different types of kart. Imagine being able to plonk down some cash to buy specific power ups instead of getting random ones all the time. What if you could buy your own taunts and emotes to display to other people while hurtling down the track? I know, I know. Unprecedented genius right there.

    But wait! Hold on to your horses, they're about to go wild and crazy. What if you could get that for free, but only via a loot box that randomly spits out these magnificent items? And you only got those boxes sometimes? "How is that better than buying stuff?" I hear you ask. Well, what if you could buy these boxes?! Then instead of spending a finite amount of cash on things you want, you can spend infinite cash only getting things you want sometimes! *Heads explode and wallets open*

    Make a player's chances of winning less about luck and more about skill.

      Mario Kart has always been and will always be about having an element of both of these. That said, there are already options to turn off items if you so wish to play that way.

      Honestly though, if you have the skills, you'll win despite the items and rubberbanding. Sure you'll have the odd races where you get absolutely molested by items on the final lap but you should bounce right back the following race and nail it.

      I reached 8000 VR on MK8 on the Wii U before I stopped playing it, plus I 3-starred every cup on every cc class (all without fire hopping cause I used an inward drift bike, and racing primarily as a middle weight character) and you can't do that if you're only relying on luck. I also did a similar thing in MK Wii.

    The ability to board and hijack another player's kart, leaving them kartless and stranded on the side of the road.

    I would like to see configurable item sets.

    The players can choose which items are in roation for the races/races/tournament.

    eg. I may choose to exclude the blue shell for example. ()

    Different game modes. It would be cool if they included additional game modes to battle and racing. It would also like to see a feature where you can que up an amount of games and they computer will randomly select the game type for you, kind of like Mario Party but with karts. Some game modes are listed below.

    Capture the flag style game: where the aim to to pick up the other teams flag and bring it your base, hitting someone with an item will cause them to drop the flag.

    Double Dash: A throw back to the game cube version (My Favorite) have a game mode with two per a kart

    Team Race: I know something similar was included in the WII version but it would be nice to add it to. This mode would have teams racing against teams trying to get the top spot in each race, wold work great online..

    Splatoon: Very simply rip off the splatoon idea by having your game paint as it drive, most paint on the field at the end winds.

    Classic mode: A race only using classic Items, as in no Bullet Bills.

    Sticky/slippery tracks: speaks for it self.

    Treasure collect: Basic Idea is you drive your car around and collect treasure to return to your base. More treasure you have the slower you move, get hit by an item, lose all your treasure.

    Track building functionailty.

    One thing I do miss which only made an appearance in 1 mario kart game was the mini challenge mode on Mario Kart DS. That was things like power sliding through a bunch of coins in one hit, navigating obsticles or taking down enemies in a time limit etc.

    I would love to see a adventure mode similar to Diddy Kong racing which was one of my favourite all time games from that generation

      To be honest, I'd rather see that setting in another Diddy Kong game rather than Mario Kart. Sadly we'll never get the Genie back, he's owned by Rare/Microsoft now :(

    Make it more like the good ones. 7 and 8 both fell under the banner of "technically competent yet somehow lacking" for me.

    Just add all the SNES tracks. Also have a wide variety of genres of music that all Kotaku fans can love? PS the best style of music is psychedelic folk rock.

    Mario (Kart) Maker functionality would be the BEST (and worst too, as is the nature of user-generated content).

    Anything that gets you more tracks would be awesome. It'd be great to have a roster of hundreds of different tracks (even if they're legacy tracks or even user-generated ones of lesser quality), rather than just a couple of dozen.

    Online races without items.

    Just add a bunch more characters, even not Mario related.

    More MK8 style DLC for this one too please.

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