Neal offers his thoughts on Nintendo's next kart racer.
On recent episodes of NWR Newscast, we've had several discussions on Mario Kart, and how the 3DS version wasn't exciting some people because the series seemed to be getting stale with so many iterations over the years. I know I can safely say that Mario Kart on 3DS is, for me, doing all the things it needs to do to get me excited for the next entry in the series.
The biggest addition, outside of the snazzy 3D effect, is the inclusion of the glider and underwater kart. It makes the gameplay mildly reminiscent of Diddy Kong Racing, except for the fact that you seamlessly go between each vehicle type during the race. Say you go underwater in the middle of a race. You would immediately turn into a floatier underwater kart until you left the water. Or maybe you got some huge air. Following that, you would glide for as long as you can. With the glider, you can make that last if you use mushrooms or artfully maneuver. With a combination of mushrooms and cutting corners, I was able to glide for nearly half a lap. It was an extremely rewarding feeling. It's worth noting that tricks appear to be gone, as when you go off a jump, you glide instead of arcing through the air.
More innovation was teased, but the next big addition appears to be the kart customization. You can change the body, wheels, and kite in the demo, though there was only one kite to choose from. While nothing was fully on display, they appear to give your kart mildly different stats.
Mario Kart on 3DS looks incredible and feels even better. I simply can't wait to see more about this game and spend more time with it. It might not be as large of an addition as the two racer mechanic in Double Dash or the motion controls in the WIi version, but it should prove to be a highly refined version of a classic franchise with several new tricks.