Though some Nintendo fans may have hoped Mario Kart 9 would launch with the Nintendo Switch, it never happened. Instead, Nintendo re-launched Mario Kart 8 onto their new console like it was a brand new game. This move disappointed a lot of long-time fans, but since Mario Kart 9 clearly wasn’t ready yet, moving Mario Kart 8 to the Switch might as well have made it a new title.
The console sold the game more than anything else, as one of the main features of the Switch is that you can just hand over the other Joy-Con to a friend and they could play too. No extra cost of buying another controller, it’s already built into the system.
That said, Nintendo needs to keep the hits coming to really make sure that the Switch continues to climb those sales charts. Mario Kart 9 needs to come out as the more official and exclusive racing game only on the Switch.
The game is going to need a complete overhaul of characters, tracks, and modes, all of which need to reflect the new console they are on. As such, we’re probably going to see motion controls make a comeback, as well as brand new characters from recent games, like ARMS, Mario Odyssey, and Breath of the Wild.
The opportunities for Mario Kart 9 on the Switch are endless, so here is the Mario Kart 9 Reveal: What to Expect, When To Expect it, & Why.
What To Expect
Mario Kart 9 Motion Controls
One thing fans will have to be ready for is that Mario Kart 9 will see the return of motion controls. Thus far, as seen with ARMS and the Nintendo Labo line, the motion controls on the Switch are actually quite good. Not only are they responsive, they can be used in constructive and fun ways. There is not necessarily a need to make grand gestures, like on the Wii for certain sports games.
In a racing game like Mario Kart 9, motion controls can be used to steer your vehicle, brake, and even use items. Perhaps with certain maneuvers, you can steer yourself out of a banana peel spin out, or physically throw shells at your opponents. This can lead to additional challenges on the track or in battle modes, and certainly, make playing with a friend more interesting.
Mario Kart 9 Characters, Rides, Tracks, and Modes
In addition to motion controls, we can expect new characters, rides, tracks, and modes inspired by more recent titles. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle will definitely make an appearance with all of the above, providing new characters to race with, crazy vehicles, tracks themed after the game’s worlds, and modes that reflect the unique Kingdom Battle gameplay.
Mario Odyssey and the hat mechanic would make a rather interesting item for players to acquire during races. Perhaps instead of something like the Blue Shell, players will get the hat and “capture” whoever is in first place for a short time. This could tiptoe into the realm of unfair, depending on how Nintendo plans on handling balance issues.
When to Expect Mario Kart 9
E3 is a confusing time for Nintendo. They can never seem to decide whether the event is important enough to warrant big announcements, or so insignificant that they announce the smallest titles possible.
Thus far, they seem to be marketing for the latter but are in actuality landing somewhere in the middle. Nintendo will announce a few big titles at E3; however, most of them (if not all) will be entirely expected. One such title is sure to be Mario Kart 9. If they do give a release date, it will either be for the end of 2018 or sometime during 2019.
Why Mario Kart 9?
Some folks might be under the impression that there is no reason for another Mario Kart game to come out – we already have Mario Kart 8 on the Switch, after all. It is important to note, however, that in the video game industry there is plenty of money to be made in sequels.
Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U managed to be a wild success, with 8 million copies sold on the otherwise poorly received console. The sales number jumped up to 9 million copies for the Switch alone, a good million more than the Wii U, with numbers still rising.
Needless to say, there is profit in working on an old title in order to reflect an innovative console. Nintendo is a company that counts on their own creativity to make old titles seem new, using new mechanics and console features to “reboot” a franchise. Though this is usually more successfully done with Zelda and other Mario titles, these innovations are bound to extend to Mario Kart 9.
The Mario Kart 9 Wishlist
As to what fans are hoping to see in Mario Kart 9, it seems that there is a lot Mario Kart 8 could improve on. Characters are always on top of the Mario Kart 9 wishlist, like Diddy Kong, Toadette, King Boo, Dry Bones, Birdo, various Paper Mario and WarioWare characters, Samus, Kirby, and Fox McCloud. A lot of these characters should be unlockable as well, something to strive towards rather than have available immediately without any end goal for gamers.
In addition to unlockable characters, Mario Kart 9 should have tracks locked behind specific trophies and progress awards. There are plenty of new worlds for Nintendo to design such tracks after as well, like Sand Kingdom, Lake Kingdom, Wooded Kingdom, Metro Kingdom, and best of all: Ruined Kingdom.
If you remember Bowser’s Castle on the N64 Mario Kart version, you can imagine how creepy and cool a race track based on gothic architecture would be. Those are just from Mario Odyssey, there are still tracks that could be inspired by ARMS, Splatoon, Breath of the Wild, and Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle.
All of the above would make for plenty of new content, but there must be some gameplay elements to compliment the Switch. The aforementioned motion controls are sure to spawn new game modes and items; arena-based battles, especially variants on capture the flag, battle royale, and team-based modes, would be very welcome in multiplayer.
Most importantly, as seen in the Nintendo Labo variety kit, we will likely be able to make our own tracks in Mario Kart 9. One Joy-Con possessed a camera with which to capture everyday objects and create extremely difficult tracks. You should be able to share these with your friends and challenge them to a match or two.
New items are on the list as well, most from previous Mario Kart games or Mario titles. These items include but are not limited to Ice Flower which uses three shots to freeze opponents or severely slow them down, or Mario’s new hat from Mario Odyssey.
What do you hope to see in Mario Kart 9? Let us know in the comments below!