Sunday 4 February 2018

Future of Mario Kart - Retro Tracks Next in Line [Gaming]

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe only released last year, making any theoretical Mario Kart 10 [or 9 if Deluxe doesn’t actually count as a release] way off from releasing – more than likely 2020. However, despite that, I’m getting into it early anyway. So here is a series that will talk about the future of Mario Kart, starting off with a simple one. If a new entry was to keep the track structure of 16 new and 16 old, which tracks from previous games would return?

The choices for retro tracks in the game are falling short for some previous entries. As you’ll see below, that makes the choice of some tracks easy. Others are more personal choice. First, my choices need to be shown off.

Shell Cup – DS Figure-8 Circuit / GBA Boo Lake / Wii Dry Dry Ruins / WiiU Shy Guy Falls

Banana Cup – 3DS Alpine Pass / GCN Mushroom City / WiiU Sunshine Airport / SNES Koopa Beach 1

Leaf Cup – WiiU Cloudtop Cruise / SNES Vanilla Lake 2 / 3DS Wuhu Island Loop / GCN Bowser’s Castle

Lightning Cup – N64 Wario Stadium / 3DS Wuhu Mountain Loop / Wii DK’s Snowboard Cross / GBA Rainbow Road

Now, the easy choices were as follows. If we keep to what Nintendo has done with all previous retro tracks, a track cannot return twice. Yes, the DLC tracks ruined that in a way by bringing back GCN Yoshi Circuit, GCN Baby Park, and SNES Rainbow Road despite them having shown up before, but until we see evidence of such happening in the main track rosters, I’m sticking with just new retro tracks. For the N64 tracks, that makes it very easy indeed, with only Wario Stadium having not returned previously. Only four tracks haven’t shown for a retro remake from the GCN, and the two I’ve chosen reflect that. Wario Colosseum hasn’t been chosen, as while it absolutely is the better of the two tracks, Mushroom City can see some valuable improvements just as Toad’s Turnpike did in Mario Kart 8. That leaves Bowser’s Castle to slot in as the other track where Rainbow Road can’t, as following the latest tradition in Mario Kart, the Rainbow Road next to get in would be the GBA track. That track is here, along with personal choice of Boo Lake, just so it can hopefully see the sort of upgrade Cheese Land and Ribbon Road did in MK8’s DLC. I’d also like to see that sort of an upgrade on the SNES tracks, which Koopa Beach 1 and Vanilla Lake 2 should hopefully provide. DS tracks are running low as well, so reducing the amount of those to just one is necessary to get them all in [without bring its Rainbow Road in before the GCN one]. As such, a track I was surprised wasn’t brought into MK8 despite the obvious name begging for an inclusion, I’ve put Figure-8 Circuit in.

That leaves us with three games remaining to choose retro tracks from. Mario Kart 8 had no recent game with four tracks taken, and I’m sticking to that here. As for the choices, these are all personal. For the 3DS, both Wuhu Island tracks were chosen because I really wish more would be done with it – not just in cameos, but as a full game. For now, these two tracks will have to do, though I’m hoping Wuhu gets a new chance to shine before 2020. The third track of Alpine Pass is here as I feel it’s one of the better tracks in Mario Kart 7. For Mario Kart 8’s returning tracks, Cloudtop Cruise, Shy Guy Falls, and Sunshine Airport were instant hits with me, and if I was to include a fourth, I think that choice would be obvious. Mount Wario is left out to give another character mountain track a chance to shine. DK’s Snowboard Cross wouldn’t need much to make it better, except for putting in a shortcut to make use of the gliding mechanic. Dry Dry Ruins is here to keep a sense of variety.

Now, there could be a few changes, such as DS Shroom Ridge, or nearly any of the MK7 and MK8 tracks, but those I’ve chosen are more than likely to be in. That is, of course, if the whole idea of retro tracks doesn’t get rethought. Or even the whole layout of cups. And speaking of, features will be the next topic of this series, and specifically ways to expand on the current structure of the Grand Prix mode.

Future of Mario Kart Series