Nintendo, your work isn't done on Mario Kart 8

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More crossovers and a real battle mode

When Nintendo announced its DLC plans for Mario Kart 8, there was a combination of collective groans and cheers across the internet. The latter group was on the right side of history, it seems. When thefirst DLC Pack dropped in November, pretty much everyone agreed that it was fantastic. A few days ago, the second DLC pack dropped — also fantastic.

But Nintendo could go a lot further, ensuring that everyone keeps on karting well into the release of the next major console.

New crossovers:

The sky really is the limit for new franchises. While I initially wanted a full-on “Mario Kart All-Stars” for the next game, I soon realized after playing the Animal Crossingpack that Nintendo could just keep supporting 8, and it would be more than good enough. With a real online infrastructure and a visual style gorgeous enough to withstand the test of time, we don’t have to wait years until a new console iteration.

Keep the crossovers coming. Samus, Fox McCloud, Kirby (with his Warpstar) — all of them would fit perfectly into the Mario Kartuniverse, and I can see some really ingenious tracks down the road due to Nintendo’s rich history as a character factory. One request is to just go all-out for the new characters though — no “half Mariohalf new” — just go all-new.

Just inject F-Zero into the game already:

We’ve seen the Mute City and Big Blue homages, but really, with F-Zero considered by many to be the definitive racing experience over Mario Kart, that’s a huge market ready to be tapped. I’m not even talking about a “Pack” here — more like a full-on expansion in 2016 featuring cast members from F-Zero, at least 10 tracks from the series, and extra elements like new characters and planets.

Use that as a barometer for gauging interest in a new F-Zerogame. Miyamoto himself said last year that “thestruggle is that I don’t really have a good idea for what’s new that we could bring to F-Zero that would really turn it into a great game again.” I have an idea — fans already like what you’ve done with the franchise in Mario Kart 8, so think about expanding on it.

A real battle mode:

Finally, we come to my one big problem with Mario Kart 8— a lack of a real battle mode. No, that sorry excuse of “racing with balloons” doesn’t cut it. I want real, tiered arenas that are all-new. Although I loved the core game as a racer, it really loses a lot of its spark due to the fact that so many fans grew up only playing the battle minigame. It cuts down on the replay value for fans as well, as I remember plenty of Mario Kartmarathons that would have ended after a few hours if it wasn’t for someone suggesting that we play “just a bit more” within the confines of the arena.

I’m hopeful for these additions because Nintendo has shown it knows how to to DLC right. For $12 right now, you’ll netseven characters (Villager counts as two!), eight vehicles, and 16 tracks. For reference, the game shipped with 32 courses. While I wouldn’t trust a lot of publishers with this charge, Nintendo has the opportunity to really make Mario Kart 8one of the longest-lasting games in the series, as the company has proven that it knows exactly what it’s doing.