Every Nintendo Direct, I can’t help but find myself wishing for any new updates to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Time and time again nothing ever happens to the game, whether it be premium DLC or simply new characters. With this being the same game from the Wii U, save for its Battle Mode, there is no excuse that Mario Kart 9 should be on the way.
Longest Drought in Series History
Thanks to a post from the Nintendo Switch Reddit, user Underwhere_Overthere helped reveal that “This is the longest we’ve ever gone without a new mainline Mario Kart game in the series’ 27-year history.” Starting with Super Mario Kart, a new title has launched every 2-4 years. Mario Kart 8 launched in 2014 for the Wii U which marks 5 years since we have a new iteration has been seen. Granted the title received two DLC packs, one in 2014 and the other in 2015, that can only go so far. This series has always been one that comes out fairly quickly and always satisfies with its content. Don’t get me wrong, Mario Kart 8 is a great game but after playing it for five years (and soon to be six) it can grow a bit stale.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has had 0 Big Updates
Some may say, “Well, if you count Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, then it’s really only been two years.” If you want to count the same game as two different things then sure, it’s only been two years. However, it’s hard to argue that this is anything new. The DLC was included as well as a fully-fledged Battle Mode. We won’t get into the fact that this mode should have been added from the start but it is strange that no new tracks were included. On top of that, the only real additions were six characters and some Mii outfits. Why is this the only thing that was bothered to be included? Even two years since the “Deluxe” port was launched, we’ve only seen enough notable updates as years its been out. One gave us an alternate Breath of the Wild costume for Link while another provided Nintendo Labo support. This is not enough to keep the title alive, despite what Nintendo’s Head of Software, Shinya Takahashi, may say.
Mario Kart Tour Isn’t It
The upcoming mobile title, Mario Kart Tour, is a great idea but it’s only a spin-off, similar to the arcade games. There is a lot to offer in this title, yet it can’t pass off as a main series entry. Mario Kart 7 on 3DS and Mario Kart 8 on Wii U are two examples of a console and mobile entry that have enough content to sustain fans and be touted as main titles. Tour and 8 Deluxe don’t have that distinction. What is there to do though? New DLC for the time being can help, small content updates can help too, however a Mario Kart 9 seems more appropriate. A total overhaul with new tracks, cups, karts, characters, and overall look and feel is needed much more.
At this point, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe feels too dated. It’s a superb kart racing game and is one of the best in the series but there hasn’t been enough to keep it alive. With other great party games on the Switch, such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the Jackbox Party Pack series, it’s tough to keep players coming back for Mario Kart. The series deserves a great entry, maybe one akin to Smash Bros where every track comes back? Who knows. One thing is for certain, Mario Kart needs a breath of fresh air and Mario Kart 9 can accomplish this.