Recently Mario Kart Tour has been adding in fan favorite characters that fans have been requesting for years. Characters such as Pauline, Hammer Bro, Nabbit, and the most recent King Bob-omb. Anytime one of these characters have been added it brings up the conversation that they all should be added to Mario Kart 9. The mysterious sequel to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. What players don’t understand is that Mario Kart Tour is the 9th game in the Kart Franchise. When brought up some fans will shrug it off and dismiss any hint of Tour being 9. That thinking just makes no sense to me. All the content that is in Tour right now would warrant it to be considered 9 by fans if it was on the Switch.
Let’s break it down though
I can be very blunt and show that even Nintendo considers it to be Mario Kart 9 by just linking their page of Mario Kart games. Even the team behind the “mainline” Mario Kart games are working on Tour. It is not just some B-Team they pulled together for this mobile game. They have all the talent that would make a great console Mario Kart working on this. So why do fans shrug it off? Probably because it is a mobile game and that they don’t really care who is putting effort into it. Little did they know that Tour would introduce many new ideas and bring fan favorite modes back.
Take it back now y’all
Tour has brought the introduction of Reverse Tracks, which makes every single track be raced backwards. While Mirror mode only flips the track, reverse tracks bring in a whole new element of the track changing. Some tracks need to be modified in certain ways to work. Take Rock Rock Mountain 3DS for example. At one point racers will glide down in the normal version, but in the reverse track a giant ramp is placed down so they can get back up. Having reverse tracks in this game breathes new life in older tracks that many have raced hundreds of times. Just racing backwards on a SNES track will make it feel like new.
Trick it to win it
Not only do reverse tracks make an appearance, but so do Trick courses. Trick courses are usually the same layout but with added parts to do tricks off to increase your combo meter. Trick courses can also be paired with reverse tracks, and that is when Tour really shines. These are incredibly fun, and I believe it is one of the best parts of Tour. Being able to keep doing tricks while ranking up points is such a great feeling. Get used to your character’s voice lines though. Each time you go off a ramp they’ll be “Wahooing!” any chance they can get.
Mario Kart Tour also adds a point system. The point system is used to gain Grand Stars. With said point system comes combos. Combos are achieved by just playing the game. You can start a combo by doing a rocket start, collecting coins, using items, or doing tricks off the course. With the right kart parts you can build a ton of points at once. You can also double your combo points with higher level parts. Before in other Mario Kart games, normally you could bypass certain trick spots, but in Tour you want to go out of your way to hit them. Raising that combo means a better overall score at the end of the race. The better the score, the better chance you have to acquire Grand Stars.
The return of Mission Mode
Not only did Nintendo bring in new ways to play with Reverse Tracks and Trick courses. They also brought back the heavily requested Mission Mode. This time it is a bit different. Each cup consists of 3 races and one mission. The one mission can be a variety of different things. Those being Combo Attack, Dodge the Hazards, Glide Challenge, Race against a Mega version of a character, how many jump boosts can you do, etc. Bringing missions back is just another piece of content that fleshes out Tour even more than it already does. Doing these missions will also grant you up to 3 Grand Stars if completed fully. Fun little bonuses that will help you out in the long run!
Gacha in my Mario Kart?
Now this is the one of the only complaints I can agree with. Not liking the gameplay of Tour makes sense, but personally I am fine with it. If it went back to the beta gameplay then it would be 10x better. However the gacha in the game is pretty dumb. There are many moments where to get the most points, you need a piece of High-End gear. Only way to get High-End gear is pulling it from Pipes or the Gold Pass. Of course with any gacha it is up to chance if you will get what you actually want. Most of the time the drop rates for High-End gear is less than 1%. As the game has been updated more, High-Ends are needed to get the most points out of tracks. Meaning players will need to spend money if they want the new character or kart part.
The Gold Pass
When Nintendo first introduced the Gold Pass it was met with negative feedback right away. The Gold Pass offers players more goodies than you would normally get by playing. Such as more rubies so you can fire more pipes, more coins, different characters, and even High-End parts. All of this for $5 USD a month. Nintendo also gives new users a free trial period that lasts for two weeks. If you want to get the most out of Tour then the Gold Pass is necessary. I can understand why people have a distaste for it. It was the success of the Gold Pass that made other Nintendo mobile games adapt their own.
Mario Kart Tour is Mario Kart 9
By all definitions Mario Kart Tour is indeed Mario Kart 9. No matter how you slice it, it is in fact 9. It brings a variety of new characters and variants, new karts and gliders, new courses, bringing back missions, and fresh gameplay ideas such as reverse tracks and trick courses. All of these combined make a genuine Mario Kart game. Not liking the gameplay or the gacha elements doesn’t magically not make it Mario Kart 9. Fans need to realize this now, so they aren’t confused in the future. I have no idea what the next Mario Kart will be named. It can simply be Mario Kart 10 or they can go back and add a subtitle to it. All that I know is that Mario Kart Tour is Mario Kart 9, and that should be fact not opinion.
Stay tuned for more at Final Weapon!