Mario Karticle: On Coins

Mario Kart has been through its fair share of changes, be it in the naming trend, the available characters, or even the things your karts can do! However, the release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has only deepened my curiosity as to what lies in store for Mario Kart 9 when it finally shows up… IF it’s even called that. I’m not here to speculate on what the next game might be or even try to create some kind of wishlist of things I’d like to see. So what AM I rambling about today then? Well, I’d like to make a simple suggestion for how to put a twist on the series without taking a hard turn into “not Mario Kart” territory. Humor me and hear me out here.

So what is one thing that has always seems a little forced? Something they don’t even always include in the series, but sometimes do? Something that even has trouble finding much relevance in the main series… what could it be? Coins. Okay, so using coins for rankings, unlockables, and mild speed boosts are all fine, but they don’t exactly add tons to the gameplay. I mean, whenever a new item is introduced it has a pretty big impact on the way the game is played and strategy. It’s noteworthy! Rather than simply removing coins, as they have done in the past, the question becomes… how do we make coins a bigger part of the gameplay? Well, here’s my thought.

You know how people often complain about the unfair nature of the chances to get random items from item boxes based upon your current placing? You know how it is. People in the back get all the fun stuff like lightning bolts and blue shells while the ones in the front are pretty much stuck to using banana peels. What if we tried to change that up? All the items could still exist, but in fixed spawns. You could find the more common items like banana peels on easy routes, while those powerful items get thrown off the beaten path for those that really want it. Playing better can net you better items! And hey, no more randomness. All becomes fair in love and Mario Kart. But… how does that fix our coin situation?

I’m glad I pretended that you asked. You see, the idea is that you’ll have to use coins to purchase the items as you pass through them. If you don’t have enough coins you’ll just get nothing. No harm, no foul. And obviously the more powerful items will cost more coins to purchase. The max speed increase can still cap at 10 coins but you could be allowed to collect more for using items. By doing this, you would have to go out of your way to get coins and drive defensively to keep them for your planned purchases. On top of that, you have to risk the cut in speed should you go below 10 coins. Or, maybe just adjust item prices accordingly with a 10 max. It’d need some fine tuning over on Nintendo’s end for sure, but conceptually this would make coins a lot more meaningful while making items less randomized. It could finally make the items part of FAIR races rather than being the thing everyone blames their losses on. It could be the perfect blend of Mario Kart ideas! Or… at least an interesting one. And don’t get me wrong here. I don’t think that should be the ONLY mode of play, or even the main one, but it could be a great optional mode. Maybe even with its own trophies for all the cups. Just make all the item spawns random item boxes for normal play and it can double for all track layouts! Are you listening, Nintendo? Just… think about it.

Again, this is all just me conceptualizing ideas here. This isn’t really me saying what Nintendo should do or what I definitely want in the next Mario Kart. I just think it’d be a really interesting way to make coins feel more meaningful while also making items more fair. What do you think of this idea? Does it sound like something you’d like to see as an option, or do you think it’d be a terrible addition? And please, do tell me WHY if you pick a side there. I’d love to hear YOUR ideas of what to do to freshen up the series without totally changing it. If we’re lucky, maybe Nintendo will take some of our ideas and make them work for that Mario Kart 9 in our future… IF they even call it that!

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