News Article

Mario Kart Without Items Isn't Mario Kart, That Includes the Blue Shell

Posted by Trevor Chan

Hideki Konno explains the importance of its inclusion

We can't expect franchises to stay the same forever, but when the crowd-dividing Blue Shell was introduced to the Mario Kart series back in Mario Kart 64, maybe not all of us expected it to stay through to the modern day instalments.

Hideki Konno is one of the main players behind the series, having served as director for Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart 64, and producer on Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart Wii, he's in a pretty good position to justify the inclusion of the power-up item that smashes into the racer who's enjoying the delights of first position, with less than a handful of ways in which to escape.

Speaking to Kotaku, Konno defends the power-up that has been responsible for costing players a place in the top positions before the race is over:

You know, with [Mario Kart] Wii, at least you can avoid it... The timing is tough, but at least you can avoid it.... Fundamentally we’re always playing while we’re making adjustments [to the games,]... We usually have some sort of theme to direct what we’re looking at. With [2008's] Mario Kart Wii, it was to create a race where, up until the finish line, you didn’t know. We wanted to create a race where everyone was in it until the end.

Noting that the development team had the same goal for Mario Kart 64 where everyone was in it until the end, the lack of processing power prevented Nintendo EAD from implementing a game mechanic that kept all eight racers relatively close together on-screen, countering the natural separation between players in the middle of a race.

Going back to the blue shell, it sounds like maybe [gamers] have some issues with it... I’m not trying to project or anything. I think in our next Mario Kart, we’ll be looking at the balance and I think we’ll come up with some answers and some solutions to make the game fresh and exciting as we move forward... I’m often asked, hey, in Mario Kart, could you please make a mode where there are no items. Let us race. But personally I think Mario Kart without items is not Mario Kart. Our goal, of course, is to keep the items in but just balance it well.

With the upcoming Mario Kart game for the 3DS, it will be interesting to see what new changes will be made, as well as what old features will remain.


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User Comments (97)



WaveBoy said:

At least have an option like in Super Smash Bros Brawl where you can disable certain items....Pwetty pwease? Then again, I didn't even know that the Blue Shell can actually be avoided....How in the hell do you actually avoid it anyways?



Nintendo-is-my-love said:

its true if mario kart didnt have the items it would be just another racing game that ends up forgotten but the blue shell i hate i wish they would ditch it because your doing well and your coming first and then a blue shell comes at the last minute and you end up 4th even though your a good mario kart player. also with mario kart wii its so stupid how when your coming first the only items you get are 1 green shell or 1 banana and when your coming last you get all the good stuff which is good in 1 respect that it makes it more even but its also very annoying and rigged and expected



Gene said:

You can dodge the blue shell if you time right using the mushroom.
Personally I don't hate blue shell's effect and I don't care if there are 1 or two in a race. (In a short track 1 is enough) But 3 or more is just ridiculous. Same thing with lightnings.



BrainOfSweden said:

What he said ^
I actually had to look it up, I feel stupid for not knowing that, but I will try it out next time i race Btw, my friend once hit herself with the blue shell in MKDS, because she somehow got it when she was in first place XD



skywake said:

I actually like the randomness. I think of myself as pretty good at racing games and I have lost A LOT of races because of Blue Shells and Lighting in Mario Kart but.... why would you play Mario Kart without items? That's half the fun!

If you want to race against people without items try and beat their ghosts on time trail.



WaveBoy said:


Well it must be tough alone to make sure you even 'have' a mushroom equiped, I guess when you're in first place it's the best thing to arm yourself with.



SwerdMurd said:

i don't see how racing perfectly then getting boned at the very end by a blue shell makes any game more fun to play, but that's just me. The eighth-place player using the blue shell isn't gonna finish well anyway...he's just gonna ruin the decent player's day.

One of many reasons this series does nothing for me. Shelve the stupid 3DS Mario Kart and release F-Zero. Way better fit for 3DS anyway--and it's actually challenging for legitimate reasons! /shock

At least give us a Smash Bros.-style item enable/disable screen so we can turn off the garbage if we want.



Fuzzy said:

It was fine in 64, because it didn't happen all that often, as in every few races or so. In Wii, you could get hit by 2-4 in the one race, plus you lose whatever weapon you had.

I like having the weapons in the game, because that's what Mario Kart is, but I like the idea of at least having some skill the use them effectively (be is accuracy or timing) so it's not just all randomness. It can still be chaotic.

EDIT: And don't get me started on how they butchered the battle mode.



Goomba77 said:

"Our goal, of course, is to keep the items in but just balance it well"

Yeah right!! He should just put his hands up and admit they messed this one right up... could have been awesome but the madness of GP races ruins it for me...

Time Trials are really where its at in Mario Kart though, as they never seem to put a hard enough difficulty option in GP mode. By that I mean a fair one, that isn't random, where the other drivers actually put up some kind of challenge time/racing wise...



pikku said:

@skywake My feelings exactly. But I don't see the harm in making a Sash Bros. style 'turn off whatever items you don't like either'



WWammy said:

The DS version of Mario Kart was well balanced for the most part but the Wii version I played a few matches and while the core racing was fun but the item usage from the computers is out of control and it looks like it was intentional and in all honesty the game just annoyed me too much to carry on playing it single player.



NintyMan said:

Really, I don't hate the spiny shell as much as everyone else, but I agree that it's silly to have it hit me four times or more in one race. Lightning clouds bother me more. And in Mario Kart 64, the spiny shell would also hit anyone that got in its way, which is a little cheap and I'm glad they dropped that. So I wonder what little changes they're going to make in Mario Kart 3DS?



Nerdessence said:

I definitely don't like the frequency of the "big, bad" items in the Kart series. I also think they've included too many. The Bullet Bill is stupid and excessive, as is the giant mushroom.

I am not a child with hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours to perfect my game anymore. Nor do I have that adorable, but ultimately obnoxious enthusiasm.

I agree with a Brawl-like mode. I stopped playing Mario Kart Wii because of the Blue Shell. I don't understand the philosophy behind punishing people who do well. It doesn't add suspense, it just makes one sigh and dread being in 1st place. It seems to happen in their party series too. I don't like random results. I prefer rewards for merit with maybe a dash of chance thrown in to keep things interesting.

But both series, "Kart" and "Party", whore the randomness, which goes against my logic-loving brain. I would definitely enjoy an item-free mode as an option. And since it seems another F-Zero game will never happen (or have they announced it?), I'll take a plain version of their other racing franchise.

The DS version and "Double Dash" are my favorites. The former was well-made and even my mother enjoys it. Nintendo games should always be accessible to everyone, since that's what sets them apart from the other major gamemakers. The latter I enjoyed co-oping with my husband. The item-use in that game felt more fair.

But I've seen the same thing in "Strikers". The first one was great. The second one exploited the Super Strikes and blocking to a point of nausea. I felt it broke up the nice flow the first one had. I want MOSTLY normal game with a TEENY bit of the flash and bang. The way a good cook knows when to go light on the salt and when to herb-crust his dish.

But, at least they're aware that people feel poorly about the Blue Shell and whatnot. Let's hope they listen to us.



Sneaker13 said:

I absolutely hate the blue shell, but I didn't mind it that much in Double Dash!, but it is just used so infairly in Mario Kart Wii. Still love the serie and games though (except Mario Kart 64) and I will get the 3DS version for sure.



Kirk said:

I still don't see why they can't include a no weapons option at least.

Who cares if it isn't "Mario Kart" when so many people just want to play a fair racing game that actually allows people so show off the real skills in a meaningful way (in Mario Kart).

Some people seem to think Mario Kart wouldn't be fun or something without the weapons but I'm telling you it would. You would still have all the classic Mario characters and themed race courses, with boosts and stuff for a bit skill, and all the same charm. That's all F-Zero has and I don't see anyone complaining that F-Zero isn't a brilliant fun game and especially in multi-player.



warioswoods said:

The blue shell is good fun; the only adjustment I might make would be to keep it from appearing during the final lap. It's a bit much when you get hit by one just before the finish line.



Highwinter said:

I agree with him, to an extent.. having no items would be silly and they should keep a certain element of chance. After all, the game is supposed to be fun, not a deathly serious racing sim.

However they do really need to balance the blue shell. In Mario Kart Wii it was FAR too frequent, almost impossible to avoid and it had wings, which meant instead of sliding around the ground and taking out everyone it hit, it ONLY hit the player in first position, which means it only ever benefited the person in second or third place.

Keep the items and keep the blue shell, just balance it better.




The Blue Shell and Bullet Bill are amazing power ups and are the best way of trying to provide consistantly entertaining and above all else competitive races!

I'm not the best MK player in the world but I'm no slouch either! However I have found on occassion that these power up's have proved invaluable to me!

There's no fun in playing a game where you can't compete, especially online! Part of Mario Kart's appeal is and always has been the power up's, If you don't like them, then you're playing the wrong game.

I'm all for improving a title, however when you take away one it's core gameplay mechanics, you take away the game itself.

(P.S for those of you that hate me now, guess what? I also love the BIKES in MK Wii!!!!)



FantasiaWHT said:

See Raskulls for a game that does a REALLY good job of keeping the races close by forcing the lead player to be the first to break through obstacles.



DrCruse said:

How hard is it to have a mode w/o items? Whether this guy believes it is good for the game or not, the players want it.



Monsti said:

I just don't understand the problem with giving you the option of switching stuff off. Or at least including a "pro mode" with only the basic Mario Kart Items....I would be fine with go through 3 menus to get to that mode and then accepting 3 screens that warn me it is only for experienced players.....But why is it so hard to give longtime players the chance to player in a more elaborate way???



DrCruse said:

It's becoming more of a random party game, and less of a fair competition.



Kevember said:

No matter how good you are, it's all about luck and that's what pisses me. Once I got hit by 10 blue shells in the same race, I was playing GP 150cc, that was ridiculous. And also 12 players on the track, it's full of items, the possibilities of getting hit by something are 50% higher. They need to make some improvements for Mario Kart 3DS.



azz1844 said:

The blue shell doesn't particularly help the person who usually gets it (unless maybe it's a 2 or 3 player only race). The people most likely to get one are those at the back, who are always more likely to get the more powerful weapons. However, from Double Dash!! the blue shell only hits the player in first place... so there's still a load of people in front of the person who fired it who are unaffected... meaning it's not THAT useful to them, it just screws over the person in 1st. It should at least return to the N64 style where it would hit other players on the way through, and make more of an impact on 1st place.

Whilst Mario Kart: Double Dash!! might not have been everyone's favourite (I loved it, personally), it was by far the best in terms of options and customization (various options for items, can change lap numbers, co-op grand prix, all-against-all battle mode [instead of teams only, argh!!], Shine Steal and Bob-omb mode). They should bring back these options, including individual item options for vs races.



Tylr said:

Mario Kart Wii was heck to get 3 stars in every race. The blue shells would come at you outta nowhere and are often followed by more karts and red shells. I personally enjoyed Double Dash more than Wii. Your charactor had a special item only they can use. That evened everything out a lot. I also found getting hit by a blue shell less frustrating in MKDD. My choice of Mario Kart would be Double Dash. Unless, of course, 3DS could do better?



SilverBaretta said:

I actually like the blue shell, even if I'm in first. The stress pumps me up, and if I get robbed, I just laugh it off and move on. It's not like you have to win, you know, the fun part is just enjoying the craziness of it all.



Bass_X0 said:

It's not like you have to win, you know, the fun part is just enjoying the craziness of it all.

After the first time, yes. After the tenth time, no.



Objection said:

For muliplayer, winning isn't everything. But I do kinda play single-player campaigns to have fun and win, it's kind of the point.



Splat said:

I'm all for weapons but the blue shell is the worst thing ever!!!



TanookiSteven said:

I don't see anything wrong with the blue shell. Have you seen Mario Kart DS & Wii? It seems that the game picks who's gonna win and keeps them in first place. So it's useful. To be hit with it? Not so much. I don't care if I get hit, I can always go and get back to first place. But if it hits me at the last second, I'm pissed.



outrun2sp said:

blue shell turned off is the only way id want to play.

If someone is being lapped than thats the way it is. Become better.



Splat said:

I'm sure this has been said (didn't read all the comments) but the blue shell doesn't even help the person using it since they are so far back.

As for the bullet I don't mind it at all, at least it helps the person catch up which is fine with me.



Kid_A said:

I don't want a Mario Kart without items.

I want a Mario Kart with the the blue shell. Would it really be that hard for them to make it so the player could turn off individual items, like in Brawl?



komicturtle said:

I like chaos so keep the items in Mario Kart. A mode without them will be lame and boring to me.

I do like that they're working on balancing things out.

And get rid of those motorcycles. They are OP and OU :/



LordJumpMad said:

As a player who made it to 9999-points in Mario Kart Wii.
Every item is needed, even the Blue shell!



DarkKirby said:

No items! Fox only! Final Destination!

A no items mode would allow for official competitions since it removes the luck factor but... really? What's Mario Kart without the craziness?

The blue shell overpowered? If anything it's underpowered, the new flying one at least. When you're in last place and you get a Blue Shell it doesn't help you squat, rather it helps the person in 2nd place.

I miss the old blue shell that traveled on the floor along the middle of the track, and knocked out anyone and anything that happened to be in it's way on the way to 1st place. Now that actually did help you in last place.



StuffyStuff said:

If I want a racing game without projectiles, I'll play NFS or GT. The items give the game it's charm and it is nice to play with lesser skilled people and them still have a chance to win once in a while.



KDR_11k said:

The blue shell is especially frustrating when you're playing singleplayer and get nuked just before the finish. I liked the original Mario Kart the best, items were the least fire and forget there.



Doma said:

I think they should just make the blue shell less frequent and perhaps copy how it was in Mario Kart 64 i.e. following a path in centre and effecting everybody who gets in the way, not just the first person.



Ryno said:

Best suggestion I read on here was no blue shell on the final lap!



moosa said:

I've done this before... >Hear blue shell >Hit the breaks >Let second place driver eat it >Continue on my way.
I agree with 45.ArmoredGooba. Working on balance is always good, but you have to play the game, you can't just barrel through recklessly and hope others will go easy on you. Being continuously aware of items other players could use is a big part of Mario Kart. And if the world conspires against you and you get screwed once in a while, it's not that big a deal. Just have fun with it.



JebbyDeringer said:

I think the blue shell should be really rare. 1 possible per race AT THE MOST but make it random. It would be a better weapon if it wasn't expected. Do the same with lightning. Green shells should be common and red much less common. In Mario Kart and Mario Kart 64 you had to be quite skilled with the banana. The blue shell was rare in Mario Kart 64 because I even forgot it was in that game.



MasterGraveheart said:

My issue isn't with items and definately NOT the Blue Shell. My issue, in MKWii, was how frequently big game-changing items would show up, i.e. the bullet bill, the blue shell, or the lightning bolt.

The one item I DO hate is the storm cloud... and not in a good way... >.<

@DarkKirby: I want to go on record with something. The whole "No items, Fox only, Final Destination" thing that so many "pros" seem to be thumping like it was their own chests? I call those people wusses because they can't adapt to any situation and come out on top. If they were really pros, they would find out a way to beat the trio of Fox, Meta Knight, and Ike with the Ice Climbers in an item onslaught. To roll with the punches and still figure out how to come out on top... THAT makes a true pro. So... "All items, random character, random stage" is my battle cry in competitive play.



TheBaconator said:

Mario Kart is supposed to be crazy and if you do not like items, you might as well play Gran Turismo or something. Personally, Mario Kart Wii is my least favorite Mario Kart game, but not because of the Blue Shell, but because it keeps the blue shell and adds 2 more overpowered weapons, [The Mega Mushroom and POW block (Although the POW block is avoidable) that also appear way to often] and keeps giving them out every second. I also didn't like the fact that each character didn't drive signature karts either, like they did in DS, but hey, that's the past the new game is coming out this year, and I hope it is more like the DS game then the Wii one.



vherub said:

I found the playbalance perfect in 64 because of the ghost item. You can steal a blue shell/lightning, or protect yourself. It was a shame they got rid of that item, later games were the worse for its loss.



Environ said:

I have to say that one of my favorite games of all time would have to be the original Super Mario Kart. I think it was the countless hours I spent with my brother playing the battle mode that made it most enjoyable. In that game, it was the red shells you had to worry about. At least they could be avoided by hopping (if you had skills) which is something all players can do at any time. Does anyone remember the feather? For anyone not privileged enough to experience this long-lost item, it allowed you to make one giant leap into the air. You could easily avoid most other items by jumping over them. It was an awesome item in your arsenal to utilize in battle mode. I’m guessing it was taken out of future installments due to the fact that it could also be used to cheat to obtain impossible lap times. But the battle mode shouldn’t have had to suffer the loss of the feather! Oh, and what’s with the only option of a team battle in Mario Kart Wii? Mario Kart DS has a far more superior battle mode.

The way you obtained items was completely different in the original game too. After running over a question mark, it wouldn’t return until all of them had been used. It always felt that both players had a chance of receiving any type of item from the question mark block. Sometimes, getting a new item meant taking a slightly different path. Items were more difficult to find when racing that final lap (unless you were the computer who had an endless supply). This strategic element seems to be missing from newer Mario Kart titles. I believe Mario Kart Double Dash had the option of changing the item frequency.

The inclusion of the Spiny Shell (in Mario Kart Wii) is a way to keep the game play a bit more balanced. It does keep the pack tighter but ultimately doesn’t usually help the players that get it (it would seem the Bullet Bill helps more). I’m not used to playing with the spiny shell, so it does feel a bit cheap to get hit (and passed) right at the finish line. It’s part of the strategy of the game and what sets Mario Kart apart from other racing titles. Let’s not forget that that spiny shell of “blue death from above” can take out the second and third place players too if they’re following close enough. I think if there were a way to limit its frequency or dodge it more effectively (not just with a mushroom), the players in first place wouldn’t hate it so much.

@vherub: I never noticed that Boo was missing from MKDD & MKW! You bring up a very good point about it’s ability to steal an opponents item to protect yourself.



DarkKirby said:

Mario Kart Wii was made easier so playing with the Wiimote Wheel wouldn't screw you over completely, and also to appeal to the wider casual audience. I have to highly disagree with how the in game listed character stats are plain incorrect and lying to you (many games seem to think this is okay), as characters with the same listed in game stats actually have dramatic differences. Why would they do this? In the end it was everyone using Daisy and Funky Kong because while their in game listed stats were = to other characters, their actual attributes exceeded others by a noticeable amount.

Double Dash's difficulty was insane in comparison to Wii, or perhaps any Mario kart to date, from AI cheating (it's literally all the other racers helping 1 of the other racers win and beat you, like the Speed Racer movie), to insanely hard to navigate courses with break neck turns everywhere. These things were incredibly hard to drive on and would pretty much be impossible for the Wiimote Wheel.



Luffymcduck said:

Blue Shell is OK, unless I get hit by it 2-4 times in a single race. And the lighting... GRAAAAAAAH!!!



KaiserGX said:

Then you guys would be complaining the game was too easy. You know those times when you where ahead of all the racers? There' nothing to stop you... and you think this is more fun? Continually holding A as nothing happens?

Also in multiplayer it as least gives others a chance at winning. Also don't say it never helps out the guy who throw it, because sometimes all the races are cluttered up real close to each other.



KaiserGX said:

If one thing I do hate though is the damn lightning, it always hits in the worst possible area. I can at least anticipate the blueshell, lightning... no. I get some mushrooms, I use it and right after... LIGHTNING!



TKOWL said:

A Mario Kart without the Blue Shell would be like Star Wars without lightsabers.



Splat said:

I think some people are assuming that people that don't like the blue shell dislike all items and that isn't the case at all.



yoyogamer said:

Umm... in Mario Kart Wii, you can set items for Balanced (the standard setting), Agressive (adds MORE spiny shells), strategic (powerful items rarely appear), and none. I don't see what the problem is.



astarisborn94 said:

The Blue Shell, the one item I absolutely dread. I'm not advocating the removal of it, but it does need to be modified to the N64 days, where everyone behind you would get hit, not just the person in first place.



Linkuini said:

The "Balanced" setting still has enough blue shells to render the "Aggressive" setting almost superfluous, the size of any course in Mario Kart Wii guarantees that it'll take a miracle to hit any racer you aren't neck-and-neck with using the "Strategic" item set (mainly green shells and banana peels), and a race without items is exactly as vapid and one-sided as Konno says.

The thing is, banana peels will protect you from red shells (most of the time) but leave you defenseless to a blue shell. Keeping a mushroom in store will save you from a blue shell (maybe), but then you're at the mercy of the less-devastating but much more common red shell. Of course, these are both moot as soon as the next lightning bolt or POW block takes effect, depriving you of your items in all but the luckiest of circumstances (as if there's always a ramp you can take the moment a POW block appears).

Items are the source of much of Mario Kart's appeal, and I don't see them as any reason to swear off the series, either. Even so, the time it takes to get knocked over by a shell and recover your top speed is often long enough to fall from first to fifth place in any race with players of average skill (or flagrant rubber-band AI). To be hit with a POW Block, a blue shell, a lightning bolt, and (as if to add insult to injury) a blooper, in sequence, is out-and-out overkill and there is nothing unreasonable about criticizing it.

If they don't want to scale back the superweapons even a tiny bit, they ought to just play it up in-game by having the characters get visibly aggravated when hit three times in a short span of time. Just imagine Mario going "Enough already!" after taking a shell and then shaking his fist at everyone ahead of him while spouting angry gibberish for the next five seconds of driving! Heck, I'd even look forward to getting my kart wrecked during a race!



Digiki said:

I like the blue shell enough in 64, it didn't do much more than a regular shell, and it could hit everyone in front of you. The infrequency was nice.

Whereas in DS and Wii, it has just become just stupidly overpowered and frequent. In Wii with the 12 racers, all the weapons nearly ruin the game.



PSICOffee said:

Now i know who to hate for making all of those poor decisions for Mario Kart Wii. Obviously punishing good players is to make the casuals feel better at sucking at playing video games.



TheGreenSpiny said:

I think this issue needs some clarity. There are two sperate items here... the Blue Spiney (introduced in MK64) and the Flying Blue Spiney (introduced in DD). The Blue Spiney was basically a souped up red shell, that sought out the 1st place racer while cutting a path straight down the track and knocking out anyone who gets in it's way. The Flying Blue Spiney was a nuetered worthless turd that flies through the air and dives bombs the person in first place. But only the person who was in first place at the time it was activated. If you're no longer in first place when the Flying Blue Spiney arrives you're still gonna get jacked. It is completely useless to the person who sends it as it doesn't help them get ahead.

@Moosa: Unfortunatly you can't just hit the breaks on the Flying Blue Spiney like you could with old Blue Spiney. That was part of the fun and strategy of MK 64. You had to skilled at where and when to use your items. Now it just shoot your items backwards as soon as you get them because someone with a star/super mushroom/lightning is about to hit you and make you drop it.

@ MasterGraveHeart: I would agree with your rolling with approach. I utilized it all the time in the old MK games but MK Wii is atroucious. It's like your first time in the prison shower when everyone holds you down and gang rapes you. MK Wii has some serious balance issues. You can't drop and drag some items defensivly anymore. Everytime you get hit you lose your items which is probably one of the most annoying aspects of the game.

There are several other annoying problems with MK Wii... most noatbly the Wii Wheel. I'm happy that Nintendo didn't just stick with the Wii Wheel only setup like Excite Truck, but it's inclusion means that we can't have a true wii remote and nunchuk setup. Why the hell can't I use the IR pointer to aim and shoot shells and bannanas?

Another thing that annoys me was how they changed the karts and added bikes. Karts don't drift like they used to, and bikes don't handle whorth crap but drift the karts once did. People have been asking for a game with no weapons (it's there people, check the menus!), but I wanna know where the hell is the Excitebike mode? The bikes are there, the ramps are even there... Where's the mode where you have no weapons but can only boost, and manage your heat gauge? Common' Nintendo! You used to be so good at catering to your fans.



MeloMan said:

All I know is SSB and MK are unique because of their items... that's why there's other fighting and racing games that give a more logical and fair outcome. I have no prob with no item modes, but whether that makes THESE games better is purely subjective. And as for the blue shell, there have been ways to dodge it in the last few games, you just have to find the solution and get BETTER. The skill you need in MK is the skill of knowing how to counter the randomness the best you can, whether avoiding certain situations or strategically placing yourself in a certain position to get a good item to get the upper hand with. Want 1st in true MK? Let your finger off the gas once in a while and pay attention to the race as a whole. 9999er in MKWii, /out



Dorkvader said:

I agree with @Waveboy they should let you choose what power ups you want turned off like Super Smash Bros. Brawl. and i think they should scale the number of racers back to 8 or go back to Double Dash



StarDust4Ever said:

I believe keep the Blue Spiny. A good strategy to employ during all-out warfare, is if you're going to use nukes, use them sparingly. Fist let the troops annihilate one another using conventional guns and incendiary devices. Reserve the nuke only for when it's truly needed. In Mario Kart, the nuke translates roughly to Blue Spiney. The traditional weapons --Shells, Bananas, and Mushrooms-- quickly become useless when everybody is spamming you up the rear with Lightening Bolts, Banzai Bills, and Blue Spineys. The most annoying power-ups of all time are the rain-cloud and blooper goop, both of which are just pointless and stupid, albeit for completely different reasons.

The thing I really hate about MKDS and MK Wii is not the items, but the fact that in both games, Nintendo completely ruined the battle mode. Battle modes in MK64 and MKDD were both awesome, granting 3rd and 4th places a single revenge hit in 64, and an exclusive bomb battle mode in DD. In MKDS, you had extra balloons which had to be "blown up" and you couldn't drive while filling your balloons, which made you a sitting duck. MKWii used a horrible team system in which you win or lose based on team performance, with no option what-so-ever for a classic free-for-all mode like in DD and 64. I still boot up MK64 and MKDD almost exclusively for their awesome fun battle modes.

My favorite strategy for MK64 was what I liked to call the "triple KO", which eliminates all three of my opponents balloons in one shot. It involves placing a banana peel on the edge of the Skyscraper or Donut arena. I would also place a bomb (fake item box) right on my friend's restart point. When my friend chased me, I would guide him over to the edge, then drop a banana peel. My friend would slip on said banana peel (one balloon lost), then immediately lose control of his cart and slide off the edge (two balloons lost). I would then drive my cart over nearby his restart point, and laugh uncontrollably at my helpless friend as I watched Likatu place his cart directly on top of the bomb, destroying his third and final balloon!



RedYoshi999 said:

I actually liked it on the 64 as it travelled by road and knocked out anyone in its path rather than just first place and was hardly ever used. Also it was funny when someone hit themself with the shell by launching it when they're in first place.



Sakura_Moonlight2421 said:

If y'all going to complain about one super item then just don't play the game. Its as simple as that. There is no need to irritate the designer of the game just because you don't like something.



WiiLovePeace said:

Meh. I don't care what anyone says, items DO make Mario Kart awesome & that easily includes the blue shell in my eyes. So what if I'm coming first the whole race & get hit by a blue shell? It's part of that special 'not knowing whether you'll win until after your past the finish line' magic that only Mario Kart can bring



Scribbler said:

Personally, I never had a problem with the inclusion of weaponry in Mario Kart. From a designer's standpoint, it expands the experience to accommodate different styles of play. Whether you're a strict racer, aggressive, defensive, a trickster, an item spammer, it doesn't matter. Every tactic has a counter, and every player finds something to enjoy. MY issue comes from the behavior of said items and the dependence on them.

Take the red and blue shells for example.

In Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart: Super Circuit, red shells simply took the x and y coordinates of the player exactly one position ahead of the launcher and slowly tried to match its own x and y coordinates with that of the player's. Thus, it was deadly, but very possible to outsmart. The blue shell incorporated a bit of A/I and was far more difficult to outsmart, but it also affected other racers systematically and the fault of getting pummeled by it was still that of player one himself. In the newer games from Mario Kart DS onward, to let a red shell fly is to guarantee a direct hit. Getting nuked by a winged spiny blue shell feels less like letting your guard down and more like the guy in last place throwing a tantrum. Items were meant to be a supplement to the game, not an equalizer. Anybody that has studied game design will tell you: when the game decides who wins and not the player, it stops being fun and starts being tedious, no matter how justified the decision is. Having studied game design myself, the decision is VERY frustrating.

For the record, I see Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Mario Kart 64 as the pinnacles of the series.



leon_x said:

I love the blue shell. I only miss the feather from Mario Kart (snes)



Chris720 said:

How can anyone like the Blue Shell? I dread even getting to first early because of that blasted thing. I don't know why you get punished for getting blown up because the other 8-12 racers behind you suck! It doesn't make any sense for goodness sake... But the problem with Mario Kart now is, you get item raped from every angle.



Doma said:

My brother smashed his DS touch screen because of a blue shell. No joke.



burnedmatch said:

Im a master at mariokart, been playin since mario got on the road. Blue shells are nothing. You can slide and boost threw those. The only thing I want to see from MK is a game with every board. ALL OF THEM..and if anything should be fixed/taken out is that squid. We can see the road and it never messes anyone up enough to lose or win.



Capt_N said:

MK needs to have a system where the player can set the freq. of items in his/her (own) game, & that when going online, there should be @ least 2 base types/styles of matches/match-ups item-wise:
1. Enter a game where item freq. is determined by random either @ the online link-up, or before every match, or varies other options,


2. Enter an online match where other players' item freq. is set the same as yours, or not turned on @ all.

Well, they need work, but my point is there should be enough options for online match-ups that ppl who don't want items can have that, & ppl who do can.

Maybe it's already there, & I don't know, since I only have rented MKW almost about a year after it released.



Ambi said:

Out of when I played mario kart the blue shell was awesome addition and can be easily avoided just by a little boost ^^ like from drifting or mushroom or a speed plat form thing.
But Blue Shells do get annoying when your about to win and get hit by 5 of them and come in last.



Saeros_Fae_Falla said:

I found out how to dodge Blue Shells on Mario Kart DS, back in 2007 while watching the Montel Williams show. I was on Doughnut Plains when all of a sudden a Blue Shell comes out of no where, I then some how went into a drift then a split second before the shell was about to drop, I hopped and hit the brake simultaneously. This caused me to dodge the Blue Shell I replayed that race for an hour. So far. Iv only been able to do it at 150cc using carts with both high speed and acceleration I mainly use the Egg 1.



Splat said:

I don't mind it as much online since I just play online for fun but when I'm playing offline trying to unlock stuff HATE is not a strong enough word.



supermonkey117 said:

the blue shell is a huge pain but u can use it to and the bullet when far back can take you to the front but to be hounest dosent bother me i have cleard the game twice have all golds mirror mode to and its funny when your first right till the end the loosedead last because of the big bad blue shell so mario kart is a game for laughs with friends and family and does that very well long live the blue shell.



Gameday said:

only time i dislike the blue shell is when someone is hacking/glitching it. but that truly goes for any major weapon in this wii version of kart.



TromaDogg said:

Get rid of the damn Blue Shell and bring back the Feather. Order will be retored to the Universe and we'll all be able to live in peace again.

That is all.



SuperTogepi said:

thank god. on other words,is Nintendo still making dsi ware games,even with the release of the 3ds?



Nintendude92 said:

I'm a competitive nut in Mario Kart Wii.. max VR, 3 star rating; on all 4 files.. The online is so much fun.

..Except when I get pegged by several; not one- blueshells. There is no way to dodge it without a shroom or during launches that are railed.

I agree that it's fun to be crowded together, and the chaos in the back of the pack is classic, but blueshells are slaps to people who actually play to get better. How does a blueshell from someone in 8th improve that persons chance of winning? Knock everyone off the track like before or bring back a dedicated way of dodging like in Kart DS. We already have that in the form of the BULLET BILL; so what purpose does the Blue shell serve? Nothing. It's not fun.

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