Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tracks that should have been in Mario Kart Wii

I loved Mario Kart Wii. That's no secret. However, after looking back at some of the previous Mario Kart games, I've noticed a few great tracks ending up AWOL. Also, a lot of tracks that did make the cut weren't that great (Yoshi Falls? Seriously? And why so many plain 2D tracks?). If it were up to me, these are the classic tracks that would have been in Mario Kart Wii.

Yoshi Valley
Game: Mario Kart 64

Yoshi Valley is one of the craziest tracks ever in Mario Kart history. Insanely twisted up and full of holes to fall into, it's a miracle Yoshi even wants to be associated with such a tangled mess! Despite being so incredibly disorderly and confusing, Yoshi Valley was one of my favourite tracks in all of Mario Kart 64. The fact that it's never been remade in any Mario Kart game so far is a travesty.

Lakeside Park
Game: Mario Kart: Super Circuit

Probably the only 2D track I like, Lakeside Park is full of sharp turns, deadly water and even features falling volcanic rocks from the second lap onwards. Hitting one of these spins the kart out of control, usually resulting in the player spinning off into a lake, wall, or large patch of grass. One thing I really like about Lakeside Park is the section in the lower part of the above image. Joining the ranks of only one other 2D track to do so, Lakeside Park incorporates a jump across an earlier section of the track. Mess up this jump, and you're dropped a significant distance behind. My kinda track. Like Yoshi Valley, though, I'm fairly sure Lakeside Park has never seen the light of day since its original release. Seriously unfair.

Royal Raceway
Game: Mario Kart 64

Some of my fondest memories of gaming are the days I spent playing Mario Kart 64, and a big part of that was Royal Raceway. Zigzagging next to a lake, flying through the air and even driving right up to the castle's front door was great fun, even if that last one usually involved losing the race. This want for a Royal Raceway revival isn't based solely on nostalgia, though. Royal Raceway was a very fun track with many twists, hills and jumps. It really showed off what the Nintendo 64 could do, and I loved every minute of it. Finding out this track wasn't in Mario Kart Wii really, really sucked.

Toad's Turnpike, Shroom Ridge and Mushroom City
Games: Mario Kart: Double Dash, Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart DS

Each of these levels is amazing in their own way, but they ultimately fall into the same basic category of "Public Road" tracks. They're called this because of the fact that drivers share the road with other, life-sized vehicles such as trucks, cars, Bob-omb karts, and even Wiggler trucks. These vehicles make for unique obstacles, as they move around the course constantly throughout the race. It's rarely possible to take a guess as to where a vehicle will be at any given time, making each turn incredibly risky. Who knows what dangers lie around the bend? The tracks were always a complete blast to play, and they are more than deserving of a revival in Mario Kart Wii.

Waluigi Pinball
Game: Mario Kart DS

Very few tracks compare to how incredibly surreal Waluigi Pinball is. Instead of racing on a track, players are thrown into a gigantic, active pinball machine. Before Mario Kart DS, I never would have expected a pinball would become an obstacle in any game ever. Yet, here I am driving about a gigantic pinball table, fleeing Indiana Jones-style from huge, steel ball bearings of death. Sharing the road with a pinball requires the player to pay attention to very many things at once, demanding a greater level of concentration than most tracks. When the race finally gets down to the paddles, it really gets insane. Balls flying all over the place, bumpers bouncing players in every which direction, and the paddles themselves throwing racers to the top of the track section. Not a track for the faint of heart. Maybe that's why it didn't make it into the more family-friendly Mario Kart Wii?

These are but a few of the great tracks time seems to have forgotten. I managed to trim it down to the selection you see here, but I assure you, many other tracks were deserving of a Mario Kart Wii re-release. Really, almost any track would have been preferable to the myriad of crappy, two-dimensional tracks that made it in from the Super Nintendo and Game Boy Advance. Man I hate those flat, uninteresting tracks. There's a reason for games having three dimensions nowadays!

But, I'm just ranting now. What do you guys think of my choices? Also, what classic tracks would you like to see return in a future Mario Kart game? Please, feel free to speak your mind in either the comment section, or this forum thread.


SuperPhillip said...

Good choices indeed.
I'm glad that good and bad tracks were included in DS and Wii so they don't use up all the good retro tracks and the last installments are full of the horrible ones! Of course, there's always the latest Mario Kart to choose at most four good tracks from.

Good stuff!

SpinachPuffs said...

I was shocked they put Yoshi Falls in MK:Wii. It's the worst DS track IMO. Give me Waluigi Pinball anyday!