Home » Analysis » Has Mario Kart’s Item System Improved?

Has Mario Kart’s Item System Improved?

Posted by Staryu On July - 22 - 2011 3 Comments

Have you been playing Mario Kart since you were a little kid? I sure have. I own all the Mario Karts and I play them often, especially Mario Kart Wii. Now, as we know, Mario Kart Wii is well-known for having lots of “item-rape”. If you don’t know what that is, it basically means like you’ll get hit by a bunch of items, one after the other (ex: Blue Shell, Red Shell, Star, Lightning) So, cuz of that, Mario Kart Wii’s item system is frown upon, but has it really gotten worse? Stick with me and I’ll give you my opinion on the subject.

Super Mario Kart

The items in this game are: Green Shell, Banana,  Mushroom, Feather, Coins, Red Shell, Boo, Star, and Lightning. Now, I’m aware this is the first Mario Kart, but the problem isn’t the items itself; it’s when you get the items. Getting a Green Shell and Banana in last isn’t going to help you. So obviously, if you’re new at that game, there’s not going to be a lot of things to help you out.

Mario Kart 64


Newly introduced items: Triple Green Shells, Triple Red Shells,, Fake Item Box, x5 Bananas, Triple Mushrooms, Golden Mushroom, and the Spiny Shell. OK, now, a lot of new items to stay in the series are introduced in this Mario Kart. I think they reliazed their mistake on SMK with the Bananas and all and decided to buff it up. I personally think that was great, only complaint I can honestly think of is; you can get Lightning/Star/Triple Red Shells all in 2nd place. That’s probably little too far, but Mario Kart is still growing.

Mario Kart Super Circuit

No new items introduced in this Mario Kart. In fact, they took out some: Fake Item Box, x5 Bananas, Triple Mushrooms (only available in Time Trials), and Golden Mushroom. This Mario Kart’s item systems improved somewhat, now there’s no more getting a Lightning in 2nd (it became very rare, only available in like 8th), Triple Red Shells are rarer to get, etc. They really tried to be like SMK, so I guess that’s why there’s not a lot of “heavy-duty” items.

Mario Kart Double Dash

Fake Item Box, Triple Mushrooms, etc are back. And they introduced Special Items (only 2 specific Karters can get them) items like Golden Mushroom, Triple Green/Red Shells return as a Special Item, though the Boo item is gone. This Mario Kart is probably the one that started the “item-rape” finasco. In 150cc, oh boy, buckle up, you’re in for a lot of Spiny Shells and such. The item system here has a lot more deadly items, (Specials like Chain Chomp, Bob-Omb) this could help a lot if you’re behind, so that was a great improvement from MKSC. I think in this Mario Kart, they wanted to give casuals (y’know, people not really good at video games) a chance to catch up and get the spotlight more.

Mario Kart DS

Mmmm, simply fantastic. They removed Special Items (kept some like Triple Green/Red, Golden Mushroom, Bob-Omb), brang back favorites like x3 Bananas (no longer 5, but it’s good that it’s back), and then some new ones, like Bullet Bill and Blooper. This had to be the best one, perfect balance of items (so it’s not to cheap, but also fair to people in last) I really can’t make ANY complaints since it was so good. Nintendo really tried there best to make a fair item system, and I think it payed off.

Mario Kart Wii

Latest released Mario Kart. New items like Thunder Cloud, Mega Mushroom, and POW Block are introduced here. MKWII.. Well, we’re back to a MKDD sort of thing, the items are cheaper then from MKDS. I think why they did this, was cuz like in MKDD, to appeal to causels and help them catch up, which I guess is understandable. My only problem with the items here is, it’s sooooooo easy to lose your place in first, really, you’ll lose it in one second; and that’s usually before you reach the finish line. However, I think it’s great that you can catch up a lot faster, has everyone wondering who’s going to place good.

Overall commets? I do think that the Mario Kart item system has gotten a little cheap over the development, but let’s all admit; Mario Kart is nothing without it’s craziness. It’s fun when you see everyone all over the place getting hit by shells, mega mushrooms, thunder clouds. No matter what it is, The zanyness is fun (and that has definitely improved over time in the Mario Kart Series), and I think that’s what keeps us playing.

Categories: Analysis, Daily Feature

3 Responses so far.

  1. Excellent article on Mario Kart Items. I have to say, they got worse as the Mario Kart Series went along. Hopefully items in Mario Kart 3DS will be better.

  2. Spirit15 says:

    I have to agree with most of this. MKWii was really bad with items, I mean on the last lap before you win, you get raped and could finish like 5th or whatever… I hope in MK 3DS, the item system will be way better.

    BTW, great article Wolf.

  3. mark says:

    excellent article , i agree with both posts above , imo mk ds was the most balanced, apart from the horrendous online and ghosting players, all the other games were good too i hope to see what they pull off on the wii u and the 3ds mario kart.

− four = 1

MPL Network