Nintendo struck gold when they effectively invented the kart racing genre with the very first Mario Kart on the SNES. Combining racing game mechanics with party-style combat was an instant hit, with Nintendo continuing to release new entries for each of their consoles.
Naturally, every other game developer wanted to cash in on the trend, especially after the success of Mario Kart 64, with every company from Squaresoft to Sega trying their hand at it.
But miraculously enough in 2010, two games that were released on the same day oddly enough, rose above other kart racers and showed off what Nintendo was missing in their flagship series.
With the Mario Kart games being available exclusively on Nintendo hardware, it opened the door for developers to make their own offerings for non-Nintendo platforms. This is where Crash Bandicoot found success with Crash Team Racing on the original PlayStation.
While everything from Mickey Mouse to Pac-Man had their own kart-racers during PS1 and PS2 days, none of them stuck around and rose to the heights of Mario Kart. Maybe it was because of their lack of innovation in the kart racing genre.
It was only in the Xbox 360 and PS3 era when things began to change, especially with 2010’s Blur and ModNation Racers, which shook things up for the better.
All a Blur
Activision’s Blur expanded the kart racer genre by getting rid of the first part of the genre name, replacing any semblance of go-karts with proper race cars. From Nissan Fairladies to Renault rally cars, any real life car was fair game in Blur.
It basically fused the street racing mechanics of the Need for Speed and Burnout games with Mario Kart’s wacky weapons, a novel idea that has not seen a resurgence since.
This essentially made Blur a more serious Mario Kart for grown-ups, where driving skills are just as important as item management. In the right hands, it could have also elevated the kart racing genre into an esport.
Mods For All
The other kart racing game that shook things up in 2010 was the Sony-exclusive ModNation Racers, which placed a heavy emphasis on player creativity by adding customizable characters, vehicles, and race tracks.
It was essentially a Mario Kart Maker, years before even Super Mario Maker was a thing. User-generated content creation is always a great way to flex the creativity of players everywhere, and ModNation Racers spearheaded the movement along with LittleBig Planet.
Sadly, the franchise petered out after a sequel, which is still a better treatment than what Blur endured, which saw its developers close its doors a year later. There wasn’t much innovation in the genre, until 2012’s Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed and 2014’s Mario Kart 8.
Currently, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is one of the Nintendo Switch’s best-selling games, despite being about seven years old now. Hopefully, whenever they decide to release a Mario Kart 9 or if any other company attempts to topple Nintendo’s juggernaut, they’ll bring back the best bits of Blur and ModNation Racers.
This news is republished from another source. You can check the original article here