Why is Mario Kart so inconsistent?

SlashofaSword

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Throughout the Mario Kart series we've seen multiple different power-ups to help you in races, but my question is why are so many power-ups featured in one game and not the next? For example; Mario Kart Wii showed us 3 new power-ups: the Mega Mushroom, the Pow Block and the Lightning Cloud(?), yet in Mario Kart 7 none of those powerups are in the game and we have 3 different powerups accommodating the regular assortment. Is this just something the series does? 3 new powerups exclusive to that game? That seems like it would get hard to come up with ideas pretty quick and seeing as some of these seem like good ideas (the Mega Shroom for example) why wouldn't they keep it in? I get you don't want too many powerups in one game and I have no issue with them swapping some every few games to keep it interesting, but when you see some cool and exciting powerups in one game and then see them completely replaced in the next, it just confuses me.

Also, how come some of these items were never added before? In Mario Kart 7 we got a fire flower. Next to the typical red mushroom that's one of the most iconic items in the whole franchise! And seeing as it served quite a good use (multiple fireballs that bounce off walls and give opponents small delays with each hit) I don't see why it wouldn't have been added sooner! It even annoys me that you could get coins from a mystery box in MK8 & MK8D.
 

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For the three power ups you mentioned, the main reason those weren't in future games was because they're shit powerups. The Mega Mushroom was basically a garbage Starman that nobody wanted, the POW block was just a garbage lightning bolt that could be dodged by pressing the d-pad, and the Thundercloud was just a bad item altogether, though it was in multiple arcade games so it's not really a "one off" if you count those.

As to why some powerups haven't been in the games from before, technical limitations or creative limitations probably. There were already like 10 or 12 constant powerups in just about every game, Nintendo likely couldn't think of any additional powerups that wouldn't just do the same thing as other powerups would. Do we really need 10 different Shell or Banana clones, or two Starmans? Not really.

You can't exactly design a lot of items in a kart racing game that don't just end up being extremely OP or useless beyond what's already there.
 
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I see the same issue with Pokemon games tbh. They have a bad habit of introducing new (and sometimes quite popular) features in one game/generation, then totally scrapping them in the next. I've heard it been hand-waved as keeping each game feeling unique, which is quite the flimsy excuse.

Also, I kinda wish Nintendo would implement a Double-Dash mode to one of its future installments. The concept seemed kinda cool.
 
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If you were to keep getting better and better items you would quickly run into the problem of power creep and that would be a pretty weird thing to deal with in a Mario Kart game. As it is, Mario Kart games have long been a more "frustrating" experience, less about skill and more about items and random chance to win races.
 

migles

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I see the same issue with Pokemon games tbh. They have a bad habit of introducing new (and sometimes quite popular) features in one game/generation, then totally scrapping them in the next. I've heard it been hand-waved as keeping each game feeling unique, which is quite the flimsy excuse.

Also, I kinda wish Nintendo would implement a Double-Dash mode to one of its future installments. The concept seemed kinda cool.
noticed that so much in pokemon games as well
 
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SlashofaSword

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If you were to keep getting better and better items you would quickly run into the problem of power creep and that would be a pretty weird thing to deal with in a Mario Kart game. As it is, Mario Kart games have long been a more "frustrating" experience, less about skill and more about items and random chance to win races.

Well I see your point, but there’s is still a lot of skill required in MK, not only do you have to be good at the race itself but you have to use boosts and powerups to get others out, while also recovering from powerups hitting you.

For the three power ups you mentioned, the main reason those weren't in future games was because they're shit powerups. The Mega Mushroom was basically a garbage Starman that nobody wanted, the POW block was just a garbage lightning bolt that could be dodged by pressing the d-pad, and the Thundercloud was just a bad item altogether, though it was in multiple arcade games so it's not really a "one off" if you count those.

As to why some powerups haven't been in the games from before, technical limitations or creative limitations probably. There were already like 10 or 12 constant powerups in just about every game, Nintendo likely couldn't think of any additional powerups that wouldn't just do the same thing as other powerups would. Do we really need 10 different Shell or Banana clones, or two Starmans? Not really.

You can't exactly design a lot of items in a kart racing game that don't just end up being extremely OP or useless beyond what's already there.

Yeah I can get this, I’ve got to say the Wii powerups we’re pretty useless. At least with later games we’re seeing some new powerups stay around and be really useful.

I see the same issue with Pokemon games tbh. They have a bad habit of introducing new (and sometimes quite popular) features in one game/generation, then totally scrapping them in the next. I've heard it been hand-waved as keeping each game feeling unique, which is quite the flimsy excuse.

Also, I kinda wish Nintendo would implement a Double-Dash mode to one of its future installments. The concept seemed kinda cool.

Been wanting to get into Pokemon but I haven’t had a chance yet. As for the double dash, my friends and I were thinking the same thing. I think it’s a great idea to have one person focusing on racing and the other on using powerups agasint others. I’d love to see a multiplayer remake of double dash so that one persons screen could be facing behind the whole time. I think it’s would be a great addition to the switch lineup or even a nice way to kill off the 3DS (though I think people wouldn’t be happy with such a large game coming to a dying console)
 

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