I've been playing a lot of Mario Kart Wii the past weeks and I've asked myself: "What would make me go out and buy Mario Kart 8 the most?" So here's my list of things that will either make Mario Kart 8 an amazing game or an absolutely boring mess. If they get all these things right the game will sell gangbusters, if they screw them all up it'll fail. Remember, Mario Kart 8 won't just have to compete with other racing games but previous Mario Kart games as well! So it needs to be better than those, not just on par with them. Also, we'll just assume that the core gameplay will be intact, shall we? And that they won't screw us over by giving us a bland game or bad game design because they've never let us down so far in that regard.
Using the Gamepad to play simultaneously in GP mode
Co-op is a big thing these days and Mario Kart has always been a great choice to have some co-op fun in the past: Playing the Grand Prix mode with 2 players was possible on SNES, N64 and GC so why did Nintendo decide to cut that feature out of the latest versions of the game? In any case, the Wii U's Gamepad controller is the perfect excuse to bring this feature back and that's definitely something gamers can look forward to.
Chance they'll make it happen: 90%
More than 4 players at once
Sonic Allstars Racing shows how easy it is to make a 5 player possible on Wii U but 6 players at once would be even better. Yeah, some people go bonkers over the Wii U not being able to put out 60fps with 2 Gamepads - but that's because they don't know jack. Mario Kart Wii never displayed anything above 30fps in multiplayer and people didn't complain. In fact the framerate often dropped below 30fps once 4 people participated in the race.
And as the inclusion of a second Gamepad is still a thing of the future what better way would there be for Nintendo to introduce a second pad to us than a Mario Kart 8 + Gamepad bundle? On the other hand the absence of any game that supports 2 Gamepads at launch could be an indicator that Nintendo is having actual trouble implementing this feature… anyway, personally I'd love to race in teams of 3x2 people, what about you?
Chance they'll make it happen: 100% (5 players) / 50% (6 players)
Better online modes and infrastructure
Yeah, the Wii wasn't exactly famous for its great online infrastructure but the Wii U could change that… right? Clans, more options, 2 players online at once with one using the Gamepad screen… sounds good. Here's hope!
Chance they'll make it happen: 70%
Well handled DLC allowing for more content
So let's assume Nintendo DOESN'T screw us over by giving us half a game or charging enormous prices for tiny add-ons: New cups for download sounds great. They could even add extremely difficult stuff just for the core players without having to worry about making the game "not accessible enough". DLC could be a great way to keep the game fresh for years but will Nintendo handle it well?
Chance they'll make it happen: 50% (yeah, I'm looking at you NSMB2 DLC!)
More customization for the player
One thing that eats Nintendo like cancer is their stupid obsession over making games "new" and "exciting"… by adding stupid elements to a series nobody wants to have in there. Maternal instincts in Metroid? Trains in Zelda? Nintendo tried to put 2 players into one Kart in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and brought back the coins in Mario Kart 7 but those changes weren't well received by all players. Gliding and driving underwater was pretty borderline as well… So instead of making things mandatory why not making them optional? IF I want to race with coins I'll activate them. If not… well, it would be stupid to force me into using them, wouldn't it? I'd also like to choose exactly which items I want to use and damn bring that versus mode back, Nintendo! I want to play 20 games in a row! Oh and one more thing: Let us decide if we want a time limit in balloon matches or not! It's really not that hard to add
Chance they'll make it happen: 30% (This is Nintendo we're talking about… Iwata: *Laughs*)
So, do you agree? Think this is all garbage? Have something to add?