Items are a big part of what makes Mario Kart games so thrilling, and some of the series’ best items have only appeared once. While players can count on seeing the same shells, mushrooms, and bananas in every game, the more unique items can be among the most exciting. Hopefully, the next Mario Kart will give some of these lesser-used items a return appearance.
While racing skill is vital to success in Mario Kart, items have the power to change a race in an instant. Mushrooms can grant a boost of speed and occasionally lead to shortcuts, while a Bullet Bill can help a struggling racer make up a lot of ground very quickly. The most infamous Mario Kart item of all, of course, is the Blue Shell, which is feared by anyone who manages to get into first place. With Mario Kart 8 adding custom items as an option when setting up races, there may be hope for lesser-known items to come back in the next game.
Double Dash’s Chain Chomp Is A Wild Berserker Of An Item
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is best known for its gimmick of two characters per kart, but it featured a second innovation in the form of special items. Each character had a special item that was unique to them, such as Mario and Luigi’s fireballs or DK and Diddy’s Giant Banana. Every special item has reappeared in later games except for one, the Chain Chomp, which turned out to be one of the more powerful special items.
The Chain Chomp is, bizarrely, the special item for Baby Mario and Luigi. When activated, the Chomp will start charging down the track, attached to a chain that the driver is holding on to while knocking aside any opponents in its way, pulling the user past them. Unfortunately though, much like how Mario Kart‘s Bullet Bill can backfire, the Chain Chomp could bring disaster to the user. Despite its speed boost and ability to hit multiple enemies, it is not the most well-controlled item. It is not uncommon for the chain to break at inconvenient times, potentially at a moment that could send the player into a wall or off the track.
The Chain Chomp can be considered a weaker version of the powerful Bullet Bill item. It can also brush opponents aside while providing a speed boost, but the Bullet Bill is a more polished version. Nonetheless, the visual of a Chain Chomp dragging the user’s kart down the track is a highly memorable one. Although Mario Kart 8‘s DLC has ignored Double Dash, the Chain Chomp would still be welcome in another Mario Kart.
Mario Kart Tour’s Ice Flower Is More Than A Redesigned Fireball
The Ice Flower is one of the later additions to Mario’s arsenal of power-ups, first appearing in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time as one of that game’s many Bros. attacks. In the main series, the Ice Flower is superficially similar to the Fire Flower, but its ice balls do more than simple damage. They can freeze enemies solid and even create icy platforms on the water. Mario Kart Tour‘s Ice Flower has its own interpretation of these abilities.
The Ice Flower is a special item in Mario Kart Tour, only available to certain characters. Upon activation, it lets the user fire three ice balls in an arc similar to the Fire Flower’s fireballs, although the ice balls freeze any opponents they hit rather than dealing damage. What makes Ice Flower users some of Mario Kart Tour‘s best characters though, is the fact that Frozen racers cannot control their cart or use items for the next few seconds, and they will continue to slide in their previous direction during that time. If used at an opportune moment, frozen racers could slide into a wall or even off the track, costing them a large amount of time.
Being frozen by an Ice Flower could ruin a race for the target, but it’s one of the few items to come with a slight upside. Racers are immune to other items and hazards while frozen, so the Ice Flower could accidentally save an opponent from a Lightning strike or Bob-omb, among others. The Ice Flower’s power is unique despite its resemblance to the Fire Flower, and its debut appearance has proven that it is a Mario Kart Tour element the main series needs.
Mario Kart Tour’s Dash Rings Can Help The Player Or Their Rivals
Some items in Mario Kart can have different impacts depending on the situation, such as the Thunder Cloud from Mario Kart Wii. It gave the user a constant speed boost for the few seconds it was active, but would shrink them similar to a lightning strike if they didn’t pass it off before time was up. Although the Dash Ring from Mario Kart Tour doesn’t have such a drastic downside, it does require players to think before using it.
On use, the Dash Ring creates a series of rings that fly out in front of the user, following the main path of the course. By driving through the rings, the player can get a boost of speed, so in essence, driving through all three is similar to using three Mushrooms. Even the worst kart in Mario Kart 8 could gain a couple of positions with that kind of boost. The risk in using the Dash Ring is the fact that opponents can get the same boosts by driving through as well. While the rings may not give some opponents time to react, rivals who are near the user when the Dash Ring is activated could also benefit from the effect.
Players need to consider when to deploy the Dash Ring in order to get the best benefit out of it. The healthy boost that they provide can do plenty to give them a leg up in the race, but that can be for naught if their rivals get that same advantage. Much like the Tour characters that should join Mario Kart 9, the Dash Ring would make a good inclusion due to how unique it is as an item.
Without items, Mario Kart would lose a lot of the flair that sets it apart from other racing games. Whether used for strategic attacks or just to make the race more chaotic, they’re an indispensable part of the games. Hopefully, the next Mario Kart will call for a second appearance of some of the series’ more underappreciated items.
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