It has been almost two decades since a Mario Kart game had featured tag-team racing. If Nintendo decided to bring back the tag-team gameplay from Mario Kart: Double Dash it could definitely make Mario Kart 9 a huge attraction.
Nintendo has managed to keep Mario Kart 8 relevant for the past eight years since its initial release for the Wii-U console back in 2014. Ever since its release in 2017 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe has managed to become one Nintendo’s most successful racing games of all-time for the Switch console. Even though, Mario Kart 8: Deluxe is one of the best-selling video games for the Switch console; Nintendo needs to come up with something innovative to make their next major installment a huge attraction.
While placing emphasis on gameplay elements involving level design, learning curve and controls are all essential components for creating a new video game; Nintendo should consider bringing back a feature that fans have wanted to see return since 2003. Mario Kart: Double Dash was arguably Nintendo’s greatest Mario Kart title from the 00’s mainly because of the tag team gameplay mechanic which allowed players to swap drivers in the middle of races. Despite, not having the level of success that Mario Kart Wii did from 2008 onwards Mario Kart: Double Dash was one of most innovative installments within the entire franchise. In fact, Mario Kart: Double Dash was the second best-selling title for GameCube and Nintendo could possibly make spiritual successor surpasses Mario Kart 8: Deluxe in popularity in the future.
How tag team racing can work in Mario Kart 9
While bringing back tag-team gameplay would make Mario Kart 9 more appealing to causal gamers Nintendo should make modifications to that of Mario Kart: Double Dash. An example would be obtaining special items when certain characters are paired up with each other during races. If characters like Mario & Luigi are paired up with each other they would most likely have greater access to special items that other characters are less than likely to receive based on their pairing. Items such as Gold Stars & Lightning Bolts which provides invincibility would be something everyone would have access to for the purpose of fairness.
Nintendo could also come up with brand new items that players could use against their opponents during races to order to gain the upper hand. In Mario Kart 8: Deluxe Nintendo brought back the feature that was introduced in the original game after being absent for over two decades. Nintendo can include other items such as poisonous mushrooms which are hardly ever seen in older Mario Kart titles and make them exclusive to villainous characters when they are paired up together during races. Also, the idea of switching partner characters in between courses during Grand Prix mode sounds like something that would grab the interest of many people; opposed to using the same exact characters for each consecutive race.
The benefits of having tag team racing in Mario Kart 9
The inclusion of tag team gameplay in Mario Kart 9 could appeal to both casual gamers and hardcore fans of the Mario Kart series. There are many people who never got a chance to play Mario Kart: Double Dash for the GameCube back in the early 00’s. This gives Nintendo a chance to bring back a gameplay feature that was beloved by many fans of the Mario Kart series nearly two decades ago. Nintendo could make the tag team gameplay of Mario Kart 9 more exciting than Mario Kart: Double Dash if they choose to include both local and online multiplayer gameplay. The idea of Nintendo having an online co-op gameplay mode where players share one vehicle while racing against other opponents from around the world sounds exciting; especially since Nintendo has never done anything like this before in previous entries within the Mario Kart series.
Including tag team gameplay in Mario Kart 9 would also give Nintendo the opportunity to create a spiritual successor to one of the most underrated racing titles they have ever made. While Mario Kart 9 is rumored to be in the early stages of development we have no idea on whether or not Nintendo even plans on including competitive tag-team gameplay in their upcoming game. If Nintendo does decide to bring back tag-team gameplay in Mario Kart 9 they should definitely expand upon the features included in both Mario Kart: Double Dash and Mario Kart 8: Deluxe.