In terms of a perfect match, Mario Kart and Hot Wheels may be about as good as it gets. To celebrate MAR10 Day this year, Nintendo and Hot Wheels showed off some Mario Kart Gliders products. And a few days later, a brand new Mario Kart Hot Wheels item mysteriously showed up on Amazon with very little fan-fare; a Rainbow Road kit.
Mario Kart is one of the biggest names in all of video games. The series has always sold very well, in fact, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as the highest selling game on the Nintendo Switch. The collaboration with Hot Wheels makes sense, as Mario and the gang speeding down a real-life Rainbow Road Raceway feels quite natural after years of virtual racing.
The Hot Wheels Mario Kart Rainbow Road Raceway will release on May 29, 2021. The track has an MSRP of $119.99 and was available to pre-order on Amazon, but seems to be currently unavailable at the moment. The track itself is customizable and can run in either a straight line or in various twists and turns. The Hot Wheels Mario Kart Rainbow Road Raceway also apparently includes Mario and King Boo.
Mario has crossed over into the physical realm in the world of Mario Kart already, as Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit bridged the gap between toys and video games. The game allowed players to create their own course in real life--much like making a Hot Wheels course--but then race in it within the video game on the Switch. The unique augmented reality game is very special and beyond what video games have been able to accomplish in years past. Hot Wheels and Mario Kart provide similar experiences, making them a good match.
Nintendo's iconic racing franchise has been zooming into the hearts of gamers and pop culture as a whole since its debut in the early '90s on the Super Nintendo. From more hardcore online tournaments to casual entertainment at parties, Mario Kart is among Nintendo's most popular IPs, with each new release in the series becoming synonymous with the system it launched for. Yet, as the years go on, Nintendo's latest console awaits a brand new Mario Kart title to call its own.
The Wii U unfortunately underperformed sales wise, so many games have found a second life on the Nintendo Switch, as seen with Mario Kart 8: Deluxe. However, since that was already a pre-existing game simply ported to a newer system, many fans grow eager for the Switch to receive its own proper entry with Mario Kart 9 (which is not confirmed at this time). While obvious enhancements and additions to graphics, game modes and the race tracks themselves are to be expected, the inclusion of a full featured story mode in a potential Mario Kart 9 would be a welcome addition to the series for a variety of reasons.
While some players may initially scoff at the concept of a dedicated story mode for a genre of game typically associated with simple fun and multiplayer experiences, it would not be as uncommon as expected. Many other mascots in the world of gaming have tackled the racing genre, with a single-player focused adventure mode to boot. Fellow Nintendo hero Diddy Kong rushed onto the Nintendo 64 with Rare's Diddy Kong Racing, which is still considered among the best N64 racing games by many fans of the system. The game did feature the expected racing modes, but the story was more robust than expected, with a colorful cast of characters, fully explorable levels in between races and a hefty amount challenge.
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