Mario Kart 9 is the upcoming sequel to Mario Kart 8. It will be published by Comet Gaming, Inc. for the Nintendo Comet and the Wii U in a partnership with Nintendo. Both versions will be slightly different, such as having version-exclusive features, like characters and karts. It is planned for an early 2016 release date.
The game will be treated as an experiment to changing the formula of the Mario Kart series - still keeping much of the core elements, but bringing in many new features that are now possible due to the power of the Nintendo Comet. Gameplay is as follows. There are sixteen racers in a course, up from twelve. Players must compete to finish first in circuits that are bigger and longer than before. Karts and bikes are used to drive around, being customizable. That is, players can choose which kart body, wheels, and glider to use. Players can save their favorite combinations to be easily chosen.
Tricks return as well. On ramps, players can press a button to do a trick, and they have the option of saving it to the system's memory to be reshared later. Highlight reels return as well, being heavily upgraded from Mario Kart 8. There are four main modes in the game - grand prix, time trial, VS, and battle. In grand prix, there are four classes, one being unlockable. They are 50cc, 100cc, 150cc, and mirror, the latter unlocked by collecting trophies in all cups in 150cc. In time trials, racers compete alone for the best time. In VS, players can enjoy a flexible ruleset, and in battle, players need to compete in four submodes - Balloon Battle, Coin Runners, Shine Thief, and Shell Smash.
But perhaps the most interesting mode is the new one - Challenge Mode. It can be turned on at the main menu, and it makes the four main modes much harder to complete. Grand Prix opponents are much harder, and some races have random objectives such as collecting a certain amount of coins, which also return in this game without a cap. Simple items such as bananas are absent in this mode, and stronger items like Stars are more prevalent. Cup wins are recorded separately. On courses, there are also many more traps and obstacles. VS and Battle modes undergo a similar transformation. In time trials, ghost races are much harder and more obstacles are located. The objective of this mode, according to Comet Gaming CEO Lumoshi, was to appeal to hardcore gamers while not removing its catering to casuals.
Characters now play a bigger part in Mario Kart, where previously, only their weight affected things. Characters now have special abilities that can be unlocked with items, and many are outright faster or slower than others, or turn better or worse, etcetera. The game introduces forty characters, of which sixteen are not unlockable. Sixteen more characters can be purchased in the future as downloadable. They are grouped into four classes based on their skill set.
Generally consists of middle-weight characters whose stats are average.
Consists of larger than average characters who can ride bigger karts and thus, travel faster.
Consists of the largest characters who can use their weight to their advantage.
Consists of lightweights who can avoid attacks with their small size.
There are a total of thirty-two main courses that are not purchaseable. This count is increased by sixteen when including downloadable content.
|Mushroom Cup||Flower Cup||Star Cup||Special Cup|
Makeup of retro courses includes 1 SNES course, 1 N64 course, 2 GBA courses, 3 GCN courses, 2 DS courses, 2 Wii courses, 2 3DS courses, and 3 Wii U courses.
|Shell Cup||Banana Cup||Leaf Cup||Lightning Cup|
|U Toad Harbor||DS Mario Circuit||3DS Rosalina's Ice World||N64 Wario Stadium|
|GBA Cheep Cheep Island||U Dolphin Shoals||U Bone Dry Dunes||SNES Vanilla Lake 2|
|Wii Daisy Circuit||GCN Mushroom City||GBA Ribbon Road||DS Bowser's Castle|
|3DS Rock Rock Mountain||Wii Toad's Factory||GCN Wario Colosseum||GCN Rainbow Road|