Every time rumours swirl about the next Mario Kart, the same tired takes re-emerge. 'They should make it Nintendo Kart like Smash!' all the boring bastards shout. Our own boring bastard, James Troughton, wrote that exact thing a few months ago. Dull. Played out. Pathetic. That's why I'm here with a brand new pitch for you. Buckle your seatbelts. Million dollar, entirely original idea incoming. Mario Kart, right? But with Pokemon. Boom! I know, I know. I'm a genius.
Okay, so maybe it isn't the most original idea in the world. But if it's so bloody obvious, why haven't they made one yet? There are Pokemon games where you take photographs, Pokemon games where you fight one on one, Pokemon games where you get turned into a Pokemon and have to solve the mystery of your lost humanity by delivering letters and moving rocks around in caves, and even Pokemon games about brushing your teeth. Pokemon Sleep, whatever that is, also exists. Kind of. Maybe. Yet Pokemon Kart does not. Why?
Related: The New Legends: Arceus Trailer Makes Kleavor One Of The Most Important Pokemon EverTo Pokemon's credit, it has not always chased trends. Features editor Eric Switzer wrote earlier this week on how Pokemon's often frustrating refusal to try and move with the time means there's no chance it's going to get into the NFT business. It could have made a boatload of money on Pokemon Kart, or Pokemon Party, and instead has been more experimental – this approach has often paid off, if not necessarily monetarily, then in terms of further establishing the Pokemon mythos. Pokemon Party would have outsold Detective Pikachu, but they wouldn't have made a movie out of it.
I understand why Pokemon Kart has not been made before – but now is the perfect time. Thanks to Sword & Shield, and very soon Legends: Arceus, Pokemon is well at home on the Switch, which in turn is perfect for kart racers. Because of the ability to play docked and handheld, the ease of connecting multiple controllers, the emphasis on offline couch-based play, and its gyro capabilities, the Nintendo Switch is the premium destination for kart racing games. Personally I've always thought Crash Team Racing (and Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled) were superior to Mario Kart, but you can't argue with MK8's consistently high sales figures.
It's not just Sword & Shield. Pokken Tournament, New Pokemon Snap, Pokemon Unite, and other Pokemon games have landed on the Switch with the series now fully comfortably with life in the console lane after two decades being almost exclusively a handheld affair. Where console dalliances were once fleeting, Pokemon is now at home on the big screen televisions of the world. The stage is set for Pokemon Kart.
I haven't delved into the game much, but that's because I don't think I need to sell it. When Unite was announced, all they had to say was 'League of Legends but Pokemon' and everyone agreed that would probably work. Well, why not 'Mario Kart but Pokemon'? To be clear, I'm not suggesting they add Pokemon to Mario Kart – MK is its own thing and is diluted by other Nintendo characters – but instead a completely fresh kart racing game focused on the world of Pokemon.
The track inspiration is easy: there are eight full regions each with a range of biomes, as well as certain distinct gyms like Sabrina's, or unique locations like Fortree City. There's also places like Detective Pikachu's Rime City to add even more variety. Character wise, you'd expect a range similar to Unite – a lot of irreplaceable 'mons like Pikachu, as well as more unique picks like Crustle or Tsareena. Item wise, that's easy – Pokemon each have their own attacks, and several dozen items exist within Pokemon's world already. You could even just clobber your opponents with different Poke Balls. Why am I doing the developers' work for them? And we all know having an idea for a video game is the hard part – the making it is just sitting at a computer and pushing the 'make game good' button.
Seriously, why does this thing not exist? I ought to call my lawyers and sue whoever it is at The Pokemon Company that decided not to greenlight this game that surely must have been suggested by now.
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