Hot on the heels of the Evangelion VR experience, comes the announcement of Mario Kart Arcade GP VR. A (currently) arcade-only VR title that puts you in the seat of the iconic Nintendo characters that like to tool around a magical go kart track in their spare time, hurling fruit, animal parts and other weird things at each other.
Since the release of the original Super Mario Kart back in the heady days of 1992, the series has gone from strength to strength. Every generation of Nintendo console since then has had Mario Kart on it in one form or another.
The main Mario Kart series is now on it’s eighth numbered release and in total there have been twelve released Mario Kart titles.
Mario Kart VR isn’t even the series’ first foray into arcades. There have been three other titles in the arcade series of the property. It may seem weird that new arcade titles are still being worked on by major video game companies in 2017, but the truth is that arcades are still very much alive in Japan.
The Usual Suspects
Just as with the the Evangelion VR experience, the Mario Kart game is only scheduled to for release at the Bandai Namco VR Zone in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
You get to sit in a real chair and handle real kart controls, with a good dose of motorized force feedback to boot.
Get Your Head in the Game
If you’re one of the few people who have never played a Mario Kart game before, the rules are pretty simple. Choose a character from Nintendo’s stable of iconic characters and race against friends or computer opponents on various ludicrous tracks in the Mario universe.
The real fun comes from the fact that you can interfere with your friend’s ability to make it to the finish line first. Chuck a turtle shell at them or blast past them with a power up and revel in their frustrated curses. Mario Kart has been responsible for many broken friendships, that’s for sure.
Bandai Namco describes this VR games as an exciting one, capitalizing on the nature of VR to make it much more visceral. There are intense Mario-themed hazards to avoid and spinning out Mario Kart-style in VR must certainly leave some people reaching for a brown paper bag.
A Taste of Things to Come?
Nintendo and VR have had a sketchy relationship. The ill-fated Virtual Boy (while not really a VR product) is widely considered to be the second biggest flop Nintendo ever had. The biggest? The Wii U of course.
Who knows? Nintendo is known for quirky console tech, but even the Playstation is doing VR now. So if they want to be different as usual that may need to go a different way