I posted a wish list of things I wanted to see in Mario Kart 8 before its release and a reflection piece after having spent a decent amount of time with the game.

Of the fourteen things I discussed, there’s one thing I still cant get over.

I’m adamant there needs to be a better way to avoid the blue shell than by the use of an item.

I originally said I wanted the blue shell modified, for fairness:

“As the weapon evolved, it became a punishment for leading the race. This is not on in my book”.

Any Mario Kart fan knew that after the brutal and downright unfair over use of the blue shell (or “spiny shell” to some) in Mario Kart Wii, Nintendo were going to tone down the frequency of the item appearing in the next console version. But that wasn’t going to be enough, I wanted a way to completely avoid the blue shell while in first place.

We all know the Super Horn item allows us to counter the blue shell. So effectively, I’ve got my way to beat it. But I still wanted to be able to avoid the blue shell using my skill, not the luck of having the right item at the right time in a race.

This isn’t the first time an item can be used to escape the blue shell. In Mario Kart Double Dash!!, the well timed use of a boost mushroom could propel you out of the blue shell’s blast radius.

This was certainly tricky to pull off, and exhilarating when you did. But you still had to use an item to do it. Those who played Double Dash!! know you could hold multiple items at a time in that game, so you could kind of have a mushroom “in the bank” in case you were threatened by a blue shell.

In Mario Kart 8, you can’t pick up a second item. I don’t want to hold on to a Super Horn in case a blue shell comes along. I know there’s a better way to handle this whole thing, and I suggested a Blur style series of lightning bolts that land just ahead of first place, offering players a slim chance of avoiding the bolts and maintaining their momentum.

Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing Transformed did a similar thing, using a swarm of wasps to hunt down first and stop in a few clusters across the track in front of them. It was tricky to navigate your way around them, but when you pulled it off it was a real rush.

Nintendo borrowed the Super Horn idea from (at least this is where I know it from) Sonic All Stars Racing’s Mega Horn item. The two both create a sound wave boom that spins out all players in its radius.

I wish while Nintendo was borrowing ideas from other kart racers, they’d have borrowed one that could really have added to the Mario Kart experience and finally given players a way to use their skills as a driver to achieve the holy grail: avoiding the blue shell.

Do you have any ideas on how to modify the blue shell to make it escapable through the use of skill? Let me know by leaving a comment!

  • Stickz

    I really think Nintendo made the right choise, the fun part for me about mario kart is that you are never secure when you are driving in 1st place. I mean it does suck when u get hit by a blueshell right before the finish, but thats the charm of mario kart! Now you basically have a small chance to be able to counter the blue shell, you can also time a boost to evade it. Sometimes you can plan the boost if you see on your gamepad that some1 has a blue shell and you know the track well. That is also skill based defeating the blue shell.

    • Ryan Banks

      Also, in double dash, you’re able to utilize the drift boosts to completely avoid the blue shell without the use of any items. Sure, they’re hard to do, but it’s doable.

      • I didn’t realise you could drift boost to avoid the blue shell in MKDD! I’ll have to give it a try next time.