Nintendo finally formally unveiled Mario Kart Tour last month, a reveal that spurred excitement and skepticism alike. Today, the latest installment in the venerable kart racing series has finally launched, but its launch comes with a few hitches.
#MarioKartTour is here!
Race around the world across a variety of new and classic courses! We hope you enjoy this first tour! Be sure to stay tuned here for the latest game news, because we’ve got a lot more coming.
It’s finally here! GO! pic.twitter.com/GaBurZ3AZS
— Mario Kart Tour (@mariokarttourEN) September 25, 2019
The first one worth mentioning is how the game frequently crashes on its title screen, displaying a message that reads, “The servers are experiencing heavy traffic. Your log-in request will be processed in the order it was received.”
Those who are able to sample the game have noticed it has a dearth of content relative to its predecessors. The roster is being deemed one such letdown; newcomers thus far are Peachette, Pauline and Mario in an Odyssey-inspired outfit, and several series staples are present, including Metal Mario and a returning Diddy Kong. However, several other fan-favorite veterans – such as Rosalina, Waluigi and even Mario’s brother Luigi, who’s in Tour‘s promotional art – are currently absent, likely coming in future updates. Moreover, the gacha nature of the character and vehicle unlocks also inspired disappointment, with players reportedly having a less than three percent chance to procure some of them:
— NintendoTLDR (@NintendoTLDR) September 25, 2019
Perhaps the biggest question mark players have right now is the game’s subscription service, however. According to Mario Kart Tour‘s website, players can enjoy a two-week trial of the Gold Pass, and then it will cost $4.99 per month to keep. While the exact bonuses the service grants are still unknown, it claims to offer three things:
- “Get Gold Gifts by racing in tours!”
- “Get special in-game badges from Gold Challenges!”
- “Unlock 200cc!”
Notably, that last mode was added in a free update to the Wii U’s Mario Kart 8, and its Deluxe Switch iteration includes it by default. It also bears mentioning that $4.99 is the monthly rate the Apple Arcade service demands, which seems like a more compelling deal for those in possession of an iDevice. One has to wonder how much the success of Fire Emblem Heroes influenced Nintendo’s mobile game handling; Super Mario Run wasn’t perfect, but at least it was forthright about its value.
Hopefully Nintendo addresses these issues in a swift manner. In the meantime, the Source Gaming team – myself included – published a video delineating the newcomers we’d like to see hit the tracks. You’re welcome to watch it here: