Sakurai not a big fan of Mario Kart's blue shell, but understands why it's necessary

The blue shell...everyone's worst enemy int he world of Mario Kart. Some people love it, others claim it ruins the game. None other than Masahiro Sakurai has taken to his Famitsu column to discuss the hotly-debated item. You can read a snipped of the translated feature below, courtesy of SourceGaming.

In the Mario Kart series, there is an item called the Blue Shell. Everyone likes this item, right? Or maybe they don’t. As someone who plays games, I’m honestly not a big fan of the Blue Shell. However, for the type of game Mario Kart is, it’s an essential item, so I accept it. If that’s the way it has to be, then I guess it’s fine.

Sakurai goes on to explain the blue shell in great detail, talk about why it's so necessary to have in a game like Mario Kart. Read up on the full feature here.

Categories: Consoles, Portables


Sun Nov 19 17 02:44pm
(Updated 1 time)

How is it essential? Ever since MKDS it's been little more than a sour grapes move, it never really helps anyone to win, it's just there to spite whoever is winning.

I don’t think your using the term sour grapes correctly.

Anyway it disrupts the leader and can break their momentum and yes it can cause them to lose if the times is right.

You subestimate how people like to make others miserable. It's not about getting a chance to win, but that whoever it's on first or second don't win, or win that easily.

It's always a case of extremes, since you can also make a game less interesting by systematically make everything restrictive.

I don't see the point of Smash items anymore, yet people would complain if there weren't any. I suppose.

It's essential like how Pity Final Smashes became a thing for Super Smash Bros. Brawl and onward. It was intended for Blue Shells to slow down the leader or those at the top of the pack that get caught in the shell's blast radius so the Blue Shell thrower can catch up.

The problem unlike Pity Final Smashes (which gives you a chance to comeback by using your Final Smash), Blue Shells have been flawed in their execution.

Mario Kart 64/Super Circuit had the problem of draggable Blue Shells which means you became invincible to forward firing shells (though your front and sides are still vulnerable). In Super Circuit, it could also be dropped behind the user so that the 1st place racer could be hit on the next lap (though anyone that drives into it or is pushed into it still got hit).

Double Dash gave us the infamous winged version that did nothing else but hit the leader. It stayed like this until Mario Kart 7 dewinged the Spiny Shell and put it back to the Mario Kart 64/Super Circuit variant (only minus the gamebreaking shielding and dropping it behind you). 8 finally gave us the Super Horn as the actual counter to Blue Shells, but the problem was Super Horns were even rarer to get than the actual Blue Shells.

Sun Nov 19 17 03:18pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 2 times)

The blue shell isn’t terrible because it targets the person in first place, it’s terrible because it does nothing for the person who typically gets it and is in the most need of advancement.

Sun Nov 19 17 05:08pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

Indeed. We have things like the Bullet Bill and Star. Why is the Blue Shell needed if we have those items which actually DO help someone far behind?

I think hitting 1st place is the most important function the Blue Shell can possibly have. The problem isn't that people in the back of the pack can't catch up to the middle of the pack, it's that 1st place is the most protected position in the game. You only have to worry about things being thrown forward by the 2nd place person (which are easily blocked), whereas every other position has items coming from the front and behind. The middle usually stays much more crowded as well.

I know it doesn't directly help the positions that get it (unless it's the N64 version that hits karts along the way), but hey, it makes more sense that way than if 2nd or 3rd place got it. Karts in the rear will get plenty of other powerful items that DO directly benefit them.

Well I think that when you are racing the only person you need to worry about is the person in front of you. Once you get past that person then you worry about the next person. That's why the Blue Shell seems so wrong. If you want to hurt the person in 1st you should be 2nd or 3rd, not last. Why does the person in last need to hurt the person in 1st? It won't help him catch up at all it will just help the person in second get past the first.

#12 should try to attack #11 and so on.

Not really, because of the nature of Mario Kart , you can't be ONLY worried with the person ahead of you, you also have to protect yourself from attacks from behind, to be successuful on Mario Kart you have to choose when you're gonna use a item for defense or attack. The person in 1st only has to worry with his defense, that makes the easiest position to hold and if only the 2nd could attack the 1st most of the races would be decided on the 1st lap.

That's just not how the weapons in Mario Kart work though. Things fall on the track, things are thrown backwards, things are thrown forwards but bounce off walls in all directions, people are hit by things and drop their items everywhere, people hit bombs that also take out racers around them... 1st place is the only position that doesn't have to worry about most of that chaos.

This, exactly.

20 Characters.

interesting takes, it's true that the bullet bill does help now but still the blue shell is useful to not have someone finishing 10-30s before anyone else. Never underestimate the unfriendliness of such behavior. It's like the unsportsmanlike conduct. win all you want just don't be a jerk about it.
pretty sure this has be pointed during all those decades but if you keep getting blue shells, it does mean you are already a great player

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