A short time ago we ran a piece of news that Mario Kart Arcade 3 would be making its way to the market sometime this year. If anyone felt that was a rumor, it can now be laid to rest as Bandai Namco has formally unveiled the next installment of the Mario Kart series in arcades, now called Mario Kart Arcade Grand Prix DX which is scheduled to be released this Summer in Japan and I imagine soon afterwards to the rest of the world as the first two Mario Kart arcade titles were.
The document describing the game, released to Japanese media lays out the four game modes that can be found: Grand Prix, Battle Mode, “Alter Ego” Battle mode, and Team Co-Op mode. The latter two are new to the arcade series; the translation is clunky on what the Alter Ego mode is exactly but from the sounds of it, it is an online mode where other players can race against your recorded ghost player when you are not on the machine. The game will certainly have network play to some degree, something Namco has been getting into lately with Tekken Tag 2 and WMMT4.
As far as content goes, they are promising “10 redesigned courses”, over 100 items to use and regular online updates. Namco is also adding one of their own characters to the mix, Don-Chan from their drumming game Taiko No Tatsujin (which is getting a new version released next month in Japan). Also one of the new race courses is from the Taiko No Tatsujin world. Also to be found in this version – flying karts.
Overall it looks like Namco is putting a lot into this version of Mario Kart but we will have to wait and see how they decide to go about it for Western markets. There is no indication as to whether the 1st place player gets a free race or not (a criticism of the previous two MK Arcade titles that is often brought up) and no hint at whether this is using some new arcadified WiiU hardware or something else. The game will be at the JAEPO 2013 expo in a couple of weeks, I’m sure we’ll find out much more by then.
All indications are this will be as easy as the previous two arcade games.