Super Nintendo World looks like it’s about to take first place in the real-life Mario Kart race of the world’s best theme parks. While news of a Nintendo-themed expansion to Universal Studios Japan is nothing new, fans now get their first look at this Mario masterpiece.
The video game giant released the iconic Game & Watch in 1980, followed by more mainstream appear with Donkey Kong in 1981, and the runaway success of Super Mario Bros. in 1983. The rest (as they say) is history, with gamers calling for a Nintendo theme park for as long as we can remember.
It was back in 2015 the company first announced it was teaming up with Universal to bring this dream to life, but now, we’re one step closer.
From Princess Peach to Bowser’s respective castles, the uncharted territories of Donkey Kong’s jungle to the decaying halls of Luigi’s Mansion, it looks some of your favourite locations are here!
Thierry Coup, the chief creative officer of Universal Creative, described Super Nintendo World as “a life-size, living video game.” Although there’s not much information on the rides, we’re assured there’s a Mario Kart track on the way — finally!
The first trailer asks you to put down your Nintendo Switch and hop in the warp pipe to experience and attraction like you’ve never done before. Launching ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at Osaka’s Universal Studios Japan, Super Nintendo World is a candy-coloured wonderland for big kids and little kids alike to enjoy.
Set to an electro version of “We Are Born to Play”, the trailer features music by Galantis featuring Charli XCX and is a frankly baffling tour through the park. It’s mainly CGI nonsense, but if you look close enough, there’s a fleeting glimpse of the ride vehicles for the Mario Kart attraction.
Although the karts won’t be able to glide and hover over dangerous ravines or launch giant spiked shells at opponents, the vehicles seem to run on a trackless system. They appear to hold four riders, so not everyone will have a chance to drive. We’re not sure how weapons work, but it’s easy to imagine a system where you fire virtual shells at each other and cause enemy karts to spin out of control/stall.
One of the other unique features is the “Power Up Bands” that allow patrons to sync up and log their scores in-park. Similar to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s wands, these will be an optional extra for walking around Super Nintendo World.
The bands come in Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Toad, and Yoshi themed colourways and will allow to collect coins. It’s unclear why you’d want to gather the coins, but one idea is that they could be swapped for real merchandise or special prizes.
Posting on Twitter, Bloomberg‘s Kurumi Mori shared more images from the park’s briefing event. As you can see, Super Nintendo World’s slogan is “No Limits”, which might have something to do with the ability to interact with giant Mario blocks.
After being rolled out in Japan, Nintendo expansions will also be added to Singapore and US locations Hollywood, California, and Orlando. As Disney grabs everyone’s attention with the cosmic-themed Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Super Nintendo World could give that galaxy far, far away a run for its money.
[Featured Image: Nintendo/Universal]