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Anticipating The Mario Kart DS Expansion Pack

Wario in his kartAfter spending one week with Mario Kart DS I can proclaim that it's very enjoyable, offers a lot of ongoing replay value thanks to online racing, and offers plenty of tracks and drivers.  In fact, I bet that the game will wind up as one of my picks for the best Nintendo DS games of the year.  However, the game is lacking a few things in my opinion.  They're minor issues, but knowing that Nintendo has the ability to release expansions for DS games that make use of the DS's Game Boy Advance slot, here are a few things I'd like to see in such an expansion if Nintendo were to produce one.  Let me preface this with the fact that no such expansion has been announced.  This is just my own little wish list.

  • More retro tracks.  I'd like to see twelve additional retro tracks added to the game.  The included retro tracks are fine, but a few of my favorites were left out.  I want to see tracks such as Bowser Castle 2 and Mario Circuit 2 from the original Super Mario Kart, Royal Raceway and Yoshi Valley from Mario Kart 64, Ribbon Road and Sunset Valley from Mario Kart Super Circuit, and Daisy Cruiser and DK Mountain from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.  Additionally, the inclusion of a "Rainbow Road Cup" was sorely missed from Mario Kart DS.  I want to see all four previous Rainbow Road tracks included as a new retro cup.

  • More new tracks.  Mario Kart DS features some great new tracks based on nearly forgotten Super Mario elements.  They brought back the Super Mario Bros. 3 airship, after all.  Now I'd like to see new tracks based on things such as Super Mario 64's Tiny Huge Island in which the racetrack changes from tiny to huge after driving through a pipe tunnel;  Super Mario Bros.'s x-4 levels in which Hammer Brothers toss hammers from the sidelines and driving over the ax at the end of the track temporarily knocks out a bridge; the Mario sports series titles in which racers cut across a fairway, through a tennis court, and so on while sports players knock golf balls, tennis balls, and so on across the track as the karts interfere with sporting events; and other such ideas.  There's a lot of history to be creatively mined here.

  • More characters.  Mario Kart DS already includes plenty of racers, but there are three I'd like to see added to the roster: Koopa Troopa (Dry Bones will never be Koopa Troopa), King Boo, and Kamek the Magikoopa.

  • More missions.  Remember all those new tracks I wanted to see included?  Why not create more missions that make use of those tracks?  I'd like to see three new worlds worth of missions, bringing the total up to ten worlds of eight missions and a boss encounter each.

  • WFC enhancements.  I'd love to see more racetracks available for online play.  The more intense and involved tracks cannot be played online due to the need for all connected DS units to be in sync while playing, but surely with enough time and effort more tracks could be made playable online.  I know we'd all love to see an online Battle Mode, too.  The hurdle here is allowing people without the expansion pack to race people who do have the expansion pack.  I don't know if Nintendo would want to allow packless players to download new tracks for one-shot racing online, so it might be better to keep players with the pack fenced off in their own section of the WFC in order to guarantee that everyone who is racing together has the same selection of tracks from which to choose.