GameMage shares his analysis of the design goals behind the item design in Mario Kart and Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed. He discusses how the available game modes in each game reflect their overall design goals.
His thesis is that Sonic Racing is a more skill- and skill-building-oriented game, while Mario Kart 8 is more about casual multiplayer play.
Mike says: It’s an ambitious effort with some pacing and over-scoping problems caused by bringing in too many games later in the video. A promising first episode of a new series of game design analysis videos, though!
Richard says: I like the zoomed in focus on just the power-ups found in Mario Kart 8 and Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed. The details on when certain power-ups are acquired and the interplay (counters) for them is great. I wish GameMage covered all the power-ups. GameMage essentially argues that the power-up design is the crux of the skill based play in both games. There are many other aspects of these games that determine their capacity for skillful play and depth like controls, frame rate, modes, and options.
Chris says: It’s great that GameMage is able to compare two different games in a genre without succumbing to the temptation to praise one game as better in all aspects over the other. This is why focusing on the details is valuable!