You’re about to cross the finish line. Suddenly, a spiky blue shell starts hovering over you. Now, there are ways to avoid getting hit by the world’s most annoying item, but in that moment, there is only tunnel vision for the goal in front of you.
It took me a minute to realize what the Twitch streamer and frighteningly good Mario Kart 8 player xLunairex was doing with his banana peel. But once I did, I was very impressed.
As fanfiction, Super Smash Bros. takes bits and pieces from many different Nintendo games and weaves them together into a uniquely chaotic patchwork. It remains faithful to its source material, but only to a point. Some of the most interesting stuff the newest Smash repurposed came from Mario Kart, of all places.
There's nothing worse than fighting tooth, nail, and banana peel for first place in Mario Kart, only to lose it because a blue shell decided to saunter up and explode on your parade. Would you believe, though, that it's actually one of the best things about Mario Kart?
"Victory and defeat are just lies told out of two sides of the same mouth. This is the Blue Shell of collapse, the Blue Shell of financial crisis, the Blue Shell of the New Gilded Age." That's game designer/academic Ian Bogost on the most hated and feared pick-up in the Mario Kart series. His essay at Gamasutra is a…