As Highway Games exclusively revealed two weeks ago, Namco Bandai Games Inc. had been planning to release a third installment in their Mario Kart series
Namco Bandai announced last week that they would be releasing Mario Kart Grand Prix DX in time for this weeks JAEPO show in Japan. The test run, which was only run in Japan, ended as of yesterday in a number of secret locations.
As to the extent of the release of this game, it is hard to be sure whether this game will go worldwide, as it is supported by the Banapassport Card.
However, when Highway Games recently sat down with representatives from Namco, we were informed that Namco was testing this system in other areas in preparation for the continued release of Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 4 and to increase the international market. This could mean a similar release path for the new Mario Kart as it will be using the same system.
Also, that the company was planning to display new machines for the domestic market only, including a new driving game which we were told at the time to publish only as "a variety game similar to Mario Kart".
At this stage, it would appear that Namco is only planning the game's release for the domestic market, but there is the strong possibility that Mario Kart GP DX could follow the same release path as the Maximum Tune considering the fact both games use the same system and the incredible popularity of the Mario series in the West.
The game links up to four cabinets, and includes the standard single player and all-in, four player battle modes, as well as new modes of gameplay - an Alter Ego Battle Mode (which apparently won't have been implemented in the show versions)and Co-operative Mode which requires two players to play together against a computerized, two-player team.
The game has been redesigned with ten courses in all, with more than 50 different kart items, and has added new "fly" and "dive" driving features to the game as well. The NamCam will also be included in this cabinet with a 'funny face frame' feature.
Other titles that are supposed to be appearing at the Namco Bandai Games booth at JAEPO this week include the March 2013 edition of Taiko no Tatsujin, Bhutto Burst, Fishing Spirits, Lucky Marine Theater Deluxe Sea Story, and I can DO? Shinkansen. More news to follow soon!