Spiny Shell (Mario Kart Series)

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The Spiny Shell (a.k.a the Blue Shell) is an item in the Mario Kart series. It is one of the five (six in Mario Kart Double Dash!) Koopa Shells seen in games and is one of the three that can home in on Players.

Since this Item's debut, it has received an extremely bad reputation by many players for its qualities, and is often considered as one of the worst Power-Ups in the Mario Kart series.

Summary

The Spiny Shell is an item that players can obtain in fourth place or lower. It works like a Red Shell, but the difference is that it homes on the player in first place, knocking out other unlucky racers along the way should they get hit.

Why This Item Sucks

  1. This item is a special kind of item that homes in on the player in first place, which is where you want to be.
    • Also, because it homes only on the first player, it's difficult to recover on another place if you get this, unless you're playing Mario Kart 64, Super Circuit, or 7 onwards, where it stays low to the ground so it can hit other players.
  2. From Mario Kart 64 (The game it was introduced) to Mario Kart 7, there was no way to avoid the Spiny Shell without performing tricks that only VERY skilled Players can pull off, so you basically have to take a hit.
    • An alternative would be tricking other players into going first place, so that they can be hit by the Spiny Shell. However, it will only really work in Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart 8 (where you can see what items the racers have in hand), and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (where the map shows the Spiny Shell approaching). In Double Dash and Wii, you get no warning apart from an icon that only appears when the Spiny Shell is right behind you.
    • Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart: Super Circuit don't even have that, so you are pretty much forced to take a hit in those games.
  3. The Spiny Shell can cast an insanely large explosion that can also hit other players. Because of that, if you happen to be in the blast with the player who is in first place, you're screwed.
  4. Until Mario Kart 7, The Spiny Shell would cause you to be flung up in the air, wasting a lot of your time to get back in the race.
  5. To make things even more annoying, you only get the Spiny Shell if you are from fourth to last place. How is it going to help last place (12th in Mario Kart Wii and 8, 8th in every other game) take out the player in 1st place?
  6. The AI in those games, like in most racing games, can be prone to AI rubberbanding (sudden boost of intelligence & speed towards 1st place players) on harder difficulties, so one hit can lay all that hard work to waste. This is especially bad with high speed/poor acceleration vehicles & vice-versa, as the opponents can ram you about like a pinball, making for poor racing galore.
  7. It can be worryingly common to find it on higher difficulties as a cheap way to add challenge.
  8. It can ram other players on its way to the would-be victory, irritating them as well.
  9. Just because the racer in 1st place finishes the race does not mean the racers behind them will be safe as it will home in to the person in 2nd place or lower instead!
  10. It is one of items that can result in Frenzy Mode in Tour, and when it happens anyone who gets in first place has to deal with a chaotic hacker-like Spiny Shell spam until it ends.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The Spiny Shell has a pretty cool design.
  2. In Mario Kart 64, Super Circuit, and 7 onwards, it can hit other players, which can help the user.
  3. In Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart Tour, there's an item called the Super Horn, which can counter the Blue Shell. It can even be avoided by using a Star, Mega Mushroom (Mario Kart Wii only), Bullet Bill, a well-timed Mushroom, or even reaching the finish line before the Shell can hit (200cc only). Perfectly timed tricks could also miraculously help you avoid it.
  4. It can protect the player from other items similar to Bob-ombs, Green / Red Sheels and Banana peels in Mario Kart Tour.

Trivia

  • Alongside Lightning, it doesn't focus on the player (who's in first place) from the same team in Mario Kart Tour.

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