I find I don't really get excited for new releases anymore. Oh sure, I buy new games and play new games...but I don't really think much about it until the day arrives. Maybe its age or maybe it's because I can wrap myself up in my lengthy backlog list and stay warm and toasty at night. Yeah, I'm sure that has to be it. I have plenty to play and don't really waste time thinking about what I'll be playing down the road. But every now and then a game comes along that I'm truly excited for it to release. And right now, believe it or not, that game just so happens to be Mario Kart 8.

To be honest, I wasn't even tracking the game - I knew it was being developed and was supposed to ship this year. But the other day I was in Wal-Mart (yeah, Wal-Mart...what of it?) and they were playing a trailer for it. I was captivated. I started watching about a third of the way through, so I stayed there and watched it again so I could see it the whole way through. It looked amazing. And apparently it will be available in the next few months. How cool is that.

Mario Kart is such an iconic series and I've been along for the ride since the beginning. It was one of the first games I had on my Super Nintendo.  Hard to believe that was back in 1992. The series certainly has an impressive track record.

Did you know Mario Kart holds the Guinness World Record for being the "Best Selling Racing Game"? That's an impressive accomplish, no doubt. Guinness World Records ranked the original Super Mario Kart number 1 on the list of top 50 console games of all time based on initial impact and lasting legacy. Kind of hard to topple that kind of record.

So, what was it about the trailer that got me all excited about Mario Kart 8?

Well, for one...it looks like it is just a downright fun racing game.

But the real answer is, I've always enjoyed how the series returns with essentially the same core mechanics that make all of the games popular, but it also adds in dynamic new content and features. There are certain inherent qualities that seem to be native to all Mario Kart games - red turtles, star power and bananas. But from the looks of the Mario Kart 8 trailer, Nintendo has gone above and beyond to add in a layer of innovation. Perhaps the biggest and most noticeable feature is the vehicles. Motorcycles return, which is a good thing. But the fact your vehicles can morph into hang gliders is an interesting idea. Looking at the trailer, it almost reminds me of a Mario Kart / Diddy Kong Racing hybrid.

I've also heard there are some underwater levels too, so I'm kind of wondering if we'll see any unusual vehicles for these kinds of levels. The other noteworthy features I the anti-gravity feature that allows you to race on walls and the ceiling. I can't wait to see what sort of insanely twisted course they'll have for us to race on.

I know most gamers tend to ignore Nintendo and the Wii as a competitor in the current generation of gaming consoles, but Mario Kart 8 looks absolutely stunning. Each level is meticulously detailed and of the highest caliber. The fact the game focuses on community oriented features tells me Nintendo is at least concerned about the multiplayer element. A new feature, called Mario Kart TV, allows players to use Miiverse to share clips from their races. I'm not quite sure how that will work yet, but the tech definitely sounds promising.

I have a lot of fond memories of Mario Kart...a lot of close races. I've played it with (and against) my kids for years and no doubt we will take Mario Kart 8 for a spin, once it launches on or about the end of May.

Until then...I guess I'll keep being excited for it.