The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
I spent the better part of last night and much of today
playing the new Mario Kart 8. Wow, what a game. You know, the Wii U might not
have a lot of games available, but the ones it does are spectacular. I've played
the New Super Mario Bros. U, New Super Luigi U, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical
Freeze and now Mario Kart 8, and they've all been exceptional. I'd go as far as
It's hard to believe, but I've been playing Mario Kart for
over 20 years now. The first one was released in 1992 for the Super Nintendo
Entertainment System (SNES) and since then we've seen a half dozen or more
sequels to the original. I've played them all. Truth be told, this might just
be my favorite one yet.
I used to think Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze had the
best graphics I'd seen on the Wii U, but I think Mario Kart 8 might've outdone
it by just a narrow margin. The levels are simply beautiful. The attention to
detail is spot on and every level is a marvel to behold. The game features 16
brand new tracks and 16 tracks from some of the previous games. It's challenging
to pick a favorite, especially when you see how wonderful one of your favorite
tracks from the past looks with an extreme track makeover. I'd have to say my
favorite track is Sunshine Airport.
As you race around and through an airport,
you're treated to some wonderful views as planes take off and land around you.
It is definitely a cool map. Then again, replaying Moo Moo Meadows and GBA
Mario Circuit was a real treat too. Everything about the tracks are aesthetically
pleasing and it's easy to lose track of what you're doing as you look around at
all of the little details.
Most Nintendo games have a collection of amazing audio
tracks to complement the game play and Mario Kart 8 is no exception. There are
traces of some of the old sound tracks present in the new sound tracks, but
there are definitely some new beats too. The bottom line is, the music and
sound effects in the game are perfect.
Tense Game Play
Whether you're playing single player or multiplayer, the racing
is as tense as it's ever been. But what makes Mario Kart 8 truly special is the
12 player online racing. Gamers from around the world fire up their engines and
race head to head. Just today, I (or should I say we - I was playing and
watching my son play) raced gamers from Japan, Germany, France and even Switzerland.
The way Nintendo set up the lobby and matchmaking is brilliant. Your little Mii
is hanging out and you see everybody else's Mii. Then you get to vote on your
choice of a few different tracks and it randomly selects one. All the while you
can sit and chat with the other Miis. You never have to wait long to get in a
battle and the whole process is very streamline and efficient.
Plenty of Options
The original Super Mario Kart offered you eight playable
characters. Well, from what I've read about Mario Kart 8, you will have 47
characters: 15 default, 27 unlockable and 5 offered as DLC. That is a huge
difference - 8 to 47. Besides having a ton of characters to choose from, the
vehicle options are equally extensive. I don't know how many different body and
tire types there are, but suffice it to say...there are a lot of combinations.
Nintendo really did a good job offering diversity in driver and cart options.
The biggest challenge you'll face is figuring out who you want to play and what
you want them to drive.
There are all sorts of racing games, and I don't just mean
realistic car racing games. I mean, racing games like Mario Kart. Well,
Nintendo always manages in succeeding to make Mario Kart one f the best and
part of the reason they do this is they never quit innovating. Mario Kart
8 has a few new power ups and even a couple of tricks up their sleeve with the
tracks. They also made a few subtle tweaks that some might like, others might
not. For example, the blue turtle doesn't just race to the front and hit the
leader...now it races to the front to the hit the leader, but it can hit others
along the way who are slow to move over. There's also this element of
collecting 10 coins for a small performance boost, but if you get hit or run
off the side, you lose some of them, much like Sonic would lose rings if he ran
into something he wasn't supposed to. Of course if you've read about the game
then you already know all about the anti-gravity levels, the underwater levels
and the new Rainbow Road level. All true!
The game is fun, it's beautiful and it is truly a testament
to Nintendo's ability to build a rock solid game based off of one of their most
popular titles. Far be it for me to give the game a review score, but I will
say if you have a Wii U, do yourself a favor and play this game. It's a blast!
Have a wonderful weekend.