Azurephile gives this a solid "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
Azurephile gives this a "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
  • Recommended +1

  • Beautiful in HD

  • Anti-gravity racing, gliding, and drifting

  • New characters and tracks

  • Multiplayer

  • Post to YouTube
Mario Kart has been a very popular series since arriving on the Super Nintendo. Since then, the game has evolved to include new courses, new characters, new karts, and more. Mario Kart 8 not only adds these new things, but is the first in the series to be in HD, making it the most beautiful Mario Kart yet! There is also a Wii U Deluxe Set which includes the standard Wii U components, the game, a red Wii-mote Plus controller, and a red wheel accessory.

Anti-gravity racing: One of the new features of Mario Kart 8 is anti-gravity racing. At certain points in the various courses, the wheels flip on their sides so that the kart hovers above the race track. While in anti-gravity mode, players can get a speed boost by bumping into other players. There are also structures that players can bump into to get a speed boost as well.

Gliding: If you've played some of the other more recent versions of Mario Kart, you may remember being propelled across a long distance, usually by a cannon. In Mario Kart 8, when you are propelled into the air, the kart releases a glider, which allows the player to glide through the air. While gliding, you can move the cart around, but you can also increase the gliding distance by holding the control stick down or decrease the gliding distance by holding the control stick up.

Coins: While racing, players will come across coins on the track. Some of these coins can provide a short boost. The game shows a maximum of 10 coins (similar to a health meter) that can be picked up, but players can lose those coins if hit with a power-up such as a turtle shell or fire ball. Players will want to collect these coins because they are used to unlock new karts and equipment such as wheels, or gliders.

New characters: Mario Kart 8 includes new characters such as Bowser's Koopalings; Wendy, Larry, Lemmy, Iggy, Morton, Roy, and Ludwig. Other new characters include Metal Mario, Baby Rosalina, and Mii. New characters are unlocked by winning gold medals in races. While I've listed some of the new characters here, there are still more and perhaps more to come. Diddy Kong, for instance, has been seen in game pictures, but does not seem to be in the game yet. Perhaps there will be more available to unlock in a future game update.

Drifting: in Mario Kart was introduced in the Nintendo 64 version, but has evolved with the series. As I did not play the N64 version (I know shame on me), drifting was new to me in Double Dash, the GameCube version. Since then, I hadn't really used drifting, until now. My son was the first between us to play Mario Kart 8, so by the time I started to play it, he understood the game play better than I did. As he watched me play, he would tell me when to drift, which was very helpful!

New tracks and multiplayer: There are, of course, new race tracks, which are absolutely beautiful in HD. The game also includes "retro" race tracks from previous games in the series, something that isn't new with Mario Kart 8. Up to four players can race together locally, but players can get online and race against up to 12 players.

Post on YouTube: As I'm reading about what's new with Mario Kart 8, I see a bit more information about Mario Kart TV, which allows you to post Mario Kart 8 videos to YouTube. I have not yet tried this out, but I think it's a really cool feature of a game since YouTube is a very popular website to watch people playing video games. I think that people who post videos on YouTube of their game play usually require extra hardware (like an extra GPU) and software in order to do so. Having this feature built in to the game means that no extra hardware or software is required. I think this feature is note-worthy and something that I'd like to see in more games.

Controls: I have not yet used a Wii-mote for Mario Kart 8, I've only played with the GamePad. However, unlike my game play of New Super Mario Bros. U, I've had to play Mario Kart 8 with the TV on. This is because most of the GamePad's screen was filled with the steering wheel, which can sound the horn when pressed. The GamePad does show the race, but it's too small. The GamePad can also work like the Wii-Mote in that you can hold and turn it like you would a real steering wheel. I decided, however, to use the control stick for steering.

Mario Kart 8 continues to prove that Mario Kart is a really fun game to play.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 06/12/2014 at 05:53am

Mario Kart 8 is quite a bit of fun. But, like any new kart game when I first played it with my friends, I sucked hard. It's odd coming from Mario Kart Wii and not have some skills transfer. That said, I wasn't the best, but am decent enough against other non-pros.

Also, Mario Kart 8 is so pretty. Nintendo games shine in HD.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 06/12/2014 at 06:00am

My son helped me out the first time I played it and I was doing the 50cc courses, so I was pretty good. Also, I totally agree that Nintendo games in HD really do shine! Do you have a favorite driver? I was using Ludwig, but then switched to Metal Mario some time after I unlocked him. Since Metal Mario is "heavy," I figured that would help me stay on the track, this strategy might have actually helped!

jdodson   Admin wrote on 06/12/2014 at 05:49pm

No favorite driver yet. I enjoyed Mario and I also played with... Morton.

Didn't really find my groove that night with any of the drivers or carts but I had fun.

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