Mario Kart 8 - Nintendo Wii U
- Race along walls and upside-down on twisting anti-gravity racetracks!
- Share highlight videos of your greatest moments with friends via the Mario Kart TV feature and Miiverse.
- Race and battle with friends locally or connect online to play with random players from around the world.
- Fan favorite features from past Mario Kart games include gliders, underwater racing, motorbikes, mid-air tricks, and more.
- Crisp HD graphics and fluid animation offers players the most visually stunning Mario Kart yet!
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From the manufacturer
Feel the rush as your kart rockets across the ceiling. Race upside-down and along walls on anti-gravity tracks in the most action-fueled Mario Kart game yet. Take on racers across the globe and share videos of your greatest moments via Mario Kart TV.
Driving up a waterfall or across the ceiling can provide an intense adrenaline rush, but that's not all anti-gravity is good for. It also provides a wild new gameplay mechanic: if you collide into other racers in zero-g, you'll earn speed boosts worth bragging about. Upload and share your best moments and watch your friends' using Mario Kart TV. Returning features include 12-player online play, gliders, underwater racing, motorbikes, and custom karts. You can even race as Bowser's seven minions, the Koopalings.
Race along walls and upside-down on twisting anti-gravity racetracks
Share highlight videos of your greatest moments with friends via the Mario Kart TV feature and Miiverse
Race and battle with friends locally or connect online to play with random players from around the world
Fan favorite features from past Mario Kart games include gliders, underwater racing, motorbikes, mid-air tricks, and more
For the first time ever, play as all seven of Bowser's minions, the Koopalings
Crisp HD graphics and fluid animation offers players a visually stunning Mario Kart
Mario Kart 8 - Nintendo Wii U
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I didn't pay any attention when they announced MK8 last year. I knew I'd get it at some point, but there was no excitement. Then a few weeks ago I booted up my Wii U for the first time in months and was browsing the eStore. I watched the recent Nintendo Direct for MK8... after that it was all over, suddenly I was more hyped for new Mario Kart than I have been since 1997. I'm still not quite finished with Watch Dogs... partially because it's a long game with tons of content, partially because I keep taking breaks to play MK8. I can't wait to finally finish WD so I can give MK8 the undivided attention it deserves.
Game runs at a solid 60 fps, but when it is 3 or 4 player split-screen, the frame rate noticeable drops to 30 fps. Still playable though. Online was pretty smooth, and out of all the matches I played, I very rarely lost connection and when I did, it was during a lobby instead of during races. Mario Kart TV is a very nice touch since it saves the last 12 races that occurred. My petty complaint of it is that it doesn’t show the exact things you saw on your screen.
Battle mode obviously had very little effort put in considering how you play on some of the race tracks (yes, the same race tracks you race on) that are barely modified. As far as I can tell, the item boxes have been slightly moved and there are different quantities of them. You can expect to spawn in some random area of the race track and if you do see someone, it turns into a very one sided confrontation, or you pass each other up as if both of you were invisible. Most of the time, I spent trying to dodge random green shells that other players have spammed and are careening wildly around the map.
I will admit that I did have some fun with this battle mode, but after a while, that is what it boils down to. Btw, you should play battle mode with a large group of players; otherwise it turns into two people aimlessly wandering around a large empty race track trying to find each other.
Hopefully, they will release actual DLC battle arenas and actual battle game types.
The 150cc AI would be a good start for what online play is like, considering my experience of the AI consisted of being shot at a lot and when I did get hit by the AI, every so often it would be multiple times in a row…
…which is nothing compared to how online play is like. I will admit that I have seen some pretty nasty moves that other players have pulled like people in lower places firing behind them a lot even though they are clearly in range of the racers ahead of them. Other instances where racers shoot each other a lot can end up giving first place an even bigger lead due to constant sabotage. I have ran into some instances where I was hit more times than the AI does in a single race. You could be doing so well and be on the final stretch when a blue shell appears and blows you up, then end up getting hit by other players so many times, that you end up in last place.
Now to be fair, this isn't anything new. It's Mario Kart, of course it has some sort of luck-based randomness. It is not exclusive to this game.
I had my share of being extremely lucky too. One instance was when I got a star—in 4th place, in a full room. Another example was when I was in 12th place received a star and steamrolled 4 racers; only to receive a crazy 8 and used that star to blast my way to first place.
Don’t be too influenced by all that I said there. Online play is still fun. It is not exactly as bad as I make it out to be and the way other players act is not the games fault at all. My experiences could just be anecdotal evidence. It is just something that I figured that I should throw out there.
Aside from all that, the rest of the game is phenomenal, customization is great, and lots of aesthetically pleasing graphics and soundtrack. The one star off is due to the chopped down battle mode.
Definitely worth the $60
To start off, right away, here's why it loses a star:
-There's no minimap on the screen during races or battle mode. You apparently have to use the gamepad screen for the minimap, which is pointless if you're not playing using the gamepad or unfair in local multiplayer if only one person gets to use the gamepad. Also by removing your eyes from the road to look down at the gamepack can often result in disaster. So, what the heck, I want an onscreen minimap as is tradition.
-The N64 Rainbow Road retro track has been ruined. I was so pumped up for the return of this epic track, only now it's not so epic. Somehow they turned it from being the longest track in the series to easily the shortest track in this entire game. The track has great music, and comes off looking epic with all the flashy stuff and fireworks, but it's really over in like a minute. Sucks if you got off to a rough start because there's not much time to make up for that. The reasoning for this track being ruined is that you only do one lap around now, one full lap, split into 3 sections. Seeing as to how it was so long on the N64 version that you only did 2 laps, you're still only doing half the race. The track is still shorter because you're now going through it faster. I now want them to fix this track to be how it should have been, one of my favorite tracks has been made to be a huge disappointment.
-And to be nitpicky - would be nice to have the mii character not wearing the helmets. Also they removed characters from previous mario karts to make room for a slew of koopalings.
Fortunately that's all I have to say about the bad stuff. The game itself is made to be appropriately challenging, all the new tracks have been very well designed and are fun. Basically if you've ever liked mario kart before, you'll continue to like it now. It's not much different. Blue shells appear to be more rare now, however there's also an item that can be used to prevent getting hit by a blue shell. The squid ink is possibly annoyingly more effective now.
Battle mode probably should have had some traditional battle arenas put in, although I personally enjoy the regular tracks also. Particularly Yoshi's Valley, it's a really cool battleground. However the lack of on screen minimaps contributes to difficulties of tracking people down.
Online mode is lots of fun, and considering they have since turned off online play for previous mario kart games, gotta upgrade to this game to continue enjoying online mode. There is also tournaments online now, and you can gather coins to unlock new karts and accessories while playing online. I've also noticed that the penalty of getting 12th place during online matches is much less severe than on the wii, where you could lose hours of progress for your online score from one botched race. It ultimately doesn't matter much in the end, but no one likes losing 100+ points.
December 2014 Update :
The first DLC pack was released. Eight additional courses that are all very well done. I have bumped my rating up to 5 stars, as this is truly the most addicting Mario Kart I have ever played. Been playing it regularly since it came out...
Also the game was patched to display onscreen minimaps, fixing that issue. Yoshi gets multiple colors. Amiibo Mii racing suits are cute. Looking forward to the next 8 track DLC!