Mario Kart 8 has probably been the most hyped release for the Wii U yet. So was the hype worth it? Lets find out.
Graphics: Mario Kart 8 is a pretty game. Its colorful and vibrant with tons of little details you might miss just racing along. Things such as logos on the Trucks in Toad’s Turnpike that reference other courses in the game, and Shy Guys mining off to the side of the track in Shy guy Falls. The animations are smooth as well. The mustachioed characters staches even blow in the wind. The game runs smoothly as well at 59 fps (Its pretty much indistinguishable from 60 fps) offline and online with 1 or 2 players on the console. 4 player splitscreen drops it to 30. All in all this a pretty game with great art design.
Gameplay: It’s classic Mario Kart you hit the gas, drift around corners and toss items at each other. The new Anti Gravity adds an interesting twist with the spin boost where if you hit your opponent you both get a boost so you have to strategize it so only you get an advantage from it. It was awesome to spin boost just right so my opponent ran into an obstacle while I sped ahead. The item balance is the best the series has seen yet. With even the Super Horn to counter the Blue shell. That being said there can still be moments of frustration on the higher difficulty of 150cc where you have a lead the whole race and on the final lap you get hit by like 4 items in a row and ended up 5th. The tracks are great (Possibly the best selection in the series) in this game with even the retro tracks feeling new. The character selection is a bit weak with Mario and Peach having 3 variations of themselves. The online multiplayer is fantastic. With the tournaments being a particular highlight. The only flaw with the online is the lack of friend invites which is a pretty big oversight. That being said the online will keep you coming back. The Battle mode has been the biggest problem for most people with the game. And I completely understand if you liked the old battle mode this one will annoy you to no end. Me personally though I never liked Battle Mode and still it is disinteresting to me. That being said though I prefer this battle mode for occasional duels. It feels like high-speed hide and go seek and that’s fun for me honestly. Overall the gameplay is fantastic.
Sound: This is the best soundtrack yet in a Mario Kart game. There is not a bad track to be found. The music is fitting for each track complete with little changes depending on where you are on the track. The sound effects also work well. Overall the game sounds great.
Overall: Overall Mario Kart 8 is a fantastic game. A worthy addition to your system library. And a reason to buy a Wii U. So what are you waiting for? Go Karting!