Oh Nintendo, it was only a matter of time until you brought the most-revered kart racer to the Wii U— and I’ll be damned if it isn’t one of the best entries I’ve ever played in the franchise! Although the Battle Mode leaves a lot to be desired, Mario Kart 8 is a quintessential title for any Wii U owner’s library.
MK8 is divided up into Grand Prix, Vs. Races and Battle Modes, all playable singularly or on local multiplayer. Reintroduced to the series is the coin-collecting mechanic; play any of these modes and collect coins to unlock new kart parts. Your new racers are unlocked via Grand Prix wins and include the likes of the Koopalings, Rosalina and Metal Mario, to name a few! Nobody should care about them though, because Yoshi is the most supreme racer in the game and you can fight me on that. Honestly though, you know the modes and basic functions. Any “Kartist” (yes, I totally just COINED that. Use it well, young padawans) worth their salt knows the reason they’re here: you want a definitive reason to SHELL out 60 BANANAS on a new Mario Kart! And I used three power-ups in that last train of thought. BAM!
For one, drifting has been vastly improved. If you’re like me, you’ll appreciate that you can hug the corners tighter, sharper turns bring the boost a bit faster and you can snake.. like a champ. If you’re not like me, you won’t appreciate any of that shit and will instead grow to hate those who do.
Online multiplayer has received a much friendlier approach in matchmaking, with the Wii U friends list and Miiverse functionality a welcome addition in getting a match together with your buds. The option to play in different regions is still available, so yes, you can still get your ass kicked by the elite Japanese players.
The major reason you need to join in on some Mario Kart shenanigans, however, are the downright exquisite tracks. The likes of Moo Moo Meadows, Mario Circuit, Rainbow Road and thirteen other classic tracks have been overhauled into stunning interpretations of their grand-pappy counterparts, and the new levels (a NEW Rainbow Road ftw!) are fantastic additions, many of which I’m sure will be included in future titles. Make sure to play Sunshine Airport and Mount Wario, two standouts from the new levels and my personal faves. The airport has planes whooshing overhead, and Mount Wario brings the variety with a forest and slalom incorporated into the track.
Don’t blue shell me on the review now, folks. My only major gripes? The multiplayer components are not *quite* there, and that battle mode needed its own cool tracks, even if that meant swiping ’em from the cool 3DS offerings. Otherwise, Happy Karting!
Join me in glory at my Nintendo handle, “Christinie.” Next time you’ll hear from me is from California during E3; til then, peace!
(For our Saint’s steel cage battle between our beloved Mario and **gasp** those damn Nazi’s, turn the damn page!!! Yeah, just below. See it? Where it says PAGES!?! Yup click the #2! Good job!)