I was never familiar with the Mario Kart series as a kid so I don’t have fond memories of the old tracks like Rainbow Road or Yoshi Circuit. However my first experience was with Mario Kart Wii, when my friend allowed me to play it at his house. I was such a noob at the game in general but immediately I’ve gotten addicted to it. The amount of time I took to research the whole Mario Kart history was well worth it from then on.
I cannot explain to you how much excitement I had when I bought Mario Kart 8 bundle. It arrived exactly on a Saturday and like a little kid on Christmas I squealed (literally), ran into my room to tear it open. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Bundle gave me joy for the entire year of 2014 so this will be my first game review. Mario Kart 8 has the same concept from other Mario kart games.
Basically you choose a vehicle to race with and try to complete the race in first place. You still use the same item system except you have access to one item at a time. The most noticeable difference is the zero gravity features in which you can race up walls and ceilings.
Zero gravity has a major influence on track designs, including karts, that involves twists, turns, and secret shortcuts that’ll keep you guessing. There are also four new items and in total twenty items. The new items are presented as a boomerang flower, piranha plant, crazy eight (use all items simultaneously) and the super horn. I’ll be completely honest; the new items did not stick out to me at first until I started using them. They are very useful if you get your timing right.
Crazy eight is the trickiest item since other racers could easily steal it from you, which in hindsight makes it more interesting. Though I must have a chance to praise Nintendo for creating the fabulous super horn. Yes! We finally have a chance to not be cock blocked from first place by the blue shell!
Can we also take the time to praise Nintendo, once again, for their amazing work on detail? Each race track is filled with awe-struck environments and cute characters. Sweet Sweet Canyon is a great example and one of my favorite tracks. It’s mainly put into a dessert theme that includes giant mounds of layered cake and frosting, the liquid gold honey rivers, and sprinkled covered doughnuts!
Two of my other favorite tracks have to be Shy Guy Falls and N64 Rainbow Road. Shy Guy Falls does really well with the zero gravity, since you’ll be racing down and hang gliding from a waterfall (beautifully animated). N64 Rainbow Road especially serves as one of the best tracks, from the color coordinated tiles on the course, floating trains that chuck out gold coins. As a result, you will not be disappointed at the graphics of this game.
The only returning feature from Mario Kart Wii has to be the option to ride motorbikes (inside and outside drift bikes). Most of the aspects of Mario Kart 8 are derived from Mario Kart 7 on the Nintendo 3DS (I don’t have a Nintendo 3DS so I missed out). So gamers are able to race underwater and have the ability to collect coins.
If a player maxes out the number of coins, they will be able to drive at top speed. Coins are the most essential since they will help you unlock items on your vehicle customization (meaning karts, bikes, wheels, and hang gliders). Players can also customize their vehicles. They can change their kart, wheels, hang glider and can also view the stats (speed, handling, traction, etc.) to their preference. In addition the newest vehicle, the ATV, fits in perfectly. It feels like a well balance mix between a motorbike and kart. My only criticism is it would have been nice if they had more than just three types of ATV’s.
Mario Kart 8 still contains modes like Grand Prix (race to earn three stars for each cup), multiplayer, online play, Mario Kart TV, time and trials, including battle mode. Most of the modes are beneficial, for instance you can practice your racing techniques in Grand Prix or time trials.
Time trials can be a great advantage if you want to practice speed while racing against staff ghosts. The online racing is exceptional since I enjoy racing worldwide players. You can race regional or join up with friends from your list. Mario Kart TV is an awesome feature that enables you to watch your races.
The best part is being able to do slow motion, which is hilarious if you nail someone with a shell or bomb. The expression on the characters’ faces never gets boring. Sadly my least favorite feature was battle mode. It could have been good yet in the end it failed. Instead of having battle mode in specific arenas, they used ten regular race tracks. I tried playing it and came to realize it wasn’t as exciting.
Basically it’s going around the track in hope that your rival team comes your way. You have to pop one of their three balloons with an item. I found it tedious to actually stop and turn around since the speed the bikes and karts aren’t as fast. Lastly the music of Mario Kart 8 is very catchy; Thwomp Ruins is my first favorite. I can’t go into a total explanation of it however all of the music is live recorded with actual musicians. That statement alone tells me that they took their time to create this masterpiece.