Review: Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 Title

Ready…Steady…Go! Mario Kart 8 has arrived. High octane kart racing has never before felt this good. With the introduction of anti-gravity, you can race upside down and defy the laws of physics for the first time ever in the Mario Kart franchise.

30 Second Review

+ Finally 200cc Class has been added

+ Most definitive version of Mario Kart ever created

+ Link has finally become part of the Mario Kart cross overs

– Mario Kart TV is an interesting feature, but wasn’t necessarily needed

– You’ll need to buy the DLC content to experience more original tracks

Mario Kart 8 Link

 Notable Features

  • 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 the most visually stunning Mario Kart™ yet

Mario Kart 8 Koopalings

Attack of the Koopalings

I have always loved the Mario Kart series. Mario Kart 8 is easily the best in the franchise.

The Mario Kart franchise has been a success since it first appeared on the scene in 1992 on the SNES home console, capturing the attention of everyone from all ages across the globe. How do you top something that is already a success in every right? You introduce a game changer. Mario Kart 8 now features anti-gravity tracks for the first time in the history of the series. Being able to race upside down, across walls, zig zaging in and out of traffic using everything including the ceiling is simply amazing.

I didn’t always keep up with Nintendo over the years. Before playing Mario Kart 8, the two Mario Kart games that I remember the most are Mario Kart and Mario Kart 64. There are plenty of games in this series that I missed on multiple platforms that most likely I’ll never play. Mario Kart 8 takes some of the most memorable tracks from the entire series and updates them. Due to this feature, Mario Kart 8 becomes the definitive edition. If you’ve not played anything from the franchise in years, or if somehow you’ve never played it at all, this becomes the must play game of the series.

Mario Kart 8 does a lot of things for the first time in the franchise, one of which is the introduction of 200cc. Not only can you finally race in this class, but this new update is free to everyone. For something like this to be free is purely phenomenal and is a testament to Nintendo.

I’ve been racing in Mario Kart 8 with people all over the world. I have close personal friends in Korea, Australia, and Japan. While we’ve been playing Mario Kart 8, we’ve experienced absolutely zero latency issues. We haven’t even experienced a dropped match or a lag spike. That is unheard of. I can’t say that it’s going to be this way in every online Nintendo game, but I can say, without a doubt, online racing in Mario Kart 8 is fantastic and exceeded my expectations.

Also for the first time in the Mario Kart series, Link is a playable crossover character. The only question I have is why did it take this long? Racing with Link on the Master Cycle is now one of my favorite things to do.

Mario Kart 8 Yoshi

A Few Problems to Discuss

If you want to get the most out of your Mario Kart 8 experience, you will need to buy both DLC packs. Luckily, they are bundled at a discounted cost together. However, if you only want one and not the other then buy what you want and don’t buy what you don’t. Just know that there are characters, tracks, and karts that you will never have access to without purchasing the DLCs.

Another downside to DLC purchasing is the online multiplayer itself. If you purchase all of the DLCs, but your friends do not, you’ll never be able to host a match because they won’t be able to join you since they do not own the same content as you. You can join them all you want, but just know the community is split up. In order to have the most options available and have the ability to race against the most players possible, you’ll need to own all of the DLC.

The water racing elements in Mario Kart 8 are probably the biggest let down for this title. I say that because I played Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed. The water sequences were done so much better in Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed that it almost makes me wish Nintendo wouldn’t have ventured into this realm. If you’ve played both titles, then you’ll easily understand why I feel so disappointed by these segments.

Mario Kart TV (MKTV) has now been added into the series. You can access a highlight reel, edit it, and share it not only to the Miiverse but also to YouTube. I’ve spent some time and played around with several of the features. It is interesting, but I don’t necessarily know that it adds anything. I’ve watched other highlight videos as well as posted my own. The one thing I’m noticing is no one really seems to be watching MKTV. Nintendo is doing more with MKTV then I initially expected, but in the end, is time being spent here that would have been better served somewhere else? We’ll just have to wait and see how this unfolds.

Mario Kart 8 Mario

Will Mario Kart 8 Push Wii U Sales?

I think the answer is quite simple: yes. If you do not own a Wii U yet, Mario Kart 8 is easily one of the reasons to own the console. There is a console bundle that includes both together. Nintendo realizes how great the game is and that people are going to want to experience this.

If you’re like me and didn’t keep up with the Mario Kart series, then this one game allows you to experience the best that Mario Kart has had to offer throughout the years. I think that alone warrants playtime with this game. I hope you found this review helpful, and I look forward to seeing all of you on the racetrack!