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Mario Kart 8 Review [Wii U]

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Winters Thief Zero
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Mario Kart 8 Review [Wii U]

Post by Winters Thief Zero on Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:48 pm

I've been meaning to do this review for quite some time now, but I'm finally writing it now. There will be no story portion for this review, as Mario Kart 8 has no storyline.



Before I say anything else, this is Mario Kart, of course it's a great game. But does it add enough to make it feel like a fresh and new experience? Or is it just the same game as it's predecessors?

Gameplay
Mario Kart 8 plays similarly to past Mario Kart games, in that you drive around in karts, or the bikes which return from Mario Kart Wii, and use items to win against other players. Mario Kart 8 brings back many gameplay elements from previous games, such as the more recent air gliders and underwater sections from Mario Kart 7, the coins from the original Super Mario Kart, and more. However, even with the return of these features, there is still a new addition for Mario Kart 8, anti-gravity.

The anti-gravity adds more to the game experience than it may seem. There are times where you won't notice it at all, but in general driving around on the walls and ceilings allows for very creative new track designs.

Speaking of the tracks, Mario Kart 8 has 32 of them, all of which are incredibly fun to play on. Many ideas for the tracks in this game are ingenious, my favorites are Dolphin Shoals, Mount Wario, and Toad Harbor. The areas in which you'll drive are just insane in some cases, and this really adds to the game. Personally I found the tracks to be the best in the entire series. Of course, there are a few retro tracks brought back from previous games, but they are almost unrecognizable due to how heavily they have been changed with the addition of anti-gravity and other features.

What is Mario Kart without the items? I find that this is part of what makes Mario Kart such a great multiplayer game. Mario Kart 8 not only adds new items, but tweaks the item system just a bit. I found this to be for the worst, as you can now only hold items behind you for a few seconds, limiting the feature and making it pretty much pointless. You are also no longer allowed to grab a second item while you are holding one behind your kart or bike. While some may find this to be better balanced, I wish they would've left it as it was in previous Mario Kart games. As for new items, they are very interesting. The Piranha Plant gives you speed boosts and also bites other players to spin them out. The boomerang lets you hit players 3 times. The horn lets you break shells or spin out players around you. I thought the addition of these 3 new items was great, and they are now some of my favorite items in the series.

Online play returns in Mario Kart 8, and is much better in some aspects, as well as a bit worse in others. It is now MUCH faster and easier to join a race, however, error codes occur fairly often ruining it a bit. There are new online options such as being able to host tournaments, which is a very cool addition.

Graphics
Mario Kart 8 looks BEAUTIFUL. It is by far the best-looking Wii U game, at 1080p with very vibrant colors. (and it still runs at a constant 60 FPS, it's amazing) Some tracks look realistic, some are like dreamscapes with just a ton of beautiful colors everywhere. But no matter what, they all look great.

[b]Sound

The sound quality is great in Mario Kart 8, albeit a bit quiet. (you'll have to turn the volume on your TV up just a bit higher than usual in order to hear it as well as other games) The music is fantastic in the game, mostly due to it being played by a live band. Every song in the game sounds great because of it, and it was really worth it in the end. There are a couple of retro tracks in the game that don't have orchestrated music, however, which is a disappointment.

Overall
Mario Kart 8 is the best game the Wii U has to offer so far, and is the best game in the entire series. The anti-gravity allows for interesting track designs, but even the ideas for tracks are great. The fully orchestrated music sounds fantastic, and the game looks beautiful.

SCORE:
9 out of 10 points. The game is amazing, and while it may have a couple of flaws, they are VERY minor, so the game as a whole is still fantastic.


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