Mario Kart 8 Wii U Review GamerFitnation
A Rehash or Re-imagining
by Gregory Laporte Editor Vice President on May 21, 2014 at 12:02 PM EDT
Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 Wii U Review GamerFitnation

Mario Kart 8
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: WII U
Release Date: May 30, 2014
Genre: Racing
Price: $59.99

Mario Kart is a long time Nintendo franchise. Through the years we have seen it transform tremendously in its gameplay, controls, and presentation. However, in a new console generation, how will Mario Kart 8 stack up? Let’s find out!

Mario Kart 8 brings the traditional kart racer to the Wii U. In this latest iteration of Mario Kart, we see both new and old Nintendo levels brought to life in classic Nintendo fashion. Mario Kart 8′s traditional feel is present as you play through the very familiar game modes. Modes such as Grand Prix, Battle, and Time Trials bring back that classic feel and competition. There is also an online component that allows players to have up to two players online. This is nice because the gameplay benefits from the direct competition. The more competition, the better, as you get better random weapons to use against your enemies like fireballs, green shells, and even that infamous pain-in-the-neck blue shell. As you play through the Grand Prix levels it will get significantly harder. However, at first the difficultly is pretty laughable. It does progress as you get into faster cups and higher cc’s, but the pace early on really slowed down the experience for me.

Mario Kart 8

The controls in Mario Kart 8 are simplistic in nature. The game utilizes the Wii U GamePad’s analog controls as well as its the tilt features. The game can be played entirely on the Wii U GamePad to free up the TV for siblings or a significant other. This actually plays very seamlessly, even though at times when moving away from the Wii U the game can lag due to interference. Mario Kart 8 does not incorporate anything new in terms of gameplay. There is potential for the Wii U GamePad to influence the game, as you can see what your rivals are up to on it while watching the rest of the action on your TV. The utilization of the gamepad feels like an afterthought, one that should have been brought into the limelight at its inception.

Mario Kart 8’s presentation is immaculate. Reliving past levels, such as my personal favorites, Rainbow Road and Toad’s Turnpike, allow me to reminisce of my early days as a gamer. This is good and bad because it gives you a chance to relive old levels, but it also allows you to see why the past should stay in the past. Although the levels are given a fresh coat of paint and updated with new ways to race, it doesn’t have the same appeal as it first did. All the levels in Mario Kart 8 appear to have that problem, even my old favorites. I haven’t reached a course where I have gotten the urge to sit down and master it, as the appeal is just not there. Don’t get me wrong — the fun in replaying them is absolutely there — it’s just not to the point where I would call into work over it.

Mario Kart 8

Pros:

  • Mario Kart 8 modes are fun, whether you are playing Battle Mode or online.
  • Gameplay is fast at times and fun. You can play by yourself or have a friend join you online. It’s really at its best when you have a companion.

Cons:

  • The Wii U GamePad is underutilized in gameplay. You can play Mario Kart 8 on your TV screen or gamepad, but it doesn’t actually contributing to the overall gaming experience.
  • While some of the levels are a blast from the past, it really doesn’t provide much in terms of creating new and exciting experiences. It’s a new game with re-coated levels.
  • There are new karts, characters, and accessories to earn. However, this doesn’t change the fact that it doesn’t really innovate on an old formula.

Mario Kart 8: The Verdict

In conclusion, Mario Kart 8 is a good game in the Mario Kart family. It has everything that you could want in a Mario Kart game. The controls are easy to master, with the addition of brand new characters, wheels, and karts to the Mario Kart Universe. There is a lot of replay value in Mario Kart 8. However, this feeling of nostalgia will leave you desiring more. The base work is their, but the innovation and creativity appear to be missing.

Mario Kart 8 gets a 8 out of 10

Edited by: Avery Osborn

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