In the modern online age it often feels as though the old fashioned gaming ideals of sitting with a bunch of friends playing on the same console, in the same roo
In the modern online age it often feels as though the old fashioned gaming ideals of sitting with a bunch of friends playing on the same console, in the same room, has been replaced by Live Parties and group games. Nintendo however seem to be quite comfortably watching this sail by.
The newest incarnation of Mario Kart follows, in essence, the same principles as its predecessors, you take the biggest names from the Mario world, throw them into go-karts, motorcycles, quad-bikes and a pirate ship and race them around until you get to rainbow road, at which point you fall off a lot and the winner is he who falls of the least.
Using altered tracks from previous Mario Kart games, the newest and eighth edition seems to echo a lot of the old gaming trends I remember from when I was younger, you don’t buy the new parts of the game – you win them!
It seems all too often now that in order to get new characters, new maps, new circuits and the like we have to punch in our debit card number, hit download and go. This doesn’t seem to sit for Nintendo. If you want a new character you win every race, there’s no payment to the end.
Multiplayer can be social
Mario does what Mario does best in Mario Kart 8. When not rescuing princesses (or his girlfriend) the Italian plumber has had an illustrious career as a racing driver, footballer, tennis player, and more, but there’s always one constant, Mario is a team player.
Nintendo seem to champion the true multi-player game, their new ethos seems to be that gaming doesn’t have to be shooting someone in the head whilst talking over an awkward mic, but you can enjoy games together, in a group.
The best way to experience Mario Kart is no doubt in a group, for me the Nintendo games such as Striker, Tennis, and Party just don’t seem to have the allure as single player games at times but have truly cemented themselves as multi-person masterpieces – even if Strikers did cause more frustration than I’d want to admit.
Back to the game
It’s Mario Kart, if you’ve played a Mario Kart game before you know what’s instore. A race where you’re confident you can win, seemingly there’s not a person in sight, when a little icon pops above you head warning you of a blue shell – disaster strikes – and to make it worse you’ve even hit a banana.
Mario Kart 8 however has introduced the idea of anti-grav. As if some of the circuits aren’t hard enough they now force Mario, Luigi and co to drive you up the wall, literally as well as figuratively.
Oddly though, it works, it’s not just another gimmick designed to make you want to throw the controller to the floor but another string to the Mario Kart bow, another way in which they’ve built on the old courses.
Graphically the Wii U doesn’t quite live up to it’s Xbox One and PS4 rivals but we never really expected it to. The Nintendo consoles have almost been a separate entity to their current gen rivals, offering a completely different alternate to the Xbox vs PS4 debate.
All-in-all, Mario Kart 8 stays true to itself, a frustrating combination of racing and shelling that will provide you with as much anger as it will fun, but at the end of the day that’s what its fan base has grown to love and expect from the series.
Have you played Mario Kart 8? What are you thoughts on the game? Have your say in the comments below.