I finally got my hands on Mario Kart 8 and after 30 hours of gameplay I’m ready to give my review on it.
Mario Kart has been around for a long time. I remember how much fun I had as a toddler playing with my brother. We used to play Mario Kart all day long. Those are some of the fondest memories I have in my gaming life. Mario Kart 8 made me feel that way again, but with my kids and we had a blast playing this game.
Mario Kart has never looked better then it does now. For the first time we have a full 3D Mario Kart experience and it’s great. All of the iconic characters look better then ever. The vehicles look great, the items that we can use to try and gain the upper hand look great, and most importantly the stages look fantastic.
Everywhere I went from Bowser’s Castle to the classic Sherbert Land looked fantastic. Every single stage looks a lot different from one another and they’re each filled with small secret areas for you to find while you race around the circuit.
Mario Kart has always been my all time favorite racing game. I don’t need Mustangs, Ferrari, or other cars in my racing game. Give me a small cart or big four wheeler and I’m good to go. My favorite vehicle is Link’s bike. That thing can do some amazing things if you’re good at drifting. Another really great vehicle is Yoshi’s bike. I like the way the stages are set up in this game.
If you want to play some of the classic stages you can pick any race below the official Mario Kart races. Great courses like Sherbert Land, Moo Moo Farms, and Bowser’s Castle have been redone in full 3D and they look fantastic.
Mario Kart isn’t just a simple racing game. While you’re racing you’ll have access to turtle shells, stars, big ass man eating plants, and much more to help you knock other races out of your way or out of the race completely. The amount of fun that I had playing this game with my kids is ridiculous.
While I was racing I was treated to some really tunes to listen while I tried to win each race. The soundtrack in this game is fantastic. The main menu soundtrack isn’t anything to write home about, but when you start a race the songs that play in the back are pretty relaxing in my opinion. Every other sound in the game is really good too. The motorcycles, cars, and other vehicles sound like they should and when a turtle shell smacks your car in the rear it sounds great. I have no complaints whatsoever with any of the sounds in this game.
I think the best new addition to Mario Kart has to be the antigravity. During races there are segments that allow us to race upside down or on the side of walls. The wheels on the vehicle will automatically transform to adjust to what’s happening and the end result is a ton of awesomeness.
All of your classic Mario characters are present in Mario Kart 8, but there’s something I don’t like about the game. I don’t mind all of Bowser’s kids being in the game even though I look at them as filler characters, but I do mind so many different versions of Mario. There’s Metal Mario, Tanooki Mario, and Baby Mario. Why not just have one Mario and let Metal, and Tanooki Mario be extra costumes for Mario instead of giving us more “characters” because they’re really not.
I loved that Lukitu, and the Troopa Koopa are in the game. They’re two of my favorite characters to play as. I wish we could have raced as the Goomba’s, but since they don’t have hands I guess that’s out of the question.
As you play Mario Kart 8 you’ll unlock new vehicles, wheels, and gliders. It’s not deep customization by any means, but I like being able to choose any vehicle for any character that I choose. If I want Bowser to ride around on a tiny bike I can do that and I love it.
I never thought I would be praising Mario Kart for it’s difficulty, but I am. Mario Kart 8 feels a lot faster. There’s your classic 50, 100, 150, and Mirror Mode, but they’re joined by a new 200cc mode and it is challenging. 200cc will make Mario Kart veterans cringe. This mode is hard and good luck trying to get first place in each race.
The online play in Mario Kart 8 is okay at best. You’ll have some fun racing against random people, but the real fun in my opinion is playing in a room full of people. The online mode feels bare boned and there really isn’t any point in spending too much time in it.
Mario Kart 8 is the best Mario Kart game we’ve had in a long time. It takes new ideas and mixed it with the old formula and it worked. Replaying classic stages is cool, but they’re not where the meat of the game lies. The new stages are just as good as the classic ones and the new 200cc mode will kick anyone’s ass. Playing with family and friends is fun as hell and being able to play as Link was a nice addition to a already good cast of characters.