Review by Lavapool632

Reviewed: 09/30/14

The Best Mario Kart Yet! But It Has A Few Problems.

Mario Kart 8 is a must buy for all Wii U owners. The 8th game in the Mario Kart Series, Mario Kart 8 introduces plenty of new features including, anti-gravity, Mario Kart TV, new items, new characters and new tracks.

Let's start with the good. Mario Kart 8 combines the fun of Mario Kart with HD graphics which allows you to have fun for hours on end while admiring how beautiful the game looks. Nintendo have outdone themselves with this title, it's definitely one of the best looking Wii U games and really shows what the system can do.

As well as this Mario Kart 8 brings us 32 amazing tracks, some new and some old. The new tracks are fantastic and nearly all of them are flawless, however some of them are slightly lacking. This game has what is probably the best track design in the series. The awesomeness doesn't stop there though as we also have 16 classic tracks from previous games. Normally these are just direct ports. However this time around they have been completely reworked, having new areas added, new features included and adjustments to the tracks that make them work so much better than before. There are a few exceptions however these tracks did get a huge graphical update which is enough to make them just as great as the rest.

The game also adds a brand new feature called Mario Kart TV. This allows you to create a highlight reel of your races which can be uploaded to Miiverse and YouTube to allow others to enjoy your best moments. The editing options are limited however and some cool things may be missed and this does make the feature slightly less great than it could have been.

When you're done unlocking characters and trophies in single player the game offers a great online system. You can race with friends, other people in your country or with people from all around the world. While lag can be rather prominent at times, the online racing does run relatively smoothly for the most part.

As great as all these things are, the game does have two major flaws.

The first is the battle mode. While the old three balloons then game over style is back, there is now a timer that cannot be removed. On top of this there are no unique battle courses this time around, instead 8 of the normal tracks are used. While this is an interesting concept, it doesn't work too well. The 8 tracks are far to big for the mode and you'll spend most of your time driving round and round looking for people. This makes battle mode boring and most of the time few people will lose all three balloons before the time is up.
This isn't helped by the fact that there is no other game modes such as coin runners and so there is no variety and you probably won't be spending much time playing battle mode.

The second flaw is the item balance. This time around you get items depending on how far from the person in 1st place you are rather than what position you are in. In online you will most probably be pretty close to 1st place and so you will only get bananas and shells to help you catch up rather than stars, golden mushrooms and bullet bills. In first place the coin item is way to prominent and most of the time you are left defenseless to incoming shells. The one good thing about the new item system is that you can only have one item at a time. This makes it easier for 2nd place to catch up to 1st.

While Mario Kart 8 has its flaws, they are greatly outweighed by its strengths. Making this the best Mario Kart game in the series and a must buy for all Wii U owners.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Mario Kart 8 (EU, 05/30/14)

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