Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart 8 is a racing game released in 2014 by Nintendo for the Wii U. It's the eighth major installment in the Mario Kart series, following Mario Kart 7 for the Nintendo 3DS in 2011. A port of the game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, was released for the Nintendo Switch on April 28, 2017.
Why It Rocks
- Beautiful, colorful and vibrant graphics that can be considered an improvement to the others.
- Fluid and responsive controls.
- Over 30 characters to choose from (36 if including DLC characters, 42 if including Deluxe characters).
- Great music created using a full orchestra, as opposed to past games where the music was created either using a soundchip or synthesizers.
- Over 32 tracks to race on (48 if including DLC tracks).
- Has more than two controller selections.
- The introduction of zero gravity is a cool and interesting feature in the series. That's what distinguishes Mario Kart 8 from its predecessors.
- Another cool new addition is ATVs.
- Gliders and Underwater propellers return from Mario Kart 7.
- Bikes and 12-player racing return from Mario Kart Wii.
- This is the first Mario Kart game in the main series to feature non-Mario racers, which are Link from The Legend of Zelda series and Villager and Isabelle from the Animal Crossing series. (As well as Inklings from Splatoon, which are included to the Deluxe version.)
- It's the first Mario Kart game to ever feature three licensed and real-life cars, the Mercedes GLA, 300 SL Roadster, and the W-25 Silver Arrow.
- The introduction of the Super Horn, which is a fantastic item that ends the Blue Shell's reign of terror.
- The game also introduced three other new items: the Piranha Plant, Boomerang Flower, and Crazy 8. The eighth item is a coin, unfortunately.
- Introduced the 200cc engine class, which is great for hardcore players.
- The game moves at a lightning fast pace.
- The version for the Nintendo Switch includes extra content as well as everything else the Wii U version has along with all the DLC content being included.
- In the Deluxe version, Bowser Jr., King Boo, and Dry Bones make their triumphant return.
- The Smart Steering function in the Deluxe version helps young and inexperienced players practice and play against experienced players without the race being completely one-sided. The function is 100% optional and won't win you competitive races so it's not intrusive for hardcore players. There's also an Auto-Accelerate option, which makes it fun to turn both handicaps on and watch the game play itself.
- The game has a full battle mode, featuring eight brilliant courses and a whopping five game modes, better than Mario Kart 7.
- The Boo and Feather return in the Deluxe version.
- Hell, even the Link from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild makes an appearance here as a separate skin of Link.
- Red Shells and Blue Shells are slower when they lock on to their target, meaning that you could easily outrun them in 200cc.
- In the Wii U version, the battle mode is considered broken by Mario Kart fans due to the fact the battles take place in race tracks instead of actual arenas. Plus, it has Balloon Battle as its only battle mode.
- The item balance is based on distance instead of placement, and it is the worst implementation for a Mario Kart game ever.
- Speaking of items, the Coin Item (from the Item Box), while not as bad as the Thunder Cloud from Mario Kart Wii, is the worst Item in the entire game. It's pointless, since coins are already all over the track. Even the Fake Item Box from Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Mario Kart DS, and Mario Kart Wii, although it is also a terrible item, would have been a better choice for an item than the Coin (not to mention the POW Block and Mega Mushroom from Mario Kart Wii would have also been better choices for items).
- Morton Koopa Jr with the Blue Falcon kart was way overpowered in the Wii U.
- While the Koopalings are cool, they take up several character spots. It would've been better if they had a drop-down menu, just like Yoshi, Shy Guy, and in Deluxe, Metal Mario, the Inklings and Link.
- While this game doesn't have the worst roster, it has tons of lousy filler characters such as Baby Rosalina, Tanooki Mario and especially Pink Gold Peach. Even Kiddy Kong is more original than them, since unlike them (aside from Tanooki Mario), he has an origin.
- Bikes are rather gimmicky with their inside-outside drifting.
- In the Wii U version, Split Screen appears in the GamePad as in the TV instead of showing you your screen.
- Due to Nintendo shutting down the Miiverse service, it is now impossible to upload your Mario Kart TV replays to YouTube unless you have a capture card.
The game received positive reviews amongst gamers and critics alike. The game holds a rating of 88 out of 100 on Metacritic. The game won 2 awards at The Game Awards 2014, being considered the "Best Family Game"and "Best Sports/Racing Game". Some fans (such as the YouTuber Sbells27) even consider Mario Kart 8 ' the best game in the series.
On January 13, 2017, it was revealed that an enhanced port titled Mario Kart 8 Deluxe would be released for the Nintendo Switch. The Switch port has sold more than 6 million units.