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eProfits Game of the Week: Mario Kart 8

With a heritage dating back to 1992, Mario Kart needs no introduction. But just in case you’ve been living ...

eProfits Game of the Week: Mario Kart 8
GAME OF THE WEEK

With a heritage dating back to 1992, Mario Kart needs no introduction.

 

But just in case you’ve been living in a cave without a games console: Mario Kart is a series of arcade-style cart-racing games that has found a place on every Nintendo console since the 16-bit Super Nintendo.

 

Now we find ourselves in 2014, and the series has finally arrived on Nintendo’s somewhat maligned Wii U console in the form of Mario Kart 8.

 

The game has been justifiably well received. At the time of writing it was number one on the global games charts and boasting an average Metacritic rating of 88%.

 

Does the game deserve this success? We think it most definitely does.

 

 

The first thing that strikes you about Mario Kart 8 is the graphics, presented in glorious HD at an unflinching 60fps. Playing it feels like a live cartoon. The level of detail is equally stunning and entertaining.

 

For perhaps the first time in racing game history, the replays are actually fun to watch. They give you a chance to see the intricate detail Nintendo has put into this title, right down to the characters’ facial expressions when they are overtaken or hit with a weapon.

 

 

When it comes to weapons, stalwarts of the series will recognise most of the old favourites, from turbo boost mushrooms to the dreaded blue shells that can still snatch victory from the leader in the final moments of a race. Fortunately, Nintendo has finally provided a weapon (the “super horn”) that can see off the blue shell, a great relief to long-term fans.

 

New versions of Mario Kart have always been about evolution and not revolution, resulting in a game that has been easy to pick up and play. Where Mario Kart 8 really achieves perfection this time around is with regard to how nuanced the racing itself is. The game is still easy to pick up, but even the experts are going to struggle to ace every cup without mastering the new, less-forgiving corner turbos and getting used to the “anti gravity” sections that add to the game without feeling gimmicky.

 

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Even once the single player modes are mastered, players have local and online multiplayer options. Thankfully, Nintendo has finally nailed the latter, with races that are easy to enter and plenty of options to mix things up.

 

Mario Kart 8 is exactly what fans have been waiting for, and hopefully the game that will finally see the Wii U catch up with the popularity of the PS4 and Xbox One. Neither of those “superior” consoles yet has a title that comes close to pulling off this perfect blend of depth and accessibility.

 

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