If you're still pondering a purchase or haven't yet clicked the pre-order button on "Mario Kart 8" just yet, Examiner gives you eight great reasons to pick up the latest addition to Nintendo's heralded racing series. From lush graphics to killer new gameplay additions, "Mario Kart 8" may be the most fun game on the Wii U to date.
The Best GamePad Action: Although most of the games on the Wii U can be played primarily on the console's gamepad, many lose their luster in this environment. In "Mario Kart 8," every graphical element, from the character models, to the lighting effects and even the sound, work perfectly. Perhaps it's the series' long legacy on handhelds that play a part, but it probably has more to do with the fact that the title just screams polish. This goes a long way when playing with friends in a local multi-player setting, as well.
Awesome New Courses: The new anti-gravity course designs are simply off the wall, literally. Feeling like "Prince of Persia" at times, you'll freak out as you see cars literally driving over your head. With more room to maneuver and hidden (and sometimes not so hidden) detours than ever before, "Mario Kart 8" gives gamers more incentive for ingenious driving. It also gives every course an extra reason to play through again. With just a simple turn or path choice, a course, even after multiple races, can feel brand new again.
Different Ways to Play Means Everyone Can: Pinpoint control has always been a hallmark of the "Mario Kart" series and "Mario Kart 8" doesn't disappoint here either. With multiple ways to play, from the gyro-influenced steer the gamepad, to the classic analog style, regardless of your gaming proficiency, you'll have no problem just jumping right into the game.
Easy to Navigate HUD: Presentation and easy to navigate menus also play an instrumental role in a game's success. Being able to navigate all the information in a title and manage it well help build a comfortable gaming experience. While "Mario Kart 8" can be played and enjoyed with a Wiimote, having the two-screen experience is not only optimal, but it makes the game so much more fun.
Improved Visuals: The updated character models look great. Even on the smaller gamepad screen, Mario and his buddies have never looked this good. Is it leaps and bounds better than the last game in the series? No, but the changes are definitely noticeable ones. Although the new bells and whistles don't compare to racing titles on next-generation consoles, the higher frame rate and lighting effects are extremely noticeable in 150cc races. In the end, "Mario Kart 8" is the best looking game in the series' history.
Deep Gameplay: As the case with every game in the series, there's plenty to do. From unlocking characters to parts for your racer, "Mario Kart 8" will keep you busy for a long time. The addition of Anti-gravity gameplay also adds a new spin to the already fun title.
MarioKart Road Rash?: Bumping into your enemies hasn't exactly been frowned upon in the series, but it's never been encouraged as much as it is in "Mario Kart 8." After a few playthroughs, you'll quickly understand that while it plays very similar to the older games in the series and maintains its legacy well, it has its own "bump and run" mentality.
Uploading Gameplay to YouTube: Although it's not quite TwitchTV support and the feature was available during our exclusive run-through, it's definitely something we're excited about. For 20 years, Mario Kart has always been about good times with friends, so why not share your best moments for the whole world to see?
“Mario Kart 8” is set for a May 30 release on the Nintendo Wii U.
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