Mario Kart 8

Nin­tendo’s en­dur­ing race-’em-up takes a mod­ern de­tour, with HD graph­ics and anti-grav­ity cour­ses

Australian T3 - - PLAY -

This flag­ship rac­ing se­ries has banked its longevity on not chang­ing all that much. Over eleven Mario Karts, the thrill has re­mained largely the same: play­ers speed­ing around colourful tracks with a host of fa­mil­iar friends and foes, hurl­ing shells, banana skins and the odd joy­pad out of the win­dow as you go. It’s great but safe – how­ever, once you’ve per­fected alchemy you don’t mess around with the for­mula, right?

Wrong. Change, it seems, can be good and, in the case of Mario Kart 8, very good in­deed. This is eas­ily the best look­ing ti­tle in the se­ries, if not on the Wii U so far, run­ning in 1080p HD at 60fps (take that Xbox One). The cour­ses look more gar­ish than ever be­fore – we mean that as a com­pli­ment – and Nin­tendo has even tossed in a cou­ple of game­play kinks to keep things fresh, too.

Play­ers can now drive karts up walls and along ceil­ings, while each track con­tains mul­ti­ple routes, lend­ing ev­ery one a Wacky Races- style sand­box feel. You can bat­tle the AI over three dif­fi­culty lev­els but, as al­ways, it’s mul­ti­player where Mario Kart shines bright­est. So grab a steer­ing-wheel con­troller, a gag­gle of friends and… go! From $80, nin­tendo.com.au, out May 31 on Wii U

Mario’s Gosling im­pres­sion was re­ally start­ing to

grate on Luigi

{Fo­cus} What’s the point of red-shelling friends on fi­nal cor­ners in this day and age if you can’t show off your hand­i­work so­cially? Luck­ily, Mario Kart TV lets you record clips from races and upload them to the Mi­iverse.

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