Mario Kart 8


Pub­lisher/de­vel­oper Nin­tendo (EAD) For­mat Wii U

It’s been a long time since the launch of a Mario Kart has truly felt like an event. Sure, MK7 was great, but its hand­held ex­clu­siv­ity sub­dued the buzz around it, at least in the west. MK8 was in dan­ger of suf­fer­ing a sim­i­lar fate given its host plat­form’s strug­gles, but de­spite Wii U’s prospects, EAD has pro­duced a game worth shout­ing about.

Those gor­geous vi­su­als mark the se­ries’ ex­plo­ration of HD for the first time – a su­per­fi­cial up­grade, per­haps, but one of par­tic­u­lar note given Nin­tendo’s swing to lud­dism in re­cent years. And be­hind all that fresh paint, MK8 builds on the many ex­cel­lent ideas put for­ward by its 3DS pre­de­ces­sor while tak­ing some brave steps for­ward of its own, the most pro­nounced of which is a meaty han­dling model that, to­gether with a power-up ca­pa­ble of de­stroy­ing Spiny Shells, makes rac­ing feel a great deal more about skill than it does luck – for the most part, at least.

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