START YOUR ENGINES
This weekend I got my chance to get a hold of the demo for Mario Kart 8 and all I can I say is “Wow!” My first impression of the game showed amazing graphics – everything is crisp and bright as this is the first real high-def Mario Kart for the next-gen consoles.When you start the game you choose your character. They added many new faces, such as Baby Rosalina and the entire Bowser family. After you are done selecting a character, there are multiple choices for choosing rides, such as a motorbike and carts; which you can also customize the wheels and what kind of glider you want on your character. I chose a baby cart, mega wheels, and a squirrel glider and Baby Rosalina.
The demo only let me play six courses but my favorite was the Electrodome, which takes you up side down and sideways much like the Wario’s Colosseum from Mario Kart double dash. The upside down is a new feature that feels almost natural. It also has sixteen retro courses you’ll recognize from previous titles like: Moo Moo Meadows and Dry Dry Desert. Just like with the added characters they added new items too. One of them is a Boomerang where you let it go to hit the car in front of you and then it comes back and allows you to release it again. Another addition is the piranha plant, which eats anything and anyone in your way.
There are many ways to control your character as well. You can use the gamepad, the pro controller, the Wii remote, and the Wii remote with nunchuk. For the demo, I used the gamepad, which sits comfortably in your hands. The touch screen has a horn that you can honk to alert other players as well as other views of the game track. If you’re going to be playing four players, the gamepad will definitely come in handy so you can watch the gamepad screen rather then the TV. I highly suggest if you’re going to be playing Mario Kart 8 to either use the gamepad or the pro controller, both of which are easy to use. Using the gamepad controls are a little different. “A” is still the start button and the joystick is used directionally. You can use the right bumper and the joystick to drift left or right. The left bumper is used to let go of items. The Y button allows you to jump and you to get special boosts when you jump at the right time.
The game overall was a lot of fun and and might be the perfect add-on to your summer games if you’re looking for a game to spend some quality times with friends. Nintendo is also issuing a deal that if you buy the Mario Kart 8 bundle at local retailers for $329.99 and register it at Nintendo’s website you’ll get a free game download. The games are: Pikman 3, Super Mario Bros. Wii U, Legend of Zelda the Windwaker, and Wii U Party. These games retail for at least $49.99 if not more. If you get the chance, it’s definitely worth a look at. Mario Kart 8 drops in stores May 30.