Over the years, Nintendo has shown mastery of multiple genres – but none so clearly as kart racing. The iconic series makes its leap to next-gen with Mario Kart 8, and early reviews imply that while the lower-than-normal install base of the Wii U may make the game the worst-selling in the series, the experience itself is a no-brainer.
The first reviews have been released well ahead of release, which gives an idea of just how confident Nintendo is. The developers have had enough time to craft a solid racer, and while we’ve already made our case that they missed the boat on some fantastic characters, there seems to be more than enough to keep veteran fans happy.
Whether it’s the gravity-defying physics, the brand new tracks, or the re-imagined classics, it wouldn’t take much to get every Wii U owner – or those on the fence about the console – to pick up a copy. Read on for some choice excerpts:
Eurogamer (Simon Parkin):
“Mario Kart 8 is a revelation. It’s undiminished by familiarity. It may be furnished with recognisable props, faces, scenes and modes – but it’s also the most vibrant home console racing game in years.”
IGN (Jose Otero):
“While it doesn’t reach Double Dash-levels of risk and experimentation, Mario Kart 8 builds on the series’ most essential aspects better than any of its predecessors… The end result shouldn’t come as a surprise: Mario Kart 8 is the king of the mascot kart circuit, and it gave me hours of enjoyment..”
Polygon (Philip Kollar):
“It doesn’t bring massive innovations to the formula, but it’s overflowing in that Nintendo magic that makes it so easy to forget about minor shortcomings.”
“Mario Kart 8 is as essential a purchase as Super Mario 3D World. Whether it will give Nintendo’s console the sales boost it so desperately needs is another matter, but the famously cloistered company is at last giving its players the opportunity to reach beyond the Miiverse with its YouTube uploads.”
Game Informer (Dan Ryckert):
“Mario Kart 64 hits the right nostalgic notes for fans of local multiplayer, and Double Dash shined with unique gameplay elements and great courses. Mario Kart 8 should certainly be added to the list of top-tier entries, and none of the previous titles can boast the rock-solid total package that this one offers.”
Gamespot (Tom Mc Shea):
“Success comes from your racing prowess now, so though you will still curse at the occasional usurper making your life hell on wheels, victory is in your hands. There are no excuses anymore; Mario Kart 8 focuses on its excellent racing, and the experience is stronger for it.”
Destructoid (Chris Carter):
“Thanks to the magic of Mario Kart 8, I’m all in again just like the olden days. It helps that it’s one of the most gorgeous and breathtaking games on the market right now.”
Nintendo World Report (Neal Ronaghan):
“Mario Kart 8 is just like any other Mario Kart game you’ve played in recent years, adding little to the franchise other than polish and some middling additions and tweaks.”
GamesRadar (Justin Towell):
“Mario Kart 8 is a slick and gorgeous-looking kart racer that’s perfectly solid but not always as exciting or addictive as we’ve come to expect from the series.”
What do you make of the reviews? Will you be adding this to your game collection without hesitation, or do the criticisms give you pause? Sound off in the comments.
Mario Kart 8 releases May 30, 2014 for the Nintendo 3DS.
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