Summary: Mario Kart 8 stands as the next great hope to reverse the Wii U's fortunes, in the same way Mario Kart 7 and a price drop brought the 3DS back to life. Nintendo's banking on the magic of Mario Kart; even if consumers don't buy enough Wii Us to push the system ahead, they can help keep Nintendo coasting until its next console comes out. The plan completely falls apart if director Kosuke Yabuki and his team at Nintendo EAD Group No. 1 don't build a great game.
Excerpt: Mario Kart 8 is here. The game that should have launched with Wii U – old faithful itself – is back. It’s is not the first online version, or the first to offer co-op, but with anti-gravity karts, gliding carts, new items, HD graphics, and new course types, Mario Kart 8 isn’t resting on its laurels either. The game’s small changes stack on top of one another adding up to a game that doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but passes its forebears through sheer execution.
Pros: Spectacular new tracks, Awesome new kart types, Superior competitive balancing to recent entries, Absolutely gorgeous, Best online play of any Nintendo game
Cons: Kart races can still end in unfair circumstances, Poor tools for communicating with friends online, Some legacy tracks don’t hold up to new ones
Summary: The game feels more competitive, the new courses are mostly excellent, and online play is often a blast. Those three things should be enough to convince series fans and Wii U owners to play Mario Kart 8.
Pros: Feels more competitive, New tracks are great, Mario Kart in HD
Cons: Familiar mechanics, Battle mode feels like an afterthought
Excerpt: In April 2008 I purchased Mario Kart Wii as a birthday present for who is now my eldest step son. I was 35 at the time and the whole Mario Kart thing was pretty foreign to me, so I had no idea what I was getting into when I bought the game. I’ve never been too much into video games and have really been good at a handful of them in my life.
Excerpt: What do you get when you cross a turtle shell with a banana? If you happen to know, then odds are you have some seriously awkward life experiences, or you haven’t given Nintendo’s iconic racing series a chance yet. If not, then the eighth go around of Mario Kart wouldn’t be a terrible place to start.
Summary: Mario Kart 8 manages to combine the best aspects of both Mario Kart and F-Zero into one cohesive package that’s guaranteed to be a big hit among friendly gatherings. It’s well presented, the course design is fantastic, and the online modes are more stable than they were previously. Little touches, such as the ability to play Grand Prix with four players and the more balanced arsenal of items really bring the whole package together.