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Mario Kart 8 Review

Mario Kart 8 is a game nearly three years in the making. The last Mario Kart title we saw from Nintendo was Mario Kart 7 on the Nintendo 3DS. It’s been nearly six years since Mario Kart to the home console and with this release, it does so with a bang. Nearly everything you love about Mario Kart is still there, but it’s been given a fresh coat of paint in the form of HD graphics and some neat physics effects. New tracks to race, new weapons to throw and new characters to drive are all included for what’s turning out to be Nintendo’s biggest title yet for 2014.

On Your Mark, Get Set

Mario Kart 8 makes it easy to get started racing with several options, but you’ll probably want to start with Grand Prix mode if you want to get some of the better unlockable characters. Placing in the various cup races of the game is how you unlock characters and you’ll need to be pretty darned good, as the 150cc cup challenges are pretty beastly. With cups divided between 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc with four tracks per cup in each of these categories, you’ve got a long career of racing ahead of you to get everyone unlocked, including the koopalings from Super Mario 3.

mk8-koopalings

As you collect coins racing around the track, you’ll also unlock new parts for your karts. Sometimes you’ll get new tires or a new glider, but other times you’ll get a brand new kart entirely. It really makes making sure you finish a race with all ten coins in tact a priority, since certain wheels affect how your karts handle and accelerate on the tracks. If one of your favorite combinations is under lock and key, you’ll be racing extra hard to make sure you snag all those coins.

If you’re a veteran of the Mario Kart series you’ve got 16 familiar tracks with new twists ahead of you, while 16 other tracks are brand spanking new. They’re all a blast to play, with Nintendo carefully balancing the feel of a particular track with the gravity defying twists and turns, as well as scenery that will take your breath away. My favorite new track for the game is Thwomp Ruins, which takes you through a twisting jungle with plenty of tight turns for drifting and massive stone Thwomps ready to smash you should you be careless.

Thwomp_Ruins

Battle Mode also makes its return in Mario Kart 8, though it doesn’t feature the massive arenas of old that you’re probably familiar with. Instead, it takes place on standard tracks that have been retooled to give everyone a different starting position around the track, instead of lining up in pole positions. You can enter battle mode as a free-for-all or assign teams and from there, you have to pop your opponents three balloons to knock them out of the running. There’s no way to regain balloons and if you lose all three of yours, you’ll be a Ghost on the track while everyone else finishes. Don’t let that stop you, though! While you can’t rack up any more points as a Ghost you can still help your teammates by attacking the other team.

Hey who threw that shell?!

What would the Mario Kart series be without weapons and the introduction of new weapons? Nintendo took it light this time around, only introducing four new things with one of them being a rehash of some previously available weapons. Despite that, it’s probably the most versatile utility in the game and one you’ll hate to see your opponents get. Dubbed the Crazy 8, it’s the titular 8 from the Mario Kart 8 logo and it takes the place of the Lucky 7 from Mario Kart DS. It gives you the power to use 8 random weapons selected from the standard weapons, including the Banana, Green Shell, Red Shell, and others. You’ll want to strategize how you use it, but it can definitely take a middle ground player to 1st place.

mario_kart_8-boomerang

Other new additions include the Boomerang Flower, which is my personal favorite. It can be thrown up to three times and if you manage a perfect throw, you’ll be able to take out one driver on its initial throw and another on the way back. The Super Horn is also useful in tight turns on the track where you’ll likely be in close quarters with other drivers. Give it a quick blast and you’ll knock everyone away, giving you free reign to drift yourself into a boost.

The Piranha Plant is the final new addition to the game and it’s one you’ll want to avoid if you don’t have it, as any chomps on drivers it achieves will give a speed boost for the driver.

Online Multiplayer

The online multiplayer aspect of Mario Kart 8 has massively improved over the Mario Kart Wii version. Many players were disappointed with the lobby system and how laggy matches could be on the Wii, I’m happy to report I never experienced a single problem in terms of connection while playing the game online. You are thrown into random lobbies with players from whatever area you select, including worldwide or regional. Currently there’s no way to invite friends into this lobby, so having an online race with friends and strangers just isn’t possible.

This is likely a limitation of the Wii U itself, since it doesn’t feature a party system like the Xbox or PlayStation in order to keep your gaming brethern together. Still, it’s an oversight and a big one, since Nintendo has started offering online play for their games. While couch co-op is still very much alive for Mario Kart 8, the fact that you’re unable to play online with friends you’ve invited is a strike. Perhaps Nintendo can do something about this in the future.

Graphics & Audio

Aside from the addition of new tracks, I think the overall design of the game is perhaps the biggest change. Even for those who have never played a Mario Kart game, the tracks are absolutely stunning in detail and the new physics effects Nintendo was able to add to the characters makes playing them even more fun. Mario’s mustache flaps in the breeze, while Larry’s massive mohawk flattens against his head almost entirely as he picks up speed. Each character has some small bit of their character animated as you accelerate which may seem like a trifling addition, but it really serves to make the characters feel alive.

rosalina-mk8

The tracks feel more alive than ever as well, with plenty of foliage and props that just weren’t possible on lower power systems like the Nintendo 3DS or the Wii. Thwomp Ruins has tons of jungle leaves and the underwater sections might actually make you hold your breath. While Grumble Volcano isn’t exactly lucious, the textures as you run through several caves make you feel as though you’re actually exploring a deep cavern instead of a carved hole.

It’s the little things that bring everything together with Mario Kart 8 and the fully orchestrated soundtrack is the cherry on top. You’ll hear familiar tunes from classic Mario games on tracks like Donut Plains, while Mount Wario features a fast-paced and frantic track designed to help you feel like you’re really barreling down the side of a mountain. The final lap also features a sped-up audio cue that lets you know you’re almost at the end.

Wii U Features

Of course Mario Kart 8 is a Wii U exclusive game, but it deserves mention here that not every experience is created equal. The game does work with the GamePad, though if you decide to play on the TV you’ll be using the GamePad as a glorified horn and roster update. The giant horn and roster is the least creative thing Nintendo could do in terms of incorporating the GamePad into the experience and it’s a worrying trend, as this isn’t the first game we’ve seen from Nintendo that barely has GamePad functionality baked in.

mk8-gamepad

It’s somewhat understandable since several different control methods can be used, including the Wii U Pro Controller or the Wii remote. Still, we would have liked to see Nintendo able to do something else with the GamePad aside from offer a giant horn and Off-TV gameplay. After all, if you can’t sell the gaming public on why the GamePad is necessary as a first party, how can Nintendo expect third parties to do the same?

Conclusion

This is the best entry into the Mario Kart series yet. If you weren’t happy with Mario Kart Wii and you skipped Mario Kart 7 because you don’t own a Nintendo 3DS, you should definitely consider picking this up to sate your kart needs. It manages to blend together old tracks with the new and provides new playable characters never before seen in the Mario Kart series. Playing as the koopalings is one of the highlights of the game and it’ll be no surprise to me if everyone has a favorite once they’ve gotten their hands on the game.

Score: 9/10

Pros

+ New tracks are varied and feature great challenges
+ Koopalings are a great addition to the game
+ Online play works really well
+ Gorgeous aesthetics capable of 60fps

Cons

- No way to invite friends to random lobbies online
- No special GamePad utilization aside from Off-TV

Bottom Line: You’ll want to buy Mario Kart 8. Not a Wii U owner? Nintendo has a Mario Kart 8 bundle just for you.

Continue reading:




  • Igor

    How the fuck do you review something that hasn’t been out yet?

    • Wren Justin Umlauf

      They get reviewer copies early. Almost all the major titles have a review before they are even out to try and get more people to buy them day one

      • Igor

        I see. Didn’t think bout that.

    • http://people.ign.com/fliadaloisio fliadaloisio

      …..

    • Falcoxcalibur

      Are you stupid or just pretending?

  • Wren Justin Umlauf

    To be fair. On a real steering wheel the middle is just a giant horn button, so although its not really innovative, it does make sense

  • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

    Can’t wait! My Wii U is way too dusty. ; n ;

    Also, since registering it gets you one of a few free games, what would you guys suggest picking up? I’m torn between NSMBU and Pikmin. I already have HD WW and Party U lol no.

    Thoughts/suggestions?

    • Googs

      I’d go with Pikmin.

    • Arthur Sataine

      New Super Mario Bros is phenomenal. Pikmin 3 seems great, but it was never my type of game to begin with. And I hear it is far too short for the type of game it is. Personally, I’m getting HD WW because my gut told me to wait.

    • Ducked

      If you want more of a challenging strategy go with Pikmin. If you want a simple but fun 2D platformer, with 4 player local co-op, go with NSBMU. I’d say Pikmin is the better choice.

    • KartSmash

      Both are great but Pikmin 3. You’ve probably played a bunch of Mario I’m assuming, this is only the 3rd Pikmin so I’d grab it.

    • ZeldaFan83

      I’d go with Pikmin 3. I own WW HD, NSMBU and Pikmin 3. Pikmin 3 is a gorgeous game that’s challenging and a lot of fun. NSMBU is a fun game but you are pretty much getting what you’d expect from a 2D Mario game, move left to right, collect coins and save the princess but don’t get me wrong its still a fun game.

    • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

      get pikmin. You’ve played NSMBU before

      • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

        That seems to be the general consensus. That’s what I’ll probably end up doing.

    • Ultrasyd

      Wonderful101

      • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

        that’s europe only

    • Mario

      Pikmin.

    • bistricky

      Pikmin …… or at least I should say that’s the one I am getting …… strangely, in my area of the world …. Pikmin is the only game (being offered) that still stands for sale at full price …. so naturally that is the added game I am picking up.

  • http://www.screenhog.com Screenhog

    The lack of Gamepad utilization actually doesn’t bother me very much. In a local multiplayer game, the Gamepad is best used for asymmetric play, but in Mario Kart, you don’t want asymmetry. You want an even playing field. Due to this, Nintendo’s options of what to put on that screen were very limited. Besides a mini-map, what else could they have really done?

    • Ghasfarost

      I would have liked the zoomed map they used on MK DS and MK 7 as an option switching the overview of the full track

    • CaptRodgers

      I feel the same, it’s one thing on DS where everybody is playing with the same things, but no one control option should have an advantage aside from personal preference. Same how I feel about SSB. Now DK:TF did upset me a bit when you consider that Donkey Kong has less use than his companions anyway, so having use with that would have been great, especially since it’s co-op and not competitive.

      I do however feel like future games are going to make use of it so that’s just what I’m waiting for. The new Zelda and Metroid definitely will make good use out of it.

  • ShortyStock

    The Mario Kart 8 commercials are almost as bad as the Mario Kart 8 Direct…

    • Ghasfarost

      I think they are good for people who are nostalgic of the 90s, which is the biggest demographic now of people who played MK on SNES. I guess that is what they are marketing to.

      • KartSmash

        I love them lol. Nintendo giving a nod to long time fans :p

    • Falcoxcalibur

      Shut up, you pretentious, whiny little bug.

      • ShortyStock

        Oh, that’s rich.

        • Purple

          best phrase ever.. “That’s Rich”

    • Ultrasyd

      I loved the direct, and so did my son. I haven’t seen any commercial though in France, but well… i don’t watch TV

      • ShortyStock

        I did enjoy the direct also, I just didn’t like how it was setup. Well to each their own anyway.

  • Adrian

    Who is this Rob guy? That was the most professional sounding thing I’ve ever heard from this site. Good job Rob!

    • Ducked

      Its short for Robert. His full name is Robert Downey Jr.

    • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

      Rob takes care of professionalism, I take care of… not… professionalism

    • Mario

      R.O.B. stands for “Robotic operating buddy”.

  • Gabe Hoffman

    In gamexplains video on the online if you choose friends you can see who is online and join them

    • Kriffix

      But this doesn’t mean you can join strangers together. It seems to display a join option if they have created a room (for friends).

  • http://Nintendo.com/ Nintendo of America

    Thank you for supporting Nintendo, we are pleased to inform that we will be adding the ability to invite friends to lobbies, chat in game, golden shell and more special gamepad futures as DLC for $59.99 on Origin.

    • Corey Watford

      Personally Ill gladly pay for a 9.99 DLC package of N64 Battle arenas or 1.99 for R.O.B. or Dry Bones or 4.99 for a DK Package of Diddy, Dixie, and Cranky Kong-

      • http://Nintendo.com/ Nintendo of America

        Thank you for your feedback, we will be offering the Cranky Kong package for $99.99, it comes with: Cranky Kong and the Banana Shot kart.

        • metalpants

          ………

          I’ll take twenty.

        • David Horowitz

          You’re not Nintendo. Who are you really?

          • http://Nintendo.com/ Nintendo of America

            Please understand, that i represent Nintendo of America, not Nintendo as a whole.

            //Reggie Fils Amech

        • Yousif Alromaithi

          Awesome I would love to play as cranky Kong worth the price.

      • KartSmash

        Block fort remade, same exact setup just real pretty and added backgrounds and HD. I’d pay $20 maybe more just for that lol.

      • http://valid.at val berger

        hm, you’re right, they should just add N64 Battle Arenas. Would save them development time and still ensure a great battlemode.

      • The Clockwork Being

        I was surprised Cranky Kong wasn’t in this game. I just felt like it would be right for him to be in it.

        • http://valid.at val berger

          I’m actually wondering about all Koopa Kids to be there instead of some others like Diddy Kong. At some point, I’d like to see a Mario Kart game with all Smash Bros Characters.

    • condor87z

      Hmm I think you made a typo. You accidentally said $59.99.

      • http://Nintendo.com/ Nintendo of America

        Please understand that, we do not make mistakes.

      • readypembroke

        I think they mean $99.99

    • readypembroke

      What about the “special” day one DLC!?!?!?!?!?!?!!? If there isn’t I am going to cry like a girl!!! :D

  • jjbredesen

    Wow, great review Ashley! Now i am 100% sure that i will buy the game!

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      Thanks! If anyone has any questions about the game, I’ll be more than happy to answer them.

      • http://valid.at val berger

        1080p or not 1080p?

        • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

          I was able to capture video at 1080p, but I don’t know if that’s upscaled or not. Sorry, I don’t have the tech to make that determination.

          • Will W

            I wouldn’t say the non-inclusion of extraneous G-Pad support to be a con. Doesn’t it include the “Super Horn”?. It also wouldn’t be fair to other players, in multiplayer. Besides, it wouldn’t work in off-screen play, anyway. There are only two uses that it could be good for, in single player: First-person view, and reverse-first person view…

          • http://valid.at val berger

            no problem, I was just searching through many reviews and ended up with nothing. It’s just strange that a supposed 1080p game never gets mentioned to have 1080p while it has been a fairly big deal with wind waker HD.

            by the way, something completely different: what do you use to capture video? I’ve just been curious :)

          • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

            I use an Elgato HD since it works across all the consoles. They’re actually pretty handy to have and super easy to use.

            http://amzn.to/1n48no5

          • http://facebook.com/validgraphics val berger

            cool, had an elgato-stick ages ago that wasn’t HD capable yet, maybe I’m trying this one out sooner or later, thanks for the intel ashley :)

        • companyoflosers

          Native 1080p 60fps until you have 3 player spllit screen where it goes down to 30fps, but is still native 1080p. Hope that helps.

          • http://valid.at val berger

            As I’ve just written below it’s still just very odd as 1080p always got mentioned with games like WWHD and is kinda held secret with mario kart 8? pretty strange. what’s your source? if it’s eurogamer, then I’m still not convinced. sorry for all that suspicion, I know you want to help me =) things just don’t feel right about this (and I really want it to run in 1080p :) )

          • companyoflosers

            Theres TONS of places that say it. Im on a phone right now so its a pain to link things but if i had to list sources theres kotaku, forbes, There was even an article here on wii u daily. Idk why u dont trust eurogamer, they have real footage of the game. Its not exactly secret. Idk what would lead u to believe it is.

          • http://facebook.com/validgraphics val berger

            First everyone said it’d be upscaled to 1080p so they can refer to it as being 1080p, now people claim it’s written everywhere that it’s like totally full 1080p experience … I’m just a bit confused I guess. But if there are tons of legit sources, I’d be happy :)

          • Mads

            Well there’s nothing you can do if it isn’t 1080p. I would think the reason full hd on WW being emphasized was obvious. It’s an HD remake?!

          • http://facebook.com/validgraphics val berger

            true that, still 1080p always got some special credits in the past. And, no I can’t do anything about it, it’s still some huge difference if the WiiU is capable of rendering a beautiful looking game with so many characters in 60fps plus 1080p or 720p. It gives somehow a good idea of what to expect in 2 years, when that hardware gets squeezed out and how a game then could look like if they only use 720p and 30fps but more polys, shaders, textures and so on.

      • Seyedsadegh Yousefzade

        is that possible to add friends and play with them via special room ?
        (online multilayer)

      • Adrian Brown

        Taking about the Blue Shell, is it still like MK7 where it flies lower than previous MK games?

        • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

          Yes, you see it hovering above you shortly before it hits you.

      • Andrew Gonzalez

        Nice review :)

      • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

        Will you cry when I beat you in races? ;)

        • Mario

          No. Because you’ll be the one crying first. :-)

          • Arthur Jarret

            Wait, he will be crying when he beats you in the races?
            I think you had one mushroom too many, because that made no sense!

          • Mario

            NO!! The other way around!

          • Arthur Jarret

            Oh, ok – so you will be crying when you beat him in the races.
            Why would you cry?

          • Mario

            HE will cry when I beat him! It’s that so hard to understand!?

          • Arthur Jarret

            I had so much fun with this – you’re a great sport for going patiently long with this. 8/10 entertainment points!

          • Mario

            …Really? -_-

          • Arthur Jarret

            Yeah. Also, both of you will be crying when I finish first!

          • Mario

            Yeah right! :-p

          • triplegamer3K .

            Why do your emoticons have noses?
            Also why is there a smiley at the bottom left of the page?
            I can’t be the only one who sees that…

          • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

            I DONT CRY

          • Mario

            Oh yeah? -_-

          • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

            …. that’s false

          • Mario

            I bet you were gonna write that. -_-

          • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

            o.o

      • The Clockwork Being

        Nice review Ashley. I really think the score is great at a 9/10 since Mario Kart 8 seems like a great game yet lacks key elements that would have made it perfect.

        • WiiUPS4

          I say 10/10 for this but that’s just me since ive already played it before at E3 Event last year

      • Jason

        In Mario Kart Wii, you can unlock Rosalina by having Super Mario Galaxy. Can you unlock a character by having Super Mario 3D World.

      • JB

        What kind of online connection did you use? Wifi or Ethernet? It seems like there was an article a while back that said MK8 online is optimal if you used a wired connection. Unless that was Smash Bros I was thinking about.

        • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

          I used WiFi and didn’t have any problems.

        • darkcreap

          I heard it in a Nintendo Direct. I think it was the Smash Bros one the one in which Masahiro Sakurai said that more competitive players would prefer al LAN connection.

      • steveb944

        5 player local multiplayer or 2 player dual screen multiplayer??? Please tell me it’s available

        • jjbredesen

          It does 4 player dual screen, the gamepad is not supported as an extra player. It does 60FPS in 1 and 2 player and 30FPS in 3 and 4 player, and it always runs in 1080p, according to reviews and Gamexplain etc.

          • steveb944

            That blows. Thanks for the info tho.

      • greengecko007

        Hey Ashley, I was wondering if the game can be played with the Wiimote and Nunchuk combinaition. I noticed in that this review and several others confirmed Wiimote functionality, and I’m under the assumption that the Nunchuk would work too, but I wanted to see if you could confirm this. It’s just something that’s been in the back of my mind recently. Thanks.

        • ShortyStock

          I’m not Ashley of course, but I’ll have you know that you CAN indeed use the nunchuk. At least I read that you can.

          • greengecko007

            Thanks for the info!

        • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

          Yes you can play with the Wii remote and nunchuk. All Wii control schemes work with this game as well.

          • greengecko007

            Thanks that’s great to know as that is my preferred way of playing!

      • Robinpreet Sidhu

        I feel as the developers wanted to make this game more competitive and more realistic for a Mario Kart. Do you think this could be the case.

      • WiiUPS4

        Are you going to a gamestop this weekend to try Mariocart 8 if not i will be and hope to get to play longer than at the best buy thing last year

      • Sdudyoy

        Does it have a first person mode like MK7, that’s my favorite way to play, It’s not a deciding factor or anything, but it would be nice to know.

      • rfisher1228

        analog control options on all controllers?

    • Jack5221

      You sir, just won the internet. +1 Cookies!

      • jjbredesen

        I won the internet? Awesome :D Thank you!

    • Satoru Iwata

      We do make the blue turtle shells of the greatest quality. Thank you for your support.

      • jjbredesen

        Yup, they sure do there job well :D

    • Yousif Alromaithi

      Get it buddy I tried it and I pre ordered it since January. Great game, you will love every single thing about it, game runs on1080p and 60fps. Man the graphics is insane.

    • Mario

      Mario: Not if I kill you with my super horn first. :)

  • Bob Charlie

    Is WiiUDaily actually getting copies of games early for review now, or did Ashley just fabricate a review?

    • jjbredesen

      I guess they are large enough to receive review copies now?

      • Bob Charlie

        Yeah, good for them.

      • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

        well.. some of us are >.> *is still buying games* XD

        • jjbredesen

          Well, as i predicted Ashley could get a review copy :P, so why not use the form, i have send you a lot of times xD, and try?

          Worst case scenario is that they say, no :P, nothing to lose, but anyways good luck with your finals, i have mine next week :/

    • Bob Charlie

      PS, it’s a joke

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      We secured a copy of Mario Kart 8 early. It’s been hit or miss, but I was super thrilled to be able to get a review out when everyone else did with this one.

      • Bob Charlie

        Now let’s hope WiiUDaily keeps getting early copies of Wii U games for review and maybe we will start to see your reviews added to Metacritic!

  • Kriffix

    Not being able to invite friends seems so odd. I don’t believe it’s to do with the Wii U itself, as it’s possible in the old Wii MK and even 3DS. Not to mention Monster Hunter on Wii U. The only reason I can imagine is that they wanted to stop unfair trolling in groups of friends that was a big problem.

    • Nostalgic_Chaos

      Yeah, sounds likely, or to stop a bombardment of clans in one single Worldwide race etc… For me, not being able to invite friends is not a big deal. Of course, I would definitely have preferred it and would have taken complete advantage of it, but I also love the spontaneity of playing with complete randoms in different parts of the world. It’s fun.

      • Kriffix

        It’s a shame I won’t be able to play alongside my friends online. But I think I’ll take a leaf from your book there and try to look on the bright side of this. I guess it’s not all bad this way.

  • ShortyStock

    Off-Tv play is enough GamePad features for me.

    • http://valid.at val berger

      True that. It’s the most underrated Gamepad feature, when it comes to reviews. Most WiiU players are gonna make use of this and it’s one of the main reasons that Gamepad has been created, still everyone is acting like Nintendo would never make use of the Gamepad.
      Of course it would be nice if that thingy would be used in a more funkey-fresh way enfolding it’s full potential, but Off-TV play is quite a game changer already.

      • Ultrasyd

        It’s what I think too. Even for 3rd party ports, this possibility to play off TV is already great. If I have to choose between DLC or this off-TV, the choice is pretty easy and would make me pick the Wii U version for everything

        • http://valid.at val berger

          maybe depends on the quality of DLC but in general I agree :) Playing Wind Waker in bed before I go to sleep, Mass Effect 3 in the bathtub or just streaming something on Youtube while having lunch. I guess I’m exactly the target audience for this feature and I really love it. Especially Virtual Console games that may be a bit too pixelated to play on the big screen do fit perfectly to the gamepad screen. Hm. Gotta buy something. right now!

      • Yousif Alromaithi

        The game pad would be used on Zelda like Skyward and Twilight Princess before it. If they managed to make a star fox game then yes, the game pad inclusion should happen.

    • mario54671

      I already posted the comment on their YouTube review (and got a response), but I think it’s absolutely stupid to expect GamePad optimization for a game that’s MEANT to be multiplayer.

      This isn’t a Zelda or a proper 3D Mario (as in, not 3D World) where they’re designed from the ground up to be single player. Furthermore, Mario Kart 8 supports every possible control scheme imaginable. GamePad (tilt option, OR analog stick), Wii U Pro Controller, Wii Classic Controller, Wii Remote +Nunchuk combo, Wii Remote by itself, Wii Remote sideways, Wii Remote upside down, Wii Remote up one’s asshole… etc.

      How can they FAIRLY optimize for the GamePad with so many options? It’d be imbalanced as hell.

      For GamePad optimization, the game needs to:

      1. Be ONLY single player. (Or, if it has multiplayer, make it online where every person is playing from their Wii U entirely alone with a GamePad)
      2. ONLY support the GamePad. No Pro Controller, no Wii Remotes, no Nunchuk or Classic Controller. JUST the GamePad.

      This is why Super Mario 3D World doesn’t make much use of it. People go, “WHATT?!?!?!? BUT IT’S A 3D MARIO GAME! THEY *ALWAYS* UTILIZE THE SYSTEM’S CAPABILITIES SO WELL!!! MADNESS!” Because they were always single player. Meaning they could not only support the controller capabilities to the best of their ability, but they could also push the system’s graphical capabilities to its limit. 3D World doesn’t do this because it’s a multiplayer game. Hence, hardly any GamePad support.

      Mario Kart always had local multiplayer, and it always will. Therefore, there isn’t much they could do with the GamePad. If you’re expecting GamePad optimization from Mario Kart… well… that’s silly. Mario Kart was always a lost cause with this from the very beginning.

      • http://valid.at val berger

        The most obvious way to really make use of the gamepad in a way that makes sense would be asynchronous multiplayer battlemode with 5 players. And I really see no reason why they didn’t implement that. except of their schedule maybe. can’t be performance as Battle arenas aren’t as elaborate to render as the game’s racing tracks. But this would really have been the tip on the iceberg in a game that’s famous for it’s amazing multiplayer. Especially as asynchronous MP is something you really can’t get anywhere else that way. oooh boy, wouldn’t it be nice.

      • ShortyStock

        I agree, it’d be unfair and just plain stupid to have just ONE player having multiple gamepad advantages.

    • greengecko007

      Not for me. I have my own TV, which I would obviously prefer to see the game on rather than a screen streaming the game at 480p. I understand that the gamepad wouldn’t be used extensively in a game like this, but being used for basically nothing is ridiculous.

      • ShortyStock

        Well, here’s an example on why I like it. My Wii U is setup in my bedroom, when I want to play NOT crammed up in my hot room, I can just relocate the system to the living room and just use the gamepad (I can’t do that with my PS3 can I?), it also gives the rest of my family access to the system. I DO see where you’re coming from, but in my opinion, Its pretty damn useful.

        • greengecko007

          I can understand that some people find it useful, and I’m sure that I would too if I were in a similar situation. There’s nothing wrong with you liking the gamepad and getting plenty of use from off TV play.

          My opinion of the gamepad will probably be a lot more positive whenever games like Zelda U come out that are supposed to really show off the gamepad’s use. I wouldn’t even mind a Nintendo Land 2 with online multiplayer and different attractions.

    • Kev

      Same. Off-tv is the main reason I bought a Wii U.

  • bigislandhikers

    “I’m happy to report I never experienced a single problem in terms of connection while playing the game online.”

    I wonder how many people already playing online?

    • ZeldaFan83

      Very good point. When 10 million+ gamers own this game, how are their servers gonna hold up then.

      • Marcel Pérez

        implying it will reach 10 million lawlz

        • ZeldaFan83

          Mario Kart is one of their best selling franchises and now that its in HD and appears to have a good online infrastructure it will easily sell over 10 million. Mario Kart Wii = 34 million, Mario Kart 64 = 10 million, Mario Kart DS = 22 million, Mario Kart 7 = 10 million. It will do very well, I doubt it will surpass MK Wii but it should sell over 10 million. This Mario Kart right now is the reason to sell Wii U’s.

      • Nostalgic_Chaos

        The servers will be fine no matter what. I literally never lagged once playing MKWii online, and I’m a regular online player. Have been playing it online since 2010. Never had any issues with it. Mario Kart is probably Nintendo’s best online game ever when it comes to smooth game play. It runs as if you’re playing local multi player on the couch. It’s not going to effect the servers.

        • bistricky

          First part @ Marcel Perez ….. If it reaches 10 million and it lags … its a good thing (as wee both know the Wii U is still far from selling that many units) ….. but if it lags because of 2 million …. or 1.5 million ….. so be it …..I’d say! I don’t expect 100% smooth sailing for a Wii U game ….. its all about getting the Wii U into more homes and the more that finally dismiss the falsehoods that the Wii U is crap (which Mario Kart 8, likely will) then the better. The game will reach my Wii U on the 30th this month and when I go online I won’t expect perfection but a fun game for my friends and I (that I will) and what I will judge it on. Cheers :D

    • bigislandhikers

      I guess I was more surprised he was able to find other people to race against.

  • KartSmash

    ” Even for those who have never played a Mario Kart 8 game, the tracks…” I think that 8 should be taken out lol.

  • Ducked

    I have a feeling this will be the best Mario Kart game to date. It adds in the features from Mario kart wii and Mario Kart 7. While we can finally play the game in a more stable online play. Not mentioning the game looks gorgeous in HD.

    • KartSmash

      Wii online was mostly fine for me, 7 was even better, so I expect 8 to be real smooth. 7 was one of my favorites handling-wise as well, and that says a lot to me since it’s on a handheld and kind of cramped. So to hear that 8 has the best handling yet is awesome. Throw in Toad’s Turnpike (original on 64 on extra was a blast going against traffic), and Yoshi’s Valley and Rainbow Road 64 (two of my all time favorite tracks) and it sounds like my personal favorite at least. 64 has always been my favorite with Double Dash and 7 battling a close second. Hope this can top my list, looks set to.

      • Ducked

        I had a lot of trouble with Wii online. Mostly because it was so easy for people to hack. Mario Kart 7 is pretty decent.

        • KartSmash

          The hacking and infinite blue shells, yea I had those lol as for lag and such though,I didn’t have much. Hackers on online games suck. Keep that to single player.

          • greengecko007

            Had the same problems on the MKWii. Constant Bullet Bill hackers in racing, and infinite blue shells in battle… Doesn’t exactly make for a fair or fun experience.

          • KartSmash

            Not at all lol. I’ve managed to beat the cheaters a number of times and that feels so good lol. How can anyone enjoy cheating to win online. That sounds so boring to me. If you were playing with your friends and messing around that’s cool but you just ruin it for everyone you don’t know online.

        • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

          never saw hackers, actually o.o

  • Rinslowe

    Could get used to this on Wii U Daily… :)

  • http://valid.at val berger

    1080p or not 1080p, that’s the question

    None of those many reviews out there managed to clarify that. The only one who claimed it’d come in full hd was eurogamer, but after everything about this game has been in 720p so far and Nintendo never mentioned 1080p, I doubt that.
    So please Ashley, would be great if you could help us out here, actually you’d be the first reviewer who does.

    • D.M.T

      Why does it matter? 720p or 1080p Mario Kart 8 is still the best MK game today.

      • http://valid.at val berger

        I don’t remember asking for your opinion. As a matter of fact, you are about the member of this community whos opinion has about the least weight, so it would be quite nice if you just stop commenting my comments. For the record, outside of that hill billy trailerpark community people tend to have TVs with aspect ratios over 10″ and might be interested in certain tech specs you people can’t understand. After you tend to call people stuff like cocksucker around here I don’t really think you even noticed that the WiiU has even reached the state of a HD-capable console and don’t really mind that resolution switch since Wii times. As you already proved yourself of being unable to understand that there are people thinking differently than you, I, again, suggest to just stop wasting my time with your biased verbal puke.

        • Keronos

          I am pretty sure there is confirmation of it being 1080p…

          • http://valid.at val berger

            the thing is, that if it’s upscaled from 720p, they can confirm what they want, still doesn’t make it 1080p. And it actually looks like it’s only upscaled. Funny thing is that Eurogamer claims it’s 1080p and wiiU community members around here clarified it’s upscaled. Just wanted to spread some street creds to our wise men around here ;) (even if I don’t like what they say ;) )

        • D.M.T

          I will comment on your comments whenever the fuck I want to. You are NOBODY to tell me what to do. You don’t have to ask for my opinion, I will give you my opinion whether you like it or not.

          • http://valid.at val berger

            I wrote ‘it would be quite nice’. A man is allowed to dream, right? Sure I can’t hold you back, but I can mention how useless it actually is as everything you post has been 100% worthless to me, so chances are high you’ll never make it. After you proved that your brains not even capable holding back calling people around here stuff like ‘cock sucker’ and ‘fuck yourself’ I really don’t wanna have anything to do with you so all I can do is just say PLEEEEASE. If you still don’t understand, then I really can’t help you nor myself as admins here don’t care about scum like you rotting this community from inside out.

          • D.M.T

            Stop your crying and moaning. Your opinion of me is completely irrelevant. Instead of crying, stay on topic and explain why it matters that a game is 1080p or 720p.

          • http://facebook.com/validgraphics val berger

            Why should I? I can’t explain everything to you. You wouldn’t know the difference between Wii and WiiU, so why bother wasting any more words in explaining you shit? I’d rather go to a rotten tree to reveal quantum physics to it. I already got answers to my question from people who understood it, so no need to draw on your wisdom, but thanks for your time.

          • D.M.T

            Didn’t know you had a sense of humor, congrats. And you couldn’t be more wrong about me not understanding anything lol. But hey i’ll leave you in your bubble.

    • Ultrasyd

      I really want to know too. Doesn’t make a huge difference, but still, it’s interesting to know that. An in-depth tech review at Eurogamers will probably clarify this soon.

      • http://valid.at val berger

        every 1080p game I’ve played so far really stood out and made me not wanna go back. It’s not that important, sure, but if achieved, it puts a smile on my face. even if it’s a 10 yr old Zelda game.

  • Frankie

    Why is a con that the gamepad is not used more? Nintendo did not force the gamepad to be used and that was the right move. I really think that is an unfair con.

    • Pikachief

      it should be used for 2 player fullscreen play as an option. one person on the tv, the other person on the gamepad. It’s also a con because Nintendo themselves have recognized and admitted to not using and not pioneering the functionality of the controller which is the key thing that separates this console from the rest.

      • Pokémon Fan

        You can Pikachief

        • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

          i want proof

      • Frankie

        Nintendo has a reason for not doing it. We may never know what it is, but they have one. People clearly do not want to use the gamepad, just like they did not want to use the Wiimote for most games. Forcing the gamepad would hurt sales, not help them. The gamepad could have been used more, but they went with a safe approach which will benefit them.

    • greengecko007

      No, but they did force us to pay for the gamepad. It’s an expensive piece of technology, and if they weren’t going to put it to a lot of use, they should have made it an optional peripheral. The argument that developers don’t integrate optional peripherals into their games because they can’t rely on fans owning them is moot because the gamepad is only useful in a handful of games anyways.

      • Frankie

        They do put it to use, but it is not needed in every game. Nintendo is working on games that will use it, but Mario Kart is not one of them.

      • bistricky

        Really ….. force …… expensive ….. the console is the lowest price in its generation (always has been from day one) ……with a controller that allows you to play Assassins Creed and Rayman Legends (and other games) with originality, which the other consoles don’t offer …. I do agree with ya, that many games don’t fit the Gamepad profile (or they chose not to even explore its potential) but in my opinion, if the only thing it could do is to play games while another watches their tv shows this isn’t just a plus for the gamepad and the Wii U but kicks the stuffing out of any argument (and or simple gripe) that the gampad is a bad thing rather then a god-send in gaming. Cheers :D

  • WriterTown

    I just find it a bit hypocritical how Nintendo keeps urging developers to make better use of the Game Pad, when they themselves don’t practice what they preach.

    Great game though, can’t wait to play it.

    • D.M.T

      Nintendo has never “urged” developers to make better use of the Gamepad. Nintendo has said that developers can use either the Gamepad or the Wii U Pro Controller.

      • WriterTown

        Oh i see, my bad…
        Nevertheless, the company made it a point to show off this great device from the very beginning, putting so much emphasis on the game pad, and yet they themselves have yet to harness its potential, almost 2 years later.

      • Yousif Alromaithi

        No buddy he is right. Last year Nintendo stated that the developers should managed to add extra features on game pad. Only Ubisoft does that.

    • DoctorWily

      I agree with you in general but I think gamepad features are ill suited for this type of game due to its fast-paced nature. I just think it would be hard to move your eyes from one screen to the other without flying off the track. I’m surprised we haven’t seen RTS/MOBA type games popping up all over the place with gamepad support.

      • gerb1977

        There was a rumor that the game pad would feature different camera angles and sports like play by play commentary. I was really hoping for that. Not that it is a deal breaker for me. I will buy it ASAP but I thought that sounded like an unique use of the second screen

    • Ultrasyd

      I think the same. But on this game I don’t know how they could use it in a better way, excepted maybe for multiplayers (1 on the gamepad, others on TV). From what I understodd, you only have the radar map on the gamepad ? If yes, it can be a bit disturbing

    • Yousif Alromaithi

      Ironic only Ubisoft does that.

    • Mario

      True. I can see clearly that they too are having problems with tapping into the control’s inner potential. But that clearly hasn’t stop them from making great games though.

    • bistricky

      Agreed………… Yet this game is going to rock.

  • http://Website.com Shane Michaels
  • Joe Fraley

    How’s the after race playback? Can you fast forward, pause, or rewind video? Can you change perspectives?

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      Yes! After you finish each race you have the option of viewing a highlights reel, or editing it to see specific action. You can focus on particular drivers and change the length of the highlights reel. It’s a really nice feature for the upcoming Mario Kart TV feature!

  • Potemkin

    Can anybody confirm if the game runs in 720p or 1080p?

    *Edit: Nvm, just found out.

    • Falcoxcalibur

      The game is rendered at 720p but upscaled to 1080p. How do I know? Just download the official screenshots and see the native resolution for yourself.

      • Ultrasyd

        It’s what I think too… but then everyone pretend it’s stupid cause Nintendo confirmed it’s 1080p. So far, I only saw this mention of 1080p at Eurogamers… but upscaled or native ? Dunno. Just a detail though, it looks great anyway

  • companyoflosers

    idk what they expected in terms on gamepad functionality. if they still want people to be able to play with things other than the gamepad such as the pro controller or remotes, then they HAD to make the gamepad functions simple. the other option is to make it a gamepad-only game and that limits local play to only 2 players since the wii u only supports 2 of them at once. if they made super-creative ways to incorporate the gamepad that would be giving one of the players access to functionality that nobody else playing there in the room has. the bottom line is they never should expect special utilization of the gamepad in multiplayer games, just single player where there arent other players to worry about or games that are only multiplayer through online play. you are being unrealistic to assume they would put special functions into this game for the gamepad.

    • C4

      None in racing. Battle I think Nintendo Lands Mario Chase would give some ideas. But then again there are not even battle arenas. Also mission mode for SP would be ideal for GamePad usage, as you said creative usage I’m sure they could create something special given more time and ressources for it. But their is no mission mode. These 2 are my main criticism so far from what I read, not the GamePad usage per se. Also managing friends lists, invitations, voice chat mute / unmute etc. would be easy to use on GamePad but again that stuff isn’t really featured to begin with.

      Edit: GamePad in racing IMHO is properly and wisely used: you can control the Karts with sticks and buttons! :D

  • D.M.T

    I don’t wanna brag but…i’ll get Mario Kart 8 before everyone else in North America and The Caribbean.

    I have a European Wii U which means that I can download Mario Kart 8 at 6 PM on May 29th (12 AM May 30th in Europe).

    Oh and Nintendo said MK 8 owners can get a free game. Americans can choose from 4 games and Europeans from 10 games. I can choose from 10 games!

    • Real Varu

      Cool, but some stores in America (at least in USA and Mexico) are going to do early delivers for those who preordered MK8, you’ll see a lot of people on Facebook/Twitter posting photos of them playing MK8 since May 28-29 :)

      • D.M.T

        Damn it lol. But they can’t choose 1 of 10 games that they can get for free like I can! :P

  • InterTreble

    The best MK ever will likely be the worst selling one: strange things happening in the life… Luckily we are informed about, and won’t miss it. It’s a real pity for who will not take it into consideration because “Internet says Wii U isn’t cool, so I won’t buy it”. A real pity… But not for us! ;)

    • bistricky

      The Wii U will turn the corner ….. oddly …. 2 days before I bought one (in November 2013), I had no idea the Wii U existed and then saw a tv ad and I found myself shelling out $259 (in Canada) for a deluxe. And then I had friends over and from that 12 of my friends in the past 6 months or so bought one …. cause the bad internet hype was rejected by the fun they had playing it. I would never say that the Wii U is perfect …. it is far from …. but it has the qualities which can still make it a winner when most write the history of game console history (long after we are gone). Cheers :D

      • InterTreble

        I completely agree. It is a joy to speak with people when are so respectful and positive toward a passion, instead of always being “against”. Somebody should learn from you, friend! Bye :)

  • CaptRodgers

    Lack of gamepad features is a good thing. No player should have an advantage based on what controller they’re using. Better view, extra features, or even a map give advantages. The only extra features should be online features to handle setting up games and stuff, nothing that involves gameplay. Maybe they could’ve included stuff for when you’re racing alone, but then it’ll make the appeal of racing with people diminished.

    • Pikachief

      how would using the game pad for 2 player fullscreen play give one person an advantage over the other? that would be a great gamepad feature that other 3rd party games already use.

      • Gabe Hoffman

        Because the Gamepad player could look at the TV and see what the other player is doing

        • Petri

          Gamepad player could play back against TV?

        • condor87z

          You can still see what other players are doing even if you’re all playing on the tv.

          • Someone Cool

            He is saying the player using the tv can’t look at the gamepad screen but the gamepad player can look at the tv screen easily. Hardly an advantage though, since you would no longer be looking at your own screen.

          • condor87z

            Thanks for the translation. You’re right though it would probably result in the game pad player driving into the wall or off the edge.

          • Gabe Hoffman

            But then nobody would have an advantage if they could all see each other

      • CaptRodgers

        I wouldn’t say that necessarily would be bad, but five player like some people have mentioned would probably drop the frame rate down really low, so the question is, would the frame rate be lower for two screen multiplayer then it would for split screen. If the frame rate would be the same then yes it was something they should have included

  • Kyle

    In my point of view, the wii u gamepad is very useful when it simply shows information, so the big screen looks more clean.

    • bistricky

      I love the game pad for so many reasons but to get to the point …. the key is to play games while my wife is watching her chosen tv shows ….. its a win —- win ….. happy wife, happy life ….. Cheers :D

      • Purple

        as i like to always say, A happy wife is a happy life…. a happy husband…. he might buy ya somethin’

        • bistricky

          ….. And in all honesty, she is ready to kick my a$$ at Mario Kart 8 ….. which for this moment and time suits me fine ….. and yes, this happy husband always buys her somethin’ ………. more. It makes the world revolve smoother and better when it comes down it. And how it should be. Cheers XD

      • Kyle

        Lol you bet! Also, I really don’t know what people would expect the gamepad to do on a mario kart game…

  • Someone Cool

    Are you absolutely sure you can’t invite friends to join a public lobby? That seems ridiculous so I wont believe it. A 9/10 “score” believing what you “say” about the matter is a biased fanboy rating. If it turns out to be true a 6/10 is a proper “score”. This shit better not be fucking true, im serious.

    • CEObrainz

      You could join your friends in Mario Kart Wii. I’m unsure about 7, but I do hope you’ll be able to join/invite friends wherever they are as that makes online play so much better….

      • Someone Cool

        I can’t accept that you can’t invite friends to a public lobby, it ruins the entire point of online mk.

        • condor87z

          Yeah playing with friends online makes the online experience worthwhile.

      • DragonSilths

        You can set your own tournaments and such on MK8, invite friends to that, have a friends list full of people and you will be fine. You just cant invite a friend then go search for a game against random’s together.

    • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

      I don’t think that merits dropping the game 3 points…

      • Someone Cool

        I look at it like this.

        There is no story and there is no campaign. It is an online mp kart racing game in 2014 in which you are unable to invite your friends to play a game in a public lobby. IMO that is a Min. of 3 points off of the score, This game is supposed to be the flagship of kart racers and it doesn’t even include the online standards. It’s a shame.

        • Nostalgic_Chaos

          There’s a reason for it. Don’t just think about things as a consumer only, be objective and think about stuff as if you were a developer. The most realistic reason for them not adding this online feature is so that these Mario Kart clans don’t dominate a whole worldwide public room/race and troll everyone, basically. There are many reasons as to why this feature has not been added. I could name many other reasons too.

          It gives beginners a chance to shine a bit more. In MKWii, a lot of public online games were full of people with their clans. Making things ABSOLUTELY random balances things out a bit more. I am sensing a HUGE call for balancing with this new Mario Kart 8 game, not just vehicle wise, but in ALL aspects now. I know that not being able to play with friends sucks, but there is also a bright side to this as well. I’m sorry, but I don’t really care for people and their Mario Kart clans, and I’d rather not see them dominate nearly every room I join. I want freedom to race randoms and whoever I want. It’s even balanced out to the point now, where the computer chooses the tracks online, and we vote. This way, no one can spam tracks so that we end up doing the same ones, over and over again.

          • Someone Cool

            If they were indeed worried about that then they would have simply created a seperate lobby allowing friend invites in addition to the no friends allowed lobby. It is more likely that the people @ Nintendo are just plain ignorant.

        • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

          eh… but you can still race online, and you can still race with friends, you can do splitscreen online, and you can hold tourneys, tweak replays, etc. Plus the core gameplay is there. I’d say it’s fair

          • Someone Cool

            Only thing new that you mentioned that is worthwhile is the tournament mode. The replay and tv etc are ridiculous, pretty much useless. The rest has always been there … thats why we buy mk, right? Instead of evolving thier online play with friends they took a giant leap backwards. They also added a timer to battle mode, just to piss me off and ruin the mode. I know you are trying to stay positive and I want to be positive too. However, I can’t anymore and I now know without a doubt Smash bros will be exactly the same and have the same lame no fun allowed err no friends allowed online. Nintendo is lame now, there is no nice way to put it, I apologize.

          • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

            “Pretty much useless”

            As someone who’s gonna be doing a lot of editing of replays and such for this site, and for sharing with friends on miiverse, I highly disagree.

            They aren’t really taking a step backward, just sorta not stepping anywhere.

            I dunno how smash’s online will work. I do agree that I REALLY want Nintendo to get with the times when it comes to internet

          • Someone Cool

            Ok. Well maybe not completely useless then, but for me personally, it will be something I take a look at out of curiosity and then I will probably never look at it again. I wish they would just give us options instead of writing everything in stone, ya know?

          • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

            yeah. I feel ya

  • InterTreble

    Ashley, sorry, just for curiosity: why you said “if you skipped Mario Kart 7″ you should pick up MK8? Do you feel something too much connected to MK7, or is it a simple consideration? ;) Thanks

  • David Horowitz

    I don’t think that lack of special game pad utilization should take off the overall review score.

  • Noah

    If they were to really implement the gamepad, then that would take away off TV play. Which is better for MK? curious…..

  • Pokémon Fan

    You can play with just the Wiimote a and TV or just the game pad or the game pad and TV. Did you not watch the Nintendo direct?

  • Waluigifan

    Sorry for that question but…
    is it truly native 1080p or 720p? I’m still confused over this. Eurogamer said that it runs at 1080p but I haven’t seen one single screenshot or video with that resolution.

    • mario54671

      It’s most likely 720p. Nintendo keeps saying “HD,” and the 1080p games that ARE available on Wii U have compromised visuals.

      And then the same tired thing is coming after I post this. “U SAID IT IS 720p DAT MAKES U A PS4 AND MAN ANUS LOVER LOLOL”

      • uPadWatcher

        It’s 1080p. Not a single mistake about it.

        • mario54671

          “Not a single mistake about it.”

          Aside from the fact that not a single native 1080p game that actually exists on Wii U looks or plays that great (Wind Waker). Aside from the fact that they’ve ONLY released 720p screenshots. And, aside from the fact that Nintendo really hasn’t confirmed anything about the resolution, telling us “HD graphics” or other vague terms along those lines…

          Aside from all that, yeah, there’s no single mistake about it!

          • DragonSilths

            Its 1080p and 60fps, Nintendo said that long ago, same with Smash Bros, X, and Bayonetta 2. Hell on the E-Shop it already says its 1080p. Why are people so brain dead these days. People don’t want to accept Wii U has 1080p and 60fps while the other 2 consoles don’t yet?

          • mario54671

            Nintendo never said anything long ago, the ONLY evidence I could find where someone relating to Nintendo said this was some rep on the E3 show floor last year… some rep who likely said something about it “supporting” 1080p, so people go “O IT RENDERZ IN 1080P LOL.” I just looked on the eShop, because someone else told me the same thing (but could not provide me exactly where it said this), so I decided to go look myself. The ONLY section where it mentions 1080p is where it says “supported resolutions.”

            When a game “Supports” a resolution, all that means is that it can SUPPORT a television that is 1920×1080 resolution and upscale the game to output in 1080p. “Supporting” 1080p is not a confirmation.

            X has NO resolutions confirmed at all, and the ONLY thing they’ve said about Bayonetta 2 was that they were “targeting” 1080p/60fps. Meaning, they’re going to TRY and shoot for that. That doesn’t confirm anything!

            The only one that is confirmed out of the ones that you mentioned is Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Because unlike the other games, it’s the least graphically demanding (since it’s a fighting game, it doesn’t need to look as fancy as, say, Mario Kart 8), and yes, they’re actually giving us full blown screenshots of the game in full 1920×1080 resolution! Therefore, this one IS confirmed.

            Mario Kart 8 does not have 1080p screenshots. Even the ones on the eShop are 720p screenshots upscaled to my 1080p monitor!

            “Why are people so brain dead these days.”

            I don’t know, you tell me.

          • MerryBlind .

            Props man. You told him lol.

          • MerryBlind .

            Smash will be 1080p60fps yes.

            X will most likely be 720p30fps.

            Bayonetta 2 might be 1080p60fps, which would be quite a feat, but I’m still expecting 720p60fps.

            I would be really surprised if MK8 is anything more than 720p60fps. Nintendo never ever said it was 1080p. All they have said, numerous times, is “HD and 60fps”

          • DragonSilths

            http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-04-03-gorgeous-mario-kart-8-retro-tracks-compared-to-originals People on the internet need to learn that there are some people out there you should just listen to, me being one of those.

          • MerryBlind .

            People on the internet also need to learn to not believe everything they read on the internet.

            I read the same news as you, and I wish just like you do that Mario Kart 8 is 1080p60fps, but like I said, I doubt it is. Journalists can make mistake too; they’re humans too.

            And hey, maybe it IS 1080p, I’m not saying it’s impossible, I’m just saying that a lot of things have been said many times on the internet and actually ended up being not true.

            I will see with my own eyes if Mario Kart 8 is 1080p when I play it, and I’ll be freaking happy and proud of Nintendo if it is, but until then, I’m not going to tell pretentious people like you that they’re right.

    • Dark Lord Sauron

      its runs fully 1080p and 60fps alrdy confirmed from many sites including forbes

    • DragonSilths

      My god, Nintendo said and confirmed LONG AGO IT IS 1080p and 60fps, so is Smash Bros, Bayonetta 2 and X, And of course Zelda will be as well. All 1st party Nintendo games starting with MK8 SHOULD be 1080p and 60fps.

      • MerryBlind .

        Don’t expect Zelda to be 1080p60fps man, you’ll just be disappointed. 720p30fps is much more likely, given that Zelda games tend to be pretty graphic intensive, so 1080p is a bit unrealistic, and somewhat slow-paced, which makes 30fps O.K. for this kind of game (though obviously 60fps would be better).

        • DragonSilths

          That Zelda HD Techo Demo was 1080p, 60fps and in real time. I get so sick of people thinking the Wii U cant handle it. As someone who has worked with the damn Wii U dev kit, the Wii U is easily capable of 1080p and 60fps, even on an intensive game like Zelda. Anouma is no slouch, he is no lazy 3rd party dev like EA.

          • MerryBlind .

            Actually… I’m pretty sure I read somewhere at one time that that Zelda demo was 720p30fps…

            Thought I would have to verify this at some point.

            Sure I know the Wii U is not a weak console. I understand it was well designed, optimized, and balanced, but I also know that for a 300$ console with an expensive controller included, I cannot expect mindblowing graphics from it.

            Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 2, etc. are already impressing me; I’m already satisfied and impressed by Wii U’s capabilities, and I wish it will just get better, and it will.

            Though I’m not delusional and non-nonsensical, sorry.

            Finally, as 1080p 60fps isn’t representative AT ALL of how demanding a game is. There are many other aspects to take into considerations. Wii U could easily render the first Super Mario Bros. in 1080p 60fps, that doesn’t mean it’s a powerhouse.

            I have a Wii U and I love it, no need to be all butthurt.

          • DragonSilths

            I’m not butt hurt or mad at you. I just get so frustrated with types of things. I try to help people understand, they don’t want to hear the truth then get mad at me, which gets me mad lol.

          • MerryBlind .

            Don’t worry, I think it happens to all of us. I get frustrated too when I try to convince someone (whether on the internet or in real life) about something I’m convinced to be right, yet they just won’t ‘get it’.

            Here though, do understand that I am not *convinced* myself that Mario Kart 8 is 720p and that Zelda will be 720p30fps, I’m not denying that they could very well be 1080p60fps, simply I highly doubt it since Nintendo’s track record with the Wii U so far suggest otherwise.

            But hey, Wii U has an exotic architecture, so maybe Nintendo will manage to optimize and push it much further than we think they can.

  • D-Man

    Great article, but I noticed a mistake. The Lucky 7 was from Mario Kart 7 on the 3DS, not Mario Kart DS

  • Waluigifan

    ANOTHER question then. In Mario Kart Wii, it was possible to race in teams (blue team / red team) online but it was random which person belongs to the blue team and which one to the red team. Is it now possible to decide on which team one wants to race (online)?

  • Pokémon Fan

    Maybe Waluigifan but maybe not. Because that could lead to friends ganging up on others.

  • Pokémon Fan

    Does anybody know if e3 is open to the public?

    • FutureFox

      Its for press only.

      • Pokémon Fan

        OK. Thanks FutureFox!

    • DragonSilths

      The E3 Press Conferences (On Stage) is for media and special minor celebrities like Tobuscus only. However people like you CAN go to E3, where you can go to the show floors and play the demo’s and such, but you have to buy a pass WAY in advance like back in January. a 1 day pass is like $1,500 and you can get a 3 day pass also. It lasts for 5 days I believe.

      • Pokémon Fan

        Wow! So much! I really wanted to go… Thanks DragonSilths

        • DragonSilths

          No problem.

    • CapnCrumbles436

      There is a Best Buy event going on this year. SSB will be playable.

      • Pokémon Fan

        Yeah I know.

  • condor87z

    I’m a little disappointed with the battle mode, but it looks like a great game besides that.

  • JB

    Ugggh this wait is going to be excruciating!!

  • Daniel Gonzalez

    Sounds great. Gonna pick it up around 2016.

    • MerryBlind .

      ok…

      • Daniel Gonzalez

        :)

    • D.M.T

      Doesn’t matter when you buy Mario Kart 8, just buy it before the end of this generation.

      • Daniel Gonzalez

        Thanks for your opinion, and I will.

      • MerryBlind .

        But but… what about the free game before July 30th!?

  • Steven McDowell

    Nice review, Ashley! I look forward to playing it.

    • DragonSilths

      It was some dude who did the review….not her…

      • Steven McDowell

        I believe Ashley did the written portion of the review.

  • Krzysztof Łochwinowicz

    Preordered

  • steveb944

    5 player local multiplayer or dual screen 2 player multi?????

  • matt

    I’m sure you can set up private races ect this review along with others are too early all online features don’t work yet ???

  • mac
  • WriterTown

    I just learned that the rounds in battle mode are actually timed. So you can’t take your sweet time chasing opponents creatively; now your primary focus is on the timer because it’s always there, nagging you…

    Am I the only one who’s bothered by this? :/

    Every game has its flaws and thats all fine and dandy. But it appears that this game’s flaws could have been avoided. I guess they really wanted to experiment with some new things….. but hopefully the next MK will go back to old battle mechanics…

    • Someone Cool

      As if they would put a timer on battlemode…lmao, good one.

      • WriterTown

        LOL, not sure if you’re being sarcastic, but they certainly did….and totally dropped the ball on that one.

        • Someone Cool

          I honestly laughed when I read it, thought it was a joke. Now that I know you were serious when you wrote it, it’s not so funny anymore.

    • CapnCrumbles436

      It really feels like they have gone out of their way to ruin battle mode in the last few installations. Feed the N64 experience through the HD treatment you’ve got a guaranteed success. Unfortunately N delivers another head-scratcher with the battle mode. Good thing the racing mode is strong enough to hold the game together.

  • MarkyWiiU

    I don’t get why everyone hates that they didn’t do anything more with the gamepad but personally, I can’t find anything that would good with it

    • MerryBlind .

      5-player multiplayer with one player playing on the GamePad screen in addition to the 4 players playing standard split-screen. Or just being able to play 1v1 with one player on the TV and the other on the GamePad screen.

      GamePad as rear-view mirror (thanks to darkcreap for this one)

      Special assymetrical mode that has one player using the GamePad with an overview of the track and the players in it, and causing mayhem and unleashing stuff on them, while those players try to make it to the end alive, or something along those lines.

      • nWo4liFe

        That is genius.

      • MarkyWiiU

        Hmm… I really like that. But I’m not sure if the game could handle 5 players at the same time without downgrading the graphics a little bit

        • MerryBlind .

          Well sure the graphics would be downgraded, but it’s worth it for 5 players.

          Going from 1 to 2 or 3 or 4 players already downgrade the graphics for every additional player/screen there is (if the game is programmed well).

          In the same vein, I’m happy that 2 players splitscreen stay 60fps, but I wished it stayed 60fps for 3 and 4 players too rather than 30fps. I would have taken simpler, lesser quality graphics, since the screens become quite small anyway at 4 players, with 60fps rather than keeping the graphics pretty with 30fps.

  • WiiUPS4

    Another of the games im very good at and im so ready to kick some butt

  • Rygar

    “Mario Kart 8 is a game nearly three years in the making”

    Wrong. Work on MK8 began in 2008. That’s six years.

    Journalism 101. Check your facts next time, Ashley

  • Gamerrr72

    Great and well-written review. I think your score of 9 is spot on, factoring a few of the shortcomings. I just can’t wait to get my hands on it. Ashley, are there any unlockable characters that you might of heard about? I was hoping Snake would make it as a playable character.

  • uPadWatcher

    Much better review than the blowhards at Nintendo World Report. Thank you for sharing your review, Miss King.

  • Leo

    Awesome review!! I can’t wait!!

  • darkcreap

    Sorry, no wiiu gamepad use as a wheel??? Are you serious? Then why does it have motion sensing? By the way, I am also surprised that you cannot use it as a rear-view mirror.

    By the way, the off-tv play is possible for multiplayer? It would be interesting to know if you can multiplay with people without using split screen, at least for the gamepad player. I hate split screen on consoles. Call of Duty games allow two players to play on separate screens (one on the gamepad and the other on the TV)

    • Kriffix

      Where does it say that? You could switch between either motion controls or normal controls on the Gamepad last I heard.

    • Purple

      so you’re saying that When two people play Mario Kart 8 player one can’t be GamePad while Player2 is on the screen?!!!!! what!!!??? thats crap! what the heck is the point of the Gamepad?!!!!! I thought this would be a no brainer. like mandatory! i was counting on it! forget split screen!!! OH MY GOShnesS!!!!

    • FutureFox

      Is that right? That’s laughable.

      • Guest

        Even he’s laughing at it.

      • darkcreap

        Is that Charlton Heston?

        • FutureFox

          I have no idea. Looks like something from a Clint Eastwood movie.

          • darkcreap

            Then he’s maybe Clint Eastwood. I have difficulties distinguishing them. Same happens to me with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, don’t know why.

          • FutureFox

            Definitely not Eastwood. This guy has a bigger nose, plus Clint’s characters had nowhere near that much expression even if he was happy.

        • LukeMM95

          Yes it’s Charlton Heston. The clip is from Planet of the Apes.

  • Purple

    I will NOT buy this game because I can not believe they didn’t allow Player1 game pad and player2 full screen. Dumb. what is the point of the gamepad?!!! what a waste of $350 USD ugh

    • CapnCrumbles436

      Still a great game based upon all the reviews but N made some obvious blunders.
      -No separate dedicated screen (Game pad and television)
      -No real integrated use of gamepad
      -No battle mode arenas
      -No cross play chat

      Cut themselves short with some stubborn choices. Having said that these are all relatively easy fixes and this is one game I would purchase DLC for.

  • dannyosmonovich

    What exactly does “No way to invite friends to random lobbies online” mean?

    • Cebrail Guler-Carrasquillo

      You can’t join up with friends and play in public matches with random people. You can play online with friends, but it will have to be a private match.

  • nWo4liFe

    We all better make Damn sure we bombard Miiverse’s Mario Kart community and demand some of these changes in an update. It’s not like we are asking for 5 player mode… There’s no reason why I can’t use the gamepad while my friends use the TV. It should be an OPTION.. JUST LIKE ONLINE IN ITS AND CHAT. Nintendo is insane.

  • kayodoc

    Already pre-ordered… CAN’T WAIT

  • http://obaforums.wordpress.com DragonSilths

    I’m still hoping one day…we get the Yellow Shell. What does it do you ask? Simple, hits the guy in last place MWAHAHA.

  • WriterTown

    As far as battle mode goes, the problem is that Nintendo likes to play an “either/or” role.

    For example, give players the ***option*** to toggle the timer on or off (BomberMan 2 allowed this back on the SNES!)

    MK Wii had these team-based battles; why not let players choose whether to play Solo or as a team? (Quake III did this back in 1999!)

    So there’s hardly an excuse for Nintendo to remove the beauty of *choices*. After all, choices keep customers happy.

    • Someone Cool

      Ummm…hells yeah!

  • Jonathan Dogey

    I miss diddy kong racing and it’s one player story mode. I liked imagining I was slowly taking down wizpig and his empire, unlocking stages and racing against bosses and stuff. I hope the single player mode in this mario kart game isn’t same old same old.

    If that’s not there, I hope they make a story mode download able in the future

    • CydeFxt

      I feel like that would be VERY unlikely, especially since they’ve never done a story mode in MK. Would be interesting though.

      On the other hand, I too really enjoyed DKR and was thinking how much more i should’ve enjoyed it. But i’m quite happy with the MK games.

  • fireheartis1

    You said there is no way to invite friends to random lobbies, but can you have friends racing in a set up lobby by the player? You know how you invited friends on Mario Kart Wii.