It’s somewhat of a harsh truth but the catalogue of games on the Wii U has been rather lacking, specifically with the popular/iconic franchises, since the release of the console in November 2012. So I gleefully look forward to the release of Mario Kart 8 released on the 30th of May because quite frankly my Wii U is gathering thicker layers of dust as the days go on.
One of the main new mechanics highlighted is anti-gravity allowing players to stick to walls and ceilings during certain points in the race, which, I’m sure, will cause high levels of frustration on the Rainbow Road course accompanied by various and many profanities. Both the gliding and underwater mechanics from Mario Kart 7 return in the latest game as well as the ability to customize vehicles. It seems, to me at least, that the anti-gravity will mean players will develop a much better awareness while racing as other players could fly by on a wall, so therefore more thought will be required when competing. Mario Kart 8 also features a grand total of 32 tracks with 16 being brand new and 16 remastered tracks from previous games in the series, a total of 30 playable characters with 16 default and 14 unlockable as you progress through the game. There are twenty items to use in your arsenal for victory with four new items making their appearance in this entry of the series, so among classics such as the Bananas, Red Shells or (the nightmare of 1st place) the Blue Shell, comes the Boomerang, the Piranha Plant, the Crazy 8 (successor to Lucky 7 from Mario Kart 7) and the Super-Horn.
In terms of game modes so far there are three confirmed; Grand Prix, Online Play and Multiplayer. The Grand Prix mode remains unchanged from previous games in the series and in the process of completing them more karts, characters and cups will be unlocked. Four player local multiplayer is supported with up to 12 players duking it out online, tournaments can be set up where specific rules can be set when playing with friends. Another new feature is the introduction of Mario Kart TV which will allow players to share clips from their races using the Miiverse.
Another reason I’m rather excited to getting the game is the bonus game that comes free with Mario Kart 8 when registering a copy of the game on the Club Nintendo website, before the 31st of July. In Europe the games to choose from include; Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Game & Wario, Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Sonic Lost World, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and finally Wii Party U. A very enticing deal to pick the game up simply because of the a good selection of games to choose to redeem however for those without a Wii U console the Mario Kart 8 bundle is a great purchase.