E3 2013: Mario Kart 8 goes topsy-turvy


By Geoffrey Tim on Friday, June 14, 2013

MarioKart8

Mario Kart 8 is coming to the Wii U – and while you could, justifiably, say that ‘s yet another damned numbered Mario branded sequel coming from Nintendo, does it really matter if it’s a ton of fun? Because Mario Kart 8 certainly is just that.

We got to go hands on with the game at E3 this week, and while it is just more Mario Kart, there is at least one surprising addition: Anti-gravity.

Using the feature, drivers can now driver up walls, even going upside down when they drive over a blue strip on the track  It doesn’t really change the way you pilot your little kart around the Mario themed tracks as it does give the actual level designers an opportunity to have a ton of fun with their level design. The Bikes from the Mario Kart Wii, as well as the Hang-gliders and underwater sections from the 3DS-bound Mario Kart 7 make a welcome return.

We got to play through three of the game’s track’s and they every bit as fun and well designed as you’ve come to expect from the venerated karting series. One was a very Mushroom Kingdom-inspired one, featuring Princess Peach’s Castle; the rod littered with Goombas to impede your progress.Another was city location one that featured faux landmarks reminiscent of some of America’s big cities – including a lady liberty that was a little more Peachy than you’re used to. the last level we got to play was a ghost house themed one, filled with boos and their inherent trickery

Mario Kart is absolutely gorgeous in HD, and it’s quite breath-taking to see the series finally look like a modern game. Playing on the Wii U gamepad, players can switch to using different types of inputs on-the-fly just by tapping the screen. You can opt for the gyroscope controls used in Mario Kart Wii (which works surprisingly well) or opt for regular thumb-stick controls. Additional players can use pro controllers or Wii Motes. Nintendo hasn’t confirmed that 4 player split-screen will be making a return, but based on past entries it seems a dead cert. It has, however, confirmed 12 player online multiplayer – which is going to be a blast.

Like all games in the series, Mario Kart 8 will be instantly and easily accessible – but will take true grit to master.

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Author:Geoffrey Tim

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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