Before the E3 floor was open for business, Nintendo held a special media event allowing the press access to their games before anyone else. One of the games available to play was the newly announced Mario Kart 8.
The demo consists of three different tracks: The Village, Peach’s Castle, and Ghost House. Each track has the Mario Kart mainstays of shortcuts, power-ups and the recently added gliding sections. The full cast of drivers wasn’t shown but expect to have the standard Mario crew with one or two surprise characters to be added later.
So what’s new in Mario Kart 8? Well not much.
When Nintendo announced Mario Kart 8 during their E3 Nintendo Direct, they showed off how the tracks will feature anti-gravity mechanics. What that comes down to is you’ll be racing on the walls and upside down at certain points. Thing is, while it looks cool to be driving on the side of a wall or upside down, it’s still the same racing.
Players will be able to control their racers with either the Wii U Gamepad or the standard Wii remote. You can even use those Wii racing wheels that you probably haven’t used in a few years. The Wii U Gamepad has both the standard way of controlling your driver with the analog sticks or you can use the touch screen. When I was playing it, I decided to use the analog controls rather than the touch screen, and it felt like using a giant standard controller while the Wii remote racing wheel was the same as Mario Kart Wii.
Mario Kart 8 looks great. After years of seeing an underpowered Mario Kart, it’s great to finally see a game that is on par with current gen games. Throughout the race you can see the various particle effects on the carts along with colorful and detailed backgrounds.
From what I was able to play, Mario Kart 8 appears to be more of the same Mario Kart action. Although that’s not a bad thing, it’s coming to a point where that charm of the series is fading away.