It has been some time since I’ve been excited for a Nintendo game before it came out. There have been games from Nintendo I’ve really liked recently (such as The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds) but nothing I’ve been excited for before its been released. To be honest, I usually don’t get excited for games until after they’re released because although I’ll think a game looks like fun, I’ve seen enough games with promise fall flat upon release and I don’t have the money or time to get a game without proper research to tell me it’s a good game. Hell, there are so many games coming out all the time that there’s always something to play brand new right now that you don’t need to wait until something comes out.
That being said, I’m officially excited for Mario Kart 8. My Wii U has been sitting on the shelf virtually unused for a month and I’m looking for a reason to load it up again. I was aware of Mario Kart 8 but I hadn’t seen anything about the game to get me excited. I actually love all the previous Mario Kart games but I wasn’t a fan of Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8 was looking more like that game. I mean, sure its in HD and there’s gravity sections of the tracks but I needed something more. And the recent surprise Nintendo Direct on Mario Kart 8 was that something. Also, a trickle of info before the Nintendo Direct had also peaked my interest.
I like that the game has taken some cues from Mario Kart 7, which was a good game but not amazing. However, it did some things I really like. For example, they brought back coins. I’ve always missed the coins from Super Mario Kart and I’m happy to see them returning to the Mario Kart series. In case you don’t know, coins give you a tiny boost when you collect them and when you grab the maximum amount (10), you go a little faster. It’s one of the things that gives you that edge when it seems like you can’t catch up to the racer in front of you and you’re too far away to draft.
Another thing from Mario Kart 7 are the return of underwater and air paths. I liked this from 7 because it broke up the game’s sometime monotonous path by introducing more routes to take. Furthermore are the new gravity sections, which I thought would just be used to change up the tracks when the developers felt like it and I’m sure this will still be true in some cases but the Nintendo Direct showed how the gravity sections will be used for optional routes and how this could give you an advantage with items too. That sounds super cool to me.
What probably has me the most excited are the new items. The Boomerang items looks like a great item with a lot of possibilities. Giving it multiple uses is also great. The Crazy 8 item is the Lucky 7 item from Mario Kart 7 but with a coin pickup included, which I like since it further stresses the importance of the coins. However, the big one is the horn item which sends a shockwave around your cart taking out anyone around you. Now, two things. One, this is a copy of the horn weapon from Sonic & Sega’s All-Stars Racing and it’s greatly appreciated. Two, the weapon itself isn’t that interesting but the fact that it can take out the blue shell is. Especially after playing games like Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, I really dislike the blue shell, as it essentially punishes you for doing well in a race. So finally having something to counter it is awesome.
Finally, if you buy the game around launch you can get a free game. I already have New Super Mario Bros U and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD but this is a good excuse to pick up Pikmin 3 also. Wii Party U can go die in a fire for all I care. I’m a little tight right now financially but I’m going to see if I can pull some strings and get Mario Kart 8 when it comes out at the end of the month. I’m even playing 7 again to satiate the craving in the meantime. The last console Mario Kart game I really like was Double Dash on the GameCube. That came out 11 years ago. I’m ready for a new great console Mario Kart!