Mario Kart 8 has been out in the UK for a few weeks now, leading to a large increase in sales for the Wii U console. It’s even seen the birth of its own meme: the Luigi death stare, a celebration of the lesser-heralded Mario brother’s ice-cold reaction to the administration of shell-based justice.
I spent the weekend getting to grips with the latest Mario Kart iteration, sunny weather eschewed in favour of relentless four-player action.
Early impressions are positive. The karts drive, glide and slide like a dream, and as our review points out, the new weapons are a satisfying addition. And there are little pleasing tweaks that make logical sense: if you plunge off the course into a cute ravine, lakitu returns you to the track much more efficiently than before, power-up boxes reappear a touch more quickly, and there is now a means of combatting the blue shell. At last.
And, as the Luigi death stare indicates, the end-of-race highlights (which you can edit and upload to Youtube) are an absolute joy. We almost enjoyed watching each hit, in glorious high-def slow-mo, as much we enjoyed playing the game itself.
As many have mentioned, the only bugbear is battle mode, which now takes place on the standard courses rather than ready-made arenas, and this is a real step backwards. “I can’t find anyone,” and “it’s taking ages, isn’t it?” were standard responses when we tried it.
Now it’s over to you. How are you finding Mario Kart 8? Is it the best one, or do you still pine for the SNES or the underrated Game Cube versions? Share your thoughts – and links to your own killer videos, if you’ve made any – in the thread below.