(Originally posted on Gaming Precision)

Being the fan of Nintendo series that I have been since I was only a mere child, it was a no-brainer that I’d be picking up a copy of Mario Kart 8, the latest in the Kart series for the Nintendo Wii U. And now that I’ve gotten gold on every race, and unlocked every character possible, it’s time for a review on the awesomeness that is Mario Kart 8!

Developer: Nintendo / Publisher: Nintendo / Released On: Wii U / Release Date: May 30th, 2014 

Okay, so for starters, I have been playing Mario Kart games since I had my Super Nintendo. With every game, it got better and better. Leading up to the release of Mario Kart 8 for the Nintendo Wii U, I was so hyped for it, it wasn’t even funny. Once I got the game and sat back and played it, I realized that that hype just wasn’t enough to prepare me for the thrill-ride I was about to endure.

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You have an incredible roster of characters to choose from, including Baby Peach, Baby Mario, Baby Daisy, Baby Luigi, and Baby Rosalina. Now granted, in the beginning, you don’t get all of these wonderful characters, you must unlock them by beating each and every one of the 8 cups (Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, Star Cup, Special Cup, Banana Cup, Shell Cup, Leaf Cup, and Lightning Cup), and getting gold on every one! The characters will unlock at random, as my first two unlockables were Rose Gold Peach and Metal Mario, whereas when my buddy played, he got some Koopa kids.

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The vehicle customization is super fun, and believe it or not, customization can be key. Certain tires work better than others on certain vehicles, etc, etc. As you play through the game, depending on the coins you collect, depends on what new parts unlock.

The tracks were awesome, there were some retro ones from previous games in the franchise, along with some brand-new ones. There are two Rainbow Road tracks, one very similar to the one for the N64, and a new one with some galactic flare. Both of which though were very evil in their own ways, just like all of the Rainbow Roads before them. In most of the courses, you go from track to underwater, to driving upside down, to sideways on walls.

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The controls are pretty simple. I had literally no trouble with them. Even my five-year-old daughter plays with ease. And if you don’t want to steer with the analog stick, it’s all good, because there is an option to steer using the GamePad itself! I tried my hand at it, but failed miserably. I stuck to the analog stick ever since, and never looked back.

Mario Kart 8 was way more than I had expected it to be. I mean I expected a great karting game full of Mario goodness as one typically would, but this was so much more than I imagined! The game was not only tons of fun, but it was absolutely beautiful to watch.

With the addition of Mario Kart TV, a sweet little thing where you can view not only your karting shenanigans, but those of your friends as well! In Mario Kart TV, you can edit your karting footage by doing slow-mo, speed-up, reverse, and more! I’ll admit, I spend quite a bit of time in there as I mentioned just a bit ago how gorgeous the game is just to watch.

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Even after beating every course and unlocking every character, I can still sit and play this game for hours on end. The other day I started playing at 8pm, and didn’t stop until around 4am! Online play is a ton of fun, and just adds to the replay value of the game. You can play with others worldwide, or just from your neck of the woods. You can even set up tournaments for you and your friends. After you create a ‘room’, you are given a code for that tournament room, and by putting in that code is how others can find you and join in your game!

All and all, Nintendo did exceptionally well on this game. Definitely a game to bring the Wii U from the shadows and out into the limelight!