As my sister, friend and I were watching television upstairs, we heard an uproar of hollering and laughter coming from the basement below us. We decided to check it out to find my brother and six other friends playing Mario Kart. The first Mario Kart I had ever played was on the Gamecube console, which I did not believe we even had working anymore. My brother instantly corrected me saying that it was on the Wii U console.
This game is Mario Kart 8, the most recent installment for the Mario Kartgames from Nintendo. The first released Mario Kart is from 1992, coming third in the best-selling game for the Super Nintendo. Each new release of Mario Kart has a new characteristic. The series has come a long way since the first 1992 game that started off with only eight players to choose from and allowing only two players for the multiplayer. There are a slew of new racers added to the roster in the most recent game in the series, including the return of all 7 Koopalings, the devious minions of Bowser. In addition, other baby versions of popular returning racers have been introduced as well, such as baby Peach, Daisy and Rosalina, further increasing the large amount of tiny kart drivers. Yet, perhaps the most unique iteration of an alternate take on a returning character comes in the form of Pink Gold Peach, a racer who makes her first ever debut in any Mario game right here on Mario Kart 8’s many circuits.
In my opinion, the best part of the game is the ability to play with four players. With certain games such as the Playstation and Super Nintendo, you could only use two controllers. For the Wii U that allows four players, we had ten people that we split up into four groups (two teams had an extra person). After every game, we would switch people out so everyone had the chance to play. The only downfall with the battle option for multiplayer is that the balloon challenge is very limited in comparison to past Mario Kart games. Since there is only one location for the balloon race for the multiplayer challenge, it tends to become tiresome and uninteresting after some time. Even though Mario Kart is only four players, it is actually more fun to have more people playing than the game allows.
Once everyone has grabbed a controller, they can choose a character. For most of the males in the room, they happened to choose the most popular characters within the Nintendo franchise of Mario, which are Donkey Kong, Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Bowser. I decided to play with Yoshi, another classic character. I feel that the game is better with more characters to choose from. It allows you the ability to review the performance of each character for their strengths and weakness. Some of these would consist of speed and weight. The heaver in weight the character is, the better they are at hitting people off the road. The smaller the person is, the more agile and swift they are, increasing their handling and traction while on the road. Once everyone has pressed the “A” button, all four players are ready to proceed to choosing their kart, wheels and the glider. When choosing these items, the idea is to pick the one that has a high acceleration, traction, handling, and weight. This is something that is important to keep in mind for racing because you want to have a good speed, handling for higher turn radius, and traction to stay on the road. This is beneficial in the game because it allows all the players to have different advantages as well as disadvantages while playing so that so the game remains entertaining.
Not only this, but the different locations and “power-ups” that come from the cubed boxes with a question mark placed on the road allow for different outcomes every time. For example, if someone is falling behind, they will have a better advantage with the power-ups since they will receive speed boosters or other objects that are a major disadvantage to everyone else on the road. These objects make the game more fun because just as the question mark stands for, each time is a mystery. This is helpful for when you do play multiplayer. While people, such as my brother, have more knowledge than someone as me, they have more advantage on the road. The best part of the game is when someone, such as me, happens to beat my brother who is more knowledgeable than I in playing the game. This balance makes it diverse and thrilling. It is what makes all ten people crammed into the back section of a basement in front of the television holler and laugh. This unique ability for players to vary in lead or losing positions is what keeps the game intriguing. People begin to tease and trash talk their friends, and also, acquaintances begin to converse, making new friends. The major pro to this game is bringing different people together and allowing everyone to engage with one another, having a good time.
The multiplayer is my favorite aspect of the game, but playing single player has its perks as well. When you first start the game, there are empty spots in characters, karts, and locations that you have to earn by winning battles. These battles are played by the machine. You can choose the level of intensity that you would like to perform on, which increases the difficulty and strengths of the other characters. Once you complete all four courses within any of the eight cups and finish in first place, you are rewarded with a new item. This encourages the player to continue playing in order to gain all of these rewards. This leads to another pro in the game. For the first time in the history of the Mario Kart franchise, DLC will become available to download later this summer, further adding variety to an already unique and diverse game. This is beneficial to people who have already finished all of the levels, succeeding in unlocking all of the rewards. It continues to hold their interest and allows them to engage in something new.
So far, the new installment on the new console has reached the expectations in my eyes. Mario Kart continues on in different consoles because it continues to hold the reputation and attention of all the diehard fans. Although it had a strong variety of different things, it could have added more, especially in the balloon battle, which downgraded a bit. Nintendo did not redefine the game, but reestablished it. That is to say, this game remains the “king of kart racers” for videogames over other franchises. Nintendo knows what players want even if most of the game stays the same through different consoles.
I thought this is interesting in showing all of the different Mario Kart games throughout the years.
This article below from CNN titled, “Can ‘Mario Kart 8’ save the Wii U?” is something any Mario Kart fans may find intriguing as well, showing the benefits of having Mario games released to be used onto the new Wii U console, helping the system to sell.