News Article

Video: Check Out The Mario Kart 8 Visual Upgrade in This Retro Track Comparison

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

It's never looked this good

This week has brought us a flurry of activity relating to Mario Kart 8, with information emerging and a host of previews arriving online, including our own. One area that's been agreed upon across most outlets is that Nintendo's upcoming racer is a visual treat, utilising the hardware and terrific art design to great effect.

You've been able to see that for yourself in official trailers from Nintendo, of course, though these have often focused on cinematic replay-style shots, as opposed to the core gameplay. We'll be posting our own footage shortly, but our colleagues at Eurogamer have put together a video that highlights the leap in visual fidelity with direct comparisons of the remixed retro tracks and their originals.

It should be remembered that footage taken has been limited to off-screen recording, and that YouTube videos do not stream at 60 frames-per-second; as a result the videos you see struggle to truly highlight how smooth this game is while in motion. Nevertheless, the comparison below does show how far visuals have come in this latest entry, so check it out below.

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User Comments (78)



k_andersen said:

Good grief this game is pretty! The difference between the two versions of Moo-Moo Meadows is kinda ridiculous.



Josaku said:

this look so absolutly amazing to me! . . . I will definitly get this game on day one!



Gma-X said:

I think Nintendo is planning to kill all of it's fans by giving us an epic-induced heart-attack.



19Robb92 said:

I really hope they release DLC for this game. I'd love more re-imagined retro stages. They look absolutely fantastic!



Mahemoth said:

I can't even look at the retro version, my eyes get attracted too much by the beautiful wii u version.



DiscoGentleman said:

Wow! I am so impressed by what they did to my childhood. I hope they release more SNES stages as DLC!!



Gerbwmu said:

So I need a new TV.....the 6 year old Samsung just isn't gonna do this game I just need to find a way for the kids to "break" it.....cause the wife just wont understand the need for better visuals.......



Mk_II said:

I have seen the review version being played in split-screen mode and it is without a doubt the best looking Wii U game so far and gives both the XB1 and PS4 a run for their money. Silky smooth, incredibly detailed and fast... we're gonna love it.



NImH said:

Now this is how you do a nostalgic throwback. I'm so much more hyped for this than Smash.



AlternateButtons said:

My jaw hits the floor every time I see this game. It looks absolutely incredible and is unlike any Mario game I've ever seen before. I wish Super Mario 3D World looked this good. Not to say that game looked bad or anything but this looks like a freaking Pixar movie. This game shows off what the Wii U can really do.

Graphics aside though, the gameplay looks solid as a rock. The controls look tight, the new items look awesome and the sheer amount of things they're doing with the retro courses is ASTOUNDING. Some like Toads Turnpike and the N64 Rainbow Road are almost unrecognizable. If I looked at these courses without knowing they were retro courses I might not actually realize that they were from past games at first.

Add in a good variety of Kart choices, the customization feature from Mario Kart 7, solid online play and a staggering amount of playable characters and you have what just might be the best Mario Kart yet. I'M SO HYPED FOR THIS!



JumpnShootMan said:

@k_andersen Yeah, I couldn't believe how much of a difference Moo-Moo meadows had! It's only one gen back and it looks completely different. You can accuse Nintendo of a lot of things, but laziness isn't one of 'em.



PinkSpider said:

I really want to see this compare to something similar on ps4 or xbox one
All the people that say wii u can't do amazing graphics should be eating there words, people are still likely to find a reason to hate it though.



MikeLove said:

"Graphics don't matter!" - Most Nintendo fans when talking about PS4/Xbox

"OMG! Look how amazing this looks!! Can't wait!!!" - Nintendo fan on MK8

Lets stop pretending that a significant visual update isn't a big deal. This game will still essentially be MK7, but the new graphics really make it something special.



RedYoshi999 said:

I haven't been this hyped for a game since Mario Kart Wii! With N64 Yoshi Valley now being 99% confirmed my love for this game's courses (N64 in particular) just grows even more. I do wonder what they're gonna do for future Mario Karts, since most of the retro courses have now been remade at some point. I guess re-remakes are an option.



kendorage said:

awesome, looks great, day one purchase.

also, cant wait for new zelda and mario games to take place in those types of wide open environments. i think it would be fun just walking around and exploring the areas.



rjejr said:

Wow, apparently Nintendo can do HD graphics. Been playing my poor Wii for 4 years next to a PS3 (see Wii Moo Mo Meadow as an example of great Wii graphics), but this might be noticeably better than anything I've seen on PS3. and thats an offscreen 720p Youtube video. I'm very impressed.

I don't care about unfair blue shells, I just want to play it.



steamhare said:

Thank goodness they updated the Super Mario Kart tracks. Usually I skip over them, along with the Super Circuit tracks, because they tend to be flat and bland.



Whopper744 said:

Very very nice! Love all the MK games. ...but why is the path to the castle blocked off?? That is something I do miss. Exploring in the games. Oh well



somari said:

The tracks from other mario kart games look so different than mario kart 8. it looks so good.



BestBuck15 said:

I can't wait for this game. Probably be a day one purchase for me; something I haven't done since Gran Turismo 5 more than 3 years ago.




This game should sell some consoles! also they should have a bundle for this, gonna pre order for sure



drumsandperc92 said:

ok, WOW! this is the first time MK8 has made me truly say wow. the differences are astonishing...what they did to that SNES track to keep it the same yet bring it up to 2014 standards is incredible. And the difference in Moo moo meadows from just the Wii to this!!! truly impressive, now I see what Nintendo can do with Wii U.
Honestly, this game is blowing Smash out of the water graphically, which is too bad because Melee & Brawl were graphical showcases on their respective systems.
Btw, Metal Mario as a character! Awesome.
Now I want to see the next Super Mario game (a true 3D successor) that looks as gorgeous as MK8! The art style is obviously a perfect fit.
Also, I don't own a Wii U yet. But this is definitely a system seller to me, it continues to look better and better!
Once this comes out in May & depending on how I continue to feel about Smash, it seems likely that I'll be picking up a Wii U by the end of the year!



Dark-Link73 said:

I know cursing is a big no-no here, but as soon as I saw Moo-Moo Meadows the first words out of my mouth were "HOLY $#¡7!!! 0_o"

This game looks amazing!



Dark-Link73 said:

@RedYoshi999 I wouldn't mind re-remake of my favorite course of all time: Baby Park. But I guess we went have to worry about that for at least another 6 years. After all, Mario Kart only comes once a generation.



Dark-Link73 said:

@JohnRedcorn I don't know if I speak for other "Nintendo fans" (as you call us), but for me, is not that "graphics do not matter"; is just that at the end of the day, doesn't matter how pretty or ugly the graphics are, what brings me back to play a game again and again, is the gameplay experience.

I still have my N64 with a library of over 70 games. Do you know howe painful to the eyes can N64 games be, specially nowadays when all TV's are at least 720 and the N64 image gets stretchded and distorted? My eyes are watering at the end of each N64 session. But I still love playing those games because they are fun and innovative in their time.

Graphics are as important to me as they are to the PS4/X1 fan. But they're not a deal breaker to me (and perhaps most Nintendo fans) as they are to the PS4/X1 fan.



TheFatLucario said:

And the nay-sayers say that the Wii U's not graphically powerful.
That would be a load of bull they be saying! Haha!



JosieC84 said:

MK8 looks breath-taking and amazing. Beats any ultra realistic racing game on the PS4Xbox one. The original Super Mario Kart will ALWAYS be my favourite and it has a very special place in my heart.



zool said:

Having waited years for the Wii to turn into HD this is nothing more than I would have expected.

I think folks are amazed because even after two years of HD Wii u graphics, very few games 'have' amazed, apart from Rayman.



Nintendo_Ninja said:

@JohnRedcorn graphics don't matter, but they certainly help. But there is no denying that next gen graphics look great on all 3 consoles. All 3 fan types just need to stop being hypocrites.



gatorboi352 said:

scrolls thru comments section

So much for Nintendo fans always trumping Gameplay > Graphics lol...

Game looks incredible. Can't wait!



marck13 said:

Preorderededed it!!! My gosh, why isn't it out yet?
Seriously, why isn't ti out yet? What takes them another 2 Months?



FriedSquid said:

The new Moo Moo Meadows looks spectacular compared to the original, and I love the additions to Royal Raceway.

It's funny, the MKWii SNES Retro tracks seem pretty lazy compared to what MK8 has done to remake them.



AshFoxX said:

This video brings to mind the evolution from Banjo Kazooie to BKN&B. The big difference is this video made me drool all over my keyboard I want it so much, and BK:N&B just made me...cry.

The puddles on the SNES Mario Circuit blew my hair back. I am so excited for this, and at first I was getting pissed at all the people wanting DLC tracks/characters because I detest releasing an unfinished game... I would buy anything released as DLC for MK8.



AshFoxX said:

@Joshers744 OMG You too!?

I thought I was the only one who noticed the castle was closed off! That was my favorite spot on MK64 to screw around. I also liked how you revisit the area during the trophy presentation



Giygas_95 said:

@JohnRedcorn Yeah, you pretty much nailed it.

Still, the difference between say, Moo Moo Meadows on Wii and this new version is quite astounding! My dad's really gonna be excited when this releases, as will I of course.

I just hope one of those courses they showed for a moment at the beginning wasn't Moonview Highway...ugh...



ReigningSemtex said:

Cannot wait for this I put my pre order in ages ago I just hope it's better than Mario kart wii because to me that was a bit disappointing compared to double dash. It would be great if they added a double dash team up style mode.



ledreppe said:

The reflection in the puddles is amazing. I don't know what it is about this video from all the rest I've seen, but I'm really seeing how good this game looks now! It seems to play very solidly swell, of course.



Monkeh said:

It truly looks like you'll feel like driving through a fully realised Mario Universe.

Less then two months now!



R_Champ said:

Some great choices for retro tracks so far, and I'm loving how they make changes to appeal to new game mechanics (like the second bridge being out in Donut Plains 3, and the gliding section in Royal Raceway). Haha, and Moo Moo meadows was my sister's online troll track. She's going to be ecstatic to hear it's back.



IronMan28 said:

I didn't even have to see much footage to be hyped. This game looks like it'll be a blast, because MK typically is very fun. MK8 looks like it'll follow suit and I can't wait to download this fun looking game.



Qeuix said:

This is the first time in a very long time that a game has made me truly jaw drop my mouth big time! In fact I don't even remember when was the last time this happened to me before. My first reaction when I saw this my eyes where WIDE OPEN like this. O_O



Marshi said:

@JohnRedcorn Its not that graphics are not important,they are. Just that graphics seem to be used more and more in whats determined as "better" . Eg. "wiiu isnt next gen because ps4/xbone look better" or even "ps4 is better than xbone because its graphics are better". There are so many gamers that only care about how a game looks and not how it plays nowadays,you only have to look at the unbelievably average Crysis series to see that.

At least with mario kart 8 nintendo owners can prove to these gamers that wiiu is next gen as far as these gamers see it. Only we can say with some degree of certainty that it will play fantastic too



kensredemption said:

@Marshi A lot of people are forgetting the fact that the Wii U has the most games that broadcast at 1080p at 60 FPS. It's seldom talked about though, since the fanboys and fangirls go quiet at the whisper of that fact.



Drawdler said:

@AshFoxX @Joshers744 @Imagine23 Yep! I was actually hoping a while ago that they'd remake Royal Raceway just so that I could visit the castle on that track again. That was actually the most memorable thing in the game to me, I loved how they added that in.

But wow, those graphics... I never noticed how beautiful they really looked... It's actually giving me chills. I've gotta spend some time playing MK7 again to hype up for this.



AyeHaley said:

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw 60fps footage of the game...dayum its so smooth and pretty! Only like 2 months left? I need it now.



BKNoah said:

The updated Moo Moo Meadows looks AND sounds beautiful — all of my hype!



Fandabidozi said:

Just, wow. My birthday is at the end of May and I'll be getting MK8 and a Wii U to play it on! This is gonna look awesome on a 3D TV. Can't wait to get my hands on SSB and DK:TF also



vio said:

Yep, this baby is GUARANTEED to just be pure awesome and pure fun. People are going to be playing this online like crazy for many years to come.



FeedingTheWheel said:

Not gonna lie, I haven't been this hyped for a game since Halo: Reach. I might just call in sick to work just to play this all day!



B3ND3R said:

Good thing I graduate 8 days before this game launches!! Cannot wait for it!!! now to go play MK7 to pass the days... Or Bravely Default.... Or A Link Between Worlds... Or Sonic Lost World.... Or Xenoblade... Or Last Story... Or Tales of the Abyss.. DARN IT, too many good options :0



DrMonk said:

I can't believe how happy this is making me... I had a grin on my face the whole time watching that - looks like so much love has gone into the recreation of these tracks. Can't wait to play!



Heiki said:

This looks so good. I want it NOW.

Btw, of course graphics are important (otherwise we'd still be playing on the NES), but they aren't all there is to gaming.
I hadn't been into console gaming until just recently, so there are many great games I missed out. And I love playing older games if you ask me.
Not to mention handhelds... The 3DS and the Vita aren't even HD.



bobbypaycheque said:

Day one purchase for me. I really don't see the lack of great games for Wii U that people keep complaining about. Seems like it will be a great system with loads of great games on it.



Captain_Toad said:

Heh, I don't know if this can compare to a PS4 game but I can tell you one thing. Mario Kart 8's visuals just POP! POP! POP!

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