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Video: Check Out This Mario Kart 8 And Mario Kart Wii Moo Moo Meadows Comparison

Posted by Andy Robertson

Ahead of the pack?

With Mario Kart 8 getting rave reviews all over the interwebs, Family Gamer TV has dialled in for some close up comparison of the Moo Moo Meadows level on both the Wii and Wii U. While it is of course expected that the Wii U version looks better, quite how much better is kind of mind-blowing.

Certainly this night and day enhancement from one generation to the next isn't matched by the Xbox 360 / Xbox One or PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4 upgrade. The Wii U really shows what it’s capable of, not only in terms of resolution but also frame-rate, draw depth and all manner of graphical tricks that make Mario Kart 8 really pop off the screen.

But as well as the impressive visuals it’s also nice to see Nintendo not messing with these great old Mario Kart tracks too much. Moo Moo Meadows remains intact and there is a delicate hand to where the enhancements are applied. Not going overboard with new tricks and changes will be important to keep the Mario Kart faithful happy while also welcoming in a new set of players.

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User Comments (49)

DestinyMan

#5

DestinyMan said:

The difference in visuals between Wii and 8 is striking, but I think it's because Wii tried to go for a different style that apparently alienated some.

The best comparison I've seen was the one for Grumble Volcano. That seriously looks better than ever now and puts the original to shame.

Goginho

#8

Goginho said:

As amazing as MK8's version looks, I personally prefer the more light-hearted, vibrant and 'cartoony' look on the Wii version tbh.. It just suits the Mario Universe a bit better imo.. Other tracks in MK8 do this very well, however. This track really pushes that 'realistic' look to it, which kinda stands out and clashes with the rest of the environment that does use a more simplistic appraoch.

AcridSkull

#9

AcridSkull said:

Terrible video, you can't see anything with the split-image side-by-side, unless they wanted to highlight how brown the fences are in Mario Kart 8?

It's interesting that Moo Moo Meadows has a much more real world look to it now though.

TheWeird

#13

TheWeird said:

Okay, the more realistic colour palette is an artistic choice, but the environmental detail, lighting, shadows and detail in the models proves the massive jump in power between Wii and Wii U. It's actually hard to imagine how this could look better really.

System seller!

RedYoshi999

#15

RedYoshi999 said:

Yeah, GameXplain did this video a few weeks ago, and much better too. Definitely a major improvement, makes me wonder how I put up with Mario Kart Wii!

HawkeyeWii

#21

HawkeyeWii said:

@DestinyMan Yeah Mario Kart Wii was definitely going for a more cartoony look to begin with. I am definitely liking the more realistic looks of 8. Looks gorgeous.

HyperSonicEXE

#22

HyperSonicEXE said:

"Not going overboard with new tricks and changes will be important to keep the Mario Kart faithful happy while also welcoming in a new set of players."

Too late for that. The selectable parts, the different Karts, it was already overwhelming in MKWii, and it will be even more confounding in MK8 since there's no simple way to choose a setup and just get into the action quickly. MK8 will undoubtedly have its own "MK7 Metal Mario" arise and/or some shortcut glitch ala Maka Wuhu, and that will be the end of its online play. It all looks beautiful, though - I'd have liked a more colorful pallette for Moo Moo Meadows.

Monkeh

#23

Monkeh said:

Nintendo should use videos like this to illustrate the massive differences between Wii and Wii-U.

PrincessEevee9

#25

PrincessEevee9 said:

@Luigifan141 I loved how it pretty much pissed people off. It's theme was amazing too. As if it's that hard to learn the track and not get hit. Also going to miss Dry Dry Ruins but Thwomps Desert might get me over it.
@HyperSonicEXE Every game is always going to have a best character.

Pod

#28

Pod said:

They manage to keep it vibrant, despite giving in to a lot of bad habits from HD graphics production.

It's a rather different art style now, but most probably won't miss the searing colors against their retinas.

Peach64

#29

Peach64 said:

It just goes to show how big strides are still being made in improving graphics. People always remember things looking better than they did. I think back to playing Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast, and in my head it looked just as good as todays fighting games, but in reality there's a huge gulf. People have been saying since the PS1/PS2 days that graphics can't improve much more, but it's always harder to imagine stuff improving. It's only when you look back at things like this you see how big the jumps are. I remember people watching that demo footage from a PS2 Gran Turismo game and saying graphics would never ever be able to look that good. It looked garbage even in comparison to the first GT on PS2 in the end, let alone everything that came since.

I think it's quite wrong to say the jump to PS4/Xbox aren't as big over their previous machines too. What we've seen so far is a bunch of cross-gen stuff. Compare that to the cross-gen stuff last time such as Gun and Just Cause, and can you really tell me there's no jump? It's no good comparing AC4 on the PS3 to AC4 on the PS4, that's not really the best comparison. Comparing Just Cause on 360 to Watch Dogs on Xbone would be better, two games that came in the first year of each machine, two games where they were limited by needing a version to run on the previous gen, and the difference between those is huge.

Grannamir

#30

Grannamir said:

I Liked how more "realistic" the new graphics are on most part because the lighting effects. But the Wii version still amazing. Will play both games and enjoy!!

HyperSonicEXE

#31

HyperSonicEXE said:

@PrincessEevee9
Absolutely not true. It is entirely possible for a game to be made where there are no "clear winners," and there are a number of ways to do that. Example: SSB4 seems to be taking the Valve/TF2 route, same thing the original SSB did - make EVERYBODY powerful. You can also carefully balance the existing stats, which, I'm somewhat convinced that they're trying to do with that test of the bikes or karts being faster. Let's just hope the ATV's and weight classes don't make a monkey out of their efforts.
@HaThready
Yes, for the Core audience. But the public was already driven away by that time, not to mention they didn't also patch some balance.

gatorboi352

#32

gatorboi352 said:

@Peach64 Typically I would agree, but specifically in regards to PS4/X1 the consoles are already struggling to display native 1080p and 60fps and given that their predecessors were both HD consoles for the last 8 years, that is concerning. Not saying a difference isn't there, because it is. But the difference is shrinking for those 2 consoles a.k.a. peripheral "gamers" would never notice and many have yet to adopt/upgrade. Wii U has a distinct advantage however in that it can produce games that look light years better than its predecessor, as displayed in this very article. And on that note....

OT: Real time lighting can go a long way.

WaveBoy

#33

WaveBoy said:

@Goginho
Agreed. Actually this is probably the one stage and maybe Sunshine Air Port that push the realism envelope a little too far and it just doesn't mesh well with the mario universe. I prefer the bright Orange ground, surreal blue sky and vivid green grass of the Wii version over what's present in MK8

Goginho

#36

Goginho said:

@WaveBoy Yep :) although Sunshine Airport really nicely integrated the realistic approach with the wacky world of Mario. Interestingly, I wanted to see how the realistically-looking planes here compare to the one in the opening of Super Mario Sunshine. Boy what a difference in style :D haha. Nonethelss though, I guess it must be the liveliness and colourfulness of Sunshine Airport that appeals to me personally, and still make for a fitting Super Mario environment.

Kisame83

#37

Kisame83 said:

Not to take anything away from the Wii U's capabilities, but the statement about the PS360 to their successors isn't a good parallel. They were a good deal stronger than the Wii to begin with, and their consoles have been out for a yr. Wii U has more experienced in-house devs + is being compared to a console that was (from a technical standpoint) the weakest last gen.

SuperSammy64

#39

SuperSammy64 said:

Dang, just seeing how evolved the Wii U is compared to the Wii in terms of graphics is astounding. Only 2 weeks to go!

lulles

#40

lulles said:

@dustin_g Nostalgia is good but saying you prefer the N64 graphics to this is just silly and makes you sound like a troll.

FilmerNgameR

#41

FilmerNgameR said:

Wow dem shading looks good! The Mario kart 8 one looks like a painting from that screenshot!
lol

luckybreak

#42

luckybreak said:

wow the shadows and details! BEAUTIFUL! reminds me of the mario kart arcade, but even better. can't wait to play it!

Haywired

#44

Haywired said:

@Goginho @WaveBoy
Exactly what I was going to say. While the Wii U one technically looks amazing, it's a bit too realistic for the Mario universe. I prefer the look of the Wii one with its much brighter colors and simpler shapes, much more in keeping with the Mario style. The Wii U Moo Moo Meadows looks kind of drab and depressing in comparison... I think Mario 3D World is more the way to go in having amazing graphics while keeping the cartoony Mario style.

Goginho

#45

Goginho said:

@Haywired Word :) It would have been most fitting if they went the visual direction of the Wii, but with all the lighting, shaders...other kinds of effects...water, texture...etc. all those kinds of visual novelties that the technological advancement of the Wii U can produce. Kinda like you said, 3D World's visuals, in that sense.

WaveBoy

#46

WaveBoy said:

@Haywired @oginho
Agreed! I do not look forward to playing in Moo moo medows. :P Like you said it's rather depressing, like almost being out in a squeeky clean tidy farm in the evening in our world....Nintendo definitely got it wrong with this stage. And you know, i don't mind at all that nintendo is once again back a step in terms of pure horse power, because quite frankly their key cartoony franchises don't exactly need all of these bells and whistles. Mario can only look so good, and it will never go beyond the modern day pixar film. Visuals, aka > nintendo's cartoon based franchises have almost reached a mute point. Anyways, Cloud Top Cruise for ex looks amazing! Nintendo has out done themselves with that one.

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