(Wii U)

Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)

Game Review

Mario Kart 8 Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

8th Wonder of the World

Since the Super NES every Nintendo system — apart from the Game Boy Color and the doomed Virtual Boy — has been boosted by an entry in the iconic Mario Kart series. Despite its drastic evolution throughout the generations of hardware it nevertheless feels familiar each time around, while other entries in the kart racing genre often fall short of emulating Nintendo’s franchise. Mario Kart 8 arrives as part of that illustrious history and, perhaps, with the most pressure on its cartoonish suspension. The continual bankability of the brand is needed now for the Wii U system, while this also represents the first HD entry in the series.

What’s immediately striking about Mario Kart 8 is that it feels like a distinct progression for the series, albeit while bringing across features and ideas first seen in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7. Nintendo has stated that each entry in the series is, in a sense, started “from scratch”; it feels just that way, with the experience undoubtedly evolved from its 3DS predecessor and rather different from the Wii entry.

Notably, those firing up Mario Kart 8 may be struck by two major steps forward. The first, making use of the hardware at its disposal, is the presentation. While the Wii iteration received some criticism for aspects of its visuals, MK8 is a stunner, and joins titles such as Super Mario 3D World in demonstrating Nintendo’s increasing confidence and prowess with its HD system. The characters and vehicles are full of vibrancy and subtle animations, with smooth edges and effects that pop. Fireworks explode in the sky, flames burst from the exhaust and sparks fly when drifting; there’s a sheen to every surface. It all flows beautifully in 60 frames-per-second, too, holding that framerate in two-player splitscreen and dropping to a still-respectable 30 frames when split for three or four player.

Sound design also steps up, with varied engine noises, charming retro flashes and, in many cases, live big band music performances. Either turn up the TV or wear a pair of headphones, as once again Nintendo’s delivered an audio-visual treat.

The second major set of improvements that we noticed right away was in the tweaks and balancing of vehicle handling. Through a combination of a subtle shift in camera angle and what’s clearly been detailed work in the underlying physics, there’s a greatly enhanced sense of weight to vehicles, with bumps and collisions feeling more impactful than ever before. In early dabbles with 50cc this may not get noticed, but through experimentation and in our eventual 150cc campaigns, we noticed a tangible sense of difference that has never been more nuanced — concerns such as weight and grip have never felt so important.

Right from the off, then, this feels entirely solid and confident in how it handles and plays. Overt changes to the racing action, meanwhile, revolve around the implementation of anti-gravity, a key selling point in marketing efforts for the title. When starting out in slower speeds it may feel underwhelming, especially when learning tracks — inevitably eyes are drawn to the immediate back-end of your own vehicle. In the earliest course examples you’re still bolt upright, even when those sideways anti-grav wheels are out and the environment is twisting around you. That does all change in later tracks, however, as gradually you’ll be tilted sideways — turns in anti-gravity become enthralling affairs as you may find yourself involuntarily tilting your head with the bend. What initially feels like a gimmick becomes an enjoyable feature of most of the tracks, especially in the faster race classes.

Anti-gravity also throws up the Spin Turbo feature, which adds a welcome sense of chaos to proceedings. When in anti-grav sections colliding with another racer gives you both a boost, albeit through a spin that can — if a surprise — actually mess up your racing line. In a series that has recently thrived on inducing schizophrenic swings from rage to hysterics for most players, it’s a perfect fit.

The track designs, themselves, arguably represent the strongest compilation we’ve seen to date in the series; we have the now-typical mix of 16 new and 16 ‘retro’ tracks spread over eight cups. The new range, as suggested above, start relatively gently but nevertheless with fun concepts and smooth, carefully structured designs. By the latter stages of the second cup, however, things pick up with more extravagant ideas and challenging sections — standouts in our view include Mount Wario, which follows a long descent down a snowy mountain after launching from a plane, and Cloudtop Cruise, which features a spectacular sequence of launching into the clouds. The new Bowser’s Castle is easily the most demanding, while the new Rainbow Road is enjoyable — while looking fantastic — though, ironically, is outshone by its retro equivalent.

Unlike preceding entries, the retro tracks feel almost entirely new. Whereas previous generations in the franchise have been relatively faithful to original designs, the inclusion of anti-gravity, gliding and underwater driving is utilised very generously, and the development team has approached these tracks as a dedication to classics rather than producing exact copies. Some will still feel rather familiar, while others simply prompt a twinge of nostalgia, yet the balance is such that they feel almost like another batch of new tracks. When a Game Boy Advance or DS circuit implements anti-gravity the effect can be terrific, and these cups up the ante in difficulty, too. The iconic Nintendo 64 Rainbow Road track, meanwhile, is one of the most spectacular in the game and a joy to race.

Subtle changes to items are also notable. A set of three bananas is less useful as it orbits your kart rather than providing a trail, while the Spiny (Blue) Shell is a little fairer in that it now blasts along the ground on route to the leading racer, taking out those in its way. New items are also well implemented — the piranha plant is destructive and gives useful mini-boosts (far better than the Tanooki Tail of MK7), the Boomerang Flower is a fun throwing item, the Crazy Eight is rare and provides multiple standard items, and the Super Horn sends out a shock wave capable of taking out surrounding rivals or even a Spiny. There’s not a flop in the bunch, and added to the standard roster these new weapons work well — they contribute nicely to the ebb and flow of a race.

So there’s plenty to differentiate Mario Kart 8 from predecessors, then, though it’ll certainly feel familiar in many respects, too. Once again you can blast through single player Grand Prix tournament in 50cc, 100cc and 150cc, beating all to unlock the Mirror Mode; the tougher classes remain a serious challenge especially when gunning for a full three-stars, but feel less cheap than on Wii. The full character roster, meanwhile, is unlocked rapidly and avoids a sense of grind, while vehicle customisation makes its return — different vehicles, wheels and gliders are unlocked by collecting coins in races, also meaning that less skilled players need not play above their level to unlock everything.

Customisations feel deeper than in Mario Kart 7, it must be said, due to the impact not just of vehicle settings but the size class of mascots. Experimentation is key as one setup will have different effects depending on having a small, medium or large driver, fundamentally changing handling in the process. It adds plenty of replayability as all racers will no doubt need many tests to find the best fit. Bike fans should know that they’re more similar to karts: they still have lighter handling, but wheelies are gone and the double drift boost is now available on 2 wheels as well as four.

Beyond the standard single player there are VS races that can be heavily customised, while Time Trial results can be saved and uploaded with an optional Miiverse post — time chases against Nintendo staff are also back, and are surprisingly compulsive as they (like most single player activities) can dish out stamps as rewards. You'll never be short of lap times to chase, as you can also browse times uploaded with Miiverse posts for some extra competition.

Battle Mode emerges as one of the most changed features, meanwhile, as this is the first series entry to ditch arenas. Instead you have the choice of eight existing tracks for a Balloon Battle, with racers starting off going in both directions. In most of the circuits it can be fun, as you get into a rhythm of grabbing an item, hurling it at an enemy and dashing for another power-up. With 12 racers it can raise a laugh, but it feels less like a deliberate design choice than a pragmatic use of stretched resources. It works, and it’s a mode often relegated to occasional play, but it’s simply not as much fun as arena battles, and in a couple of cases the tracks simply are not optimised for the mode.

There are a few other design choices that have surprised us. The GamePad, for one, makes superfluous use of its touchscreen — it can be used as a horn (same as the left shoulder button when not hurling items), can have the view switched to off-TV mode or a radar of the race — the absence of it as a standalone screen in local multiplayer is glaring. Only off-TV is any use, beyond the horn potentially amusing very young gamers for a few seconds, and the radar is rather irrelevant. That’s only frustrating due to the fact there’s no radar on the TV screen, no matter what controller’s in use or options explored. It’s an extraordinary oversight, as it means you have very little idea — aside from toggling the rear view — of where opponents are, and the idea of glancing down to a second screen that worked well in the small real estate of a DS or 3DS simply doesn’t work here. Short of awkwardly positioning a GamePad on a stand in your peripheral vision, it’s a waste, while we’re deprived of a series staple in the process.

Those oddities aside, there are areas where Nintendo has gone well beyond its basic duties. You can utilise motion controls with a Wii Remote (and optional wheel or Nunchuk), tilting the GamePad, physical controls on the GamePad and — our favourite by a mile — the Wii U Pro Controller. Intriguingly, you can even play with a D-Pad, opening up the sideways Wii Remote, while the Classic Controller support prompted us to try a SNES iteration of the CC: utterly unnecessary but it gave us a minor thrill. If you want to tilt and shake, you can, or if you prefer it can be all about analogue steering and buttons. The hardest of the hardcore looking to perfect shortcuts and alternate routes may be interested to know that on the GamePad and Pro Controller you can even control the throttle with the right analogue stick, allowing you to actually control speed with more precision than simply on/off.

Nintendo has also done a terrific job with online play, which we were able to test extensively for review. You can jump into Worldwide or Regional matches with strangers in Grand Prix or Battle, or even apply Custom rules (such as speed class, or seeking rivals using motion controls only) to find like-minded players. Text chat through pre-determined messages remains, though the game now selects three tracks or ‘random’ for you to choose from in each round, with the options switching every race. For those seeking to play with Friends only it has an excellent option in which you can setup or join rooms — again setting various custom options — and it’s here that the GamePad mic can be used for voice chat. Not being able to rustle up 12 friends at once isn’t an issue as CPU bots can be added; only two human players are needed.

The Tournament mode, taking over from the Communities of MK7, is the strongest online addition. You can join tournaments, but in an approach similar to that of Mario Golf: World Tour you can establish your own that are visible to the public or only accessed through inputting a code. There’s a dizzying array of customisation options, most notably setting rules on available items, whether the contest is down to individuals or teams, and they can be one-offs with a fixed window or, in a great touch, scheduled to run in weekly or daily windows. Rankings are integral in this structure; for those that want to find the best racers and not just those with the most free time, you can set a limit on races allowed per-player within a tournament. The potential for replayability between friends and communities is terrific.

Most importantly, in our tests at least, online performance was rock solid even on a modest connection; we only suffered one disconnection. It maintains that 60fps smoothness, or very close to it, and we saw far less of the glitchy jittering of rival’s karts so common on the Wii. Occasionally the game will compensate and you’ll see opponents drive through an item box in your game, but that’s relatively rare. With online play so integral to modern-day Mario Kart, it’s clear that Nintendo has focused on getting it right.

The final major addition is Mario Kart TV, which will also have a web app of its own for players to watch replays or check statistics on the go. In its own self-contained area you can view favourites (tagged with a press of + after a race), recent races or the most popular highlights currently doing the rounds on Miiverse. The edit options are fun, as you can extend beyond the default 30 seconds to a whole race, have the footage focused on certain characters and more. It’s humourous to mess around with the super slow-mo, in particular, and the option at launch to upload to YouTube — not available at the time of review — will no doubt be welcome. When “uploading” to Miiverse, however, your post will simply have a screenshot and whatever text, scribbles or stamps you add; you can’t watch the videos on the bespoke social network. That’s a pity, and overall Mario Kart TV is a nice, enjoyable addition that's not likely to become an integral part of the experience. [Update: on 16th May 2014 a feature was enabled so that Mario Kart TV replays uploaded to YouTube can also be included in Miiverse posts, a welcome option for those with Google / YouTube logins]

There’s plenty that’s new in Mario Kart 8, then, and also that usual sense of familiarity. In a number of respects this can be argued as the best entry in the series to date, as it harnesses the hardware and demonstrates the developers' attention to detail in impressive ways. Once that initial grind of unlocking Grand Prix cups and learning tracks is over, it’s hard to let go of the accelerator. Experimenting with vehicles and characters, finding shortcuts and extra boosts in tracks, or simply revelling in the chaotic fun of a race online, it retains that compulsive nature of its predecessors. Bold design with flying, underwater and anti-gravity racing also brings the franchise in step — conceptually — with ambitious yet less technically accomplished rivals, serving up some of the slickest, smoothest and most exciting kart racing we’ve ever seen.

Conclusion

Mario Kart 8 has perhaps taken a little longer than we expected to arrive, but it’s been worth the wait. The vehicles and racers have never handled better, the collection of courses is possibly the best yet, while replayability through Ghost Races or — primarily — online races and Tournaments is almost endless. A few design oddities aside, this joins the list of must-have Nintendo games on the Wii U; it’s an accomplished effort that pushes the franchise forward. In years to come the debates over the best Mario Kart games in the series will, inevitably, feature this as a contender.

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User Comments (294)

MJKOP

#1

MJKOP said:

Preordered yesterday. Can't. Wait. Michael Jackson Xscape & Mario Kart all in May = best month ever

Sir_Deadly

#2

Sir_Deadly said:

YES!!! We all knew it was goin to be this awesome!! Got my digital pre-order ready!

Artwark

#4

Artwark said:

Whew! For a moment there, I thought this game would get an 8 or 7! I expected a 10 but still this is good enough! ;)

Kroisos

#5

Kroisos said:

I was on the fence about this one. I guess I'll get it. Hope you're right...

Action51

#6

Action51 said:

Believe the hype!

I'm glad we're starting to see so much positive buzz around the final product. I can't wait!

AdanVC

#9

AdanVC said:

Hell yeah! What a great and informative review. So freaking excited, definitely I'm more excited for MK8 than I was with Super Mario 3D World! But I can't believe there's still 2 whole week left to play this gem :(

Gamer83

#10

Gamer83 said:

So it's awesome, good to know, this game is the main reason I finally pulled the trigger on buying a Wii U back in April during a deal at Target. Can't wait to finally play this, I've loved every single game in this series, so this one shouldn't be any different.

BakaKnight

#11

BakaKnight said:

Reviews... reviews of Mario Kart everywhere @o@;

And a very good one here, a perfect resume and quality evaluation of everything we heard in the last month and even some extra useful details on some features.

Not that I needed to know anything for buy the game anyway, this is more like a leisure read than a needed one XP

andreoni79

#12

andreoni79 said:

I could play this on Sundays with my nephews and I'm sure it would be great, but what about single-player? Is it challenging enough for a F-Zero Gx veteran?

jariw

#13

jariw said:

Regarding the new Battle Mode, I got the impression that MK8 has an U-turn feature (while drifting)? But I don't get that impression by reading this review?

Kiz3000

#16

Kiz3000 said:

So SasRT got the multiplayer seperate screens down at launch. It is a disappointment that Nintendo has not implemented this but maybe it will come in a patch? Hopefully.

datamonkey

#19

datamonkey said:

Can't wait! Will also be getting W101 with the free game promotion so very excited!

Glad to hear the blue shells are a little bit fairer this time as that's my only complaint in this series.

Frapp

#22

Frapp said:

I really don't understand why they didn't use the GamePad as a separate screen for local multi – even if only for 2 players – after seeing how well this worked on Sonic & Sega All Stars. No five player option is a real shame. And still no Baby Park derby mode is, I feel, an even bigger missed opportunity.

Grumbles aside, the game looks smashing. Can't wait to play it.

outburst

#23

outburst said:

I am going to read the full review later but I was expecting a 10. :)

I saw IGN's conclusion. They said battle mode is boring and the gamepad mirroring the tv are the downsides. I hope they'd patch/update it later. And free DLCs that'll improve the battle mode! :D

ROBLOGNICK

#25

ROBLOGNICK said:

There's a Wired review that said the battle modes do not work on the standard tracks few players. I'd have to agree. If you're going in different directions, you could be the opposite end of the track and that's just no fun at all.

Also, you can apparently no longer "hold" an item behind you and collect a new one at the same time, something that I've been doing in Mario Kart since as far back as I can remember. This will annoy me greatly.

Here's that review: http://t.co/bYUccPHRfC

datamonkey

#28

datamonkey said:

@ROBLOGNICK "Also, you can apparently no longer "hold" an item behind you and collect a new one at the same time"

Why oh why oh why? That was such a useful feature... :(

ULTRA-64

#30

ULTRA-64 said:

So to clarify......there is no dual screen multiplayer available!!! That is horrible.....wonder why not??
Also, is the battle mode divided into teams or individual racers.....AND....the drift.....is it done in stages based on time or turning like the older mk games

Blue-Thunder

#31

Blue-Thunder said:

It's getting great reviews across the board. I have it preordered with Amazon. I'm hoping to save a tenner :-) from the price it will be down town.

Can't wait.

Rin-go

#32

Rin-go said:

I would say there is no dual screen multiplayer, because the player on the GamePad could have an advantage over the one playing on TV. The GamePad player can look at the TV and see what the other is doing, while the one on the TV may not necessarily be able to look at the GamePad. That's probably why the screen is also split on the GamePad, so that no one will have an advantage.

ThomasBW84Admin

#33

ThomasBW84 said:

@jariw You can u-turn, yes. I didn't find it hugely useful, and in a full battle of 12 I opted for the tactic of carrying on straight ahead, like some sort of kart jousting.

And no, MK games don't always get a 9, they'll get what they deserve each time ;)

@ROBLOGNICK - You can hold an item behind you as protection, but you can't then pick up a second item as you're holding it — the 'held' item is your one weapon until you use it. It was just a balancing decision on Nintendo's part, I imagine, and I for one like the fact that people can't bank up six bananas (in two sets), for example.

PvtOttobot

#35

PvtOttobot said:

Yes! MK8 is doing so good, 89 on Metacritic!!!! All the reviews are in the positive section as well and there are many 100%!!! Looking forward to reading this review later, I have an exam soon so I can't spare the time.

Kirk

#36

Kirk said:

Well it's a 9 but how hard is it for Nintendo to just get everything right for once?

It's not like the stuff you had those few complaints about, which turned this from a potential 10 to a 9, is easy for the designers to somehow miss or overlook.

I know most of the FANS are going to immediately jump to Nintendo's defence and claim that some people are just never satisfied etc but Nintendo just constantly leaves me frustrated these days by always having some things slightly gimped or underealised in its games, consoles and services that basically anyone else could have seen right out the gate could and should have been given a bit more love and attention and ultimately done better.

I mean why the hell can't you play local multi-player with one player having a fullscreen race view on the GamePad for example?

Everyone keeps going on about how Nintendo hasn't really convinced us that the GamePad is particularly necessary or whatever and by missing totally obvious tricks like this it's no wonder that this what many people think and feel.

Why didn't Nintendo use this as a perfect opportunity to support two, or maybe even more, GamePads at the same time, remember that promise of using more than one GamePad anyone, with each player being able to see a fullscreen view of the race on their GamePad screen?

Why get rid of the clearly superior proper Battle Mode arenas in favour of just dropping players in basically the standard race tracks as another example?

Well we kinda all know why and that's part of the problem imo.

9 is great but surely Nintendo is actually capable of producing a genuine 10 and especially on a Nintendo fansite that scores out of 10 and doesn't do .5s.

I'm honestly not expecting or asking too much here.

PS. I'm obviously focusing on only the negatives here, the stuff that really irks me, but make no mistake that I still acknowledge this is a great game overall. It's just that I REALLY want more than an 89 scoring Mario Kart on metacritic from Nintendo, which tells that while great it must have a couple of obvious issues that quite a few reviewers are clearly picking up on. I want a new Nintendo game that basically everyone is scoring in the high 9s without fail and that basically has nothing that any reviewers can have genuine complaints about or issues with, like the Battle "Arena" in this game for example, which basically every review has raised as an issue. The issue I have is that I absolutely know the dev team at Nintendo was fully aware that this was probably going to happen but for the sake of getting the game out a little quicker or whatever decided to go with it anyway and in the process gave us an 89 on metacritic when what I really want to see is a 95+ on metacritic and basically 9+ across the board from every reviewer. Its not the metacritic score that I care about but what that score is ultimately a reflection of; that Nintendo once again just had to unnecessarily gimp one or more aspects of their game, or their hardware or service(s) etc, which has been typical of Nintendo for so long now that I simply looong for the time that won't actually be the case...

617Sqn

#38

617Sqn said:

I'm looking forward to this, but I really hope Nintendo have sorted the online problems, I had to give up playing MK7 online, due to the fact it was hard to get into a game, and when I did manage to find a race, I would get booted. They never did sort/patch this problem.

MagicEmperor

#40

MagicEmperor said:

takes a shot every time someone insists the game should be or was predicted to be a ten
HIC! I can't wait for this wee puppy. Hiccup!

LoBo

#41

LoBo said:

9 out of 10 review is good
No one gives 10 for games these days
9 is saying , yea this game is amazingly great ..but I'm cool
and 10 would be overlyexcitedmundo.com

Nomad

#42

Nomad said:

It's been a long wait between Tropical Freeze and this. I hope the rest of the year isn't so barren. Still, quality over quantity and all that.

Goginho

#43

Goginho said:

Didn't expect anything less than 9. Score aside, I have the game on my buy list anyway, for biased reasons, as I love me some MK, and for the reason that it simply looks like it plays wonderfully.

AceTrainerBean

#45

AceTrainerBean said:

Pre ordered this ages ago can't wait to get my blue shell I just hope it is shipped to me before I go to America or I will have to wait 3 months. Has anybody ever pre ordered with Game in Ireland do they ship straight away?

SilentHunter382

#47

SilentHunter382 said:

I will be waiting a while before I get this. I have money down already for watch dogs on pc so I will wait a bit before I get MK8...along with Pikmin 3, DK, 3d world and some more that I can't think off.

ThomasBW84Admin

#48

ThomasBW84 said:

@PvtOttobot Well this is the first MK I've reviewed. I sure as heck wouldn't give them all 9s nowadays, but that's because we're all different as reviewers, ultimately, plus there's the context of when the review is written etc. Lots of factors come in.

Tens, in my view, should be rarer than gold-dust or reserved for games that get almost everything bang on. MK8 is fantastic, a must-buy (in fact, disclosure, I have pre-ordered it despite reviewing it because I want my own collector's edition), but for reasons outlined it's not quite a 10 for me.

All just opinions, ultimately!

KevTastic84

#49

KevTastic84 said:

30th isn't far away now. Annoyingly i have the week leading upto that off work. Could have done with it out on the 23rd for a solid weeks play.

SockoMario

#51

SockoMario said:

Hopefully I can get this day one!

Also...

>Gose to IGN's video review of MK8 on YouTube
>Reads comments
>A lot of them say "this game is a rehash!!!!!"
>They get about 10 - 60 thumbs ups

What a surprise.

Peach64

#53

Peach64 said:

Great reviews all around for this game. I just hope it makes a bigger impact on sales than the equally well reviewed 3D World did.

BertoFlyingFox

#54

BertoFlyingFox said:

Great review, I really hope they eventually add battle arenas and gamepad enabled co-op. They arent huge problems for me, but your doing the gamepad a disservice if it cant be used as its own screen for local mp. And battle arenas were just too much fun, not sure why they decided to cut it out for this installment.

ScorpionMG

#55

ScorpionMG said:

Eurogamer: 10/10
IGN: 9/10
Nintendolife: 9/10
Gamespot: 8/10
" do admit that my first impression of Mario Kart 8 was pretty close to a yawn. "
Gamesradar: 4/5
"Mario Kart 8 is a slick and gorgeous-looking kart racer that's perfectly solid but not always as exciting or addictive as we've come to expect from the series."
Polygon: 9/10
destructoid: 9/10
telegraph: 4.5/5
joystiq: 4.5/5
Gamexplain: New rating system: "really liked it a lot"
EDIT: (more reviews posted)
Game Revolution: 10/10
Gaming Nexus: 98/100
Official Nintendo Magazine UK: 96%
Multiplayer.it: 96/100
Vandal Online: 93/100
Meristation: 93/100
Game Informer: 93/100
Cubed3: 9/10
3DJuegos: 9/10
Metro GameCentral: 9/10
Edge Magazine: 9/10
Gameblog.fr: 9/10
VideoGamer: 9/10
USgamer: 9/10
God is a Geek: 9/10
FNintendo: 9/10
Metascore (metacrtitic): 89/100
GameTrailers: 86/100
GamesBeat: 8.5/10
NowGamer: 8.5/10
Eurogamer Germany: 8/10
Digital Spy: 8/10
GamingTrend: 8/10
Shacknews: 8/10
Lazygamer: 8/10
Gamer.no: 8/10
NintendoWorldReport: 7.5/10 (sorry but this was a pathetic review)

Kirk

#56

Kirk said:

@ThomasBW84

I agree with you on what constitutes a 10.

What I want from Nintendo, for the first time in a long long time imo, is an ACTUAL 10. A 10 that basically everyone agrees is a 10 and if not then it's a high 9 or at the very least a 9 and absolutely no less. Basically, so it wouldn't have a single score on metacritic that was lower than a 9 (or 90) and obviously overall it could only score above a 90 and ideally 95+ (in a near perfect dreamlike scenario).

I know Nintendo is capable of this.

I've seen Nintendo do it (a few times); once upon a time...

suburban_sensei

#57

suburban_sensei said:

This is going to be an excruciating wait till May 30th. This and Smash are THE reasons I bought a Wii U. Everything I have bought till now has been filler (even if they have been quite good games). Also I pre-ordered at Target so I got a Mario Kart key chain, so everytime I go for a drive I am reminded that this beautiful gem is RIGHT around the corner. Can't wait to see a lot of you on the track. Speaking of, here is my NNID if you have not added me, so we can play: Suburban_Sensei

Sup

#58

Sup said:

Just read IGN's take on MK8; same score, but the writing quality in this review is so much better. Thanks!

chiptoon

#59

chiptoon said:

I'm horrified that you can't play 2 player on 2 screens! That was the best part of Sonic Racing. It made the Gamepad immediately relevant and vastly increased the fun of mulitplayer.

Hype/2 :(

XCWarrior

#61

XCWarrior said:

Nintendo World Report thought this game was very above average at best.

You guys loved it.

Have to say I'm not sure what to think after those two reviews.

PvtOttobot

#63

PvtOttobot said:

@ThomasBW84 Fair enough. Allready preordered it a month ago, so the reviews won't change my mind anyway :) I've even got an MK8/post exam party planned for the 31st!!

StarDust4Ever

#65

StarDust4Ever said:

Still a little peeved we don't get the deluxe kit with the blue shell like PAL land got. That and battle mode got messsed up once again. :p

Still, I got my GameStop Preorder on, and I'm ready to rip rubber, slam some shells, toss banana peels, me and Rosalina will ride that 4-wheeler into the sunset like there's no tomorrow! :D

unrandomsam

#66

unrandomsam said:

@LoBo 9/10 has been given to many games I think are junk (i.e never something I would want to play). The list of 9/10 games which is short enough to look at easily is all over the place.

Absolute Garbage - (Rayman Legends) / Mediocre (Lego - Marvel Super Heroes) - (Skylanders - Swap Force) / Overrated - (Deus Ex Human Revolution - Directors Cut) - (Mass Effect 3)

And All Stars Racing Transformed should be considered the template of how to do kart racing right. (Don't think a 30fps version is good enough though).

Rafie

#68

Rafie said:

Who gives a darn if the game is a 9. Is that somehow a failure of a game now? We're measuring how good or great a game is by whether or not it gets a 9 or 10? For the longest time I thought getting a 9 still makes the game a MUST HAVE and phenomenal across the board. The game could be a 7 and I would still get it.

brokenfang

#70

brokenfang said:

approximately 360 hours to go... CANT WAIT!!!! will NL be running some tourneys Thomas? a bunch of us from MH3U are doing midnight download and then meeting online. hope the download doesnt take forever, it gonna be a late night as it is!

DestinyMan

#72

DestinyMan said:

I'm not that surprised by the reviews except for the modest one by NintendoWorldReport. I don't know what would possess them to give the game that. This game sounds almost flawless except for the new battle mode, which may still be fun, but nowhere near as fun as arenas. But I don't play battle mode that much anyway, honestly.

unrandomsam

#73

unrandomsam said:

@DestinyMan Nowhere near enough options.

The Nintendo World Report one seems the best. (There again when I get it I will see for myself. Not expecting much).

It got the same score as a 30fps version of All Stars Racing Transformed even with the usual pro Nintendo anti Sega bias on this site.

KodyDawg

#77

KodyDawg said:

Wow, very nice and detailed review! I pre-ordered just last week, and am heading to GameStop over the weekend to give it a go during the demo thing! It's gonna be a great summer!

ULTRA-64

#78

ULTRA-64 said:

@ThomasBW84 is the battle mode divided into teams like mkwii or individual racers.....AND....the drift.....is it done in stages based on time or turning like the older mk games?

ThomasBW84Admin

#82

ThomasBW84 said:

@brokenfang We will be running tournaments, live streams etc, yes :)

@ULTRA-64 You can have teams or everyone for themselves in Battle. As for drifting, the angle of the turn (and whether you work the turn a lot) determines how quickly the boost comes up. So on a soft bend you have to do more manual work, while a sharp turn brings up the drifts quite quickly. Hope that makes sense.

xerneas

#83

xerneas said:

Can't wait playing this with friends. Comes out perfectly on the first day of summer holiday!

Giygas_95

#84

Giygas_95 said:

@Rafie I know right? Gimme a break...I'm getting it ASAP, and I would have pretty much regardless of the score.

Sandro89

#85

Sandro89 said:

I expected a 10 but whatever this is going to be the game i will play the most, like every other mario kart.

Emaan

#86

Emaan said:

Can't wait! Getting this game and graduating from high school on the 30th! :D

gamr4life

#87

gamr4life said:

I shouldn't have read this, because now I'm even more hyped than before! WHERE ARE YOU MAY 30TH?!?!?

freaksloan

#88

freaksloan said:

I have not been this excited about a game for a VERY LONG TIME! Honestly the only reason I bought a Wii U. Pre-Ordered from Amazon, just sitting here waiting not very patiently.

LDXD

#89

LDXD said:

@Kirk I agree with some of your points especially the gripes about the gamepad as I'm truly disappointed in that part as well, but never in life will everyone agree a game is a 10 and IMO you are putting way to much thought into a number. No game is perfect not even my own favorite game of all time
I do get your point though and feel the same way. I'm still going to love the game I'm sure but Nintendo leaves me scratching my head and Now I'm wondering what's the point of the gamepad at all

Phantom_R

#92

Phantom_R said:

I have a question for the NL team. In Mario Kart 7 even 150cc felt slow, perhaps due to wide tracks and generous handling. Is 150cc in MK8 faster than it was in MK7?

DespyCL

#93

DespyCL said:

Great review! I'm getting this digitally just in the moment it gets released on the eShop.

Nintenjoe64

#94

Nintenjoe64 said:

I am glad this didn't get 10s across the board because it would probably not live up to its own hype if it did cough SM3DW, cough GTAV.
I am a bit annoyed that really dull games get higher scores though.

Look out for Nintenjoe in 15 days time! You're all going to know pain.

bizcuthammer

#96

bizcuthammer said:

While i'm still getting the game, i'm very disappointed in the battle mode lacking arenas. Using the standard tracks instead is just lazy by Nintendo and makes it look like the game was rushed a bit to help WiiU sell (which it won't do well enough anyway).

The game still looks fun either way, but i'm a huge fan of battle mode and this entry looks pretty disappointing in that aspect. Luckily everything else about the game looks fantastic.

MoonKnight7

#97

MoonKnight7 said:

The fact that they didn't use the gamepad better is sort of baffling. A standalone screen in multiplayer just seems like a no-brainer to me. Apart from that though, I am beyond hyped for this! Nice review Thomas!

JuanitoShet

#98

JuanitoShet said:

If only I owned a Wii U - I would buy this in a heartbeat! My favorite Mario Kart title is MK7, but this looks like it's even better than that!

XyVoX

#101

XyVoX said:

@Kroisos 'I was on the fence about this one' gotta say thats a bit weird Mmmmm never heard that someone not into Mario Kart.

luke88

#103

luke88 said:

@ThomasBW84 Hi, sorry one question. Can you play two player split-screen online? As in can myself and another play against ten others in the full range of online gamemodes/options on my wiiu?

King47

#104

King47 said:

I would have preordered this long ago, but I was waiting for bonuses to be announced in north America. I will go play it at game stop this Sunday and order it while I'm there.

gojiguy

#105

gojiguy said:

Can you select individual tracks to race outside of time trial now? That really bugged me in MK7.

aaronsullivan

#108

aaronsullivan said:

My only disappointment is the decision to mirror to the GamePad in two-player games. I have to imagine that it would greatly diminish either the frame rate or the visuals and Nintendo was squeamish about having lower-poly detail-diminished image on the full screen for everyone to see and maybe judge.

I'd still want the option. Bury it in a menu if you have to. ;) To me, it'd be worth the clear advantage this gives Wii U players in playing Kart games. It's a strong and exciting use that Sonic All-Stars used to great effect.

Still, the game is the thing and this game is going to be awesome.

bezerker99

#109

bezerker99 said:

So they brought back the bikes but you can't do wheelies? Oh well, got my preorder paid in full, can't wait to try this out come end o' the month.

Nintenjoe64

#111

Nintenjoe64 said:

@unrandomsam The gameplay in Sonic All Stars Racing is rubbish. It had a horrible framerate, was buggy as hell for local multiplayer and got boring really quickly. I pretty much went through the whole game without getting beaten (except boost races).

Having said all of that, they definitely showed how Nintendo could implement additional features to the 32 tracks like all the drift races and boost races, a story mode, 5-player, every combination of controller/tv split, equal online and offline modes, different routes etc. etc. Nintendo did this to a limited extent with MKW but 32 tracks is still not enough in 2014. Brawl got given almost every piece of content they could think of.

Nintenjoe64

#112

Nintenjoe64 said:

@ThomasBW84 - can you use multiple profiles online at the same time or is it "Player 1 and Guest"?

The way Wii Sports Club handles playing as a different Mii is atrocious and I don't want it to be like that.

ThomasBW84Admin

#113

ThomasBW84 said:

@Nintenjoe64 I'll have to double check. I think you can each pick a representative Mii and each has a ranking, but I'm not entirely sure that's the case — maybe only player one's character has a ranking that changes based on results. I need to look into that to be sure.

sketchturner

#114

sketchturner said:

So 9 instead of 10 due to lackluster battle mode and poor use of game pad? Sounds like a 10 for me :-)
Buying a WiiU today!!!!!!

ThomasBW84Admin

#117

ThomasBW84 said:

@Nintenjoe64 Not unless it's buried in a menu I can't find! It's a vertical split, but actually makes sense — or it felt natural enough to me. Because the camera angle is a little lower to allow more space for anti-grav and sections where you're going sideways, I think that's why they did it.

@ScorpionMG There's voice chat in the lobby, and it's only in Friend rooms.

triforcepower73

#118

triforcepower73 said:

Wow the gamepad's use is yet again very disappointing. I'm still definitely picking this up! But you'd think they would at least make it useable for a 5th player in local multiplayer. And also put a radar on the screen. Oh well. :|

WanderingPB

#119

WanderingPB said:

Who cares whether this game gets a perfect score or not…its still going to be a fun game to play local or online for years to come.

Nintendo consistently releases high quality games but some people still only regard sales as a success and not actual gameplay or overall experience…really?

Im pretty sure the exclusive and STILL growing Wii U game library means nothing simply because its Nintendo…yikes and i thought seaworld was ruthless guess the gaming communtity is harsh in their own right

I cant wait for MarioKart 8! Already have my limited edition pre-ordered and my family and friends cant wait to jump into the happy kraziness which is mario kart 8…because at the end of the day we all play games to have fun…something that many in the gaming community have forgotten

ScorpionMG

#121

ScorpionMG said:

@ThomasBW84 oh i see, oh well, better than nothing ^^
this game is going to be so great, i hope some dlc comes afterwards with surprises, maybe a patch also for a 2 screen when on 1vs1 :3

Whopper744

#123

Whopper744 said:

Will defintly be picking this one up asap.
Just got back from Dave & Busters during a trip to Cincinnati and got to play Mario Kart Arcade GP DX with my wife, and man was that fun! Got me even more hyped for this.

luke88

#124

luke88 said:

@ThomasBW84 Huzzah!! Thanks so much for getting back to me with that. I couldn't find the answer in any of the reviews I checked. Perhaps I'm in the minority but I think having that feature is such a big deal; so, so excited. Thanks again. x

sinalefa

#127

sinalefa said:

Getting Scram Kitty today to ease the pain of waiting for this. Guess I am gonna go physical but very tempted to pull a 3D World and get it on the eShop on midnight. It is a relatively small download too.

Paul4679

#128

Paul4679 said:

Great review! Far more balanced and researched than some I've read (Ars' gaming editor was "baffled" by the anti grav spinning, and as seems typical with anything Nintendo he had a faintly detectable negative slant on it)

PieEater163

#131

PieEater163 said:

I preordered this off Nintendo Store UK. It's the limited edition with a red shell keyring and Bullet Bill T shirt. I can't wait! When I wake up each day my first thought is "X amount of days since Mario Kart 8", I think when I get to the last week I'll have to resort to playing Star Wars Battlefront 2 because that's the only game I can play when I'm excited. Done the same the week I got a Wii U.

FalconPunch

#134

FalconPunch said:

One of the many reasons I'm excited for this game is: WALUIGI TIME!
Seriously, it was stupid he wasn't in 7. My mains are going to be Ludwig, Waluigi, Metal Mario, and Roy. This game has MUCH BETTER characters than the previous one.

Action51

#136

Action51 said:

@Kirk

I know most of the FANS are going to immediately jump to Nintendo's defence and claim that some people are just never satisfied etc

Yes, those silly 'FANS' who have audacity to "defend" a well written review of what will probably be a really great game.

My conclusion: You just like being angry at Nintendo. It is cathartic and comfortable for you.

PS: I think Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a 10/10 game...but these are reviews and your opinion of the actual game may vary.

@SecondServing - If you like milked franchises, you must love modern, big publisher gaming across all platforms, right? I recommend the Need for Speed, Forza, and Gran Turismo. These racing franchises are released even more frequently then Mario Kart!

Action51

#138

Action51 said:

@SecondServing - I recommend Forza, TrackMania, Gran Turismo, and Need for Speed if you like racing games that are frequently released and 'milked'. You should be in heaven!

SecondServing

#139

SecondServing said:

@Action51

Ewww all of those games suck! I'd rather take a glass of cold, delicious Nintendo milk than any of those C-Grade milk types!

Nintendo milk is the tastiest! Strong source of calcium!

Alucard83

#140

Alucard83 said:

People it still an opinion. If it's a 9 for the reviewer than it is. In your opinion it might be a 6. Lol @ people getting games based on high scored game reviews.

But i'm glad to see an other Mario Kart game. I got the WII U a few months ago. Time to use it again

RedYoshi999

#141

RedYoshi999 said:

Geez have some people been living in a cave? We knew about the GamePad's lack of features months ago. By this point I've gotten over it. Game will be amazing regardless. Also, a simple racing game is never going to score perfect 10s, just because it's not up everyone's alley.

@SecondServing
Moo Moo Milk FTW!

B3ND3R

#143

B3ND3R said:

My friend, Girlfriend and I have all been waiting for this one! Pretty exciting to think it's coming so soon! Certainly helps I'll get to play it this weekend at gamestop..

fluggy

#145

fluggy said:

Can't wait for this but not separating pad and TV for local multiplayer is shocking!!! A flagship franchise NOT utilising the main feature of their flagship console is completly unacceptable..... It CANT be an over site ... Wii U must've struggled to chug out seperate signals for this game!

unrandomsam

#149

unrandomsam said:

@sketchturner 30fps in 4 player. Nowhere near enough modes or changes to mix it up. Sounds more like an 8 or 7. (But with the its Mario Kart modifier added). There again I have bought and paid for it so I guess I am part of the problem.

Unca_LzStaff

#150

Unca_Lz said:

@Kirk: Now you're digging into EA logic: Get a 10 or you're fired. Keep in mind that reviews are subjective and a "perfect game" for one reviewer will NOT be perfect to another reviewer. You are basically asking Nintendo to please everyone, which is impossible.

Also, Nintendo did make a 10/10 game: Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, Super Mario 3D World, Fire Emblem Awakening, etc. These games would get 10/10s from me ;)

@Action51: His post states that milk is good for the bones, which I assume is a way of saying "Milking is good if you do it right" :)

SonataAndante

#152

SonataAndante said:

Looking forward to it. I'm concerned about the coin grind for vehicle parts though. That wasn't any fun in MK7. After awhile it started to get to what, 500 coins between parts? At only 10 coins max a race that's a serious grind. Also a little concerned about the roster. I don't know if Thomas is allowed to tell us or not, but I hope the roster shown to us isn't the full one. I was personally never fond of all the babies MKWii has and 8 just adds another, so I feel like they're hogging roster spots other characters could have had (Diddy, King Boo and Dry Bones come to mind). Sure, 7 Koopalings takes up a lot of space too, but at least they're an established set of unique characters and I won't complain about them. Meanwhile we have 3 versions each of Mario and Peach driving around. Eh.

mercurio2054

#154

mercurio2054 said:

@ThomasBW84 i enjoy this review.
Most of the time i just go to the end and see the score and read the article.
this time i start and read all the way down.

dkxcalibur

#156

dkxcalibur said:

Counting down the days until this comes out. We bought our Wii U in December in anticipation for both DKCTF and Mario Kart 8. DKCTF was awesome and sooo much better then we thought, but Kart is the real game we bought the Wii U.

AJWolfTill

#161

AJWolfTill said:

@outburst @PinkSpider
The hit and miss battle mode and the lack of Wii U specific features being implemented seem like very reasonable reasons to not give it a PERFECT score. Delighted this game has been reviewed so well, the Wii U needs this to be a critical hit!

Hy8ogen

#162

Hy8ogen said:

@ThomasBW84 I do agree a 10 is reserved for bang on absofinglutely games. But this game Thomas, from reading your review and your reponse on the comment section, should have ended up with a 9.5! 2 player split screen online? Hello?!

That said, me and my wife are super hyped for this game!!

@unrandomsam Rayman Legends is garbage? Did you even play the game? That game is definitely one of the best platformers I've played. No way it's garbage. Super Mario Bros U on the other hand....

Whopper744

#163

Whopper744 said:

So if it's alright to ask, I read the whole review (good stuff) but I'm a little unsure about the character unlocks. Is the 30 that have been announced the whole roster or is there more to unlock that has not bee revealed?

Shiryu

#165

Shiryu said:

Great review for a great game! Will have a little something special for release when this one arrives. Until that time, counting down the days...

Shpongled_Mario

#166

Shpongled_Mario said:

Anybody else miss the boo item that stole your opponents item? I think it would be great online. Get rid of the pretty much useless squid and bring back the boo lol.

garugablaze

#167

garugablaze said:

Great, informative review!

I was wondering if anyone knew if tournaments/communities in this game have an option that makes them completely restricted to those on your friends list only or those with the code to get in. It was kind of annoying in MK7 when I'd race in a community created specifically for friends/family only, and them some random person from worldwide/StreetPass would show up because they followed one of the players.

Shpongled_Mario

#168

Shpongled_Mario said:

Blooper is cool but the ink doesn't mess up your driving most of the time and let's be honest in single player it's absolutely useless lol the CPU doesn't need to see to drive.

aronatvw

#169

aronatvw said:

So excited for this game but how much do we need to beg Nintendo to do something about online chat and stuff before they will listen its ridiculous!

Jazzer94

#171

Jazzer94 said:

I can see this occupying my Wii U playtime till SSB4 arrives sounds excellent (well apart from battle mode) can't wait to take this online.

Jazzer94

#173

Jazzer94 said:

@Excep7ional The fact it doesn't have proper battle arenas to fight in, though it could still be enjoyable the review made the mode sound like a bit of a let down compared to previous entries.

DarkKirby

#175

DarkKirby said:

It seems Nintendo is absolutely against text chat in almost any of their games.

You say the race tracks are an improvement, I hope they are as far from the Wii ones as possible, which represented the easiest tracks in Mario Kart history.

Cyberbotv2

#177

Cyberbotv2 said:

The score seemed to have riled up a few of the basement dwellers. How about not including a score, but a recommendation or non recommendation. It would allow some people to actually read through the review and make a decision.

Cresartist

#178

Cresartist said:

@DarkKirby @aronatvw Usually for reasons pertaining around how a lot of children also own the system, and how parents often ignore the parental controls.

There's going to be at least one instance when a child is going to be really offended or start swearing due to things he/she/it heard over the games voice chat, and parents are going to blame the company rather than their ignorance, as if there wasn't already enough cases of similar events already (I miss having Kinder Eggs in America...).

If anything, I'd rather have no voice chat, as I just want to focus on the game.

Yosher

#179

Yosher said:

This game is going to be so much fun to play. I'm sad that they already revealed pretty much everything, I would've liked to have had some secret characters to unlock that hadn't been revealed yet for one, but that won't stop me from utterly enjoying this game to bits.

DarkKirby

#181

DarkKirby said:

@Fireninjastar

If you don't want voice chat or text chat there is always the option to mute/disable the text chat for yourself. It doesn't mean people who want it shouldn't have it.

If you go by the logic that because some parents don't pay attention to parental controls something should not have options adults may want than everything everywhere should be censored, politically correct, and intentionally prevent communication "just in case".

Sony and Microsoft has allowed free communication between players for years and have had no issues.

Thats-what-she

#182

Thats-what-she said:

"The vehicles and racers have never handled better, the collection of courses is possibly the best yet..."
9/10....

REALLY?? Just give it a freaking "10", already! You know you wanted to.

Spanjard

#183

Spanjard said:

@Cyberbotv2 I know right? I would like this too, let the review speak for itself.

It's an excellent review, it doesn't need a score. But that's what you get when you deal with lazy people not wanting to read...

sjmcghee

#185

sjmcghee said:

I have a question. Can you play battle mode with 4 player split screen and online? I don't think playing against computers would be fun but playing with 12 people and still having some couch multiplayer would be great.

Kroisos

#189

Kroisos said:

@Melkac Because the sense of irony I get when it's 2 am and I've had the perfect amount of brandy for the evening. Now that it's 2 pm and I've had the perfect amount of coffee for the day I will say I've known since the Wii U was announced that I'd be getting this, Zelda (not Hyrule Warriors), and X.

bofis

#190

bofis said:

Wooo! Even without the Gamepad screen in multiplayer (though having the radar is nice) or battle arenas, I cannot wait for this game! Being able to upload clips to YouTube is an excellent feature I hope more titles support in the future.

Ernest_The_Crab

#193

Ernest_The_Crab said:

@Kirk Well the problem with full screen on the Gamepad has been pointed out a couple of times already. It's the fact that the person using the Gamepad has an advantage over the one using the TV. A screen that big is kind of hard to miss.

The resultant battle mode stages I'm betting are due to them rushing the game out to market. Corners were most likely cut to deal with the huge empty space in spring releases. That's not to say the game is done by any means, as it's quite possible for them to add DLC battle stages later.

Don't think they confirmed on the 2 Gamepad stuff. They said they were trying to get it to work, though chances are it didn't work properly without some substantial compromises in their tests.

Excep7ional

#199

Excep7ional said:

@Jazzer94 Oh okay, because I saw someone else mention the battle mode being a bit of a disappointment on a different website, but I didn't ask. I should have just read the review. Anyway thanks for responding.

GreatPlayer

#202

GreatPlayer said:

I am going to get it because I can get Pikmin 3 along with it for free.

Gamplay wise, I really like if MK8 can mix kart racing with boat and plane racing, just like what Sonic Transformed did. In addition, it will be great if MK8 can be faster in speed. MK wii was too slow for me, after being used to Sonic Transformed.

R_Champ

#203

R_Champ said:

I don't think there is anything wrong with this review. If Battle Mode and Game Pad usage are poor, then 9/10 seems legit. My only qualm is a good (not great IMO) game like Rayman Legends gets the same score. To each their own though, and Battle Mode has never really been my favorite anyway so a personal 10/10 is a possibility with that tasty-looking tournament mode.

Shpongled_Mario

#206

Shpongled_Mario said:

@Spanjard That's not a glitch, it just takes a little skill, if you jump off at the right time and angle you can skip a lot of the track. Current Mario Kart games don't allow this, they will send Lakitu after you before you get to take any short cuts like this one :(

memoryman3

#207

memoryman3 said:

Wii U's swan-song? (Before the dark ages of lazy Japanese third-party "collabs" and shovelware)

Kirk

#208

Kirk said:

@Unca_Lz

I actually don't think it's impossible in this particular context.

If they'd had proper battle arenas, proper voice chat during online play, full screen GamePad play during multi-player and probably a couple of other small tweaks, I think it would have scored 9s and above across the board.

That would also be exactly what I would like so that I could have a game where there was basically no real issues I could/would have with it in this case, I imagine.

That's all I'm asking.

@Action51

See, the thing is, I'm talking about Nintendo not creating issues that basically everyone is going to agree on, such as not having proper battle arenas for one, and that's the kind of blatant mistakes and stuff I think they shouldn't be making. To me, that's really not about everyone having an opinion, which they are free to have, but about just getting all the basics and core components right at the very least. I'm pretty sure even people with their own varying opinions would agree having proper battle arenas in Battle Mode just would have been better here.

Personally, I didn't really enjoy playing DKC:TF and funnily enough that's the same thing I've heard from the bunch of people I know that have played it too. Most of them have said they basically just go through the motions when playing the game. They're not really enjoying themselves. They were just going through the game because it was there.

Now don't get me wrong. I think it's a very solid well made game but for whatever reasons it just felt a bit soulless and really not that much actual FUN imo.

@sinalefa

Close but not quite.

It's a great game and it received mostly 9+ scores but there were a few lower scores too and I personally don't think it was quite as good or as well realized as it could/should have been in certain areas, so this isn't quite what I'm looking for either.

Don't get me wrong. It's obviously good that there are a few great games coming to the Wii U from Nintendo but what I really want is a game, at least one, that I personally consider a genuine 9+, even a 9.5+, and this isn't it.

The thing I'm alluding too is that the chances are, when there's a game I finally consider a genuine 9+ contender all-round then I expect you'll see that reflected in metacritic too by virtue of the fact that there won't be a single review that goes lower than a 9 and most likely most of them will be quite a bit above a flat 9 even.

That's what I want, a proper indisputable 9+ game (by virtue of the fact absolutely no one, well any professional reviewer, has scored it any lower) that even I personally consider a genuine 9+ game, and I expect if you ever see such a Nintendo first party game scoring as such on metacritic then that will likely be the game I'm talking about...

@LDXD

Well I'm not really looking for everyone to score this hypothetical game a 10 across the board but what I expect would happen should this game exist is that Nintendo Life would certainly score it a 10, since their rating scale only has 10 parts to it as opposed to some other sites that score out of 100 for example, and all the other review sites on metacritic would at the very least score it 9 (90) or higher across the board, as well as the fact I personally would score it a 9 (90) or higher, and THAT'S what I'm after.

Yes, that's a very high bar but it's not impossible, just rare, but this is Nintendo and I expect great things from them and I'd just love for Nintendo to deliver maybe one or two first party games like that during the lifespan of it's new consoles and especially so with the Wii U (and it has been done before...).

It did it on the likes of the NES (SMB, SMB3, The Legend of Zelda), SNES (SMW, Yoshi's Island, Super Metroid, ALTTP) and N64 (SM64, Ocarina of Time) so I don't see why it can't do similarly on Wii.

Note: I'm pretty sure those titles scored 9+ across the board back in the day and I personally would give them all 9+ (90+) too.

MaverickHunterX

#210

MaverickHunterX said:

Never cared much for Battle Mode.
In my opinion, it always seemed half-baked, boring, and a completely unnecessary.

And if that's the biggest flaw in this game, then MK8 is looking more like a 10/10 for me.

ThomasBW84Admin

#214

ThomasBW84 said:

@Thats-what-she It was never a 10 in my head, not once. But it's been a rock solid 9 for a long time, it's a terrific game. I totally respect the various scores and I'm delighted, on a personal level, at the Eurogamer review and score — great for Nintendo and the game, and different scores and opinions are the whole point.

I love the game, but to be clear a 10 was never on the cards from me. As I go through a review and see more of a game scores swing back and forth in my head, but this has been nothing but 9 for about a week. It's a good score, remember ;)

AJ_Lethal

#215

AJ_Lethal said:

@Kirk:
"The thing I'm alluding too is that the chances are, when there's a game I finally consider a genuine 9+ contender all-round then I expect you'll see that reflected in metacritic too by virtue of the fact that there won't be a single review that goes lower than a 9 and most likely most of them will be quite a bit above a flat 9 even.

That's what I want, a proper indisputable 9+ game (by virtue of the fact absolutely no one, well any professional reviewer, has scored it any lower) that even I personally consider a genuine 9+ game, and I expect if you ever see such a first party game scoring as such on metacritic then that will likely be the game I'm talking about..."

I'm sorry, but it seems you are having a really bad case of 8.8-itis.. Not to mention you're leaving Metacritic to draw conclusions for you (instead of checking scores and reviews individually from each source available and then drawing your own conclusions), which is not exactly wise.

Heck, I would even drop a quote from Yahtzee Crosshaw (probably the most caustic man in gaming):
"Reviews are mostly formed by opinions, and if you really love something, then another person's opinion shouldn't matter."

Personally, I only care if the game is good or not: full stop; numbered scores are BS IMHO.

ThomasBW84Admin

#216

ThomasBW84 said:

@garugablaze You can set a tournament so that it's hidden from public view, and the only way to access it is through inputting the right code. So you can do that, give friends and family the code, and you're all set!

Kirk

#217

Kirk said:

@AJ_Lethal

Well, when there's a universally 9+ (90+) Nintendo first party game on metacritic, that I too would personally score a 9+ (90+), then it will be what I'm talking about regardless of whether you think that's just a bunch of opinions or whatever.

That's what I'm looking for and Mario Kart 8 certainly isn't that game as far as I'm concerned because it clearly has a few glaring issues that simply should not have been there and that imo is why it's not this universally 9+ (90+) scoring game, which obviously wouldn't have any glaring issues as I see it, that I'm waiting on.

There's still time for Nintendo to deliver though...

AJ_Lethal

#218

AJ_Lethal said:

@Kirk
"Well, when there's a universally 9+ (90+) game on metacritic and I too would score it a 9+ (90+) then it will be what I'm talking about regardless of whether you think that's just a bunch of opinions or whatever."

And why necessarily a 90+ score? Ain't an 85 or even an 80 enough to consider it a worthy purchase at least? And on top of that, a Metacritic score? Man, it's an aggregate site: put like 4-5 negative reviews in a bucket of 20 positive ones and watch the score plummet: it's exploitable. In fact, Metacritic in it's current form is harmful for everyone just because of that. Reviews aren't the gospel after all

Edwin

#221

Edwin said:

@ThomasBW84

Can you tell us a little more about the online ranking system? Do you get a separate rank for worldwide, regional, friends, etc? And do you get a separate rank for tournaments?

midnafanboy

#222

midnafanboy said:

Great review and guys who cares about the score is mario kart is going to be great regardless.

Kirk

#224

Kirk said:

@AJ_Lethal

No probs.

Although, to be fair, it's/I've been like this since the days of the SNES and it didn't seem to hurt gaming back then.

It was just that there were a crap load of games that seemed to be scoring in the 9s (90s) across the board back then, that I too considered as clear cut 9+ (90+) games with no glaring issues, as I recall.

If you don't believe me by the way, then just have a wee browse though all these issues of Mean Machines and see how many 9+ (90+) scoring games were being released for the SNES each month and as I recall those scores were reflective of the media as a whole and I'm pretty sure that in the cases where those games have scored in the high 9s (90s) that you'd find similar 9+ (90+) scores in every gaming magazine of the time:

http://www.meanmachinesmag.co.uk/mean_machines_all_issues.php (from issue 7 onward)

So, this whole aggregating of scores, and using that as a more "objective" measure of how good a game really is, might seem like a relatively new thing that's damaging to the industry but I'm not convinced it really is to be honest.

Gamers have always had pretty high standards, or at least I certainly have, but it just seems that some Nintendo FANS have started lowering those standards ever so slightly, or become a little more accepting of flaws and unnecessary "gimpage" as I like to think of it, to cope a little better with so much more disappointment these days, as I see it.

This is absolutely why I think a lot of Nintendo FANS are perfectly happy, or at least content, with basically everything that Nintendo has been doing for the last couple of generations when imo they really shouldn't be.

If your expectations and indeed standards are lower then it will naturally take less to keep you "happy" and "satisfied" as it were and maybe all these things I find so annoying and frustrating, like not having proper Battle Mode arenas in Mario Kart 8's Battle Mode for example, probably won't seem like such a big deal.

I'm harsh on Wii U but I just want one or two clear cut 9+ (90+) games, across the board (using metacritic as that modern day "board" in this case).

I don't actually think I'm being that [particularly] unreasonable.

AJ_Lethal

#225

AJ_Lethal said:

"So, this whole aggregating of scores, and using that as a more "objective" measure of how good a game really is, might seem like a relatively new thing that's damaging to the industry but I'm not convinced it really is to be honest."
In case you haven't bothered to read the links I provided:

<i>The sites Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, due to their system of deriving an overall score for a film out of all the available reviews, are often regarded as providing a definitive stamp of quality (or lack thereof). While this is more understandable than most examples, the fact remains that some people take it too far, and act as though liking a film scoring 33% on Rotten Tomatoes is empirically indefensible, despite the obvious logic that one third of professional film critics liked it.

-This has become particularly horrifying since actual video game companies are now incorporating metascores into their business practices; this includes awarding development teams bonuses based on metascores, and deciding on a target metascore before a game has started development, and perpetrators include publishers as major as Electronic Arts and Square Enix. It is no longer possible to pretend that Metacritic is harmless.

-A good example is Obsidian Entertainment. They had a deal with Bethesda that the last portion of Bethesda's payment for Fallout: New Vegas was based on reaching a certain Metacritic score. They missed it by one point, didn't get the payment, and were forced to lay off massive amounts of staff. The score they needed to reach? 85. They got an 84. Keep in mind, that is still an extremely high score and the game also went on to sell over 5 million copies. In other words, a best-selling game with massive critical praise still cost the studio money because of a review aggregate score.

-Metacritic also has its own problems since it attempts to take reviews from multiple competing sites with their own scoring systems and derive a numerical score out of their average. Some critics, such as Adam Sessler, have pointed out the problems with creating an average score out of a series of dissimilar scoring systems.

-This is most obvious when they try to base their numerical score on sites that use letter grades. The site can extrapolate anything from 50-80 out of a C.

-And, it's also had problems where thinking that disagreeing with the opinions and not finding it that great (or even thinking it was okay but still good) will have you hung from a tree, hangman style. Particular offenders for this include The Dark Knight and Toy Story 3.
The opposite happens with movies that readers expect to be horrible. When the scores for Disaster Movie and Jack and Jill moved from a zero to a two because of one positive review (although the scores were only a C+ and a 3/5, respectively), members commented within seconds, saying that the critic is an idiot, ruined it for everyone, etc.

-Metacritic has also shown bias and given strictly averaged tone review (5/10) a positive ranking (6/10) and the reverse. Making the site less honest.</i>
Still unconvinced?

"If you don't believe me by the way, then just have a wee browse though all these issues of Mean Machines and see how many 9+ (90+) scoring games were being released for the SNES each month and as I recall those scores were reflective of the media as a whole and I'm pretty sure that in the cases where those games have scored in the high 9s (90s) that you'd find similar 9+ (90+) scores in every gaming magazine of the time"

Nah, I still have some early '00s EGM (which I still hold in high regard because the Review Crew system) and GamePro mags and they were plenty of 5s, 6s, 7s and 8s, but nobody complained about the latter 2 like nowadays. Nowadays you see games getting 7s and 8s being avoided like the plague. The hell?

Not to mention reviewers are humans and humans might have distinct opinions.

"This is absolutely why I think a lot of Nintendo FANS are perfectly happy, or at least content, with basically everything that Nintendo has been doing for the last couple of generations when imo they really shouldn't be."
Translation: "I don't like Nintendo's recent output, and whoever likes it must be a complete tool of a peasant"

Please, don't come up like if you're some sort of benchmark of sorts people should follow. It's embarassing.

ChrisT99

#226

ChrisT99 said:

@ThomasBW84 Two questions:

When playing online with two people on one console, can rankings use both users' NNID's, or is player 2 always Guest (like in MKWII)?

Also, is it possible to do the big jump cut on N64 Rainbow Road, or has that been scrapped?

Dpullam

#227

Dpullam said:

I'm a little disappointed that they didn't add in any new modes to freshen up the variety in the game, but this still sounds like a great advancement in the Mario Kart franchise. I'm definitely eager to try it out myself.

Action51

#230

Action51 said:

@AJ_Lethal - Wow AJ Lethal....hit the nail on the head.

You have actually presented a really compelling case, but it helps that I agreed with the sentiment from the start. :) Video games are now big, big, business, and that means money counters and marketing execs are looking for any way to quantify their successes or failures. It's a shame that people tend to rely on raw numerical data...especially when that data is NOT compiled in such a way that reflects consistent or reliable scoring algorithms.

Let's also not forget that these metacritic scores weigh each review with equal weight...including those who like to be "outliers" and "rebels"...

The best thing to do...is read a few reviews. If you still aren't convinced...visit some message boards and ask questions. Look at what people like and dislike about a game and compare it to what you like...if you demand a game gets a 10 or it's unworthy of your time...I guess you'll be going long stretches between games.

I honestly think @Kirk is just looking desperately for a rotten apple while tossing away a whole basket of ripe and delicious apples in his mission to find it and complain about it.

His critique of Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze...I can't say he's "wrong"....but I'm a little unsurprised at his dislike for it.

SuperMikey

#231

SuperMikey said:

This seems like a great game but I feel that there wasn't anything new to the gameplay to make me roar like Tarzan in excitement and drop $60 at my nearest Wal-Mart. I've played every single game in the series (even the 1st arcade one), and this game seems to be worth anyone's time that still finds joy in Mario Kart and anyone who's ready to jump on the Mario Kart bandwagon, but veterans who're looking for something different and innovative might want to leave their kart key's at home this time around. Of course I can't really judge the game without having played it yet nor should anyone take my opinion as fact but merely think whether or not they really want this game. I hope this game sells waaaaaaay better than electronics on Christmas/Black Friday (I guess Brown Thursday now too :p) and becomes the savior/co-savior of the Wii U. Hope y'all have fun on the racetrack!!

tysonfury

#232

tysonfury said:

Reading this review I realised, Miiverse stamps are the 'achievements' that Nintendo promised - I had thought they would just appear in SM3DW and NES Remix, but it looks like every major Nintendo title will use them now. Cool!

Diddy_kong

#233

Diddy_kong said:

It really is too bad that Mario Kart DS is the only entry in the series with that wonderful Challenge Mode. I had a lot of fun with that back in the day. Obviously I'm still super excited for Mario Kart 8, but the inclusion of that mode really would have put the package over the top in my opinion.

AlexSora89

#234

AlexSora89 said:

I'll say, to me the highlights of the series still belong to Mario Kart DS, as @Diddy_Kong said. Mario Kart 7 would have knocked it off its throne, if only it had a 1P versus mode. As of now, I think I'll use the two games for separate purposes - DS for its unrivaled variety of tracks and for its single player modes, and 7 mainly for online play.
The lack of any mention on Versus mode so far got me worried, but I'll get the game regardless... it all depends on when I'll get my hands on a WiiU. I think my own GameCube scenario will repeat itself - getting the console later in its lifespan, and play the games themselves just as late (I first played Super Mario Sunshine in 2004, for example) - with the WiiU. We'll see.

AlexSora89

#235

AlexSora89 said:

And yes, I speak in bold because I'm so HAMMY.
(check out "Large Ham" on Tv Tropes for details)

LDXD

#236

LDXD said:

@Kirk wow man you have to be the most pessimistic person on this site
Last time you were complaining about the shadows under Mario in Mario 3d world and now this, man just enjoy the games
If I focused on all the negative stuff in my favorite games back in the nes/snes days I wouldn't have enjoyed those games either.

Kirk

#237

Kirk said:

@LDXD

IMO, Nintendo's general expertise and the technology it's using is certainly getting better all the time but I don't see it creating many, if any, games that are ALL-ROUND more polished and well/fully realized than games like Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario All-Stars, Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island, A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, Super Mario 64, Star Fox and Ocarina of Time were back in the day and relative to the expectations of their day. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, it hasn't created a single game that comes even close to those near perfect examples of gaming in the last couple of generations (relative to the expectations of the day). It's made some "great" games in the last couple of generations, clearly, but there's a difference between "great" as everyone else sees it and what I'm talking about. When it makes one of those games again, of the level of all round quality, polish and full realization I'm talking about, I'll be the first person worshiping at the Nintendo alter and signing it's praises for all to hear...

PS. Please, tell me all the "negative stuff" you could have possibly found in a title like Super Mario Bros 3 relative to the expectations of it's day, for example. Then, by comparison, ask me to tell you all the negatives I can find in Super Mario 3D World relative to it's day, if you like...

LDXD

#238

LDXD said:

@Kirk this game seems to be a very polished game and 3d world definitely was both are games deserving 9-10 in my book. I am however very disappointed not being able to play two player off screen. Smb3 is one of my favorite games of all time but it had its issues like everything else like some seriously bad flickering and frame rate drops in the later levels. I can't complain to much about 3d world either it was almost perfect some say a tad to easy I thought the difficulty was just right
I think you are like me we need to sometimes take our rose colored nostalgia glasses off
My biggest gripe with Nintendo is that it takes them way to long to develop a game now and they do make some bone headed decisions like with Mario kart 8. But to me they still have very well polished games some of the best in the industry maybe because they're coming out at a snails pace is why its not like the good ol days or the fact that they have totally forgot about some other great franchises like starfox, f-zero, metroid, Star Topics and such. What other complaints did you have about 3d world besides the shadows and it being to easy? Just curious, I thought it was a blast to play but I also played with friends not alone seems like it would have been a different experience by myself and not as fun

BulbasaurusRex

#239

BulbasaurusRex said:

So basically, online play is better than ever, but local multiplayer continues to get the shaft, being outdone once again by Sega's vehicle racer. Is it really so hard to bring back multiplayer Grand Prix at the very least?

ledreppe

#241

ledreppe said:

I'm pleased with a solid 9/10, lets see what everyone else gives it. I would think it would be a 9/10 metacritic.

retro_player_22

#242

retro_player_22 said:

I don't care about review, I'll get the game and judge it on my own factor and for now I'm loving what I see so far.

Kirk

#243

Kirk said:

@LDXD

Well, first off, regarding the flickering in SMB3; For it's time and given the technical and graphical limitations of the NES hardware, this was not Nintendo doing something wrong, or being lazy or whatever, but in fact doing the best they could with the technology available to them. This game even required a more advanced chip inside the cart just to get the graphics as good as they were. So, the flickering here is because Nintendo was actually going above and beyond the call of duty, pushing the machine beyond it's limits, as opposed to not doing enough to push the graphics of the time to be the absolute best they could be.

At the time; there basically wouldn't have been a gamer on the planet that would have reasonably sat there expecting more from SMB3. It was without debate the best platform game in existence at the time of it's release and arguably the best game of it's time period. When you played that game back in the day it was about as obvious as it has ever been in this industry that you were taking part in a truly seminal moment in the history of video games.

With Super Mario 3D World; aside from the issue with some of the shadows at times (which is not a result of actual genuine technical limitations in the slightest imo; given that there's plenty of full 3D platformers on the Xbox 360 and PS3 that manage full realtime shadows at all times);

There's the fact that all the levels are just like floating assault courses with basically nothing visible beyond them to create the sense that they are actually part of a much bigger, living and breathing world (you know; the Mushroom Kingdom). So the levels just end up feeling small, less immersive, less impressive and ultimately a little disappointing because of this imo (not in terms of gameplay but in terms of realization).

There's the map screen; isn't even as good as the ones in SMB3 or SMW imo because what you have looks like 3D icons floating on a 3D "board" rather than an actual "map" and it once again makes this element less immersive and effective imo. The fact you can now freely walking around most of this map just makes this kind of stuff stand out all the more imo. There's also not really enough cool stuff you can do on the maps imo, like secret areas you can open up or hidden items etc and certainly not in a way that doesn't feel forced and just tacked on. Just think about how good the maps in both SMB3 and SMW actually were and especially for their time...

There's the way they've apparently got level themes based on the map designs but the levels ultimately just end up being a bunch of totally random styles that often don't look like they belong in a certain area properly. Once again, this makes the world feel less believable, immersive and just a bit more cobbled together. Basically; not as satisfying.

There's the fact that going for a hybrid 2.5D/3D game with a mostly fixed 3/4 view camera makes it a bit less intuitive to jump on enemies with great precision and skill than it would be with a fully 2D perspective for example (an issue with all the 3D Mario games imo). So you'd find it very hard to jump on multiple enemies in a row with any genuine skill and precision for example (something that used to reward you with extra lives if you managed to jump on enough enemies one after the other in some of the previous 2D Mario games, which was a cool reward/bonus). This slight loss in precision is true of the controls in general across the game imo, which are a bit less precise and therefor rewarding than in the best 2D Mario games as I see it. The platforming in now playing second fiddle to the exploring imo and imo Mario's very best platformers are about...platforming first and foremost, with all the other cool stuff added and layered on top of that core component.

There's the fact you can't go online and play a 4-player game across the Internet with your friends who might be somewhere else in the world. A missed opportunity imo and you just know so many people would have loved this as at least an option.

I'm sure there's a few other things I can't remember at the moment too...

It's just a bunch of things that collectively have resulted in a game that at times touches on genuine brilliance but never reaches the overall genius of the best Mario platformers like SMB3, SMW and Yoshi's Island imo.

Now; some people might not see these this as big a deal as I do and I'm sure many a FAN is going to immediately come to Nintendo's defense and come up with excuses for every single one of them but the fact is that if all those things were improved the game would without doubt be even better and imo reach the kind of true Nintendo magic that I'm personally longing for in this day and age.

Super Mario 3D was/is a great game but I just think Nintendo could and should have done more with it.

GreatPlayer

#244

GreatPlayer said:

@unrandomsam You should try Sonic Transformed on PC. It runs with much more graphical details and with 60 FTPs per second. The PC players online were also much more tough than those Wii U players.

GreatPlayer

#245

GreatPlayer said:

@Nintenjoe64 You complained about occasional choppiness of Sonic Transformed. That is because Wii U is clearly underpowered and cannot handle a fast-paced game such as Sonic Transformed. You know what I mean when you looked at the PC version of this game.

Action51

#246

Action51 said:

@Kirk - Oh my god...you are being unreasonable and expecting these games that get consistently 9/10 - 10/10 scores to recapture your childhood sense of wonder.

Guess what? - It's never going to happen. You can never go back and experience that sense of awe and imagination you had as a child. These games are every bit as well constructed and polished as the ones you remember...in fact they are exponentially more complex and deep while retaining top notch play control and bug-free code.

You need to just stop trying to tell me Mario Kart on SNES is so wonderful...I downloaded it from club Nintendo a month or two ago...and guess what? It's really clunky and dated. Sure, games like Super Mario World and Zelda: A Link to the Past are timeless....but some iterations of those series are weaker and many are stronger since.

I don't think you will ever be satisfied with these games because you are no longer a kid with a kid's imagination. Games like Super Mario 3D world, Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze are amazing games that hold up just fine...if not exceed the quality and polish of games from your childhood.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news for you, but that's how it is.

LDXD

#247

LDXD said:

@Kirk hmm well I didn't have a problem with any of that but I do agree about not being able to play online in 3d world IMO its really the only flaw if you'll call it that and its the same thing with mk8 I'm still scratching my head about the split screen bs
Another huge gripe I have with Nintendo is the horrible way they are treating the virtual console I'm to the point where I'm thinking just to get the games on my PC because Nintendo just doesn't seem to care about it. So many great games from the past they could put on the eshop I don't get it. Overall though I'm completely disappointed in this gen big time, all 3 of them really fouled up IMO

Kirk

#248

Kirk said:

@LDXD

Don't even get me started on the Virtual Console!

Lol

They could do SOOO much more with that service.

Such a total waste of potential.

The other consoles have their issues too but at least it feels like they're getting most of the core stuff right, or inevitably will eventually, and we'd all just like even more, of whatever. With Nintendo it's like it messing up a lot of thee core stuff that I just think any console in this day and age needs to nail to be competitive, along with a lot of the secondary stuff too.

So, for me personally; with one it's like "I want even moooore but what's there is mostly very good" and with the other it's like "Christ! You're not even getting the basics right and it doesn't seem like you're actually ever going to because you just don't seem to get it!!!".

One I can be patient with because I know or at least trust that I'm mostly going to get what I want in the end, also because I don't care as much on a personal level in the first place (it's not as close to my heart), and the other has me tearing my hair out every time I hear about it.

Kirk

#249

Kirk said:

@Action51

I experienced that same childhood sense of awe, wonder and magic playing Journey...

Not a Nintendo first party game and not even on a Nintendo platform, unfortunately.

Mario Kart on SNES was never one of the games I mentioned I think you'll find because personally I don't consider it one of "those" games.

It's an example of a great game but not up there with the very best of them imo. In fact, I personally think F-Zero is the better first party racing game on SNES. If only it had a multi-player mode then it would have been nigh-on perfect for it's time. Although, before Mario Kart on SNES, I never automatically expected multi-player in my racing games, so even at the time F-Zero basically did feel kinda "perfect", as it were.

Trust me, I still have a kids imagination and I can still experience that sense of joy and wonder playing certain video games that I did as a child (My experience with Journey is a perfect example of this). It's just that I'm not quite getting it from Nintendo's flagship first party games on Wii U for the most part.

Datasun_7

#250

Datasun_7 said:

@GreatPlayer of course the Wii u is underpowered when compared to a high-end PC :p everything is. So it was nintendo's fault that Sega released an extremely terrible port? In terms of optimisation. And this game doesn't count then? Because clearly the Wii u 'could' handle transformed if the sales they would get warranted the effort

Whopper744

#251

Whopper744 said:

For those brining up Sonic Transformed I honestly liked the game and didn't have any problems with it. I think the gameplay was actually very good, and I think it looked fine. I've seen games on super powered PC's and while they do look good, my interest has just sort of stayed with Nintendo's consoles over the years for whatever the reasons. I think I just like Nintendo's exclusives more than what anyone else has to offer, and I don't really care much about the graphics.

Action51

#252

Action51 said:

@Kirk - So...you want Mario Kart 8 to have the polish of old SNES games from your childhood...but not Mario Kart on SNES because it's not one of "those" games...but the sequel should live up to your impossible and arbitrary standards...Okay then!

IMO: F-Zero on SNES was okay at the time because "mode7" was new...but it's actually kind of a mediocre game that didn't hold up very well. so..."Your Mileage May Vary"

So really what this all comes down to is:

  • you are unhappy that a game you didn't play yet
  • which is a sequel to a game you never really loved all that much
  • didn't receive a "perfect" score on this website...

So you condemn all of Nintendo?

Kirk

#253

Kirk said:

@Action51

You know, I'm really not being as unreasonable as you actually imagine.

I just want at least ONE game on Wii U (and ideally a couple or maybe even a few) to have the ALL-ROUND level of total and utter polish and basically complete realization (nothing should be executed obviously below par or in a way that a large selection of people find disappointing; both gamers and reviewers), that at least a few first party games on SNES actually did manage.

It is actually possible to achieve that feat you know, even in this day and age.

Do you understand?

There's no good reason why this new Mario Kart COULDN'T have been this game, regardless of my own opinion on the SNES original, but alas Nintendo just had to find one or two ways to make sure that didn't happen. Like the glaring half-*ssed-ness that is the lack of proper battle arenas in Mario Kart 8 for example, or the lack of an option to use the GamePad screen during multi-player as a proper full-screen off-screen display for one of the players...

I'm not asking them to find a cure for cancer here. Just not to make such obvious mistakes and stupid design decisions that basically gimp their games and hold them back (with no genuinely valid reason(s) from the gamers point of view) from being that "perfect" magical game experience I'm looking for.

james_squared

#254

james_squared said:

This quote regarding the GamePad may actually be a deal breaker for MK8 for me: "the absence of it as a standalone screen in local multiplayer is glaring". Having used this feature in Nintendo Land, LEGO Batman 2, and LEGO Marvel Superheroes I'm not too sure if I can go back to the split screen for two players. It's quite disappointing that Nintendo didn't (couldn't?) use its GamePad this way for this game.

Nintenjoe64

#255

Nintenjoe64 said:

@GreatPlayer Sonic Racing is just a badly optimised game on Wii U. On PC it is a bland kart racer that doesn't run that well either. It's not better looking than any of Nintendo's Wii U games which all run smoothly.

gatorboi352

#256

gatorboi352 said:

@james_squared It's more couldn't than didn't. And the reason it's couldn't is because of the technical specs of the system. MK8 is decidedly much more taxing on the Wii U hardware than those other titles you mentioned and therefore certain things just cannot be done on the given hardware.

Nintenjoe64

#257

Nintenjoe64 said:

@gaterboi352 4 player renders 4 screens at a reduced framerate and detail just like it has always done on every Mario Kart since 64 and a huge amount of Nintendo's other 4 player games.

If they had wanted to they could have easily had a TV vs Gamepad mode. Sega and Activision managed to port it into their games before launch with no experience of the hardware.

Action51

#258

Action51 said:

@Kirk said:

"I just want at least ONE game on Wii U (and ideally a couple or maybe even a few) to have the ALL-ROUND level of total and utter polish and basically complete realization..."

Again, Your Mileage May Vary. I found Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and The Wonderful 101 to be exactly that...the feeling I got from the final confrontation of Wonderful 101 is more or less unmatched as a crowning moment of awesome for any video game ever. In my opinion DK:TF is the ultimate platformer. Even Super Mario 3D World was great and worthy of it's place alongside any great Mario game...though not every game is going to be your ultimate #1, final, amazing, mega, super, astonishing, world altering, final, amazing entry(did I say final twice?) in a series.

You even admitted that Mario Kart on SNES was not a game that stands the test of time as well as it's contemporaries...but this one has to or it's a failure?

Okay man...well that's like...your opinion.

Windy

#259

Windy said:

NWR gave the game a 7.5 I was pretty shocked. From what I've seen in videos the game seems to have lost its bright, vivid colors of past versions. However it seems what they have done is just make it more realistic looking. To me that's a bad thing. Bright and colorful in a world such as this is the way to go. The game no doubt will be fun to play but for me I'm going to pass. Mario kart 7 spent to much time in its case. I guess it doesn't appeal to me anymore. Its definitely not the game to make me run out and buy a Wii-U. Come on Dragon Quest X!

Funny_Moblin

#260

Funny_Moblin said:

@Windy Umm...the game is still bright and magical and stuff, they just made it more realistic and detailed...which is a GOOD thing. If you don't want this game because you're just not into it anymore, sure, I respect that. But if you are not buying it just because they made it more realistic and detailed? ...That's kind of sad actually.

Henmii

#262

Henmii said:

Nice review and nice score! A pity that this doesn't have a real time-trial leaderboard (Mariokart 7 didn't have it either), but for the rest it sounds really strong!

GreatPlayer

#264

GreatPlayer said:

@Datasun_7 Not as terrible as the control of Wonderful 101! :p Where you get the idea that the port is terrible? Sonic Transformed get the score of 8 to 9 (out of 10) in most game sites. Wii U can only handle the speed of a kart game as in Mario Kart 8 but not in that of Sonic Transformed.

MJKOP

#266

MJKOP said:

@Laxeybobby Xcellent I'm really loving Xscape have you got it yourself yet? MK8.... soon. I think they should be making more noise about the free game too, fantastic deal

Kirk

#267

Kirk said:

@Action51

I've never said this Mario Kart was anything like a failure. It's still a very good game but it does clearly have some annoying issues that really shouldn't have been there. It's very good but not all-round truly brilliant imo. I'm simply saying Nintendo missed an opportunity to make it one of those truly genuine classics, that's basically beyond debate, like those other games that I've mentioned, and the fact it came so close in many ways just makes it all the more frustrating that Nintendo didn't just go those few extra steps.

I'm just tired of modern Nintendo games that come sooo close to GENUINE all-round greatness, that's basically beyond reasonable debate, but just end up being very good instead, with some obvious issues or shortcomings that really didn't need to be there.

Those games you mentioned didn't even come close imo. Super Mario 3D World was the closest of the bunch though.

I want Nintendo to realize just one modern game to basically it's full and true potential for once, in the same way those old classics I mentioned absolutely managed relative to their day and the expectations of the time.

Why am I still able to genuinely say without doubt in my mind that Nintendo games from their first and second generation consoles are, relatively speaking, still superior to their modern sequels in quite a few significant ways (if you ignore any advances in technology for a second)?

There should be first party Nintendo games that are better in every single area a game can be better in this day and age that even the very best games they were making 10-20-30 years ago and that's simply not the case.

Something is just wrong with that imo and until I see those games I'm personally never going to be fully satisfied with Nintendo's recent efforts.

Mario Kart 8 is good, in some ways even great, but it's not Nintendo at it's very best (or else you wouldn't have stupid issues and niggles like the lack of proper Battle Arenas or no off-tv full-screen on the GamePad during multi-player etc) and that's what I'm looking for.

Maybe, you simply don't really get what I'm on about.

DiscoDriver43

#268

DiscoDriver43 said:

@Kirk

to be honestly fair if you want to use Metacritic, MK 8 is scoring 3rd place among the MK games. only beaten by Super Circuit why is it scoring better than MK DS? that game was so much better and Mario Kart DS.

anyway, i'm a believer that scores on a game are silly and i think they should be taken behind an alley and shoot. I rather people reviewing the game just review the game without the arbiturary score. Also i don't think scores should matter.

For example: I think SF4 and Brawl are overrated games while i love Marvel vs. Capcom, Tatsunoko, and Melee more. however, SF4 and Brawl has a better score than Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Tatsunoko, and Melee.

Kirk

#269

Kirk said:

@DiscoDriver43

Well to try and make the point; this isn't about how good this Mario Kart game is relative to the other Mario Kart games but about how good this Mario Kart game is compared to how good it could and should have been (in ALL areas).

It could have been a defining/seminal moment on Wii U and in some areas it actually is, like the graphics for example, but instead it's just another very good game with some blatant and totally unnecessary issues that FANS and casuals are going to lap up but that ultimately isn't really going to mean sh*t.

Not only should this have been the best Mario Kart game to date in every area by default (Why shouldn't it, given that everything about game design and tech etc has advanced since any Mario Kart game that came before it?), which in some areas it clearly isn't (like Battle Mode), but it could have been a genuine indisputable 9-10 game across the board too and using metacritic as the bottom line in this case, it clearly isn't or else it the scores would reflect this.

Regardless of all that is good and even great about Mario Kart 8, it's just disappointing that another modern-day Nintendo first party game didn't reach it's FULL potential (all things being relative), once again, is all.

DiscoDriver43

#270

DiscoDriver43 said:

@Kirk

really i don't really care about Battle mode all that much. never cared about battle mode since i play racing games to race, not go around some arena trying to pop ballons the gamepad thing is dissapointing, but not much. Really, the strength is the courses, which are pretty good. I can't think of any Mario Kart game that has courses this consistantly good. Even the retro courses are better than the originals.

Anyway like i said, i don't care about Metacritic and the scores for the reasons i said. Brawl doesn't compared to Melee in anything other than content or music. SF4 is not as fun as the Marvel series. yet both Brawl and SF4 are higher on the games

Honestly, this looks like the best Mario Kart game since Mario Kart 7, which was a great game after the dissapointment called Mario Kart Wii.

also for another example of scores being meaningless is Grand Theft Auto 4. highly rated by Metacritic, but there haven't been any people i know who say it is better than the previous games sans the 2d top down ones. And no one thinks the story is that good or even oscar worthy

Kirk

#271

Kirk said:

@DiscoDriver43

Well it's hard for me to explain where I'm coming from but it's kinda like this:

I'd personally rather have game that scores say 9, 9, 9, 9, 9 in all categories than a game that score 4, 10, 10, 10, 10, because that one blatant flaw stands out to me far more than if everything is near perfect (even if it's not quite perfect), if you get me.

I just don't like blatant flaws that really should have been noticed by the devs and really could and should have been addressed before the game was released and it basically taints the entire experience for me personally.

It's like a girl with a totally stunning body but a face like a pig. You can't just ignore or pretend that she doesn't have a face like a pig. You can't just say to yourself "Well her body is smoking hot so I can live with the fact that her face is minging". It's always gonna be there in the back of your mind. You're always going to be thinking "If only her face was as pretty as the rest of her body...".

That's kind of how I feel about Mario Kart 8 to a degree.

With Mario Kart 8; no matter how good the main courses and racing might be, I'm still always going to be thinking in the back of my mind "If only the Battle Mode was as good as the main game... If only you could use the GamePad as a full-screen second screen in multi-player... If only there weren't those few dud characters that were blatantly just quickly slapped together and thrown in there to make up the numbers..." "If only there was proper voice chat during online multi-player races...".

These issues really don't need to be there, some of them are just stupid issues that Nintendo's developers should never have let happen, and because they are there the game isn't quite as satisfying as it could have been in some areas and many of the scores, the ones that are coming in at around the 7.5-8 range, are a clear reflection of this.

With Nintendo's biggest games I basically want 9+, 9+, 9+, 9+, 9+ and while that's clearly a very high standard to expect Nintendo to achieve, I know fine well Nintendo can and has achieved it multiple times in the past and simply I'd simply like it to do so now, in the current generation, where in many ways it matters more than ever before.

DiscoDriver43

#272

DiscoDriver43 said:

@Kirk I guess you see your point, but honestly i don't care about scores.

really my problem reviewers nowadays it that they prop that 5 like it was a 10. just like the garbage story in Grand Theft Auto 4.

It is like a car. They say on a postive that the car has excellent fuel mileage, yet it only get 20 miles per gallon.

Also they will say that the game is 9 9 9 9 9, when there are huge flaws in the game when it just comes to 0 9 5 5 7 0 whatever. Battlefield 4. a game that has massive glitches and where many people had trouble with the online stuff, yet it gets 8s consistantly espically on the PS4.

Kirk

#273

Kirk said:

@DiscoDriver43

Well yeah, I think a lot of modern games get away with a crap load of sins so long as they have shiny next-gen graphics (and usually it's not even about how good the art looks but just how technically cutting edge and "impressive" the tech is) along with a large focus on story and "compelling" characters.

Personally, I'm never quite blinded enough by any of that stuff to make me ignore the more important fundamentals like controls, gameplay, user interface, level design and replayability etc.

Nintenjoe64

#275

Nintenjoe64 said:

@GreatPlayer you must be trolling, the controls of w101 were okay, the graphics were smooth but not awe inspiring and the camera is very dodgy. Unnecessarily bad if you ask me.

Do you like many games or just like talkin about ones you don't like?

Laxeybobby

#280

Laxeybobby said:

@MJKOP Waiting for it to arrive from Amazon, I ordered the deluxe edition as I read this was the better album as it has the original recordings as well as the remastered ones. I've always been wary of buying MJ albums since his death, prior to that I bought everyone, as I read that a few of the post death released albums were not very good and just an obvious cash in 'Michael' for example.
Whats your opinion?
Re MK8 which is what this post is about, again I purchased a special edition.

MJKOP

#281

MJKOP said:

I have the Michael album, but... there's too much controversy around it, I enjoy some of the songs but looking back now, it was too soon & a quick cash grab. Absolutely not what MJ woulda put out, I know that much. Xscape is something else though, I love it. I got both versions, I'm a fanatic tbh, gave the standard version to my Mum but I'll pick it up again for myself. I hope you enjoy it. MK8 I've Preordered from Play.com, I had Super Points accumulated which were due to expire so I thought I'd use them up. It better come day of release lol. In the meantime, I'm still playing DK:TF, great game

Anguspuss

#289

Anguspuss said:

Well bought my copy from Eshop. Had discount as I bought the Snes MK. Free game as well. Just had chance for a road test. Just looks amazing love the hover bits. MKTV is just such a cool feature. But it just looks amazing. We might not get the three versions of FIfa released this year but we bloody get MK.

faustcoolio

#290

faustcoolio said:

Picked up game yesterday. Spent few hours playing. Nice game but there is room for improvement. No map on main screen, also in local multiplayer It is anoin to have to wait for a human player in 12th spot to finish the race, heshe is last any way. To keep this game going Nintendo would have to release at least one FREE new track every month. Track ebitor would be the best.

realar

#291

realar said:

Not a fan of the whole character selection in 8, and more so in 7. I am bummed that my Dry Bones is gone and that the Battle mode sucks. I also hated that the whole Youtube incorporation only allows you to post race reels instead of the actual RACE. However, the game is GORGEOUS, and plays well, but the controls take some learning since every MK plays so different from the other. I don't get why Nintendo had EVERY character playable in the demo game at stores, also there was no surprise characters to unlock. Why? Here's hoping for DLC!

TanookiToad64

#292

TanookiToad64 said:

Great review! Man, I first got to play this game at the Gamestop event, and it was just amazing. I got super hyped up about this game when I saw the update in March or April that showed off some of the retro courses. Only eight tracks to play at the demo, and none of them were retro ones, but it was so worth it. It'll be so great when I'm finally able to enjoy this game in all of its full glory. The Nintendo magic and the nostalgia are so well respected in this game but at the same time the new tracks are setting new standards, and going way out there for course designs and the gimmicks in the courses. Everything about this game is new and at the same time perfectly retro, and it's just so awesome to see it all blend together so well!

pukka-pie

#293

pukka-pie said:

It's so so close to a 10, but there are issues; I think you slow down waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much when hit, it also seems like whenever i'm hit once I am immediately struck again 9 times out of 10, this is extremely frustrating when playing online because you routinely drop from 2nd to 8th in the blink of an eye. Also driving on grass slows you down waaaay too much, I know it's meant to be an impediment but it's too much. But I don't want to complain too much because it is easily one of the best racing games I've ever played.

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