Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Year in the Life of 'Mario Kart 8'

Apologies for any Kart-related flight delays.
This week on PopMatters, I celebrate Mario Kart 8's one-year mark.

It was one of Jorge's and my favorite games of 2014, and I'm glad to report that it holds up.  It was the first time I had played a Nintendo game that adhered to the "season" of paid DLC content, so I decided to do review and a retrospective.

Overall, the quality of the game continues to impress me.  The new courses released over the past year are excellent as is the new 200cc mode.  I say this in the post, but I just can't get over how fast it feels.  It inspired real changes in the way I approach the game.  The courses feel totally different and I'm having to learn new driving and item tactics.

It's an especially stark contrast to the last Mario Kart Wii, the last Mario Kart that I spend any significant time with.  That game was definitely fun, but I pretty much sleep walked my way through it.  Mario Kart 8's mechanical tweaks and more varied course design is a truly engaging experience, one that lets a casual racing game player like me appreciate what others see in real driving sims.

Overall, Mario Kart 8 continues to be a great example of how Nintendo keeps their long running series strong and how they might continue to adopt modern big-publisher tactics without hampering the game experience.

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