By Gemma ~ Juicy Game Reviews
It safe to say that we're in the middle of a serious Amiibo craze right now. Nintendo released a plethora of Amiibo characters and plan on releasing a load more in the very near future. In fact, the Amiibo character list is growing rapidly, especially in the U.S. What is an Amiibo? And why are they so popular? Amiibo's are interactive plastic figures; recognisable to most, that are designed to enhance the experience of certain Wii U and 3DS titles. Titles like Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart 8 and Hyrule Warriors etc. Characters like Mario, Yoshi and Link are the most common and can easily be bought from stores. More obscure Amiibo characters like Mario - Gold Edition are more exclusive to the market. As it stands Nintendo have also announced Mario - Silver Edition so you had better get your pre-orders in now if you want it.
With a 20 year presence in our gaming world Mario Kart now makes it eighth appearance in the series and whilst it holds the eighth crown, the game is the first of its kind to be in full High Definition.
Is this game worth the hype though? The hype soon died for me as my delivery was almost two days late but as soon as the front door rattled, I ran down to greet that courier so quickly that no banana skin could have stopped me in my tracks. Having spent around six hours on the game, I am happy to report a pleasing experience. Naturally, the environments within the tracks are as aesthetically pleasing as one could expect. The vibrancy of the green hills in Moo Moo Meadows, the radiant warmth of the yellow sand in Dry Dry Desert and the boastful coloured blocks donning Donut Plains 3 all helped to provide me a truly warming experience. And what better way to help us glide through these tracks than with a total of 30 playable characters, 14 of which must be unlocked. I noticed that each character has a completely unique feel. I started with Yoshi, as he has always been my favourite in the MK series. He felt somewhat 'average' in his speed, handling, cornering and general fierceness. I soon switched to Ludwig, one of the earlier unlockable characters. Ludwig completely improved my game with a MUCH quicker speed boost from the start line, higher agility and surprised me with his likability from the get go. YES.... that is important. Ludwig had a likability factor that created a more immersive experience as I continued to race through Twisted Mansions and Rainbow Road. My advice is to 'branch out' Branch out with your characters. I have been guilty, on previous Mario Kart Games, of sticking with the same character of which I now recognise as a bad decision if I was going to progress with Mario Kart.
Musical appeal?? Hmmmm.... This is an easy one. The music in Mario Kart 8 is less than tasteful. Allow me to paint a picture. Think back to 80s game show, The Generation Game, The Price is Right and other shit like that. Remember? Now go and play Mario Kart 8 and you may notice that the music almost mirrors these shows. It is dated. It is disappointing. Does this take the edge off from the gameplay? In my opinion, yes it does. There are so many fantastic games that are defined and recongised by a strong soundtrack and this game IS NOT one of those games.
Which brings us on to the tracks. Most now know that there are 16 new tracks and 16 re-made tracks from previous Mario Kart games. I'll be blunt here: I prefer the re-made tracks. I almost screamed when I first started to drift around the cautious corners of the Donut Plains 3 from the Snes. As I continued to tear up the tarmac GBA Mario Circuit and the DS's Cheep Cheep Beach I realised something CRUCIAL. I am not playing Mario Kart 8 for a 'new' experience. I am LOVING and PLAYING Mario Kart 8 for the nostalgic experiences. I may be slammed here but hear me out..... I would love to see a FULL HD re-make of the first Mario Kart.
Multiplayer modes are a fantastic experience whether you are playing locally or against the fast fueled action from gamers worldwide. Typically, I have always found all multiplayer modes to provide a much faster platform in which to showcase your shell shoving accuracy. Jessica and I are safely addicted to Mario Kart Multplayer, not only on our Wii U but on our Nintendo 3DS handhelds too.
Overall, Mario Kart 8 is fun fueled experience and I would highly recommend gamers both old and new to give Mario and his friends a place on their gaming shelf.
Watch my unboxing of Mario Kart 8 on YouTube here.
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