Do you hear a faint rumbling in the air? That’s the sound of the world collectively shaking in anticipation of Mario Kart 8. Nintendo has been relatively quiet about their upcoming powerhouse racer Mario Kart 8 ever since they revealed it was in the works back in January of 2013. Even as it got closer to its release date, bits of information would appear sporadically. Until now.
With the release of Mario Kart 8 imminent (or Kartageddon, as I like to call it), Nintendo has finally released a flurry of information, to effectively get the hype train running at full speed towards our hearts and wallets. The trailer below showcases a number of new and old courses in the mix, as expected for the series. Old courses, specifically Rainbow Road from Mario Kart 64, have been given the graphical upgrade to keep with the times and mechanical upgrades to spice things up even more, such as added anti-gravity and flying portions.
Also unveiled is how bumping into other players while in anti-gravity mode actually gives you a speed boost, which is turns the racing elements literally and figuratively topsy-turvy, turning these sections into sudden high-speed bumper car races. Players must now switch strategies on the fly and keep extra attention to the changing tracks and the players around them, hurling themselves at each other one second and then keeping your distance the next. Nintendo has then gone through the motions of not just making this title pretty enough for consoles, but changing the way you approach the game altogether. Simply put, it’s brilliant.
The developers of Mario Kart 8 have also taken a clear liberty with the Wii U’s graphical capabilities, pulling out the stops for stages such as the revamped Rainbow Road 64 with a gorgeous city shining down on the earth miles beneath the track and objects such as the trains from Super Mario 3D World soaring through the night sky.
Similarly, the trailer gives subtle insight into the character animations which breathe a new life into many of the characters and adding a specific personality to each of them for added satisfaction when you’ve found that one character you particularly enjoy kicking your friends’ asses with. As a result, as cartoonish as it all looks, Mario Kart has never looked more natural.
It also seems evident that, after Super Mario 3D World, Nintendo has learned how substance and style go a long way in making a seemingly old title a truly new and fresh experience in terms of gameplay all the while making it a visual feast for a massive and intense powerhouse of a spectacle.
I got to play the game myself before and give my hands-on impressions, but there has since been a slew of new content added; I only witnessed a fraction of what the game has to offer. Nevertheless, what I experienced felt fantastic. That was a while ago, so I can only imagine how the driving mechanics have been tweaked and refined since then, making Mario Kart 8 the definitive Mario Kart experience, inside and out.
Whether you’re playing solo or with a group of friends, Mario Kart is a treat, offering hearty challenges and raucously good times. The rebalanced roster of items is sure to make races much less frustrating and more engaging. I played Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and thought kart racers couldn’t get any better than this, but it seems I will soon be proven very wrong.
One big thing to take away from this latest trailer as well is how it manages to separate itself more strongly from the previous entry on the 3DS, Mario Kart 7. It shows the gravity of its anti-gravity features and the marvel of its technical prowess showing the world that Mario Kart 8 is something you’ll be wanting to get in on, and you’re probably an idiot if you own a Wii U and don’t get this game at some point. Here’s hoping it winds up as incredible as it looks. Now, it’s just up to Nintendo to get some commercials up and let the world know about this beauty. Also, be sure to be on the lookout for our review of the game once it’s released on May 30th and get your pre-order for it here.
You can check out the latest April trailer right here and see the game in action: