Nintendo has recently released the next iteration of their video game staple, Mario Kart, which is now subject to very mixed reviews from audiences and critics. Wired contributor, Chris Kohler, stated that “Nintendo has come up with an exciting new way to ruin Mario Kart.” The first version in the franchise to be presented in resolutions greater than 480p, was accused by Kohler in sabotaging the greatest aspect of the game, “Battle Mode.” This is a mode where players, instead of racing around a one-direction course, drive around an arena-like territory attempting out-maneuver other players and “kill them off” by utilizing weapons against them. Kohler declared that the newest Mario Kart replicated this mode and “did it very wrong.” He cites the elimination of the arena-like stages where “Battle Mode” matches used to take place as his main grievance. The matches now take place on the same “lengthy” one-direction courses, and according to Kohler, that has prioritized time spent during matches to locating competitors, instead of actually battling them. Kohler recounted an instance with his wife where the entire match was spent trying to find each other, which they did not and the time limit expired. He also criticizes the inability for users to switch off the time limit as a major blunder for the popular video game.
Amongst the very mixed reviews, Mario Kart 8 also garnered very praise worthy proclamations. USA Today’s Brett Molina described the Wii-U exclusive video game as a “super racer.” Molina illustrated that the latest iteration of the popular gaming franchise is “every bit as exciting and fun” as previous versions of the game, with additions of intelligent modern alterations. Molina attributed the improvements to the gaming environments which appear to be “huge,” “colorful,” and “full of life.” Molina also compliments new gameplay features such as “anti-gravity,” (where players, upon passing a blue strip, can drive on the ceiling and walls of the environment) for engendering more “exhilarating races.”
TIME’s Matt Peckham subjected his opinion to contribute to Mario Kart 8’s collection very mixed reviews, by affirming that the video game is a “no brainer for any sort of player,” claiming that the game appeals to all sorts of gaming enthusiasts. Peckham contends that the newest release of the Nintendo namesake retains the qualities that made the previous games successful, while adding new features that -instead of obstructing said qualities- enhance them. Peckham indicated that the unpredictability of the races in the games is the engine behind the entertainment of the gameplay, and in Mario Kart 8 the boosted graphics and environmental interactions immerse the player more, augmenting the satisfaction of the experience. He also complimented the responsiveness of the Wii-U controller.
In addition to being subject to the very mixed reviews from the public, Mario Kart 8 is also being cited as the “saving grace” for the Wii-U. Which -until recently- has been reporting poor unit sales. The latest console release moved 35 million units from retailers. Molina stated that regardless of what the reviews are, Mario Kart 8 seems to be striking a core with fans everywhere.
By Andres Loubriel