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Mario Kart 8: What's old is new and what's new is old - Destructoid

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Mario Kart 8  




Mario Kart 8: What's old is new and what's new is old  photo
Mario Kart 8: What's old is new and what's new is old

12:45 PM on 04.30.2014

What if you could counter the blue shell?


Mario Kart 8 has unveiled two "new" characters. They are Baby Rosalina and Pink Gold Peach. What the heck, right? You're probably rolling your eyes at the lack of surprise with Baby Rosalina (who's joining Baby Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Daisy), but Pink Gold Peach?

Think Metal Mario, but a more precious, royal metal (gold) and then pink because femininity is pink even though I'm wearing a pink shirt right now and I am super manly. Seriously. I am eating a pound of salami and a half pound of cheese for lunch. 

Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: May 30, 2014

Then there are two new items. The Crazy Eight is 8's Lucky Seven, flitting all the items around your person. The Super Horn promises maybe the biggest Mario Kart shake up in a while, which is funny in and of itself. Using it blasts a radial sound wave in all directions that will shake up nearby drivers but also destroy shells and other things that would otherwise mess you up.

Yes, that includes the blue shell, if your timing is right. It's supposedly a rare and infrequent item. I got it twice in my first race and then never again in my next seven.

It might be possible to up that frequency, however, as Mario Kart 8 gives you Smash Bros. levels of parameter setting. You can choose green shells only or bananas only or red shells only. You can even change the frequency of powerful item drops and have a race filled with blue shells and lightning strikes. You can also restrict kart types.

This customization extends to the new online Tournament Mode. You can create a tournament, give it a name and set the parameters: teams or no teams; tournament duration and frequency; controller restrictions (for example, Wii U gamepad only), and so on. Then, it doles out a lengthy code number you can give to friends to help them find it. You can also freely (without numbers) just join up into active tournaments.

Another online addition is Mario Kart TV, which, miraculously, lets you upload (short) clips straight to YouTube (through your own YouTube account). Your last 12 races are automatically recorded and there's a mild editing suite to choose how you want to share your matches. It doesn't pull from straight gameplay, but records everything that happens in a match and then shows it off with tighter camera angles not too dissimilar from how the auto-race looks while you're waiting for other people to finish.

You can choose which racers to focus on (by default, it just shows highlights of you), what events to focus on (items or drifting or big hits), and how long of a highlight reel to make. Full race recordings won't be able to go to YouTube, but can be uploaded to the Mario Kart 8 Miiverse. 30, 45, and 60 second clips can go directly to YouTube.

While making new things out of the familiar, Mario Kart 8 also makes the familiar feel foreign. Courses stick to the underwater and gliding shtick from Mario Kart 7, with the addition of disorienting gravity sections that see you driving perpendicular to the ground.

And this commitment holds up in the modernized versions of past stages, which have been, in large chunks, redesigned to accommodate these new gameplay modes. It's a bit uncanny to see stages once taken as muscle memory trip you up with these non-traditional racing bits.

It's different and weird and loud, but it's probably the way to go when you can't count on the Mario Kart fans of the last 20 years to sustain the series. And committing to these sections fully also has them appear in shorter bursts and feel more cohesive than in Mario Kart 7, which sort of felt like, "okay, here's this long, tedious water bit."

Plus there's a stage called Electrodome which, despite not (unfortunately) being related to Videodrome, gave me an interesting mental image for a Cronenberg Mario Kart.

Mario Kart 8 might not be that, but it's obvious that Nintendo is totally comfortable with transitioning the series into something much more colorful and frenetic. Yes, it is Mario Kart, but it does feel a bit different. Maybe all that pretty bloom lighting is just messing with my eyesight.





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Luigi's death stare is still strong with these Mario Kart 8 toy displays photo


These first Mario Kart 8 hacks are pretty benign photo


There's a commercial for those McDonald's Mario Kart toys now photo


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That Mario Kart 8 Mercedes-Benz DLC is no longer Japan-only photo


Mario Kart 8 Updates, Screenshots, & Videos







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Mario Kart 8



5:30 PM on 07.28.2014
This Bowser Mario Kart toy had a major facelift

I've been covering these Mario Kart Happy Meal toys far too long now. I see them in my sleep sometimes. And despite having ventured to McDonald's a few days a week in the mornings before work to check the inventory, I've only...more



11:30 AM on 07.22.2014
Luigi's death stare returns in new Mario Kart 8 TV ad

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8:00 PM on 07.17.2014
Luigi's death glare moves 885,000 US Mario Kart copies

C'mon, you're going to tell me that's not what's doing it? What, is it that Mario Kart 8 is fun? That it's familiar? That it's a Mario Kart game? Nope. All Luigi, baby. That's what you get in 2 anno Luigi. No matter the ...more



3:00 AM on 07.14.2014
Luigi's death stare is still strong with these Mario Kart 8 toy displays

Ever since I originally posted about those Mario Kart 8 toys at McDonald's, I've been meaning to get out to one and pick up one of them, but I have yet to do so. In the event you've been trying to figure out whether or not y...more



1:45 PM on 07.07.2014
These first Mario Kart 8 hacks are pretty benign

Through a browser exploit, a group has successfully managed to edit Mario Kart 8's memory on the fly, allowing, right now, custom Wii U menu fonts, renamed courses, and the alteration of which music plays when. Watch a demon...more



12:00 AM on 07.05.2014
There's a commercial for those McDonald's Mario Kart toys now

Remember those Mario Kart 8 toys McDonald's was teasing? Looks like it's about time to head to your local franchise and ransack their toy bins for the one you like the best. Or ask politely for one. Whatever. This commercial...more



4:00 PM on 07.03.2014
None of these strategies helped me win at Mario Kart 8

I've fought the urge to buy a Wii U specifically for Wind Waker HD for the better part of a year now. After a strong E3 by Nintendo and a convenient Mario Kart 8 promotion, I finally relented. Between flipping throu...more



2:45 PM on 06.27.2014
Mario Kart 8 sales hit 2 million in under a month

Mario Kart 8 sold 1.2 million copies in its first weekend of release. Reports from Nintendo's shareholders meeting are putting the sales, just under a month after release, at 2 million now. Pretty good for a Wii U game.&...more



1:45 PM on 06.25.2014
What do kids think of the Luigi Death Stare?

For the most part, they seem to like it just as much as we do.more



2:30 PM on 06.20.2014
That Mario Kart 8 Mercedes-Benz DLC is no longer Japan-only

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