Preview: Mario Kart 8 Is What You Expected and a Little More

Preview: Mario Kart 8 Is What You Expected and a Little More

Graphical improvements bring something fresh to Mario Kart.

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I think we'd be better off with Rollcage 3 than this. I'm not convinced the anti-gravity idea makes the gameplay that innovative. Especially not after the colossal disappointment of MK7 on the 3DS, with its severely under-developed special features. I think I could live without this title.

Terramax:
I think we'd be better off with Rollcage 3 than this. I'm not convinced the anti-gravity idea makes the gameplay that innovative. Especially not after the colossal disappointment of MK7 on the 3DS, with its severely under-developed special features. I think I could live without this title.

Not likely, given that Rollcage was only ever a niche series thats been dormant for over 10 years, and its not exactly clear who owns the rights to the IP.

"Like F-Zero"?
But Nintendo, why would you bother dolling up Mario Kart to be like F-Zero when you could just make a new F-Zero?
With beat 'em up segments in between the racing? Cripes, would that be cool.

Eh, MK8 looks good.
Can't say too much about it because the title describes the situation perfectly.
It's (mostly) what you'd expect from it, with just a touch more.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Terramax:
I think we'd be better off with Rollcage 3 than this. I'm not convinced the anti-gravity idea makes the gameplay that innovative. Especially not after the colossal disappointment of MK7 on the 3DS, with its severely under-developed special features. I think I could live without this title.

Not likely, given that Rollcage was only ever a niche series thats been dormant for over 10 years, and its not exactly clear who owns the rights to the IP.

I believe it's Sony' IP, as they acquired Psygnosis and it's back-catalog that same year. The games were developed by ATD, but after Sony weren't interested in a Rollcage 3, ATD made the spiritual sequel 'Firebugs' instead.

Rollcage may have never have been as popular, but my point is, seeing as that whole game revolved around the antigravity mechanic, as opposed to being a tacked on extra, and considering those games were uber-fast to play, something Mario has never been, I still think it's quite likely a Rollcage 3 would be better appreciated by everyone outside of the die-hard Mario Kart crowd.

Biggest question will be what the catch-up logic is like. They really took the piss with that in the Wii version, took away all the challenge.

Interesting, I wonder how this one will turn out.

Mostly because the standard by which I'll hold a new Mario Kart game is no longer the previous Mario Kart. As far as I'm concerned, the current benchmark for mascot racers is Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed[1].

[1] Doubt me if you want, I think it's better than any Mario Kart.

Terramax:
I think we'd be better off with Rollcage 3 than this. I'm not convinced the anti-gravity idea makes the gameplay that innovative. Especially not after the colossal disappointment of MK7 on the 3DS, with its severely under-developed special features. I think I could live without this title.

MK7 disappointment? It's my favourite one. I liked the Wii MK, but the 7 was incredibly much better!

Anoni Mus:

Terramax:
I think we'd be better off with Rollcage 3 than this. I'm not convinced the anti-gravity idea makes the gameplay that innovative. Especially not after the colossal disappointment of MK7 on the 3DS, with its severely under-developed special features. I think I could live without this title.

MK7 disappointment? It's my favourite one. I liked the Wii MK, but the 7 was incredibly much better!

Same here. Great maps, beautiful controls and wonderful graphics. Everything just felt so... right.

My only wish is this:

Add more maps through DLC. Please.

NightmareExpress:
"Like F-Zero"?
But Nintendo, why would you bother dolling up Mario Kart to be like F-Zero when you could just make a new F-Zero?

Pretty much what I was thinking when I read this. The F-Zero franchise has been woefully ignored lately, even though it has the potential to really show off the Wii U's graphical prowess (let's face it, F-Zero can look amazing even on something a generation outdated) and help sell to a demographic that's currently not getting enough attention from Nintendo. Heck, let SEGA develop it again, they did a great job with F-Zero GX and you're all buddy buddy with them right now anyway.

P.S. Thanks

P.P.S. edit:

chimpzy:
Interesting, I wonder how this one will turn out.

Mostly because the standard by which I'll hold a new Mario Kart game is no longer the previous Mario Kart. As far as I'm concerned, the current benchmark for mascot racers is Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed.

This game is absolutely amazing. If anything, it's all the more reason that Nintendo should be working on F-Zero instead of Mario Kart. I know that MK is one of their go-to standard franchises, but there's much stiffer competition here thanks to SEGA.

P.P.P.S. Thanks

Anoni Mus:
[quote="Terramax" post="6.819044.19736126"]I think we'd be better off with Rollcage 3 than this. I'm not convinced the anti-gravity idea makes the gameplay that innovative. Especially not after the colossal disappointment of MK7 on the 3DS, with its severely under-developed special features. I think I could live without this title.

MK7 disappointment? It's my favourite one. I liked the Wii MK, but the 7 was incredibly much better![/quote

Fair play for enjoying it. For me, I was so disappointed with it, I sold my Vita because of it. I felt that most of the tracks were uninspired, the single lap levels too long, droning, and boring, the racing too slow, and the flying and underwater sections under-developed.

And the online multiplayer made me realise very quickly how broken the weapon system can be, and will always be.

I think I'm pretty much done with the MK series, unless we were to see a serious change of somekind. If I really have the urge to play one, I'll put on the DS game, or Double Dash on the GC.

But, honestly, I'd rather play Sega Rally or Wipeout in any case.

Wow, this game looks amazing, I especially can't wait to see the new Rainbow Road track, with colours as bright as these on display I bet that if will be glorious.

chimpzy:
Interesting, I wonder how this one will turn out.

Mostly because the standard by which I'll hold a new Mario Kart game is no longer the previous Mario Kart. As far as I'm concerned, the current benchmark for mascot racers is Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed.

All Stars was awesome, but it also had flaws in some very key areas which MK8 looks to be building on. Namely, framerate. All Stars was 30fps, but even then the framerate wasn't rock solid. Whereas Nintendo have said they're targetting a rock-solid 60fps with MK8, and all the demo footage recorded at 60fps seems to suggest they've managed it. Also, and htis is purely personal, but I don't think any of the weapon in All Stars had the same flair or character as MK.

That higher framerate, coupled with the anti-gravity and MK's own take on the transforming kart mechanics means MK8 could end up taking the crown back from Sega.

Covarr:

NightmareExpress:
"Like F-Zero"?
But Nintendo, why would you bother dolling up Mario Kart to be like F-Zero when you could just make a new F-Zero?

Pretty much what I was thinking when I read this. The F-Zero franchise has been woefully ignored lately, even though it has the potential to really show off the Wii U's graphical prowess (let's face it, F-Zero can look amazing even on something a generation outdated) and help sell to a demographic that's currently not getting enough attention from Nintendo. Heck, let SEGA develop it again, they did a great job with F-Zero GX and you're all buddy buddy with them right now anyway.

Part of me wonders if the reason Nintendo went this direction for Mario Kart is because once they get the game out, they want to move onto developing a Wii U version of F-Zero, and they're using the anti-gravity features of this game as a sort of test-run.

I can't see them outsourcing it to Sega again, given from what I understand the team that developed GX is no more. They could maybe get Shin'en to do it, considering they did FAST Racing League for Wii, but they're only a small team, and I think that would maybe be a bit beyond them.

Terramax:

I believe it's Sony' IP, as they acquired Psygnosis and it's back-catalog that same year. The games were developed by ATD, but after Sony weren't interested in a Rollcage 3, ATD made the spiritual sequel 'Firebugs' instead.

Rollcage may have never have been as popular, but my point is, seeing as that whole game revolved around the antigravity mechanic, as opposed to being a tacked on extra, and considering those games were uber-fast to play, something Mario has never been, I still think it's quite likely a Rollcage 3 would be better appreciated by everyone outside of the die-hard Mario Kart crowd.

And a new F-Zero game would be even more appreciated than that. As it is, there isn't any sign of either on the horizon, so looks like if you're into anti-gravity racing, Mario Kart 8 is where it's going to be for the forseeable future.

And considering that Mario's two most acclaimed games are the ones where he got sent into space and gravity started going weird on him, I don't think Mario fans have a problem with appreciating the finer dynamics of gravity-based gameplay.

I found the gameplay very enjoyable when I tested it out at E3. It was a really fresh additive to the Mario Kart series.

However they do need to work on things like the speed for instance.It was just slow for a Mario Kart game. I don't know if the lady in charge was saying it as a PR measure but she told me that not everything is complete yet so I let it slide.

Also I found it easier to steer using the tablet more than anything. However it needs to be more sensitive towards sharp turns, and I couldn't really find out how to drift.
Other than that, yeah. It was as fun as you'd expect.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
All Stars was awesome, but it also had flaws in some very key areas which MK8 looks to be building on. Namely, framerate. All Stars was 30fps, but even then the framerate wasn't rock solid. Whereas Nintendo have said they're targetting a rock-solid 60fps with MK8, and all the demo footage recorded at 60fps seems to suggest they've managed it. Also, and htis is purely personal, but I don't think any of the weapon in All Stars had the same flair or character as MK.

That higher framerate, coupled with the anti-gravity and MK's own take on the transforming kart mechanics means MK8 could end up taking the crown back from Sega.

I can't speak for the first All-Stars, or for console versions of Transformed, but All-Stars Transformed ran at 60fps on PC.

What made ASRT so good, though, wasn't the features or style though. It got something right that no MK game ever has: balance. The AI never cheats or suddenly knows how to drive faster than its kart's max speed; on hard, it's just plain good at racing. The items for players in farther-back positions are better, but not game-breakingly overpowered as Mario Kart's last-place items tend to be (bullet bill, chain chomp). As a result, in spite of being an arcade kart racer, it feels a lot more technical and skill-focused than most, and it's both more rewarding to win and less frustrating to lose.

Honestly, the transformation mechanic in ASRT didn't do much for me. It didn't really detract from the game, but it didn't really add to it either. It was just kinda there. The big gimmick that really sets it apart from other racing games is the tracks that change between laps. Terrain gets destructed, routes get blocked off and opened, etc. It adds more variety to any single stage than Mario Kart has ever had. That still isn't as important to me as the overall balance of the game, but as gimmicks go it's a good one.

P.S. Thanks

I just want to be able to play with my friends online... could you dot hat with the wii version? I easily played with randoms, but if there was a lobby section I sure as hell never saw it XD At least it was better then the abysmal Smash bros. online, which didn't even have the option to play with randoms. I just hope Nintendo gets their act together with the whole online thing this gen.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

chimpzy:
snip

All Stars was awesome, but it also had flaws in some very key areas which MK8 looks to be building on. Namely, framerate. All Stars was 30fps, but even then the framerate wasn't rock solid. Whereas Nintendo have said they're targetting a rock-solid 60fps with MK8, and all the demo footage recorded at 60fps seems to suggest they've managed it. Also, and htis is purely personal, but I don't think any of the weapon in All Stars had the same flair or character as MK.

That higher framerate, coupled with the anti-gravity and MK's own take on the transforming kart mechanics means MK8 could end up taking the crown back from Sega.

You make a fair point. I have All Stars Transformed on pc, which does run at a smooth 60fps, as well as having better visuals compared to the PS3/360 versions[1]. The higher framerate really does make a difference. And yeah, the weapons are kinda uninspired, but I do like that they're more balanced. In Transformed, if you know what to do, you can evade pretty much anything, including the homing ones[2]. Some of those in Mario Kart can be very cheap, which I've always disliked about the series.

Hence my interest in how Mario Kart 8 turns out. I had no expectations for Transformed and got something great IMO. Meanwhile, Mario Kart Wii and 7 kind of disappointed me. They were still good, but not great and I expect great from the series. So yeah, expectations are high.

[1] Haven't seen the WiiU version in action so I'm not making any judgments there
[2] Evading one by outrunning it makes you feel like a badass

xPixelatedx:
I just want to be able to play with my friends online... could you dot hat with the wii version? I easily played with randoms, but if there was a lobby section I sure as hell never saw it XD At least it was better then the abysmal Smash bros. online, which didn't even have the option to play with randoms. I just hope Nintendo gets their act together with the whole online thing this gen.

They're the only ones offering free online multuplayer this generation, as well as an integrated gamer-specific social network. I sure hope that counts as getting their act together.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

They're the only ones offering free online multuplayer this generation, as well as an integrated gamer-specific social network. I sure hope that counts as getting their act together.

We'll see when it comes time to actually play online with Mario Kart and Smash bros. I would still like to see online multiplayer in a real Mario game to, and it's very rare to get a bunch of people in the same room to play locally. I doubt this new Super Mario 3D world is going to have it, though. Hell, I wouldn't even care if I could play with just randoms. I just don't want to play alone D:

Congrats Nintendo, spewing out more of the same. Those anti-gravity tracks doesn't bring something innovative in the series, don't they?

I'm a fan of Mario Kart and it looks awesome and all, but... can we get a proper F-Zero game?... please?

Got to play this at Best Buy during Nintendo's E3 Event (Honestly I wish more companies would off mini-E3's one of the best things ever).

I thought it was incredibly fun. Got to play the three stages mentioned in the article. I'm not really to excited for some of the Nintendo games coming up (Mario 3D World is a bit of a let down, but it's hard to follow up on Galaxy) but this looks like it's shaping out to be one of the stronger Mario Kart games.

Looked like they were just doing what Crash Nitro Kart did a decade ago, not excited in the least.

They keep trying to add new things to the tracks like first halfpipes in the Wii version, then gliding and underwater in the 3DS version, and now antigravity, yet they never introduce any new powerups or weapons. That seems like a continually missed opportunity to me.

I won't be happy till they bring back R.O.B.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

And a new F-Zero game would be even more appreciated than that. As it is, there isn't any sign of either on the horizon, so looks like if you're into anti-gravity racing, Mario Kart 8 is where it's going to be for the forseeable future.

And considering that Mario's two most acclaimed games are the ones where he got sent into space and gravity started going weird on him, I don't think Mario fans have a problem with appreciating the finer dynamics of gravity-based gameplay.

Eh, sadly, Rollcage is much more fun than F-Zero. I'd say, whatever racing game ends up on the PS4 is likely where it's going to be. Perhaps the guys who did the Motorstorm series have something good cooked up.

OlasDAlmighty:
They keep trying to add new things to the tracks like first halfpipes in the Wii version, then gliding and underwater in the 3DS version, and now antigravity, yet they never introduce any new powerups or weapons. That seems like a continually missed opportunity to me.

I take it you've never actually played a Mario Kart game, then. The list of items has been expanding and being tweaked with each entry. MK7 on the 3DS introduced fire flowers, tanooki leaves, and lucky 7 boxes.

Terramax:
I think we'd be better off with Rollcage 3 than this. I'm not convinced the anti-gravity idea makes the gameplay that innovative. Especially not after the colossal disappointment of MK7 on the 3DS, with its severely under-developed special features. I think I could live without this title.

I liked the part where you brought up a thirteen-year-old game released for the PS1 as some kind of legitimate comparison to a franchise that people actually know about.

Really, though:

1. If you aren't convinced the anti-gravity is that innovative, don't pass judgement on it so soon. From what I've seen of the gameplay, they're making a big effort to integrate it into every level, like with the mobius strip course.

2. I don't know what planet you've been living on, but Mario Kart 7 was fucking amazing. The Wii one was the colossal disappointment.

3. While whether or not MK7's special features (which I take to mean underwater, one-lap courses, and flying) were or weren't underdeveloped is up for debate, they did a damn fine job of making the game fresh. I hope that they get a lot more prevalence in Mario Kart 8.

OT:

Looks like they're taking all the things that were great about Mario Kart 7 and upsizing them onto the Wii U. I doubt I'll ever buy one, personally, but this is a step in the right direction for the series.

Professor Lupin Madblood:

OlasDAlmighty:
They keep trying to add new things to the tracks like first halfpipes in the Wii version, then gliding and underwater in the 3DS version, and now antigravity, yet they never introduce any new powerups or weapons. That seems like a continually missed opportunity to me.

I take it you've never actually played a Mario Kart game, then. The list of items has been expanding and being tweaked with each entry. MK7 on the 3DS introduced fire flowers, tanooki leaves, and lucky 7 boxes.

Wait! The Tanooki suit was supposed to be a powerup? And the lucky 7 was just a bunch of pre-existing items stuck together.

Don't you just love it when people make false assumptions about you? I own every MarioKart except Double Dash and the GBA one. I'm a huge fan of the series making an honest criticism of it. I'll give you the fire flower was new, but still I think they should be focusing more on items than on these bizarre racing methods.

 

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