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While racing simulation heavyweights like Gran Turismo 6 and Forza Motorsports 5 were some of the plums of this year's Entertainment Electronics Expo – at least for gear heads – we couldn't help being charmed by the latest instantiation of Nintento's long-running racer, Mario Kart 8.

Fans of the franchise will have the option of using Wii U's motion-based controls or the conventional versions to join the better-than-ever on-track mayhem. Nintendo has returned motorcycles to the mix of vehicles in MK8, as well as offering players the opportunity to get above ground with hovering karts and an anti-gravity feature that occasionally flips tracks on their heads.

The head-to-head competition is still at the heart of why Mario Kart is such a crowd pleaser, and the multi-player features are strong, though streamlined for MK8. We played – and were trounced – in a two-way battle versus a random E3-goer, but the motion controls proved pretty flawless in the first go-round. Four-way play is available, as ever, for a single console, and online races support up to twelve racers at a time. Our gut tells us that the more live racers you have to battle with, the better MK8 gets.

Every other piece of the game is familiar but refined... in a good way. Game play is fast, weapons are hilarious to deploy and courses seem to get easier the more you have time to learn them. Friendly faces abound: Luigi, Peach, Donkey Kong, Bowser, Yoshi and Mario (of course) are among the characters set to return to the franchise. Scroll down below for a video.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      carguy1701
      • 1 Year Ago
      So in other words, its still Mario Kart.
      vi_per
      • 1 Year Ago
      Love it
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 1 Year Ago
      I didn't even know Nintendo still sold consoles.
      Gordon Chen
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is the first game to make me consider a wii u
      PatrickH
      • 1 Year Ago
      I"m not sure if this game will be good enough to justify my purchase of the Wii U. I say that b/c I wouldn't use the Wii for anything else. And I'm disappointed to see Bikes are included again. though I suppose I'm fine with their inclusion if they're not longer far and away superior to the karts, like in the last version.
        tinted up
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PatrickH
        The problem here is why buy a Wii U for this game? I have a Wii, I have mario kart. I feel like this game is NOT a substantial enough improvement to warrant a purchase of Wii U and mario kart 8.
        Gordon Chen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PatrickH
        Actually, it might. Wii Us are pretty cheap. But I would NOT get an xbox one for Forza.
      Peter DePriest
      • 1 Year Ago
      Always loved Mario Kart, great memories. This looks very good, now if only there was enough good games to make me care enough to buy a Wii U
      CruzControl
      • 1 Year Ago
      I used to love this frickin' game when I had my Super n.e.s and Supernintendo 64.
      bK
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mario Kart for SNES was such a great game, it had so much playback value. I think it should be in the hall of fame lol.
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