Metareview: Mario Kart 8

Nintendo turned on the nitros with the new Wii U bundle for Mario Kart 8, not forgetting how every copy of the racer bundles in a code for a free game. Good thing, then, MK8 itself is a 4.5 stars winner according to Joystiq's Thomas Schulenberg. From his review:

"Despite an unfortunate change to its battle mode, MK8 is a solid extra lap on a series with a great foundation. The gravity-shifting sections spliced into existing and new tracks feel like a natural extension of the series rather than a gameplay-changing revelation, but it's a strong complement to an already enjoyable experience. The social features are surprisingly solid and may even outlive the total course selection, but it helps that the new tracks feel as worthy of a revisit as the series' standouts."

Of course, we're not the only kart lined up on the reviews grid. Head past the break for a quick ride through what others had to say on Mario Kart 8.
[Image: Nintendo]
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Mario Kart 8 (4/2/14)

  • Eurogamer (10/10): "Bold, accessible, deep and rich, Mario Kart 8 is premium video game development. It feels expensive. But this isn't the vacuous lavishness of the Hollywood blockbuster; its excesses and indulgences work towards a common goal - or rather, finish line. The game may build upon some of the steady inventions of its predecessor (the diversity of handling options, the airborne sections) but in these staggering, monument-like arenas, those ideas have been given space to fully blossom."
  • Game Informer (9.25/10): "Every Mario Kart title has been at least 'good,' but there are some clear standouts. Mario Kart 64 hits the right nostalgic notes for fans of local multiplayer, and Double Dash shined with unique gameplay elements and great courses. Mario Kart 8 should certainly be added to the list of top-tier entries, and none of the previous titles can boast the rock-solid total package that this one offers. Say what you will about Nintendo sticking with the tried and true, but I have no problem with that as long as it stays this fun."
  • IGN (9/10): "Mario Kart 8 is a beautiful, fun kart racer that introduces sound new ideas to Nintendo's 22-year old franchise. While it doesn't reach Double Dash-levels of risk and experimentation, Mario Kart 8 builds on the series' most essential aspects better than any of its predecessors. Twisting U-turns, a blistering sense of speed, skillful track designs, robust tournament and online features, and gorgeous graphics fall into lockstep all at once. The end result shouldn't come as a surprise: Mario Kart 8 is the king of the mascot kart circuit, and it gave me hours of enjoyment."
  • GameSpot (8/10): "Even though Mario Kart 8 does have a few problems, they're small enough that they don't detract much from the racing excellence. The greatest achievement of Mario Kart 8 is that it's as warm and welcoming as we expect, but doesn't cater to those who demand a helping hand. Instead, it strikes a balance, offering accessibility while demanding skill. It's easy enough for anyone to take a spin around Moo Moo Meadows, but the most determined drivers should come out on top. And, as someone who was annoyed by previous attempts to even the playing field, I really appreciate this change."
  • GamesRadar (4/5): "Mario Kart 8 is a high-quality game, of that there is no question. But it often feels like you and it are simply going through the motions. And when the musical swell from Super Mario Galaxy's Gusty Garden kicks in (aah, the goosebumps!), it does hammer home the fact that this game doesn't offer anything unique of its own that sets it apart from other kart racers or even other games in the series. As a result, it's very good - occasionally superb - but not quite exceptional."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.