Forgive me for a moment while I go into full-blown fanboy mode.
I got to play Mario Kart 8 today. And it was glorious.
If you don't know, GameStops across America is doing a Mario Kart 8 Test Drive Weekend promotion thing, where you can go into GameStop and play a demo of Mario Kart 8. Because I'm far, far too excited for this game, I tossed my little brother in the car and drove like a madman to the nearest GameStop, ready to play latest iteration of Mario Kart. The reviews have recently come in, and they have been very positive, so my excitement was at an all time high. I expected to get a taste of the game, and cement my decision to pre-order.
What I didn't expect was just how damn extensive the demo was.
The tracks on display were a good mix too. The most interesting ones to see were definitely the Electrodrone (which is what Nintendo thinks a nightclub looks like) and one that took place in the clouds. That one was my favorite, as it starts tranquil enough, driving over cloud roads, but one jump catapults you into a storm, with lightning striking boost pads on the track, turning them on and off. You have to dart around them, and react to the bolts for fear of getting slowed down. It was beautiful and thrilling to race on.
One last thing to comment on. My brother and I played about ten races total (keeping the little kids away with our fierce glares) and in those races, I recall only one blue shell getting fired. It could've just been luck of the draw, but it seems as a whole that item use has been cut way down from past games. You actually have to use your race skills to keep ahead, something I welcome. It's a better mix of chaos and skill from past games, and I really look forward to ramping the difficulty up.
After this extensive demo, my hype for Mario Kart 8 couldn't be higher. The gorgeous visuals, sharp racing, rebalancing, and just energy about the whole thing made for a game that simply demands to be seen. I want to go back and dig deeper into the game's mechanics, but unfortunately, sooner or later, you have to let the children have their turn as well. These next few days can't pass soon enough.
See you on the race track.
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