It’s time for another Mario Kart, this time for the Wii U in the form of Mario Kart 8. I have always been a fan of the series despite not being real good at it so let’s get started on this First Opinion.

Mario Kart 8

One of the big things I heard leading up to the release of Mario Kart 8 was that the items were supposed to be toned down in regular play resulting in more skill-based play. In my first few hours of play, it feels like I’ve been bombarded by shell after shell, including about one blue shell every race or so. However, in watching my replays I’m convinced that my impression is misplaced. The items do seem more balanced, both in number and power, and even getting knocked off of the track is less of a race ender due to Lakitu picking you up and placing you back on the track much faster than before.

Speaking of the replays, Mario Kart 8 includes a fun replay system where you can set it to switch the camera view between up to four racers, picking angles on the fly and focusing on either big hits, items, or just general action. This replay can then be shared to the Mario Kart TV website and YouTube, resulting in videos like this.

I have always played as Yoshi as far back as the original on the Super Nintendo. Everyone has their favorites, but now you can customize your kart, wheels and glider to make even using the same racer unique. I like a balance leaning towards acceleration and handling to recover more quickly from items and mistakes, but some might prefer higher top speed and more hitting power. The collection of racers includes all seven of the Koopa Kids from Super Mario Bros. 3 which, to be honest, seems like a numbers padding cop out. They seem too similar to me, visually, and aren’t as creative of choices as we’ve seen in previous Mario Karts.

With only a few Grand Prix’s down, I have allot of racing ahead of me. Hang around AAGH for more and the full review in the coming days.