Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Mario Kart 8: refinement extraordinaire

Is Mario Kart 8 perfect?  No.  The series has stagnated in terms of its single-player mode, the battle arenas are no longer arenas, and the time trial ghosts are a bit glitchy. But those surrounding aspects do not  change the fact that the central game is utterly glorious, and remains a superbly fun experience.  The racing gameplay has been refined with new items (and the loss of some old), the track designs have been meticulously put together, and everything is balanced beyond compare.

A good player will win 75% of their races.  A great player will win 90%.  The chance for less talented gamers to win keeps them interested, and while it's fashionable to claim that there's no skill and too much randomness in the game, that is less true than ever with the addition of the horn item which can destroy blue shells.

I've been working my way through the 50cc tournaments, but have just learnt that completion of 100cc and 150cc unlocks the lower levels anyway.  Practising on 50cc has helped in any case, and my first 100cc cup was a breeze.

The other amazing aspect of the game is MKTV - not the short-lived Milton Keynes endeavour, but rather a replay mode which enables uploads to YouTube and replays on its own website.  The details that you can see when watching these replays are quite amazing.

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