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Drifting down memory lane with Mario Kart 8

Nate Ralph | June 12, 2013
Mario Kart 8 for Wii U adds a brand new mechanic to a traditional series, in a move that surprises no one.

mario kart
New courses play with vertical elements, and include the hang gliders introduced in the last Mario Kart game.

But that doesn't change the fact that this remain Mario Kart. Nintendo, for better and for worse, has built something of a dynasty on reviving or rehashing old franchises. Yesterday's first-party hit becomes tomorrow's system seller, in a generational cycle that all but guarantees new outings for Mario and friends. And while that has worked for years, inexpensive mobile devices and an increasingly widening gap between Nintendo and rival Microsoft and Sony have seen interest wane-even from diehard fans.

You know what? I'm OK with that. Truth be told, the only thing I'm really clamoring for is a course editor. This is a series that long ago mastered the art of wringing fun out of every treacherous curve. So while it remains a familiar game staring familiar faces, the smiles of the folks around me as we traded blows and stole the lead from one another evoked that same genuine joy we probably felt back in 1992. I don't need to juggle hundreds of vehicle upgrades, view gritty crash cams, or bump along to a dubstep soundtrack. Just friends, snacks, and a couch. I, for one, will be assembling all three and snatching this up when it drops sometime in the spring of 2014.


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