Nintendo E3 at BestBuy Report: Mario Kart 8

So the other day Nintendo did their “E3 at Best Buy” event, where in they took a handful of their first party E3 demos and put them in Best Buys for people to try. Quite a brilliant way to build up hype, I must say!

The event itself was a mixed bag. The staff members were enthusiastic and awesome and we got free stuff (I got a foam Luigi hat!). However they only had one WiiU unit: the store’s demo unit. Needless to say the line filled up fast. I was there an hour early and didn’t get my chance until an hour and a half later. Having said that, the event did go on schedule and even a little faster so that was good.

The games on display were Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, and Zelda Wind Waker HD. Needless to say no one picked Wind Waker. Most people picked Mario Kart, as did I. I wanted to see if Nintendo really stepped their game up to compete with SEGA’s recent bucket of brilliance: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

The verdict? I think SEGA wins this round.

Let me start by saying that Mario Kart 8 looks absolutely amazing. 1080p 60fps Nintendo looks better than anything else in the industry, mostly because they know how colors work! Everything was bright, vibrant, and smooth. I can also safely say that there is a noticeably added amount of detail to everything, even character models and the racing suits. Smooth and colorful really described the whole thing. I…just can’t praise it enough. The game looks great.

The demo was, oddly, only 2-player split-screen but this is probably because we did a grand prix. I do hope Nintendo steps it up with 5-player grand prix support in the full release.

The best way to describe the game is Mario Kart 7 meets Mario Kart Wii. It certainly looks as though we’ll have custom karts (vehicles were locked for the demo), coins once again return, we do have gliding, and we have bikes and stunts.

However, the anti-gravity wheels add absolutely nothing to the game. In fact, I usually didn’t even notice that I was racing on walls and ceilings. There were no standout items, positive or negative, and nothing really…well stood out at all. It was the same hyper polished racing experience we’ve come to expect from Mario Kart. Absolutely nothing about it really grabbed me or bothered me.


While I was there though I did watch the other two non-Wind Waker games. Donkey Kong Country looks amazing with the best real-time fur shading I have ever seen in my life and some incredible dynamic camera work.

However, Mario 3D World is what really impressed. Yes, characters are selectable at all times so you can do a just-Peach run of the game. The wide open 3D areas seemed to lend themselves better to 4-player simultaneous co-op than the side scrolling areas of New Super Mario Bros. U. I often noticed all the players running in different directions to fight different enemies and bash different blocks.

It is also worth noting that when Peach gets a fire flower, she gets a ponytail. Effectively she gets her Mario Sunshine outfit. I’m sorry but that is awesome. Yes, there is also a small Peach with short hair for when she takes a hit.


So all in all, plenty of worthy purchases. However, Nintendo is gonna need to step their gamen up to really impress me when it comes to kart racing now.

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3 Comments on “Nintendo E3 at BestBuy Report: Mario Kart 8”

  1. Sleepy Says:

    I went to the Best Buy E3 event too, but I didn’t think to come an hour early. I arrived about 10 minutes before the event began, needless to say the line was MASSIVE. It took me three and a half hours to play just one demo, mine being Super Mario 3D World. I did win first place in my game which won me this neat looking Luigi Coin.

    As for the demo itself, it played like 3D Land but on a larger scale and with 4-player co-op. The camera did a good job of keeping up with the action and I like the cat costume since it gave you the ability to run up walls and use a swipe attack. I can’t wait to get this game and start playing with my friends.

    I got to see Wind Waker HD and it looked gorgeous. Mario Kart 8 also looked fantastic, but yeah, I’m not sure if the anti-gravity driving will add anything new to the experience other than possibly providing twice as many alternate paths in later stages. Let’s hope the full game makes good use out of that feature.

    Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze looked great too but the people I saw playing didn’t get very far into the demo so I never got a really good look at the whole stage. But I am happy that swimming has returned and so has Dixie Kong, but she wasn’t in the demo I saw.

    Overall, I’m definitely buying all four games when they come out. The huge turnout pretty much guarantees that Nintendo will be doing this again next year, hopefully with more Wii U units this time. I also noticed a lot of people buying Wii Us at the event too, so that’s gotta be good business for Nintendo. I don’t see myself doing this again, at least not without being properly prepared.

    Note to self: Bring your 3DS next time!

  2. Göran Isacson Says:

    I found it amusing that it seems so many were wooed by the hover-wheels and some were even saying “move over F-Zero” and such… and then everyone who actually TESTS the new Mario Kart mostly just seem to shrug their shoulders and go “eh, it’s OKAY…”

    Not sure if that’s the reaction Nintendo wants for its games. I think I’m more likely to get Donkey Kong than Mario Land though, it seems like it’s really a game for large gatherings and Iiii don’t have that many to game with, these days.

  3. Many thanks for a cool piece of game info.

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