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.