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Experiencing Life in the Fast Lane: Mario Kart 8

Arts & Entertainment

By Jessica Fagan

A classic game has been reborn, offering its fans a lot of new options but still holding onto the good stuff. Mario Kart 8 has been on the market since May 2014, and with its high-speed thrills, silly graphic effects, old-timey nostalgia, and multi-player options, it’s no wonder it has been such a big hit. Nintendo has really been stepping up their game (pun intended) to compete against rivals Sony and Microsoft. It really is a trip down memory lane.

Like a fine wine, Mario seems to get better with age. It has been 22 years since the first Mario Kart game came out, but it seems like only yesterday. Classic items are still in the game, so don’t worry. Gamers can still find speed mushrooms, green and red turtle shells, the bullet (that everyone always loves), and those pesky banana peels. Eliminated from this new game is the false item boxes, instead replaced with a new hammer, which can stop those rotten blue shells from ruining that first place streak and a piranha plant that gives you a quick boost and chomps opponents out of the gamer’s way.

One of the best things about this Mario Kart installment is the character choices. All of the classic kart racing characters are still side-by-side like Mario, Peach, Yoshi, and Bowser. Yet, there are some new additions to the playing field. Some unlockable characters include Metal Mario, the Bowser family, and Lakitu (the little guy that saves players every time they fall). For players that would like to purchase an expansion for $7.99 characters like Link, Cat Peach, and Tanooki Mario can be theirs, or the Animal Crossing expansion could be bought as well. It’s a really creative way of tying many of Nintendo’s most popular games into one.

Along with re-vamped versions of their classic race tracks such as Cheep Cheep Beach, Rainbow Road, and Bowser’s Castle gamers will also be pleased with a brand new selection of tracks to play on. All of the tracks in Mario Kart 8 feature the amazing effect of zero gravity, where players can race amongst each other upside-down and side-ways. Almost all of the courses have hidden pathways just waiting to be discovered by players and their opponents. As technology is growing, the racing opponents can now be the normal computers, a friend sitting on the couch next to the game owner, or someone in a completely different country could be playing along-side someone in the United States. It’s fantastic!

Nintendo has really done a prime job in taking old ideas and refreshing them to cater to their new entertainment console. The Wii U has slowly started making its success, and with the addition of a new Mario Kart game being introduced, the success continues to rise. Any gamer looking for this game will be able to find it at their local gaming store such as Game Stop or retail stores like Walmart and Target. The current price now ranges between $39.99 if used and $59.99 if purchased brand new. Overall, this game is a great buy for anyone looking for a fun multi-player and classic game suitable for all ages and levels of gaming experience. Mario Kart 8 is a must buy and is easily one of the top racing style games currently available.

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