There are very few games that are hotly anticipated by many for the Wii U but one of those titles finally saw a release just yesterday: Mario Kart 8. I myself had been salivating over the game's many trailers and after the long, cruel wait, I must say that the game ended up feeling somewhat underwhelming. The game looks nice but the overall visuals are not very consistent. I am still in awe every single time I race around Sunshine Airport with those colorful, gigantic flying airplanes showing up everywhere along the track, but then I get to the ice/desert-themed tracks and everything suddenly becomes uninspired. The whole "anti-gravity" mechanics where the kart's tires are flipped over to their sides and become magnetized doesn't add much for its really there to add some flair to the way that the racing tracks are laid out - some ended up being very impressive indeed where you are racing vertically up high before turning around into a vertical drop where you can see the entirety of the track. After the incredible job that Sega and Sumo Digital had done on Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed that I played on the Personal Computer, I just feel obligated to say that Mario Kart 8 is the inferior product. I am definitely not saying that MK8 is a bad game. It's just not that masterpiece Nintendo game that I was expecting to get and it is unfortunate that Transformed had already set a new high standard for the kart racing genre that will take a lot to supersede it. It doesn't help that the online mode is currently experiencing disconnect issues that normally happens after a race and while waiting for a previous race to be over when I first joined a room. Several of the broadcasters on twitch.tv were experiencing this issue as well. I am sure that the technical difficulties will be addressed but I must say that I am a bit disappointed. And what's up with that flat 2D main menu? It looks so lazy.
FIRST IMPRESSION: 3 out of 5
Don't cry, Peach. Maybe things will be better in Mario Kart 9?