We know it well. The feel of the tarmac. The stench of tyres. The roar of the engines. The woosh of shells. That’s right, Mario Kart is back! One of gaming’s all-time best racing franchises, the spin-off that began all spin-offs and quite arguably the best multi-player experience ever designed. Are we excited? Are you not?! Mario Kart is one of the most important games any Nintendo console will have – always exemplary of the company at a specific time and always, ALWAYS a guaranteed system seller. A new instalment is just what the WiiU needs, and WHAT?! That’s what it’s getting? You don’t say! Well, we should go hands-on with it then. We DID?! Well, we should tell you all about it then. That’s what we’re doing NOW?! Well gosh! That is exciting. Let’s get on with it!
You see, Mario Kart on the WiiU finally has a name, and although it might not look like it at first, it’s an interesting one: Mario Kart 8. So, what – it’s the 8th Mario Kart game, the latest one since Mario Kart 7 – that’s not interesting at all, right Wrong. Because that 8 is also symbolic of Mario Kart’s new direction – anti-gravity racing. The figure 8 is a stand-in for a Mobius Strip, a looped track that only has one side; the sort of thing you’d be more likely to find in an F-Zero game than in Mario Kart. That means Mario, Donkey Kong, Peach and all the rest will be racing up walls, along ceilings, around cylinders and through mind-bending loops and forks. It’s by far the most dramatic direction Nintendo have ever taken the franchise, allowing for more imaginative track designs and more interesting shortcuts and secrets.