Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 15, 2014

Kohler doesn’t drink the Mario Kart 8 Kool-Aid; gets attacked

The Mario Kart 8 reviews are out and everyone is buzzing (bzz bzz bzz) about how ‘amazing’ the game is. Then, there is one lone review out there who is saying something differently: Chris Kohler. Kohler focuses on the issue that I keep seeing other reviews gloss over (despite their perfect 10 scores): the absolute butchering of Battle Mode. In Mario Kart 8, there are no battle mode arenas. Everyone is just on a normal track. So lame. I suppose it is safe to assume there will be no Bob-omb battle mode either.

Mario Kart isn’t really a racing game. It is actually a battle game where you race or are in an arena. The battle isn’t just against other players but the environment itself with its many hazards such as giant piranha plants or Thwomps. Ever since online multiplayer, Battle Mode has just sucked ass. The tight two player or four player battle arenas are gone.

What I don’t understand is why it is so hard to put something even like Super Mario Kart’s arenas in. They are very small, don’t use up much resources, and you can keep dueling with friends in local multiplayer again and again (imagine an online version of it too!).

Has Mario Kart ever been about the graphics?

Has Mario Kart ever been about the speed?

Mario Kart’s job, as a game, was fun multiplayer with friends. Now, maybe this Mario Kart 8 achieves this. With the joke that is ‘battle mode’, I doubt it will perform the same job as well as prior Mario Karts did.

I would rather have Mario Kart do its fun multiplayer with friends job well and have a F-Zero U game be about ‘omg graphics’ and ‘omg speed’ to such an extent to make F-Zero GX look like a toddler’s game.

I’m also curious if the reviewers are misreading the game in typical hardcore blindness. Mario Kart 8 is incorporating F-Zero elements. The hardcore gamer may suddenly see this Mario Kart as ‘OMG WAY COOL’ because of the speed, graphics, etc. but F-Zero had all that and it bombed out. Are these F-Zero elements to Mario Kart 8 going to benefit it in a sales growing performance? If these elements are so cool, so exciting, then why didn’t they cause F-Zero to sell well? The review of Kotaku is illustrative with the reviewer saying he hated prior Mario Karts but loved F-Zero and Wipeout (both defunct franchises) and now he loves Mario Kart because of Mario Kart 8. We know prior Mario Karts were huge successes and F-Zero and Wipeouts were not. If Mario Kart 8 has become a Mario themed F-Zero, the F-Zero elements may be like pouring a poison vat into the Mario Kart franchise.

I’d like readers to send me their reviews of Mario Kart 8.


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