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New Mario Kart 8 Trailer Shows off Anti-Gravity Tracks, Is Basically the Same as Every Mario Kart

Are George Clooney and Sandra Bullock playable, though?


Yes, Mario Kart 8 looks very pretty. Does that really matter, though? Nintendo’s entire business strategy for two generations now has been to push a graphically underpowered console that offers something new and different. No matter how many hang gliders, motorcycles, and anti-gravity tracks you throw in, Mario Kart‘s age is starting to show.

Oh, hey, but it’s got a bunch of new characters! And new items! That totally makes it different and worth buying a Wii U and then also a $50 game that’s basically the same as one I’ve had for about 15 years.

Look, I’m not saying Nintendo shouldn’t make new Mario Kart games. I get it. There are new generations of gamers all the time, and they need Mario’s bright, colorful world of fun and maybe-accidental drug references as much as I did growing up. I’m just saying that when one of your tent-pole games for the year has an 8 at the end of its title, maybe you need to take a good hard look at all that talk about innovation.

There comes a time in every game series’ life when it reaches what is essentially its perfect form, and it’s time to move on and admit that, if people want to play that game, they can just play the one that already exists. Unfortunately, a lot of Nintendo’s franchises hit that point at the switch from 2D to 3D gaming with the Nintendo 64, because Nintendo did a bang-up job basically laying the foundation for what 3D gaming should be.

Past that point, though, you can get away with one or maybe two sequels before your game starts to feel like just the same thing over and over again. Mario Kart is well past that point. Again, I get why Nintendo keeps making them, which is because people keep buying them. What I don’t get is why anyone over the age of 10 continues to buy them.

Seriously, did your Nintendo 64 break or something? I doubt it, because even the orange soda incident of 1999 couldn’t stop mine.

Anyway, I’m not saying the game doesn’t look like fun. I’d play it if it were the version of Mario Kart most readily available when I wanted to assert my kart racing dominance, but I’m sure not going to go out and buy a brand new system to play it myself, and I don’t think I’m alone.

This isn’t a Nintendo specific problem, either. I just happen to think that Mario Kart and some of Nintendo’s other franchises are pretty big offenders. I felt pretty much the same with any Halo game after Halo 2 and pretty much every single Final Fantasy game after the switch to 3D.

I guess I’ll just have to wait for the trailer for Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 4. For real, we all realized Twilight Princess was basically an Ocarina of Time/Teen Wolf mashup, right?

(via Nintendo)

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Dan is many things, including a game developer, animator, martial artist, and at least semi-professional pancake chef. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (his dog), both of whom are the best.