I’m sure for a portion of you, today’s article name may be equal parts exhausting as it is terrifying.
Mario Kart is a delightful series, one of my favorites in fact. Not to say it doesn’t have it’s off moments…and god damn if I can’t ignore the sheer brutality Star Road represents on any given day. As if blue shells weren’t irritating enough, now you’ve got to deal with their cheap shit for 30 minutes straight (average amount of time it takes to finish a single race on Star Road).
At least, that’s how long I remember it taking to finish a single race. Then again, my memories are obscured in pain.
I suppose this is a rather grim way to reference a game I am always excited to play, but Mario Kart has this odd masochism about it. I enjoy the pain, truly and sincerely, despite the amount of blood I’ve lost in the process of playing it. So when news surfaces about the impending release of a new Mario Kart, it’s as if the anticipation is a painful one, in the best way imaginable. This statement becomes all the more real, when we come to discover that the latest trailer for Mario Kart 8 boasts suffering anew, and showcasing front and center none other than Star Road.
Yes, The Star Road.
The new video I watched posted by IGN, which is a devil’s delight in several ways, had both the 64 version and MK8”s Star Roads side by side. This comes as a reminder of past pains and forthcoming failures, all in one amazingly demonic demo. Don’t get me wrong, this looks gorgeous, but so do succubus before they suck your soul directly out of your asshole at the last moment…or what I normally refer to as lap 3. I know my constant reference to Star Road’s length seems like hyperbole, but I feel as if I’ve successfully dealt with all five stages of grief the course causes faster than I’ve actually finished it.
Which was one of the first things that caught me off guard about the comparison, other than the amazing visuals of course: the entirety of Star Road featured in MK8 seems to be the length of a single lap from the 64 version. This leads me to believe that Nintendo may have actually listened to gamers for a change, but more likely they just blanked out the memories like I did and just straight forgot the 64 version was so miserably long. Anyways, not only did this pacing seem like it could really tighten up the tension of the race itself, but I was not kidding when I said Star Road is fucking alive.
First off, parts of the road are actually moving, as if possessed by some other worldly demon. Trying to wrestle with this bestial turbulence will most certainly breed a special kind of insufferable comedy. Combine this with the shelled or be shelled mentality of a regular Mario Kart sprint, and schadenfreude will be reborn in the image of Mario himself.
Even aside from the lively atmosphere and even more lively road ways, the transformative vehicles from MK7 are making a re-appearence, and looking to add proper volume to the already engaging courses. The brand new anti-gravity tracks are equally proud mantle pieces, Star Road a perfect example of this, and contribute a pop and circumstance to the level design I haven’t seen in ages. When you consider all of the above blended together into one delicious treat, it doesn’t take me long to remember why it hurts so good.
I know I hyperlinked to the video above, but I believe it’s worth saving you the two seconds of work, just in case you think this is worth missing.
Cause it really isn’t, and brings about an irony perhaps even more devastating than Mario Kart and Star Road could ever really wrought. This is one of the only games I’ve witnessed getting people in a legitimate fever to own a Wii U, with almost no peers in this category during the consoles entire existence. Not only that, but despite the Wii U’s under-powered hardware, the game may be one of the most gorgeous racers I’ve seen this gen. The fact that Nintendo can put out games they may turn out this good, in all of their entrancing splendor, is almost aggravating. Much like myself, I feel as if this show of quality almost angers the devoted and would be devoted more than pleases them, because it reaffirms that Nintendo can still do amazing shit.
They just don’t make a habit of it any more.