How Mario Kart 8 fails, and why Mario Kart Wii was good

Dr. Eggman

I am the enemy, I will succeed
The primary intent of this post is for it to be something I can refer back to when criticising Mario Kart 8, and can also be a way to see why people like the game or if they disagree with my points and why.

I compare Mario Kart 8 to Mario Kart Wii a lot during this post, so this is why I have also put it in the title of the thread, however I do compare Mario Kart 8 to games besides Mario Kart Wii.

Items

Items are absolutely disgusting in this game, so enjoy ten paragraphs of me complaining about Red Shells.

Items are huge in Mario Kart 8, sometimes feeling like they take up half of the track. Their size makes them more dangerous then ever when they're being dragged behind a racer. With how common items such as the Banana are in the race already, having a ton of them strewn around the track is a death sentence. Remember when sniping with Green Shells took skill? Well now they take up half of the track so if you get triple greens you're guaranteed to get at least one hit. Contrast this to Mario Kart Wii, a Banana is a small obstacle on the track that can easily be avoided, the skill is in where you place it, not if you place it, and getting Triple Green Shells is three chances to hit someone, not a guarantee. Hitting someone when dragging an item behind you is a skill requiring good movement, meaning that dragged items are primarily used for protection, not as the scariest thing I've ever had to face in Mario Kart.

Heat Seeking Missiles Red Shells are out for blood in this game, and will stop at nothing to destroy you and fuel their murderous rampage. Cannon ahead? They'll just suddenly fly though that for absolutely no reason. Gliding section? If there isn't any ground below they'll just inexplicably gain the power of flight again. Compare this Mario Kart Wii again, Red Shells are at the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of power. Not only are they destroyed by Cannons and fall down gaps if they're large enough, but also if you're left defenceless you play can risky and take turns really tight next walls to get the Red Shell to break on them. Other times the Red Shell will break for no reason besides that they're from Mario Kart Wii. It's not this bad in other games such as DS and Double Dash, but they still break in Cannons and fall down gaps.

The Super Horn is a good idea on paper, but terrible in execution. It only has 2.5% (5/200) chance of appearing, and with the rarity of Blue Shells you'll be using the Super Horn on a Red Shell to protect yourself from that. It's a miracle if you manage to keep a Super Horn until a Blue Shell comes along, and that's if you can get both of those items to actually appear in the same race. While it is nice to have a way to destroy Blue Shell's, the Super Horn is highly situation and can rarely be used against Blue Shells.

Item Distribution* is wack. In first place** you have a 40% (80/200)*** chance of getting the absolutely useless Coin item that leaves you defenceless. In Mario Kart Wii the some what useful FIB that leaves you defenceless has a 20% (40/200) chance of appearing, meaning that being left defenceless in first is the exception, not the rule. Nintendo then decided it would it be fun if everyone got one of the most powerful item, by making Bullet Bills very frequent. They can be gained in higher places, multiple can be out at once, and at their highest they can be gained 45% (90/200) of the time.

Deluxe adds double items, and they couldn't even get that right. It adds even more chaos to a chaotic RNG based game, and Double Dash!! did it better. Switching your items around should be a simple mechanic of having two items at once, and somehow Nintendo forgot to implement that, so now you now have double the chaos, and it isn't even implemented well.

That's not to say Mario Kart 8's items have their upsides, Blue Shell's only have a 1-2.5% (2-5/200) chance of appearing, Thundercloud's have seized to exist, and despite my complaints, the item distribution favours powerful items far less in lower places. The changes to how Triple Bananas work is also far more fair.

*Item Distribution is based of Mario Kart 8, as Deluxe Item Distribution info has yet to be released (or Mario Wiki is really slow at updating).
**Mario Kart 8 Item Distribution is based off distance, not place, so any references to place in Mario Kart 8 is just a rough estimate, because Nintendo probably hates me.
***Item distribution data for Mario Kart 8 is found here, and is based of Vs. race. Item Distribution data for Mario Kart Wii is found here, and is based of Online. Yes I know these stars aren't funny any more and never were funny.

Gameplay

What is a good RNG based game when there is no gameplay? It is what makes Mario Party so appealing after all, and good gameplay could balance out the amount of random bullshit in the game. That leaves question, is the gameplay any good?

...of course not. Why do you think I made this section?

Mario Kart 8's gameplay is too simplistic. There's nothing beyond driving, turning and using items. Let's go back to Mario Kart Wii, wheelies added more to those boring straights, inside drifting allowed you to take super tight turns, you had control over you kart bike, and didn't feel as if you was going though the motions on a Scalextric track. Don't forget the amount of unintended abilities such as Low Tricks, Spin Drifting, Slip Drifting or Delayed Drifting. In Mario Kart 8 all you can do is Fire Ho-

BREAKING NEWS: Fire Hopping was removed in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, because Nintendo doesn't want a skill based Mario Kart game.

"But Shy Guy on Wheels," I pretend to hear you say when you actually didn't say anything, "What about 200cc? That requires a lot of skill doesn't it?" To which I can only say one thing.



Holding B is the only skill you need to learn in 200cc. Once you've learned that, there's nothing left. No unintended techniques, nothing track specific using janky physics, just holding B to use an intended mechanic.

Stats are a literal joke in this game, almost all of them are hidden, and they're tied to characters where each can be increased/decreased by up to a huge 1.25 points. That means if you're someone like me who wants a balance of Speed and Handling, then get ready to use a filler character such as Tanooki Mario. It's my fault for caring about stats though, because Nintendo's solution to the absolute shit show that was the balancing of Mario Kart Wii is to make the stats absolutely useless. I seriously can not tell the difference between the lowest and highest speed or handling stat. Imagine if in Mario Kart Wii the Torpedo drifted just as tightly as the Bowser Bike, that's what it feels like in Mario Kart 8. In a certain game for the Wii, if I switch to the Bowser Bike I miss how tight the Mach Bike drifts, and that's just a difference of 11, in Mario Kart 8 a stat change that small wouldn't even be noticeable.

And now for everyone's favourite feature that no-one cares about: The Coin. Remember these useless things from Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart: Super Circuit? Even in those games where I could tell a difference between stats I could not notice a difference when picking up coins, so in the game where a difference in stats isn't noticeable, how noticeable are the coins? Obviously not at all. It feel as if they might as well not do anything, or even be in the game at all.

Conclusion

Mario Kart Wii is the Super Smash Bros. Melee of Mario Kart, a game with some of the most depth in the series, all entirely by accident (and the balancing is terrible).

Mario Kart 7 & 8 are the Brawl of Mario Kart, a game that too focuses too hard on making the game accessible to the casual audience, losing a lot of what made the previous games good. Maybe one day we could have a Smash 4 and Ultimate of Mario Kart, a game that recaptures what made the series good.

Today Mario Kart is a series that is considered by many to have become stale, a series full of filler characters, a series that never tries anything original, yet there was a time when the Main Series games felt unoriginal, with New Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario 3D Land/World playing it too safe. After a while a game came along, it was called Super Mario Odyssey, and it proved Mario could be different if Nintendo tried hard enough. It had a new team, new ideas, and just felt new and refreshing. Mario Kart needs an Odyssey, a new team, new ideas, a game that takes risks and feels different from the cookie cutter Mario Kart 8.
 

Sylvain José Gautier

King of cowards.
I just find a game fun, and I like it.

When you go into the details, it just gets really boring. Comparing a game to another can also affect your enjoyment greatly. You'll only start seeing the negative, without really enjoying the positives. The sole purpose of a game is to be played, and as such, a game that is playable is good in my book, and I game I can have fun with is great. You may say that fun and pure item chaos are different things, but then, that's what makes Mario Lart what it is. You won't be racing without items because then, say everyone knows exactly how to drive on the course, well there won't be any competition. Whoever is first at the start will always stay first that way, most likely.

Also correct me if I'm wrong but didn't you once say that the game was too easy anyway, and now you're complaining about how annoying items are?

Not saying having opinions is a bad thing. I'm just stating my own.
 

Uniju

Hazukashii serifu kinshi
i mean if you don't enjoy the resource management element that's fine i guess but you can't just assume coins do nothing, ignore them, lose, and then claim the game is wrong
 

MnSG

Cosmic Beauty
This has to be nothing but a personal rant. Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8 both have their ups and downs, but in the end, Mario Kart Wii had more issues.
  • The stat bonus system is heavily imbalanced.
  • Bikes have an unfair advantage with their wheelies.
  • Standstill mini-turbo makes acceleration irrelevant.
  • Red Shells can take shortcuts, potentially bypassing your defenses.
  • Spiny Shells can appear frequently, AND take away your items.
Mario Kart 8 doesn't have those problems, but it does have its own flaws.
  • Coins are received too frequently while in 1st place. And even last place could get it, due to the way the item system works.
  • Not much stat diversity between characters. This does get adjusted in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but the stat distribution is less balanced.
  • Some Mario Kart veterans went missing. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe does bring back King Boo and Bowser Jr. though.
  • Traction does nothing for off-road performance. This means that off-road shortcuts can't be taken without Mushrooms or a Star.
I would continue further, but you'll just have to pick your poison.
 
I like 'em both in their own ways. I like MK8(DX, specifically) more, but I also like MKWII's wheelies and better bikes.
Neither is the clear superior honestly, as MnSG pointed out.
 

Alex95

NIWA Nut
Wiki Administrator
Mario Kart Wii has Funky Kong. Therefore, it is better.

I enjoy both games, really. Both have their strengths and weakness, but that goes for really any game ever when you compare it to another. I've never played a bad Mario Kart game.
 

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
Mario Kart Wii is the most fascinating Mario Kart to me, even more so than Double Dash's unique two character gameplay that has never been replicated since. For one, its physics are very lenient that allows for unintended shortcuts, and another thing is how the item system favours the player not going first because it grants powerful items even if the player behind is not far off. It's also pretty much has a very long tail in terms of how many people still play, on account of the factors above. The one thing that I didn't like is how every character has hidden stats, since many of my favourites have stat bonuses that are not as good as the best (Daisy is pretty much the only one that has a great stat bonus).

Mario Kart 8 has a more controlled environment that very much makes sure that nobody tries anything funny, since Lakitu is far smarter that you can't even drive in reverse for too long. I am not a fan of coins appearing as an item, but dual item alleviates this since there can't be a case where two coin items appear.

I prefer Mario Kart 8 only because its controlled environment meant that players can't exploit the game for an advantage at the expense of others, at least it doesn't show up explicitly and frequently.

Thank you for reading.
 

Doctor Healmore

Shine Sprite
Poll Committee
I wholeheartedly disagree with your complaints on the item distribution and gameplay. And you didn't even touch on Mario Kart 8's single true flaw: its lack of personality.
 

Dr. Eggman

I am the enemy, I will succeed
Forde said:
I just find a game fun, and I like it.

When you go into the details, it just gets really boring. Comparing a game to another can also affect your enjoyment greatly. You'll only start seeing the negative, without really enjoying the positives. The sole purpose of a game is to be played, and as such, a game that is playable is good in my book, and I game I can have fun with is great. You may say that fun and pure item chaos are different things, but then, that's what makes Mario Lart what it is. You won't be racing without items because then, say everyone knows exactly how to drive on the course, well there won't be any competition. Whoever is first at the start will always stay first that way, most likely.

Also correct me if I'm wrong but didn't you once say that the game was too easy anyway, and now you're complaining about how annoying items are?

Not saying having opinions is a bad thing. I'm just stating my own.
In my opinion a game isn't just simply good, there's a reason that it's good, and I like to dig down and figure out that reason. If that's not your thing then that's fine, but it's the sort of thing that interests me. Sure a game can be good, but when I find one game in a series or genre to be better then another, I think it's a good idea to compare the two to find out where the game failed and how it can be improved. Mario Kart 8 is perfectly good game, it's just that almost every other game was better for me and I wanted to explain why.

I never said I didn't want items in Mario Kart, as you said they are what makes Mario Kart what it is, however it needs to strike a balance between skill and luck, and Mario Kart 8 fails to reach that balance.

My point with the items is to point out that the game is luck based, not to say it was hard. A game can be easy while also being heavily reliant on luck.

Uniju said:
i mean if you don't enjoy the resource management element that's fine i guess but you can't just assume coins do nothing, ignore them, lose, and then claim the game is wrong
I wasn't trying to say that coins don't do anything, I was more pointing out that the difference is so minimal they might as well do nothing. I've now edited the point in an attempt to make that more clear.

winstein said:
Mario Kart Wii is the most fascinating Mario Kart to me, even more so than Double Dash's unique two character gameplay that has never been replicated since. For one, its physics are very lenient that allows for unintended shortcuts, and another thing is how the item system favours the player not going first because it grants powerful items even if the player behind is not far off. It's also pretty much has a very long tail in terms of how many people still play, on account of the factors above. The one thing that I didn't like is how every character has hidden stats, since many of my favourites have stat bonuses that are not as good as the best (Daisy is pretty much the only one that has a great stat bonus).

Mario Kart 8 has a more controlled environment that very much makes sure that nobody tries anything funny, since Lakitu is far smarter that you can't even drive in reverse for too long. I am not a fan of coins appearing as an item, but dual item alleviates this since there can't be a case where two coin items appear.

I prefer Mario Kart 8 only because its controlled environment meant that players can't exploit the game for an advantage at the expense of others, at least it doesn't show up explicitly and frequently.

Thank you for reading.
That's a fair point. Mario Kart Wii allows for experimentation that no other game in the series has, and if you don't enjoy that then I can see why you prefer Mario Kart 8.

Thank you for sharing you opinion.

Bandana Waddle Dee said:
I wholeheartedly disagree with your complaints on the item distribution and gameplay. And you didn't even touch on Mario Kart 8's single true flaw: its lack of personality.
But why? What makes Mario Kart 8 appeal to you? The point of my post is to explain why I dislike Mario Kart 8, while comparing it to an example of a good game in the series. All your doing is saying "you're wrong" without explaining why I'm wrong.
 

Glowsquid

Shine Sprite
Forum Moderator
Wiki Bureaucrat
Core 'Shroom Staff
Bandana Waddle Dee said:
And you didn't even touch on Mario Kart 8's single true flaw: its lack of personality.
of all criticism to levy against MK8, this is easily the weirdest.
 

Doctor Healmore

Shine Sprite
Poll Committee
I never experienced any problems with the item distribution, for one thing. Got an issue with Red Shells? Bananas exist. Yes, Super Horns are a bit too rare, and coins will do absolutely nothing when you have 10 of them, but it's nothing major. No dealbreakers.

And the gameplay? You think that wheelies and inside drifting make the game that much more interesting? Well, for one thing, Mario Kart 8 has inside drifting, but that's beside the point. Frankly, I could care less about wheelies and inside drifting because my preferred vehicles in each game (Super Blooper and Pipe Frame) are outside-drifting karts! Mario Kart 8 feels faster and smoother than Mario Kart Wii ever did, and even if that weren't the case, Mario Kart 8 would automatically win here anyway because 200cc!

Like I mentioned before, the only thing I dislike about Mario Kart 8 is its lack of personality. The tracks don't feel like Mario anymore, and the music is nothing special either. The pre-2010 games actually had that Mario feel to it. I was personally shocked that you didn't mention this at all, because it is far and away the most common and substantial argument against Mario Kart 8.

But even then, gameplay's what matters and Mario Kart 8 delivers. Mario Kart Wii was a good game, but Mario Kart 8 outclasses it in virtually every way. Only thing is that it's a bit more bland.
 

Dr. Eggman

I am the enemy, I will succeed
You're taking each point on it's own merits, think about how Coins can affect how dangerous Red Shells are. They leave you defenceless and you have no way of stopping a one. Once again, in Mario Kart Wii on the rare occasion you are left defenceless, you can abuse the stupidity of the Red Shells to destroy them on walls.

It's inside drifting in name only, Inside Drifting Bikes in Mario Kart 8 go out then in, completely ruining what made Inside Drifting Bikes so much fun to use in the first place. If you don't enjoy bikes and don't like Mario Kart Wii for that reason then that's fine, bikes are major part of Mario Kart Wii and you're missing out on a big part of the experience by not enjoying them.

How is Mario Kart 8 faster or smoother? The lack of Wheelies completely gets rid of any speed for straights, and the lack of Inside Drift forces you to take turns far less tightly then before. I mentioned why I dislike 200cc in the OP, so I won't repeat it.

"Most common and substantial" What are you talking about? I've never seen or heard anyone mention it. All of the previous games had their fair share of 'non-mario tracks' too, remember Waluigi Stadium or Pinball? Both of the Wario Stadiums? Moonview Highway and Mushroom City? Coconut Mall? All of these track's can be considered non-mario, so I can not agree with your point at all.

At the end of the day this is all subjective isn't it? When someone has an opinion that is different then your's it does not mean they are wrong or biased, it just means they have different tastes then you, and you don't need to go around presenting your opinion as the only correct one and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong, because that's not how opinions work.
 

Doctor Healmore

Shine Sprite
Poll Committee
Shy Guy on Wheels said:
You're taking each point on it's own merits, think about how Coins can affect how dangerous Red Shells are. They leave you defenceless and you have no way of stopping a one. Once again, in Mario Kart Wii on the rare occasion you are left defenceless, you can abuse the stupidity of the Red Shells to destroy them on walls.

It's inside drifting in name only, Inside Drifting Bikes in Mario Kart 8 go out then in, completely ruining what made Inside Drifting Bikes so much fun to use in the first place. If you don't enjoy bikes and don't like Mario Kart Wii for that reason then that's fine, bikes are major part of Mario Kart Wii and you're missing out on a big part of the experience by not enjoying them.

How is Mario Kart 8 faster or smoother? The lack of Wheelies completely gets rid of any speed for straights, and the lack of Inside Drift forces you to take turns far less tightly then before. I mentioned why I dislike 200cc in the OP, so I won't repeat it.

"Most common and substantial" What are you talking about? I've never seen or heard anyone mention it. All of the previous games had their fair share of 'non-mario tracks' too, remember Waluigi Stadium or Pinball? Both of the Wario Stadiums? Moonview Highway and Mushroom City? Coconut Mall? All of these track's can be considered non-mario, so I can not agree with your point at all.

At the end of the day this is all subjective isn't it? When someone has an opinion that is different then your's it does not mean they are wrong or biased, it just means they have different tastes then you, and you don't need to go around presenting your opinion as the only correct one and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong, because that's not how opinions work.
Never said your opinion was wrong, just stating my opinion and left out the "in my opinion" part because I thought that was implied. You have your opinions and I have mine. And I just don't like inside drifting or bikes.

And I call Mario Kart 8 faster because 200cc (and while you might not like it, I do, because of the sheer speed of it) and smoother because drifting feels that much better in MK8. That's actually the main reason I prefer karts: because they actually drift decently in Mario Kart Wii, plus Super Mini-Turbos.
 

Sylvain José Gautier

King of cowards.
Ok, SGoW, you are right on coins, lack of wheelies, red shell AI and also probably even inside drifting bikes. I completely agree on those fronts.

In fact Red shells can now cross gaps in MK8, so, yeah. Maybe that's advantageous for the user but then the victim can now get git by that midair.
 

Glowsquid

Shine Sprite
Forum Moderator
Wiki Bureaucrat
Core 'Shroom Staff
Bandana Waddle Dee said:
I was personally shocked that you didn't mention this at all, because it is far and away the most common and substantial argument against Mario Kart 8.
you're literally the first person I see to complain that the first Mario Kart widely praised for its presentation and to have any amount of effort put into the production values "doesn't feel like Mario".
 

Doctor Healmore

Shine Sprite
Poll Committee
Glowsquid said:
Bandana Waddle Dee said:
I was personally shocked that you didn't mention this at all, because it is far and away the most common and substantial argument against Mario Kart 8.
you're literally the first person I see to complain that the first Mario Kart widely praised for its presentation and to have any amount of effort put into the production values "doesn't feel like Mario".
Really? From what I've heard, it's a very common complaint. Weird.
 

Doctor Healmore

Shine Sprite
Poll Committee
Forde said:
A common opinion, maybe.

But I don't think you should base your own opinion around those.
And I'm not. But I do happen to agree with it.

I should probably elaborate. Mario Kart hasn't really had that Mario feel to it since 64, but Mario Karts 7 and 8 are the worst in that regard. It's as if Mario Kart has sprung into its own thing now, which is good in some ways, but it seems to have forgotten its Mario heritage. Particularly with the crossover DLC of 8. The tracks are a bit more bland and generic than in previous Mario Karts, too, especially in comparison to SMK. Mario Kart is still a great series anyway, but SMK had personality and I only wish that modern Mario Kart would take after that.
 

Dr. Baby Luigi

Mushroom Kingdom's Most Adorable Doctor
several things i wanna say

1. mario kart wii's first place was far too powerful. the only item that counteracts them were fake item boxes but aside from that, if the player in the lead has triple bananas, it's pretty much game, set, & match for them until they inevitably get hit by a spiny shell and fucked over in the last lap.
2. the funny thing is, my main issue with the super horn is that lightning bolts are the main reason i lose that item and i rarely use it for its intended purpose.
4. firehopping is a bullshit "skill" mechanic that i was glad to see go in mario kart 8 deluxe.
7. if all it needs to win in 200cc mario kart 8 is to press b, i can easily counter that by saying all you need to do to win in mario kart wii is to press up on the d pad while you're on a bike.
8. mario kart wii's hidden character specific stats are more bullshit than whatever hidden stat this game pulls off.
9. if straightaways are boring, it's a result of bad track design and poor speed. wheelies are not a solution to that problem, and they don't make tackling those straights much more fun, and kart users don't have that feature.
10. i completely agree with you that coins are a totally fun-sucking item that should get dropped. no thanks to a fifty% spawn rate in mono-item races fuck that item.

and there's stuff mario kart wii is...i think worse at

1. no two player gp
2. the standstill miniturbo
3. the battle mode is complete ass, especially in multiplayer, and it is home to some of the worst battle stages in the series (chain chomp wheel and thwomp desert i dislike)
4. the graphics look awful even for a wii title.
5. the soundtrack is very subpar
6. the kart designs are meh

and the list of all features not yet present in wii such as ability to use whatever kart body i liked, 48 tracks, battle mode with actual ai sound, 2 player gp, 200cc, 8 deluxe's battle modes, and imo just better designed, livelier tracks.

Bandana Waddle Dee said:
I should probably elaborate. Mario Kart hasn't really had that Mario feel to it since 64, but Mario Karts 7 and 8 are the worst in that regard. It's as if Mario Kart has sprung into its own thing now, which is good in some ways, but it seems to have forgotten its Mario heritage. Particularly with the crossover DLC of 8. The tracks are a bit more bland and generic than in previous Mario Karts, too, especially in comparison to SMK. Mario Kart is still a great series anyway, but SMK had personality and I only wish that modern Mario Kart would take after that.
smk's outdated sound design alone makes it have as much personality as a wet paper bag. combined with tracks only being numbered variants of each other, i don't think you can say this and omit the liveliness of characters, especially when they're tricking out of vehicles or...you know...actually have a voice to begin with.
 

Dr. Mario

Mushroom Kingdom's OG Woo Meister
I have to disagree on a few things.

Items
I'm not sure how you arrived at the idea that items are bigger in Mario Kart 8 than Mario Kart Wii. You probably should provide some comparison images. Also, Mario Kart 8 still has Green Shell sniping as didn't change much from Mario Kart Wii. I can't compare my success rate between the two games since it's really hard to test such things but you honestly should run some tests to disprove the hypothesis first, as you're really prone to confirmation bias which can make you arrive at the wrong conclusions. Confirmation bias is the main reason people complain about the AI's apparent conspiracies and supposed "perfect" aim but I wasn't convinced. I'm not convinced that triple green shells guarantee a hit especially when there are other factors to control for such as track size, how you stagger your green shell throws, if you're throwing green shells against a curve, and so on.

As for the banana, strategic placement does count for both games but bananas were way too weak in Mario Kart Wii, barely reducing any speed; equivalent would be getting fireballed in Mario Kart 8. If bananas needed to be bigger, they should've been bigger, and they received a much needed buff especially after they sacked the fake item box.

I don't see Red Shells being any more aggressive than Green Shells aside from the immunity from being fired in cannons. If anything, it's more pressure for the player to have good item management. Anyhow, the red shell's line of sight seems the same from Mario Kart Wii; if they pass over their head, they WILL miss. And I've busted Red Shells myself in Mario Kart 8 by driving right in front of obstacles like cars and sharp corners, kinda the same amount of times as in Mario Kart Wii.

I think the Super Horn is a mostly pointless addition to Mario Kart, doing nothing to resolve the Spiny Shell problem since it easily gets lost by lightning bolts and you end up consuming one to prevent a red shell crash. I guess there's a trade-off of taking a Red Shell crash now for a future Spiny Shell that may or may not come, but in most cases, it's better to keep that lead, especially when Red Shells and Spiny Shells do similar amount of damage anyway. I agree here.

I don't have a problem with the item distribution. First place is an extremely advantageous place. It's common for first place to remain first place because the pack in the middle has to contend with both items coming from the front and behind. If you have triple bananas in Mario Kart Wii and are in first, it's pretty much good game, and triple bananas aren't rare either. What's worse are how the triple bananas all trail behind you, so it makes blocking Red Shells and Green Shells pretty mindless. They changed it to rotating bananas, which I believe is a better way of keeping the triple banana usefulness while also making it fair for forcing you to have good placement to protect yourself from Red Shells, especially with 2 or fewer bananas left. And Mario Kart hasn't ever really been *that* skill-based beyond a threshold, so I'd imagine they'd use distance to gauge item power rather than mere placement, which I think is a better system than in the older games, especially preventing sandbagging.

Gameplay
You pretend that Nintendo doesn't believe Mario Kart is skill based, but actually, you're correct. Mario Kart has never been skill-based. It's a party game. Sure, there's a threshold of skill and of course experienced people do better than beginners. But it's not demanding either. It's not a competitive game by any stretch due to the item roulette. To be honest, Mario Kart has never been all that deep in gameplay. I think this issue isn't unique to Mario Kart. Wheelies don't add anything to the gameplay, let's be honest. Mario Kart 8 does have inward drifting too; it works a little different, but it's still an option. Fire-hopping isn't skill based either, unless you think the maligned snaking is as well.

Also, you're really oversimplifying 200cc. Braking is virtually nonexistent in basically every other Mario Kart because Mario Kart is way too slow to ever require brakes on hard turns (unlike other racing games). 200cc isn't mindlessly using brakes, it's trying to get the best racing lines and some of those lines DO require brakes. It makes tracks a lot more interesting to challenge on especially when bananas are strewn. It also requires more thought put into your handling and acceleration stat, which are suddenly more useful when corners are harder to negotiate, especially when Mario Kart, with its low speeds (and the start-up boost in Mario Kart Wii that negates acceleration weaknesses the heavyweights had), had a ridiculous heavyweight advantage in Mario Kart Wii.

While hidden stats are a problem and there are indeed balance issues with stats (with too many comboes that outclass others and acceleration stat being forced into tiers), stats aren't actually really super relevant. That being said, the lack of a speedometer makes it difficult to test many stats, but stats are a thing. Particularly in Battle Mode, I find the Mario + City Tripper + Red Roller a lot more manueverable compared to Metal Mario + Duke + Metal Tires; faster to accelerate, easier to turn. Stat bonuses in Mario Kart Wii ultimately don't matter all that much unless you're playing Time Trials or you really want to shunt off Wario on the Phantom with Mario on the Wild Wing.

About the coin, Mario Kart Super Circuit lacks a coin item.

Additionally, Super Mario Kart penalizes you heavily if you have zero coins, by making you spin out if you collide someone with coins. You can also knock coins off people if you bump into them, so I think coins are marginally more useful in Super Mario Kart.

Anyhow, the lack of a speedometer compounds your issue with coins, as it would've let you more easily tell if you're going faster or not with coins, but you can still test it by having two characters with same stats, but with different coins accelerate on a long straightaway.

I think a lot of opinions you have on Mario Kart 8 is backed by confirmation bias and not really serious opinion but if you ever have time to try to falsify your impressions on how stuff handles, you really should.



Shy Guy on Wheels said:
You're taking each point on it's own merits, think about how Coins can affect how dangerous Red Shells are. They leave you defenceless and you have no way of stopping a one. Once again, in Mario Kart Wii on the rare occasion you are left defenceless, you can abuse the stupidity of the Red Shells to destroy them on walls.

It's inside drifting in name only, Inside Drifting Bikes in Mario Kart 8 go out then in, completely ruining what made Inside Drifting Bikes so much fun to use in the first place. If you don't enjoy bikes and don't like Mario Kart Wii for that reason then that's fine, bikes are major part of Mario Kart Wii and you're missing out on a big part of the experience by not enjoying them.

How is Mario Kart 8 faster or smoother? The lack of Wheelies completely gets rid of any speed for straights, and the lack of Inside Drift forces you to take turns far less tightly then before. I mentioned why I dislike 200cc in the OP, so I won't repeat it.

[...]

At the end of the day this is all subjective isn't it? When someone has an opinion that is different then your's it does not mean they are wrong or biased, it just means they have different tastes then you, and you don't need to go around presenting your opinion as the only correct one and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong, because that's not how opinions work.
While it's true that coins often leave you defenseless and can often put you in bad spots at the worst opportunities, Red Shells being able to hit you while you have a coin is hardly a match-defining moment in most cases. You should try overcoming that disadvantage. And always note, Mario Kart is not skill based; on equal skill levels, matches WILL be decided by what items come up. You'll just have to accept that and maybe reexamine if Mario Kart really is for you.

I find the new inside drifting mechanics to be weirdly different, but they still function significantly different enough to have a little different approach when it comes to tackling turns. Sure, I prefer the Mario Kart Wii one, but the Mario Kart Wii one had pretty busted inward drift bikes that contributed to the arguments against bikes in Mario Kart Wii.

Opinions are subjective, sure, but baldly saying they are is not a crutch for unfounded statements or flawed reasoning. If you're going to back up your opinions with questionable claims such as "the only way to win in 200cc is to brake" and unfairly harping on the balance flaws of Mario Kart 8 while overlooking Mario Kart Wii's, it's going to get pushback.



Bandana Waddle Dee said:
I wholeheartedly disagree with your complaints on the item distribution and gameplay. And you didn't even touch on Mario Kart 8's single true flaw: its lack of personality.
I'm not sure if you share my opinions, but I can easily point to the voice direction being completely subpar of Mario Kart Wii's which can be argued as a point against "personality". Mario Kart Wii Mario sounds perfect. In Mario Kart 8, he sounds really hoarse and shrill. It's really off. And all voices in that game tend to be really short and quiet. I mean, hit an NPC with a shell in Mario Kart Wii compared to Mario Kart 8. It's a big difference, as Mario Kart Wii relies on the "critical hit" voice clips a lot for AI/NPCs but it works when it comes to player satisfaction.

Bandana Waddle Dee said:
I should probably elaborate. Mario Kart hasn't really had that Mario feel to it since 64, but Mario Karts 7 and 8 are the worst in that regard. It's as if Mario Kart has sprung into its own thing now, which is good in some ways, but it seems to have forgotten its Mario heritage. Particularly with the crossover DLC of 8. The tracks are a bit more bland and generic than in previous Mario Karts, too, especially in comparison to SMK. Mario Kart is still a great series anyway, but SMK had personality and I only wish that modern Mario Kart would take after that.
I'm not sure if your argument really holds any water. It sounds like you just found a reason to dislike newer games compared to older games. You do provide examples, but I highly contest the claim that the tracks are a "bit more bland and generic". Mount Wario has a lot of personality and looks visually spectacular, particularly the background music. It's not "generic"; are there tons of kart racing games with trekking down a mountain to the end? What do you think is considered a nongeneric and nonbland track? If there's one thing Mario Kart 8 should be known for, it's that technology has vastly improved and so we should be seeing more complex, detailed, and visually pleasing tracks, which Mario Kart does deliver.

Have you seen the differences between the two Moo Moo Meadows? Mario Kart Wii had a visually gross and mostly dull orange dirt with bright green grass, being really uninteresting to look at, but they turned it into a more pleasant-looking and realistic environment + nice sunbeams.

How about SNES Rainbow Road? It used to be a simple rainbow-tiled track set in a void, but they transformed it into a lightshow, and they even added background details on the hills that light up. This is the same for Mario Kart 64's Rainbow Road, they also turned it into a lightshow and have neat city lights on the bottom. Did you see Mario Kart 8's Rainbow Road? There's a Spaceship in the form of a Blooper! They also turned Rainbow Road into an artificial-mechanical-looking space station. Like it or not, but you can't say they didn't try to be creative and put personality in that track.

What makes Mario Circuit from Mario Kart Double Dash better than the Mario Circuit in Mario Kart 8? The Mario Circuits were actually really cookie-cutter, and the Mario Circuit from Mario Kart Wii even had the chain chomp from Mario Kart Double Dash. The Mario Circuit in Mario Kart 8 has even images from 3D Hot Rally, which contests your claim that Mario "forgot" his heritage.

Yoshi Falls would be an example of a bland, generic track when it has barely any Yoshi motifs, barely any Mario elements beyond the sponsors and the Yoshi egg, lame waterfall paths as the only "gimmick", hardly any challenging turns, extremely wide roads, extremely dull visuals, and nonexistent music. Mario Kart Wii decided to return it. Why? Any track from Mario Kart 8 had far more effort poured into it than Yoshi Falls. Older games should be pegged for having more "generic" tracks, because graphical limitations prevented details being added to the tracks. Don't most tracks from Mario Kart 64 barring maybe Royal Raceway (for the neat Peach's Castle) fulfill that criteria for being more "generic"? Heck, even Diddy Kong Racing had far less generic tracks than Mario Kart 64.



Anyway I'll just close it with this because afaik Mario Kart 8 doesn't let me do this and that's a MAJOR point against Mario Kart 8.

 

BlueFire

Goomba
Personally at the very least, I think Mario Kart Wii is better than the Wii U version of Mario Kart 8. The Battle mode in that game was disappointing. (Mario Kart Wii's battle mode was sort of disappointing with the forced teams, but it wasn't too bad when playing online.) Mario Kart Wii should have had an option for elimination Balloon Battles. Funny enough, the Wii U version of 8 actually had it, but it was removed in the deluxe port for some strange reason. Also, I was never really a fan of the coins returning in 7 and 8. I wish there was an option to turn off the coins in the multiplayer options. Speaking of that, I wish there was an option to decide which items could appear in a race. I still liked Mario Kart 8 on Wii U, but the Switch version of Mario Kart 8 is so much better.
 

MnSG

Cosmic Beauty
While Mario Kart 8 Deluxe does have a better Battle Mode, it really isn't any better than the original Wii U Mario Kart 8 when you're talking about racing; there are absolutely no track differences between the two games. Sure, it's one person's opinion, but since I've spent a lot more time racing than doing battles in MK8, MK8D was not a tempting offer (it's also an insult to the people who bought the MK8 DLC).
 

Dr. Baby Luigi

Mushroom Kingdom's Most Adorable Doctor
MnSG said:
(it's also an insult to the people who bought the MK8 DLC).
i never got how making exclusive content not exclusive anymore would be an "insult" to people, honestly. more people enjoying the video game is a great thing. you've got the advantage of playing the game earlier....mario kart 8 is a pretty old game and definitive editions like that should include all past dlcs regardless.
 
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