22 years ago, Nintendo introduced the video gaming world to a bold new change of form, proving that their iconic pudgy plumber could show off some speed as well — Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo was a bestseller, and successfully gave rise to a franchise that's now approaching its eighth installment. Titled simply Mario Kart 8 — a peculiar naming convention, since the first six games in the series had no title numbers — the game is already drawing rave reviews, suggesting it could displace the much-beloved SNES classic as the series' crowning achievement.
With 32 new racing tracks, rendered with lush HD visuals never before seen in a Mario Kart game, and inheriting the nostalgic legacy of all those hours you spent firing red shells at your best friend, it's no wonder why players are excited. And if you're not, well, maybe a brief, tantalizing glance at what's to come can stir something inside you.
After all, however long the years, and advanced the technology, it's still the same basic game at heart — race or be outraced, shell or be shelled — but the sights and scenes, while navigating to a hard-fought victory, are really different from what they once were.
Super Mario Kart Then...
Mario Kart 8 Now!
Racing That Old-School Ghost House...
...Now The Confines Are Creepier.
And The Pastel Hues Of The Rainbow Road...
Are Now Just That Much More Gorgeous.
Mario Kart 8 is slated for North American release on May 30th, and if Nintendo has any luck it'll be warmly received — their most recent console, the Wii U, has had a disastrously bad early start, and something like a must-have Mario Kart would be just the ticket.
Just remember — never get too far ahead too early. Those first place-seeking Blue Shells are the worst.