"Everyone has fond memories of the Mario Kart series" reads a blurb in the review materials for the eighth game in the series. Up until now, I really didn't.

Mario Kart was never my game. When Super Mario Kart was released for North American Super Nintendo systems in 1992, I was already in love with another Nintendo EAD-developed racing game featuring high-tech Mode 7 graphics — the progenitor of the futuristic racing sub-genre, F-Zero. In the heart of a science fiction-loving teenager, a super-flattened Mushroom Kingdom was nothing compared to the flickering electronic cityscapes of the year 2560.

I'm not trying to incense the franchise's fan base. I'm merely establishing a baseline, so when I say that Mario Kart 8 feels different, you can appreciate what a profound statement I am making. Shortly after starting my first race, I could tell this was more than just plain old Mario Kart with fancy HD graphics.

Read the complete review.