Another E3 came and went this year. I don't have a whole lot to say about this one, probably because there isn't a whole lot to say about it. The only thing I liked was the Super Smash Bros. Wii U tournament held by Nintendo, which was pretty darn cool. As for reviews, I'm currently working on the next one. I was hoping I'd be able to get the next review out before the end of this month, but I spent most of June really sick from a nasty cold. It's 2014 and science has yet to cure the common cold. Here's hoping it'll happen in our lifetimes.


Pokemon Red and Blue is the 150th review to be added to the review section. You know, because there used to only be 150 Pokemon, if you don't count the super secret 151st one. I'm so clever.


I finally got around to playing Mario Kart 8. Chances are good that there's nothing I can say about this game that someone hasn't already said elsewhere, but I'll still give my thoughts on it. First of all, it should be noted that I'm far from a Mario Kart expert. While I have played every single game in the series, I'm only intimately familiar with the first two games. My recollection of the other games is subpar at best. As such, take everything I say here with a grain of salt.

With that disclaimer out of the way, I'll now begin actually talking about Mario Kart 8. I'm going to start this by talking about what I liked. The single player is fantastic; the graphics are great, the music is nice, the controls are responsive, and the mechanics are very polished. There's an option to look behind you that's pretty neat, though I think Super Mario Kart already had something like that. I personally like the character roster, but I hear many people were disappointed in that regard. Perhaps if I was more acclimated with Mario Kart, then maybe I'd also be disappointed, but the roster looks fine to me. I like the inclusion of the Koopalings. All the race courses seem pretty good to me, too, but again, I don't know how these courses stack up to the rest of the series. That about sums up all my positive feelings about the game.

Now I'm going to talk about all the things I didn't like, with Battle Mode being first on this list. Honestly, I wasn't expecting Battle Mode to be good in Mario Kart 8, because Battle Mode hasn't been good since Mario Kart 64, but this has to be the worst iteration of Battle Mode I've ever seen. Here's why it sucks: they took the regular courses from the main game, courses designed specifically for racing, and used them for Battle Mode. It's a straight up bad idea. Speaking of bad ideas, the other thing I don't like is the lack of an on screen mini-map. There's a mini-map on the gamepad, but you have to look down to see it, and a split second of looking away from the screen in Mario Kart can mean losing the race. What's worse is that you don't get any mini-map at all if you're using any controller other than the gamepad. That's a major oversight.

My final verdict is that the game is fun and still worth getting despite its flaws, but the terrible Battle Mode prevents it from being the perfect Mario Kart. Looks like I'll be sticking to Mario Kart 64 when it comes to Battle Mode.


I posted a boring article about HD ports.

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