Mario Kart in Virtual Reality

Double Jump Kris MiiMario Kart is such a classic franchise, spanning from the Super Nintendo Entertainment all the way to the Switch port. The rosters have evolved from simply choosing between eight characters to deciding the driver, the kart, the wheels, the glider. Now there seems to be another way to play the game…

There is a virtual reality Mario Kart arcade game. My stomach is already doing barrel-rolls at the very idea of it, but despite any fears of nausea, a VR Mario Kart sounds like so much fun!

Presently, this game is only available in an arcade in Japan, but who knows if it’ll become available internationally at some point in the future. Having Nintendo dabble in virtual reality games just makes me excited to think of a Legend of Zelda or Pokemon VR game!

Also, that hammer item just looks like fun! Why don’t we have that in the latest version of Mario Kart?

What do you think of playing Mario Kart in Virtual Reality? What other franchises should go the VR route?

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Of Battle Modes

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe brought battle modes with it, and for the first time since probably the original Mario Kart on the SNES, we gave the Battle Mode a thorough try. Honestly, we weren’t disappointed!

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There are five different battle modes, we tried each and every one of them, and had a blast while doing so. We went in order, first playing Balloon Battle. I wasn’t very good at that one, yet I believe it’s the simplest of all the modes. Each character starts with five balloons and you try to pop as many balloons from your opponents as you can. If you lose all five of your balloons, you’ll be brought back with three more balloons, but it takes three off of your “kill” list so you have to be careful.

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The Balloon Battle was the original battle mode when the battle mode was first introduced to the franchise. I’ll admit, the Balloon Battle was probably my least favorite out of the other more inventive battle modes. The next mode was Renegade Roundup, where the racers were split up into teams for a high-speed game of cops and robbers. One side had Pirahna Plants to aid them as cops, racing around to catch the “outlaws” on the other team to lock them up. Those dodging the law needed to not only avoid getting caught by a Pirahna Plant but to also keep an eye out and free any teammates that had gotten locked up. If the cops caught all the outlaws, the cops won, but if there was an outlaw still free when time runs out, then the outlaws won the battle. This mode was probably my favorite with the high-speed antics and extra tension that came with trying not to get caught!

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Next was Bob-omb Blast, which was similar to the Balloon Battle. Each item block contained a bob-omb and the more item blocks you got, the more bob-ombs you got. Though the maximum was only 10, sometimes that was all you needed. Each character has balloons and you have to try to blow people up. It was fun to drop bob-ombs everywhere, though I did find it be difficult at times, especially depending on the track we were playing on. Still, it was a lot of fun.

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I had tons of fun tossing the bob-ombs everywhere! The next mode Rachel did really well at, considering it was Coin Runners where the main objective is to collect as many coins as possible. Rachel loves treasure hunting games! This mode’s premise is simple, with racers doing their best to collect the coins that appear on the map while also attacking others to make said others lose their coins.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I just kept cruising along collecting coins and no one really even touched me because I was keeping to myself. The final battle mode was Shine Thief, which was another fun one. A Shine stands in the middle of the track and you have to get to it before anyone else. You or your team have to collectively hold onto it for 30 seconds in order to win. People try to throw things and crash into you in order to get their hands on the Shine. It’s a fun game of keepaway.

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The battle modes were definitely a lot of fun! My favorites in order were Renegade Roundup, Bob-omb Blast, Shine Thief, Coin Runner, and then Balloon Battle. I tend to prefer the ones that have a bit of a fight to them, ones that can get chaotic with everyone dashing around.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I loved, in order, Renegade Roundup, Shine Thief, Coin Runner, Bob-omb Blast, then Balloon Battle. I love a good chase whether it’s keepaway or running from the law, but certainly when it gets chaotic. Overall, the battle modes were a lot of fun and I’m sure we’ll be playing them just as much as we play the regular kart races.

What do you think of the battle modes? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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Throwback Thursday: Mario Kart Wii

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Thursday and Happy June!

I can’t believe another month has come and gone… time flies and between that and our Mario Kart 8 Deluxe review yesterday, I started thinking back on some other Mario Kart games.

 

Throwback Thursday: Mario Kart Wii

Mario Kart Wii was my favorite Mario Kart game. I have to say that 8 Deluxe is my new favorite, but I will always have fond memories of the Wii version.

It was the first Mario Kart game with the tilt motion controls and I absolutely loved using the steering wheel. I was much better at using the motion controls than I was using the regular joy-stick controls. I was better than Kris too, which was even more fun.

Mario Kart Wii came out in April 2008. That was the year Kris graduated from high school and she had a large group of friends. I remember she would have the group over from time to time and they would hang out in the basement, play video games, gossip, whatever. Me, being the little sister, usually tagged along with them, and they gladly let me.

Mario Kart was always a big game for them to play. I used to love watching them go head to head in tournaments with one another even though they weren’t big “gamers” it was still all good fun for everyone.

I remember laughing hysterically watching them all play because there were certain people who were good at it and certain others who were not.

Of course, everyone went to off to college, moved to other places, and some are even married now. Still, we keep in touch with a few of them and our closest ones have a Nintendo Switch of their own. I can’t wait to challenge them in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

That’s one thing I love most about Nintendo and video games. It brings people together and we all genuinely have a good time.

Do you have any fond memories of old Mario Kart games? Let me know in the comments below!

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Game Review

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe | Video Game Review

Title: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Company: Nintendo
Console: 
Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 
April 2017
How we got the game: 
We pre-ordered it

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a souped-up version of the original Mario Kart 8 that had been released for the Wii U in 2014. The Deluxe version included all of the original DLC that had been available for an extra cost for the Wii U version, along with the Battle Mode.

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At first, we were iffy on getting the game because while it would look nice on the Switch, we had the game for the Wii U. Then we found out it included all the DLC, which we never bought, so we decided to go for it. And we weren’t disappointed.

gameplay

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Like the previous Mario Kart games, the gameplay of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe includes the player controlling his/her/their character of choice while driving around recklessly on extremely dangerous tracks with items that make said dangerous tracks even more dangerous. It’s tons of fun and so satisfying to speed by or pelt your opponents in order to climb the ranks!

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You can play using the Joy-Con as one controller (or the pro-controller) or you can play using one Joy-Con on its side like a steering wheel using the tilt motion controls. I prefer the motion controls while Kris prefers to move using the regular controls. In addition to that, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also has smart steering. You can turn that on and your kart or bike will keep you on the road. This is more for younger kids playing the game, but we had ours on for a while because we had no idea what it was or how to turn it off. It’s a cool feature, but I do enjoy the challenge and getting frustrated when I fall off a track.

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For the most part, we had the smart steering off since we’ve been around the tracks before. Surely we knew what we were doing, right? Of course, for the 200cc races, the smart steering helped a bit, but it’s so much fun to do without! The 200cc speed is insane!

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We definitely had the most fun doing the 200cc races, I think. I enjoyed having the smart steering on because it gave me a shot, but I liked the challenge of trying to steer and brake myself. Once we finished all the races, we tried our hand at the battle modes. The battle modes were never something we typically played, but we tried them out anyway.

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The battle modes were a lot of fun! Instead of competing in races, you’re going against each other in set rules, such as popping your opponents’ balloons, collecting the most coins, or seeing how many other racers you can blow up with Bob-ombs. Runaway Renagades was like Cops and Robbers, with one side being the police and the other “dodging the law,” and Shine Thief was a game of keepaway with a Shine Sprite from the Super Mario Sunshine game.

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All modes were a lot of fun and we enjoyed ourselves more than we thought. We actually ended up getting a little more competetive than we thought. Then again, that’s what Mario Kart does to you…

graphics-music

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With the game being on the Nintendo Switch, the graphics are wonderful. There hasn’t been an instance in playing Switch games where the graphics haven’t been well done, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has been no exception. Despite the fast pace the races move, the graphics are always smooth and it’s a delight to see the characters’ expressions so clearly.

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As stated earlier, we didn’t but the Wii U DLC for this game. So, a lot of the tracks are new for us. For example, we were amazed by Hyrule Circuit because the graphics were so well done. It was cool that there were rupees instead of coins and the layout of the track is awesome. Not to mention the music brings you right back to Hyrule.

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Hyrule Circuit is one of my favorite tracks! It was also awesome to play as Link — the poor guy deserves a break from adventuring to join a go-kart race! I greatly enjoyed the music for all the tracks, to be honest. The majority of them were fun and fast-paced to match the races.

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For most of the tracks, I find myself humming along with the music. I blink and before I know it, the race is over. Though sometimes, I’ll admit, that I get distracted by trying to sing along with the music and dancing so I end up steering my character right off the edge of the track or get behind a tree or something.

replay-value

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With all the different modes, race courses, characters and karts, and online capabilities, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has tons of replay value. Not only do Rachel and I have each other as gaming buddies, but the online mode allows us to play with friends around the world, and it’s pretty damn amazing.

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This is also a great game to get a group of friends together and compete against one another in real life. Ruining friendships is fun when you’re playing a Mario game. It’s also fun to play alone too. The challenge of going against the CPUs are fun as well as trying to train before you play against your friends.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe gets…
5 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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Top Tuesday: Favorite Mario Kart Games

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Tuesday!

It’s no secret that Kris and I have been playing a lot of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. I remember I didn’t play Mario Kart 8 as often when it came out because I still loved Mario Kart Wii. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a great game and I forgot how wonderful 8 was until now.

So, here are my favorite Mario Kart games!

Top Tuesday: Favorite Mario Kart Games

5. Super Mario Kart

Since this game came out for the SNES, I’ll admit that I don’t remember it as much as I think I should. Still, it’s one of my favorites because it was, of course, the first one. I remember playing this game with Kris at our grandparents’ house. I wasn’t great at the game because I was so young, but I still enjoyed it all the same.

4. Mario Kart 7

I wasn’t sure how I liked a Mario Kart game on the handheld because I was so used to it being on the big screen with a console. Plus, it was harder to play with friends. It’s still one of my favorites though because I enjoyed the game a lot and I used to bring my 3DS to babysit and the kids and I would play together.

3. Mario Kart Double Dash

I have fond memories of this game. Kris and I played this together all the time. She’d be Daisy, I’d be Yoshi. She’d drive, and I’d throw all the items. We made a great team. And the fact that Nintendo made a Kart racing game with such a mechanic is awesome. I hope they bring that back a different racing mode or something someday.

2. Mario Kart Wii

Like I stated in my intro, Mario Kart Wii has always been my favorite. I loved the physical steering of the remote, the courses were unique and awesome, and Rainbow Road was just fantastic. Plus, I rarely lose at that game, so that’s definitely a plus. This one will always have a special place in my heart.

1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Sorry, Mario Kart Wii… The updated Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has beaten you. Between the various kart, wheel, and paraglider combinations, updated courses (including the DLC), various courses, and (my favorite) 200cc mode, I felt 8 Deluxe had to take over the number one spot. I feel like I’m cheating on the Wii version, but… what can I say? Technology, especially for the Nintendo Switch, just keeps getting better and better.

What’s you favorite Mario Kart game? Let me know in the comments below!

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Friday Favorites: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Items

Double Jump Kris MiiYay for another Friday!

Considering I complained about the items in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe that I find problematic, I figured today I would share the items that I love getting in that item box roulette.

Piranha Plant

I find it so amusing to have your character’s kart just have a giant pot sticking out the front of it and this man-eating plant helps tug you along while taking bites out of your opponents.

Bob-omb

Who doesn’t like explosions? I think this is a great item as long as you don’t accidentally blow up yourself. I love dropping it behind my kart to get rid of tailgaters.

Red Shells

Alright, this one is a bit of a cop-out, but how can you not love the red shells? They’re little homing devices that go directly to attack the opponent in front of you. While you can defend yourself against them, they are one of the most useful items in a race.

Mushrooms

I love the classic mushrooms! A decent little speed boost to pull in front of an opponent right before they cross the finish line, or to use during a mushroom shortcut on a course — I find them great to use in almost any situation (looking at you, Rainbow Road).

What do you think of the Mario Kart items? Which are your faves?

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Top Tuesday: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Tracks

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Tuesday!

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe just came out a few days ago and Kris and I have been playing it whenever we have a free moment.

We like to play in order, so we’ve just beaten the 50cc Grand Prix, which means we’ve played each track once. And here are my favorites…

Before I give you a list of my top five favorite tracks in the game, I want to say that these tracks are from Mario Kart 8 and the DLC. I didn’t include any rehashed tracks from previous Mario Kart games.

I also didn’t include any Rainbow Road tracks or Bowser’s Castle tracks because those ones are a given. They will always be one of the best tracks.

Anyway, here we go:

5. Toad Harbor

This is a simple track. One where you’re driving on the road avoiding buses and just going through the town. For some reason, it reminds me of the first level in Sonic Adventure 2 Battle where the song “City Escape” by Crush 40. I pretty much sang that song the entire race and it really pumped me up.

4. Animal Crossing

I love Animal Crossing and I’m glad they acknowledged the game, showing off some of the NPCs of the game and buildings. It was cool to explore the town in a different way. I also enjoy that the seasons change.

3. Hyrule Circuit

This one was probably a given. The coins turn to rupees, the item blocks make the sound effect like Link is opening a chest, and the music brings you right back to Hyrule. I thought this track was so well-done, especially the room where the Master Sword is showcased.

2. Electrodome

Funky colors, cool lights, and awesome music. That’s the way to go, I don’t care what anyone else says.

1. Twisted Mansion

I always find the ghost levels to be really cool in any Mario game and Mario Kart is no exception. After playing through this one I found myself wanting to play Luigi’s Mansion again. The music was fitting and the overall atmosphere was on point.

What are some of your favorite tracks from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? Are you enjoying the game?

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First Impressions of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Double Jump Kris MiiAnother week, another Monday. Rachel and I got our copy of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Switch, and we spent a good chunk of Sunday night just playing it.

We really enjoyed it, even though the courses that we played were just the same as Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U.

 

Everyone seems to be playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe this past weekend, unless you were one of those folks who already has Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U with all the DLC. Considering Rachel and I only have the bare bones of the Wii U version of the game, we didn’t mind splurging for the Switch version. We pre-ordered it on Amazon, it didn’t come on Friday, Amazon apologized for the delay and credited our account about ten bucks, and it got delivered Sunday.

We both played a few of the Grand Prix mode, just on 50cc to get warmed up (and, of course, to collect the trophies and everything) and to test the few different modes of controllers. We first each used one half of the Joy-Con, finding it to be not too bad of a way to drive the karts, before both of us used a pair of the Joy-Con.

Rachel seems to prefer the one half of the Joy-Con method while I didn’t mind the paired Joy-Con. We do plan on getting the wheel attachment to see how well they work as well, but for now, we’re okay with each having the Joy-Con.

We did seem to have a bit of an odd time with the motion control and the manual steering at first, but we eventually got the hang of it. We both had a great time picking out different characters and karts to race with, especially the ones that had been DLC like Link (who looks like he’s having the best time of his life during the races and jumps) and Isabelle (who is just downright adorable).

We’re eager to explore all of the DLC courses — hopefully we’ll be able to play again tonight!

Do you have Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? What do you think of it?

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Mario Kart Switch

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Thursday!

When Kris and I talked about Nintendo Direct from last week, we touched upon Mario Kart 8 Deluxe briefly. And it got me thinking.

 

Mario Kart Switch

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has some cool new features that 8 on the Wii U didn’t have. I believe there may be a few new characters as well as some new items. There’s also an improved Battle Mode.

Not to mention, the Deluxe version will include all the DLC that came out on Mario Kart 8. This doesn’t sound enticing to the people who have already bought all the DLC, but Kris and I, even though we said we would, never bought any of the DLC. So we’re getting something out of it.

We pre-ordered the game and I’m excited to get my hands on it, even though we’ve basically already played it.

While I’m happy with a deluxe version of the latest Mario Kart game, I think I still would have liked a new version of Mario Kart.

Mario Kart 9 or, perhaps, Mario Kart Switch?

Everyone remember Mario Kart: Double Dash for the Nintendo Gamecube from way back in late 2003? That was a great game!

Kris and I would most always be on a team, her being Daisy and me being Yoshi. She would drive while I tossed the items and hit people with my tongue. We had a lot of fun and had some great memories from that game.

The point of the Nintendo Switch is to “switch” things up, take it with you, and play with friends. I think a remake of a Mario Kart game where the main premise was to be on a team and “switch” drivers and item-throwers in the middle of a race would be a great idea for the new console.

With the technology in the Joy-Cons, I’m sure there are plenty of ways they could have improved the game with new tracks, karts, and characters.

Why remake a game that’s three-years-old when you can remake a game that’s based on teamwork that’s 14-years-old?

Like I said, I’m happy to be getting a new version of Mario Kart 8… but I still would love to see an updated version of an old classic Mario Kart game, Mario Kart: Double Dash.

Sign me on, Nintendo! I have too many great ideas to pass up.

What do you think of this idea? What are your thoughts on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? Are you getting the game? Let me know in the comments below!

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Throwback Thursday: Gaming Buddy

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Thursday!

I haven’t done a “Throwback Thursday” in a while so I thought I’d do one. Except, this time, I won’t be talking about one specific game, but mainly about a friend I used to game with a lot.

 

Throwback Thursday: Gaming Buddy

I started babysitting for a boy my cousin went to school with back in 2009. It was my first babysitting gig and I had just started working in a preschool as I was newly 16-years-old. This boy was 7-years-old and had an older brother, 10, and a younger sister, 6. I babysat for them for seven years until they got old enough that they didn’t need me anymore.

As they years went by, I turned out to be more like a friend, or sister, to them to help drive them to and from appointments and such rather than make sure they didn’t burn the house down when no one was home.

The boys were very much into video games and when I had first met them, we were both excited when we found out we both played Pokemon. I think, at first, the parents thought it was odd that I was into video games, but they were happy that I had something in common with the kids.

All three kids are special ed., with ADD or Autism among other disabilities. So, for the 7-year-old, video games and the computer were an outlet for him. It was an outlet for all of them, but mainly him. Because they played it so much, they were only allowed a certain amount of screen time during the day, but I made the most of it.

We played Pokemon together, Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers, and more, such as Magic: The Gathering and trading Pokemon cards. We watched Let’s Plays on YouTube and could talk for hours about a specific game willing each other to get this game and that one.

I just saw them last weekend for lunch since I’ll be feeding their guinea pigs and fish while they’re on vacation. He’ll be 15 in two weeks and even though we haven’t seen each other since September, not much has changed, but a lot has changed at the same time.

He’s huge, for one thing. Being about eight years older than him, I stand just under his shoulders. But the big thing was that he was excited to show me his new video game gadgets. He got a new mouse and mouse pad plus a new desktop computer for gaming.

We ended up talking quite a while about various game equipment and the like. It was refreshing to talk to him about that stuff again.

Even though we haven’t seen each other in quite a while, it was as though nothing has changed.

Do you have anyone you have gaming in common with like that? Did you ever get close to someone through gaming? Let me know in the comments below!

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