It’s always a good sign when a publisher lifts a review embargo way before a game’s release date – Mario Kart 8 is still two weeks away, yet reviews went live today. Unsurprisingly, they’ve been glowing.
The Metacritic currently stands at 89% from 39 critics, making it one of the highest rated games of the year. Incidentally though, Metacritic’s highest rated of 2014 are a right old ragtag bunch including Fez on PS Vita, indie hit Kentucky Route Zero: Act III and Rayman Legends on Xbox One. And just to further prove how eccentric Metacritic can be, Mario Kart 8’s current 89% puts it on par with the Wii U version of Skylanders Swap Force. Eh?
Anyway, less about Metacritic’s irregularities – scores so far vary from Eurogamer’s 10/10 to Nintendo World Report’s somewhat unexpected 7.5 on the account of the Battle Mode being “miserable”. They aren’t the only ones to find Battle Mode on the poor side, with a few other critics finding it hard to like.
Let’s take a look at the full rundown:
10/10 – Eurogamer: “Mario Kart 8 is a rare thing, [then]: the best entry in a series and the most exciting yet”
96% – Official Nintendo Magazine: “Mario Kart 8 is so far beyond its competition that it’ll make you feel like you’re playing a whole new console”
9.25 – GameInformer: “Mario Kart 8 should certainly be added to the list of top-tier entries, and none of the previous titles can boast the rock-solid total package that this one offers”
9/10 – Metro GameCentral: “Mario Kart 8 is a clear sign that Nintendo has got over its next gen teething troubles and proof that they remain entirely relevant both as a console maker and a game developer”
9/10 – EDGE: “Mario Kart 8 is yet another overwhelmingly powerful argument in favour of the company’s idiosyncratic approach to design”
9/10 – Destructoid: “Mario Kart 8 is my favorite series entry since Double Dash, and if it gets arena battle tracks at some point by way of DLC, it will be a near-perfect package”
9/10 – VideoGamer: “”here’s simply no reason not to own Mario Kart 8 if you own a Wii U”
9.0 – Polygon: “Its gorgeous looks and tightly developed sense of speed ensured that I was never left unhappy after a race, even when I blew it and came in near the end. What more could I ask for than a game that keeps me smiling even when I lose?”
9/10 – Nintendo Life: “It’s an accomplished effort that pushes the franchise forward. In years to come the debates over the best Mario Kart games in the series will, inevitably, feature this as a contender”
9.0 – IGN: “Mario Kart 8 is the best kart racing game Nintendo has made in a long time”
4.5/5 – Telegraph: “It might be too late to completely turn around the Wii U’s fortunes, but when Nintendo are releasing games as good as this, it may just have a chance”
4.5/5 – JoyStiq: “Despite an unfortunate change to its battle mode, MK8 is a solid extra lap on a series with a great foundation”
4/5 – GamesRadar: “Mario Kart 8 is a high-quality game, of that there is no question. But it often feels like you and it are simply going through the motions”
4/5 – Digital Spy: “Mario Kart 8 is a conservative update, choosing to polish and refine rather than reinvent, but it’s still as alluring a racer as it ever has been”
8.5 – NowGamer: “New weapons, careful balancing (outside of that rubber-banding) and a bevy of gorgeous, superbly-designed tracks makes Mario Kart 8 quite easily one of the most thoroughly enjoyable experiences on the Wii U”
8/10 – GameSpot: “Mario Kart is one of my favorite franchises, but it’s hard to get excited for the same old thing. But the more I played, the more I appreciated the many small changes, and grew to love my time in the Mushroom Kingdom”
7.5 – Nintendo World Report: ”I like playing Mario Kart 8. I think it’s a satisfactory entry in the series, but nothing more. The final package ends up feeling like someone who covers themselves in makeup to hide the fact that they are 10 years older than they are pretending to be”
Remember, Nintendo are giving away a free Wii U download – out of a choice of ten titles – upon registering Mario Kart 8. On top of that, those who purchase it from the eShop can also claim a £5.49 rebate on the Virtual Console release of Super Mario Kart if purchasing before 30th June.