Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

 

EA access is an app on the Xbox One that allows members to play a selection of 21 games for free, and play some upcoming and newer games for a limited time. I decided to purchase a one-month membership to try it out. It is definitely underwhelming, out of the 21 games, 12 are sports games, mostly last year’s games. If you’re not a sports fan, this may not be for you. For the non-sports fan there are 9 games available, the ones that really stood out were Battlefield 4, Battlefield Hardline, Dragon Age Inquisition, and Dead Space(360 version). There are only 6 game trials, each trial lasts 10 hours which is a decent length of time. These are not demos, they are the full game and if you purchase the full game later on, you can continue your progress.

Download times are what you might expect and vary depending on the user’s internet connection. I’ve downloaded 4 games now, both Battlefield’s and Dragon Age took way longer than expected, including not downloading while my console was in sleep mode. It could have been an internet problem, but I’ve never had any issues like that with any other game. Even though there are not many items on each menu, it can be pain to use. If you go too far on the menu and it will navigate to the next section, going back does not take you to the most recent game you scrolled from, it takes you to the beginning of the previous menu. One benefit of having EA access however, is receiving Premium accounts for both Battlefield games on the list.

EA access costs $4.99 for one month and $29.99 for a full year. I think I’m going to wait for a larger selection before I spend $30 for a full year of service. If you’re not a sports fan, or have most of EA’s sports games, this may not be for you. The variety is scarce and it would be better to wait until a larger list of games rolls out. I can see what EA is doing and it’s a good start, but the games are just too bare bones at the moment.

Score: 7/10

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As a fan of both the Borderlands series, and Telltale Games, it was only a matter of time before I played “Tales from the Borderlands”. The story takes place after the events of Borderlands 2, but this time the story does not revolve around Vault Hunters. Would the game live up to high expectations? Could it match the levels of humour, wit, and gore the Borderlands series is known for? From the opening scene all doubt of a lack of humour are immediately erased.  You begin the game as Rhys, a company man working his way up the Hyperion ladder, just to have his job- and life, complicated in ways he never could expect. Bad luck forces Rhys and Vaughn out into the Badlands seeking revenge on their boss. A series of terrible mistakes leads them to Fiona, the other character you’ll be playing, and her sister Sasha.

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Early on it’s easy to tell that your new character Fiona and her sister are con-artists and grifters. You’ll often need Fiona’s skill set, and communication skills, to get out of some life threatening situations. Without getting too much into the story, everything gets really complicated due to the events that take place with Rhys and Vaughn, forcing them to reluctantly work together. Having control over two characters was a really great design choice, you’ll have control over both sides of the story, leaving you with a lot of hilarious and thrilling story options. Both characters will also embellish the story, making an already hilarious series of events become more entertaining. Tales from the Borderlands does a great job of reminding the gamer that this is in fact a Borderlands game. Even rewarding the gamers who purchased Borderlands The Pre-Sequel with a Reward Pack consisting of guns and other in-game valuables.
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Telltale Games uses a point and click style of gameplay, you’ll do a bit of walking and a small bit of exploring, most decisions you’ll make are verbal, and most of the action is through button prompt cutscenes. The decisions you make affect the story and the outcome, unlike some of the other Telltale games, the decisions you make last until the end of the game. You’ll be forced with deciding the fate of yourself and other characters, you’ll be tasked with choosing who you want to satisfy or ignore, and you’ll have to figure out who you want on your side throughout the game. The decisions can be really gripping and will lead you to moral dilemmas, keeping the game entertaining. I really enjoyed how this game, even though it was mostly verbal decisions, had more action and interaction than other games in its genre. Some fights, a bit of shooting, and quick decisions make up sections of the game, though most of the time it was dodging and trying not to get hurt. Some of it was unnecessary, but it added a bit more to what was already a great game.

Tales from the Borderlands is far from perfect, graphical glitches, and other minor bugs create minor nuisances, but nothing that hinders the gameplay. The problems were mainly in the story. The game may just be too humorous, plus the addition of the gore made it so the emotional moments, were not as emotional as they should have been. Most of the more sad moments happen after something hilarious, and a lack of build up just made them another scene. For me it was hard to be attached to many of the characters, a few had me hoping they’d survive, but nothing like Telltales Walking Dead. Though there is not much walking throughout, the characters felt a bit slow, it would have been nice if they could jog, and the controls felt a bit off due to the camera angles.

Overall Tales from the Borderlands is a solid game, blending humour, wit, and gore into one solid package. It was what I expected out of a Telltale Borderlands game, and more. Some minor glitches throughout may take a bit from the game, but with having control of a second character, extends the story in a great way. I’d highly recommend Tales from the Borderlands to any of fan of this genre, and any fan of Borderlands. Even the notifications at the top of the screen are hilarious and the game doesn’t take itself too seriously, as characters make jokes about the story and events taking place. It’s on basically every device aside from Nintendo, so even if you want to take this game with you on the go, it’s available on Android and iOS.

Score: 9/10

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As a fan of the Far Cry series I was very excited for the new additions to what has been an already great series, and for the most part I was not disappointed. Far Cry 4 takes place in Kyrat, you’ll assume the role of Ajay Ghale, who has simple plans of scattering his mom’s ashes in deep Kyrat. Little does he know his life is about to change dramatically as he’ll uncover secrets he could have never imagined. The story is done well, it’s filled with colourful and interesting characters. You’ll be forced to choose between ideologies, deal with animals and militia in dangerous locations, and figure out who Ajay really is, all while determining the new path of Kyrat. Causing all the commotion is Kyrat’s King, Pagan Min, who seemingly wants to destroy the country with war and drugs. You’ll be on the side of The Golden Path run by Amita and Sabal, each having their own idea of the perfect Kyrat and their own way of brining down Pagan Min. It’s up to you to choose which path you’d rather see the country go on.

From the very beginning, Far Cry 4 looks great, the characters and environments are very well done. Once you have control you’ll have a chance to look over part of Kyrat, the amount of detail becomes apparent, but it’s just a small sign of things to come. Kyrat is a large place so having a way around is crucial, good thing there are many options from ATV’s to personal helicopters called Buzzers, they make getting around Kyrat a lot of fun. Far Cry 4 has solid gameplay throughout, but at times the controls can be a bit glitchy. Most of the movements and actions are smooth, but unfortunately once the real action starts there seems to be a delay in many of Ajay’s actions. Switching guns and using health syringes can be slow or just not work, causing some frustrating moments. One of the main glitches I found was with the weapon wheel, weapons don’t always change when prompted, sometimes it took multiple efforts to get the weapon of my choice.
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Aside from the main campaign there are plenty of side missions and quest to undertake, from overtaking outposts to clearing out fortresses run by Kyrat’s main players. There are citizens and fellow Golden Path members that will need your help, and, a fashion designer will have you hunt rare and dangerous animals for his clothing line but also for the 39 crafted items that increase gear capacity. You’ll go hunting for supplies or to defend villages from menacing beasts. You’ll have the option to get revenge on corrupt leaders for killing innocents or for causing terror to those around them. Some of the more colourful characters you’ll meet will have side missions ranging from drug trips to races around some of the exciting parts of Kyrat, giving you around 192 quests total. There are 285 collectibles to find, including journals from Ajay’s father, masks of a former murder and plenty more to find. Just like in other Far Cry games, there are also radio towers to overtake, these will unlock parts of the map which will unveil some of the collectibles and missions in the areas surrounding the towers.
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Completing missions and finding collectibles will unlock new weapons, give you Experience bonuses, and on some occasions earn you Karma points. Karma Points are another new addition to the Far Cry series, levelling up your Karma will give you discounts at stores, unlock guns and give you guns for hire tokens. Guns for Hire tokens allow you to call in some help from the Golden Path, they’ll drive to your location and give you cover while you do whatever you need to. In addition to Karma points you’ll have your regular Experience, levelling up will earn you Skill points, those points can be used on one of the two categories, Tiger or Elephant. The Tiger category will give you more fire power, speed, and strength, while the Elephant side increases defence, increases your health bars, but also improves your health and combat syringe times and potency.
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Similar to previous Far Cry games, enemies won’t be the only opposition you’ll face. There are a plethora of animals who will either fight or flee, from the common Honey Badger to the less common Red Crowned Turtle, the animals seem to be in every location through Kyrat. One of the newest additions to the Far Cry series is the ability to ride elephants. Personally, this is one of my favourite features, not only are they fun to ride, I felt like I could take on any opponent due to the elephant’s power. The animals add a level of depth to the environments, not only will you have to worry about where the enemies are, you’ll have to make sure you don’t have any predators ready to pounce on you. A neat feature is the animal fights that look mostly realistic, and, you’ll come across animals eating their prey. The animals can also lead to many frustrating moments, like getting attacked by an Eagle out of nowhere and not being able to defend yourself slowed the game down. Other issues like getting attacked in the water without being able to use your knife or gun, having random animals blowing your cover and getting killed by animals while trying to defend yourself from enemies, made easier parts a bit more complicated. However, the predators can be used to your advantage, a carefully placed bait can cause mayhem with enemies and in some cases clear out entire outposts and other sections without you even firing a shot.
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Far Cry 4 also comes with decent Online options, you can play through the campaign with friends or people online, and there are three different 5 vs 5 game modes. Outpost has one team defending key locations while the other tries to overtake them, Demon Mask will have you destroying masks or bringing them to safety, and Propaganda will have you destroying parts of Kyrat while the other defends. You’ll earn experience by gaining kills, completing objectives, and collecting herbs, levelling up earns skill points which you use to unlock new weapons and gear for your characters. You’ll have two characters to upgrade, one will be gun heavy and the other is bow based, you’ll use both so you’ll want to upgrade them as much as possible. Each 5V5 set has two rounds, you’ll be attacking and defending, the team with more points combined wins. The Online PVP doesn’t just feel like an afterthought, though it can be glitchy and lag, it is a lot of fun. The option of being able to go through the Campaign Cooperatively is a great addition, it adds a new level of fun that previous games just didn’t have. There is also the Map Browser, this allows you to play through user created maps for Outpost and other game modes, while also being able to create your own maps.
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While Far Cry 4 is great, there are a lot of glitches, most are minor, but some just can’t be overlooked. Many of the main issues are in combat, some of your weapons seem underpowered, and, enemies can be far too accurate, as they can hit you through trees, down hills, and other areas they would not have been able to see you. Enemies and animals do a lot of damage, take a bit of damage and you’ll need to use a health syringe, at times you have to pull branches or other objects out of your arm forcing you to heal twice. Animals as well as humans can knock you down and attack you while you’re down, you can’t shoot from your back so you’ll just have to lay there and take all the damage until Ajay finally gets up. Enemies can also knock you down even if you’re mid-melee, they seem to melee a lot faster so if you get close enough you’ll end up on your back taking damage. If an animal runs at you they can do damage while seemingly getting lost in your feet. Eagle attacks do not allow you to defend yourself once they are a certain distance away, it forces you into a mini cutscene where you watch yourself getting attacked, you can’t shoot the Eagle until after it flies away. Getting attacked in water was a pain as well, you can’t shoot or use your knife while swimming, so you’ll have to get into a boat or on land in order to defend yourself. There are also quite a few technical glitches, on many occasions the audio did not work, textures did not pop and random pauses slightly hindered the experience.
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Even with all of the issues found within Far Cry 4 it is worth picking up. There is a tonne of gameplay from missions to collectibles, exploring the game rather than fast travelling will give you hours of extra gameplay. Far Cry 4 environments are incredible, nearly everything looks amazing, it can draw you in and help you forget about the glitches you’ve experienced. The story is good, and the characters are creative and well done, the voice acting is great as well. If you’re a fan of the Far Cry series this is one you should pick up, if you’re new, this is a great place to start.

8.5/10

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Contrast puts you in the role of Dawn, an imaginary friend to a little girl named Didi Malenkaya, as Dawn you’ll have the ability to use the shadows to your advantage. Contrast is a puzzle adventure game that has you going in and out of shadows in order to solve the level. The story begins in Didi’s room, and it’s not long before Dawn and Didi are on the way out through the window into the 1920s Noir world of Contrast. You’ll use the shadows to find your way down off the roof and you’ll help Didi get down as well, this is a sign of things to come as the game does not have much to it.
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The linear gameplay becomes apparent from the very beginning, the game holds your hand and drags you straight to your objective quite often. When the game does open up a bit you’ll only have a small bit of room to explore, but the collectibles are mostly easy to find. The story of Contrast starts off decent, Didi’s mom Kat has child services threatening to take Didi away due to Kat being gone during the night and her father no longer around. Didi acts out by sneaking out and exploring the city with her imaginary friend, she wants to find her father so she can get him and her mom back together. It’s not long before the story and the dialogue becomes repetitive, you’ll hear Didi bring up the same events and you’ll hear a lot of the same dialogue being repeated by Didi’s mother and father.

Aside from the linear environments most of the world of Contrast is well done, the levels look great and the backgrounds look great. You’ll find luminaries that you’ll use to light specific sections, the light created will allow you to use your shadows to solve the level puzzles. Shadows are mostly simple to use, you’ll walk up to the wall, press a button and you’re now a shadow, unfortunately they can be glitchy, at times it’ll take a few tries to get it on the wall or to clear a gap. As you progress you’ll unlock more shadow abilities, you’ll be able to thrust across gaps by going from a 2D shadow to 3D and back again, thrusting forward from shadow to shadow. However, this is the most frustrating feature as it does not always work due to the controls seemingly becoming unresponsive at times, it’s a good thing the game loads quick when Dawn falls into the endless pits.

There are memories that you’ll find as you explore the linear environments, they are not hard to find and walking up to them will unlock a memory shadow. You’ll use the shadows of the memory to collect luminaries and collectibles. As mentioned before the collectibles are not hard to find at all, most take a small bit of exploring to find your way up or down to them, but the collectibles serve as part of the back story. Each collectible is a drawing, picture or an article from a newspaper, to me these were more interesting than the story itself. Because the collectibles are so easy to find it leaves very little replay value, one time through will either collect everything or be very close, you’ll be able to select sections of each chapter to collect any that you miss.
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The ending is very unsatisfactory, it feels rushed and doesn’t leave any excitement to what was already a mostly bland game. Contrast is very short, most likely you’ll be able to complete the game in about 5 hours, without any real reason to go back through. Contrast feels like it could have been so much more, larger environments, a much better story and additional content would have made this a great game, unfortunately it falls short in so many areas. One of the better features of Contrast is the voice acting, though Dawn does not talk, the rest of the characters are voiced well. The story leads on that there could be a possibility of a sequel, however they will need to do a lot to improve upon the game.

Contrast does not have enough content to justify paying full price, the game is far to linear and short, and the story is unsatisfying and ends abruptly. Contrast needs over twice the content to make it great, if you still plan on playing it, wait until it’s on sale, or free. Contrast could have been so much more, the concept of the game is great, but it just feels rushed and unfinished. If you want a puzzle adventure game you won’t be hard pressed finding a better one, Contrast is too flat and bland, in the end it’s just an overpriced arcade game.

6.5/10

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One of the main complaints about the Call of Duty series is that it has become repetitive, so bring on Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, a game that is supposed to buck a bunch of trends that felt dull. But does it succeed?, or is it just another game in the series?.

Advanced Warfare puts you in the role of Marine Corp solider Jack Mitchell, an early tragedy in his tour of duty and a lost appendage later, you’ll be forced out of the Marine Corp and into Atlas. Atlas is a multi-national security company with top technology in the world. With the technology of Atlas they fix Jack up using Exo and turn him into a bad-ass solider. Jack is fitted with Atlas gear and technology which gives the wearer enhanced skills like double jump and extra strength. The story is deeper than it has been in years, it adds emotion with good writing, but the story tends to stretch out at times for the sake of the game. Advanced Warfare’s cutscenes play out like a movie, the game looks amazing on the next-gen consoles, almost every detail was polished, it added to the overall feel while maintaining a sense of realism.
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The new Exo system works great, it makes the movement a lot smoother, instead of just running around, you can use the technology to get to different locations and play the game in different ways for the most part. With all of the new technology, the earlier levels feel really linear, if you try to stray from the path slightly there will be a warning letting you know you are leaving the mission area. Even though this is not much of an issue with later levels, they should have allowed for more exploration. If you like finding collectibles, Advanced Warfare comes with 45 of them in the form of a laptop, some are a bit harder to find but they are easy to find for the most part. The intel laptops unlock bonus material in the Extras Menu, which includes pictures and videos that connect parts of the story.
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Advanced Warfare’s weaponry works really well, especially once you start upgrading your character. You’ll have different skills that can be upgraded by completing Exo Challenges, you’ll earn Skill Points after a certain amount of kills, headshots, grenade kills and by finding the intel. There are a decent amount of skills to upgrade, from increasing sprint time to gun stability, the upgrades make your character feel like a super solider. Earning them can add some replay value, unless you get them all in one play through. Grenades are much improved, instead of only being able to carry one type of lethal and non-lethal grenades, each grenade comes with different functions that can be switched with a press of a button. You can switch your lethal from the useful Smart Grenades to Impact grenades, your non-lethal from a threat detector to EMP, there are multiple choices for each and this allows for creative kills with grenades.

There was not as many new guns as I had hoped in the Single Player Campaign, but in the Online Mode that is not the case. Advanced Warfare has online features you’d expect, lots of weapons, perks and upgrades. This time around they allow you to upgrade your Exo and allow you to change the look of your character, so you’re not stuck to using some generic character. You’ll earn different gear by playing through the campaign on Veteran, by completing the game, as well as completing challenges online. These can make your character look cool, but some of the harder earned ones make you very visible and can make you a target in some cases. There are a bunch of game modes to test your weapons, but if you are like most people you’ll probably just stick to the ones you like. They even brought back the Online Training for those who need it. In addition there is also an Exo Survival Mode, you’ll fight through hordes of aliens with friends or randoms online, it’s a fun mode to play with friends.
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So does Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare improve on previous games?, for the most part yes. It may not bring non-fans to the series, but those who do play it will be treated to a whole host of new features. The story is deeper than in previous games, it has a more realistic feel and look. Each cutscene and level on the next-gen consoles looks incredible, the controls are very smooth as well. Advanced Warfare does many things right, from graphical improvements to abilities, though there are a few minor technical issues and some of the levels feel too linear, plus the campaign is not that long. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will give you a decent amount of gameplay for an FPS. This game should be played by any Call of Duty fan, it’s one of the better games in the series.

8.5/10

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With the ongoing success of The Walking Dead tv series it was no surprise that there would be a Walking Dead video game. While there were two variations within a year of each other, only Telltale Games version was a major success, blending a great story with a solid core gameplay left the gamer wanting more. While The Walking Dead Season 1 was very successful, could Season 2 match or surpass its predecessor? Walking Dead fans like myself were excited to find out.

The story puts you in the role of Clementine, a 10 year old girl who is still reeling from the events of Season 1. Clementine is put in the position to survive the apocalypse without her family and her main benefactor Lee Everett, luckily she is left with two trust-worthy survivors from the previous game. The three of them set out to find other survivors and supplies, but like you’d expect from The Walking Dead, chaos ensues. While the story is very well done, it does not seem as gripping as the first season, you’ll be put through some ups and downs, but none were really that nerve wracking. Clementine will be put into danger, but it feels like you’re in control of every situation, even conversations seem less dramatic and impactful. Season 1 put you through a lot of situations where you really had to pick and choose what you said or it could change the entire game. Season Two for the most part lacks those conversations, it seems like people are more accepting of everything that’s going on and said to them, which can be good or bad depending on your style of play.

Season Two plays like the first did, a cursor is your main control option to highlight items or people, you’ll walk around looking for everything and talking to everyone you can. The difference between the two is Season Two looks a lot better, the HUD is much improved, everything seems a lot more clear and the movement was a lot smoother. Season Two’s action sequences played out a lot better as well, if you missed a timed action in most cases it won’t lead to an instant failure, you’ll have two or three different options, it’s a nice addition but takes away from the tense feel of the situation. Conversations work the same way, each of the face buttons has an option, you choose how you’d like to respond or start the conversation, you can choose to be nice, rude, angry or just remain quiet. The decisions you make in conversations usually have little impact on how people think of you, unless you’re really rude to a person they just move on and go with your choice. There is a separate 400 Days DLC Episode that somewhat links the two games together, decisions there will carry over to Season Two but the DLC felt short and rushed.

While Season Two is great, it felt too short, each episode will only last about 30 mins the first time through, the game had a lot of walking and talking, but not as much action as I was expecting. After the first two episodes it feels like it pushes you through the rest of the game, you’ll make a few conversation decisions, grab a few items, then all of a sudden a dangerous situation fades away with barely any backlash. Clementine may be the main character, but it feels like the other survivors rely way too heavily on her, she basically has to do everything, even if one of the characters informs everyone that they have been through the same situation many times without issue, it still comes down to Clementine. The story was not as intense as the first and the ending was not as satisfying, it felt like they could have done so much more with the game, hopefully Season 3 makes up for that. The 400 Days DLC as I mentioned felt short and rushed, the story is separated into five survivor stories, you’ll have short conversations, make one or two decisions and then you’ll be done with that character. In the end, all of the stories in 400 Days connect together, but it just didn’t feel that satisfying.

The Walking Dead Season Two is a great game, but it could have been so much more, the story was great but in ways disappointing. Season Two looks a lot better and played a lot smoother, having additional options in action sequences was very nice, but those situations didn’t feel as intense. If you liked the first season chances are you’ll enjoy this instalment, the download speeds are fast, especially through the Season Pass, and playing through with Clementine is enjoyable. This game is great for almost any Walking Dead fan.

8/10

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Growing up the Mario Kart series has always kept my friends and I busy for hours, I’ve bought every Mario Kart for that reason alone. Mario Kart 8 promised to add more dimension and features to what was generally a great game, and that got me excited, especially coming off of Mario Kart Wii which felt really empty to me. Loading the game up for the first time everything looked great, there were a few game modes, a decent amount of characters to choose from and a bunch to unlock, using the Wii U gamepad looked and felt great, though the graphics started to look a bit more pixelated as I got to the characters.

There are 4 main game modes to choose from, Single player mode includes Grand Prix which is the basic Cup mode found in all Mario Kart games, you’ll have your choice of three difficulties 50CC, 100CC, and 150CC, you play in a 4-Cup series in which winning will earn you a gold trophy for that difficulty and for that Cup Series. Each Cup Series on each difficulty has it’s own separate trophy, there are 8 Cups to choose from, well unless you pre-order two games, but I’ll get to that later. Single player also includes, Time Trials, Vs Race, and Battle Mode. The three other modes are multiplayer, online- one player, and online two-player, multiplayer allows you to play with and compete with your friends split screen, the online modes are really competitive and not everyone will be able to jump right in without knowing all of the tracks well.
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Once you choose your game mode and set of races, you’ll get to choose your character, they start you with characters you’d expect like Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Wario and so on, and you’ll get to pick your kart, but this has more features than usual. You’ll have the ability to change the body, tires and glider or parachute if you prefer, each part has different features for every character, so you’ll have to mess around with them. To earn parts for your karts you’ll have to win races, cups and race challenges, a lot of features really add to the game. You’ll earn characters the same way, but to me the characters you’ll unlock are really underwhelming, they’re the typical background characters, and very few of the characters I ended up wanting to use, though there are quite a few characters to choose from.
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The racing in this game is done pretty well if you are accustom to the style of racing, as MK8 relies heavily on power sliding boosts, meaning you will need to slide around each corner and snake back and forth for extended boosts, and you’ll need to draft. Drafting requires you to follow directly behind the opposing karts and use the the lack of air resistance to increase your speed, but it felt like the drafting boost lasted way too long at times and made it annoying on the last lap when someone passes you on the last straight away. The tracks are well done, there are 32 tracks to choose from, 16 classics from previous games and 16 new tracks, seeing the old tracks on the Wii U added to the overall feel of the game, they are a lot of fun to race with the new karts of MK8. The anti-gravity sections of the tracks added a bit of intensity and depth, and they looks very good. The problem with the tracks is you’ll need to find all of the short-cuts, because the opponents will know all of them, and at times it seemed like the CPU was driving over grass and deep mud at full speed without boosts.
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Weapons have always been a mainstay in Mario Kart and they added a few more weapons including the Special 8 weapon. This weapon gives you all of the weapons at once, but can be taken away if your opponents use the Shrink Bolt or anything else that normally would make you drop your weapons, so it is best to use them all as fast as possible. Red shells are more deadly than usual as they can follow you over ramps and can hit you in the air, this felt cheap in so many cases, especially when you’re over a gap. One big thing that Mario Kart 8 did fix is the time it takes to get back on the track if you fall off, you’re immediately caught and placed back on the track without almost any delay, making the weapon battles fast paced and intense. Aside from a few weapon glitches they as always add a lot of fun to the game, it’s always nice getting the weapon that will get you into first, or allow you to get revenge on someone who hit you. There are coins on the track, when you have 10 at once it will make your kart faster and your weapons better, which can give you an advantage when the race has a close finish.

MK8 is great in many ways, but there is just so little here to keep me playing. The game feels unfinished and in many ways bland. If you like doing single races it is not so bad, but if you like playing through the Cups there are only 8 Cups with 4 tracks in each. The tracks are not overly long so you can quickly rush through them all, especially once you get used to tracks and know all the short cuts. There is a stats screen but it’s very basic, it’s only one page and has a few racing stats. There are a few game modes but most are short and don’t have much to them, there are 32 tracks but all are short and all can be raced in one sitting. In order to get the last 4 Cups and 6 characters you have to pre-order two specific Wii U games, most of the characters and tracks should have already been added to the main game, it’s a nuisance if you don’t plan on getting those games. The game relies way too heavily on power sliding and drafting, you will need to do it or you won’t get very far outside of 50CC, and even then you’ll have opponents on you at all times. It just ended up being really frustrating when the cpu is passing me after I used multiple speed bursts because they were drafting me the whole time. It seems in multiplayer if one person is doing good the other player is getting hit by everything, it seems to prevent you at times from dominating the race.

MK8 is a great game if you plan on playing it online or with friends, the new tracks are neat and there is a bit of depth to them, but there is not much depth outside of that. If you love the Mario Kart series then chances are you’ll like MK8, but if you are looking for a full depth racer, this probably is not the game for you. The blend of old and new tracks is a nice feature and being able to somewhat customize the karts feels a bit better than previous games, but I could not feel like there really is not much to this game aside from a few gimmicks here and there. MK8 does many things well and is a great game on the Wii U, but unless you’re a huge Mario Kart fan this game is not worth the full price.

Overall Score: 8/10