Not because it has a cool tablet control pad. Not because Bayonetta will hopefully be out and about sometime this year. No, it was Luigi’s fault.
The hype around Luigi’s epic ‘death stare’ was the reason I bought a Wii U. Some people may think I’ve gone crazy (except for Wii U owners), but I assure you, the madness happened years ago, so I don’t have that excuse. In fact, I wasn’t even interested in owning Mario Kart 8 even if I already had a Wii U, until I saw Luigi’s death stare.
I couldn’t stand the previous Mario Kart on the Wii. It was very manic, it often gave me headaches and I would just get unbelievably stressed by the game especially in multiplayer. I didn’t even think that Mario Kart 8 might stress me out, I just wanted it so badly, so I could see Luigi’s death stare for myself, on my own TV whilst eating spare ribs and drinking Bourbon.
And now I’ve seen it, I will never play my Wii U again…
Joking, of course.
I realised that Luigi has made me buy something really awesome. Cheers Luigi. Just to show how awesome it is, here are some sample quotes from my initial play session: “The koopalings are here – OMG I have just unlocked Ludwig… I LOVE LUDWIG!!!;” “If those dolphins have goggles on I may actually squee;” “Look at the roundy roundness of that chomp without a chain – I shall call him Brian,” (and after Brian crushed an opponent who had red shelled me), “Good boy, Brian.” Perhaps the most important quote of all: “I finally managed to take down one of those blue bastard shells with a horn – and it didn’t even make the highlight reel.”
I have to say the highlight reel, which shows off gorgeous HD Luigi death stares, is a genius addition. I can’t remember the last game I played that made me giggle with such pure joy – which is kind of what Nintendo should be all about, not HD remakes of Zelda games that I already owned and played on the GameCube (which is called GCN in the revamped courses from old consoles, which have actually been upgraded rather than just ported – yay!)
Don’t get me wrong, there has been a lot of NSFW abuse of Nintendo characters yelled at the TV and gamepad as well (to quote a friend of mine on Twitter “First, first, first, first… last,”) but it feels more like the original – and until now – best version of Mario Kart on the SNES. For every frustrating moment where you get pipped at the post, there’s a moment of glee where your Toadette bump boosts Mario to overtake Yoshi going from third to first just before the finish line. Nailing someone with a forward flung banana or avoiding a red shell with a well trailed koopa casing is just… satisfying in a way no other kart game seems to have managed. There is still no flower, but the new Piranha Plant power up is cool (although it should be a chain chomp, of course), so is the Boomerang – although the Crazy 8 power up confused me so much the first time that it did cause me to lose.
I played on a Wii U before owning one, but I really didn’t see the point of it. It’s terrible for me to say, but I honestly thought the Wii U was a waste of time and money. I now apologise for these sacrilegious words. Currently, there still really aren’t many games that I want to buy for my new console. I’m still not really sure which free game I want from the selection of the freebies you get when buying Mario Kart 8 (suggestions welcome). I was already pretty lucky with the bundle that I bought because along with Mario Kart 8, it also came with Nintendo Land, Wii U Party and Just Dance 2014. This should keep me happy for quite a long time whilst I wait for Bayonetta.
I honestly thought it would have been Bayonetta that took my Wii U virginity, with her sexy hair clothes and her (literal) killer heels. But no, a badass stare did it and I don’t regret it. Also moustaches… so thank you Nintendo for inventing Luigi, all those decades ago, that one day, his epic death stare would flood this thing called the Internet and make me cough up a chunk of money without question.