Optimism for Mario Kart 8’s New Battle Mode

Balloon Battle mode will be the new popular multiplayer mode, says me.
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Mario Kart 8 is coming out soon, and I already know all my friends will be coming over to play it on my Wii U (because they don’t have their own). The series has always a sparked competition among everyone I’ve ever played with. Somehow, regardless of skill, each game seems  completely fair to everyone playing (usually through items) to get a shot at earning first place. Unless, of course, they fall off the side the entire race… which happens. 

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The new battle mode has really got my hopes up as the new and fun multiplayer thing to do in Mario Kart. The last time I really enjoyed the battle modes was in Mario Kart 64. The courses were fantastically designed for high-speed chasing, hiding, and sneaking around. 

This time around, Nintendo has decided to put a new spin on the balloon battle mode we have come to love. It’s time for a free-for-all!

Not only will it be a free for all, but they will take place on the tracks instead of their own courses. Half of the players will start in the normal direction, spaced evenly apart, and the other half will start backwards. 

Pretty cool, eh? The best part is, you can turn around and Lakitu won’t put a huge “WRONG WAY” sign in your face. So you can gang up on one person if you’d like, or spin in circles around cows, or hide under the bridge in Donut Plains 3.

Oh, Speaking of Donut Plains 3, here’s the track list.

  • Moo Moo Meadows (Wii) (Cows)
  • Dry Dry Desert (GCN) (oh no)
  • Donut Plains 3 (SNES) (told you)
  • Toad’s Turnpike (N64) (this one will be a mess)
  • Mario Circut (New!)
  • Toad Harbor (New!)
  • Sherbert Land (GCN) (umm it’s in the leaf cup…)
  • Yoshi Valley (N64) (wait why?!)

Now I know what you’re thinking. Nintendo just got lazy and threw in existing tracks so they didn’t have to design more levels. That’s probably true… not gonna argue with that one. But they did move the question mark blocks around a bit… so they aren’t completely lazy!

Ever since the Wii U has launched I’ve loved the competitive multiplayer on it. Nintendo Land is a blast with 5 people, and so is Rayman Legends. So I’m expecting great things from the new Balloon Battle mode. 

The fascinating part about this new mode is that it reminds me of when I goof off in normal races while playing multiplayer. Sometimes I’ll stop near the finish line to let people catch up, or turn around because I don’t care about winning and just want to knock people off. But now I can do that while still trying to win. 

Driving in circles just to get first place is going to become a thing of the past. People much rather hit each other with things than have to worry about falling off the side. Plus, when you lose all three of your balloons in this game, you come back as a ghost and can still cause havoc on everyone without getting hit yourself.

I’m way too excited for Mario Kart 8, and you should be excited too. Because, you know, tons of characters, HD graphics, cool new race tracks, new balloon battle mode, anti-gravity, and karts and stuff. So have at it! May 30th can’t come fast enough! 


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