Mario Kart 8 Launch Impressions: Jools Watsham (Renegade Kid)


You may remember Nintendo Feed speaking with Nintendo UK's Roger Langford just last month about his impressions around Mario Kart's 8 big launch. We're now continuing this series, by putting those same questions to much loved indie developer, Jools Watsham from Renegade Kid.

Jools certainly knows his stuff when it comes to games development, being responsible for some of the Wii U and 3DS eShop's biggest hits, including the likes of Mutant Mudds and Moon Chronicles. For that reason, it will be extremely interesting to look at the big launch of Mario Kart 8 from his perspective.

Let's take a look at what Jools had to say in answer to our questions:

Nintendo Feed: Being a veteran of the franchise, how do you feel Mario Kart 8 holds up against previous iterations?  Are there features of older installments that you’d like to see make a return?

Jools Watsham: I think Mario Kart 8 holds up extremely well against previous entries in the series. I base my experience primarily on the Grand Prix mode, as that is the main mode I play in any MK.

I think the development team behind MK8 did an excellent job with the selection and implementation of the power-ups, featuring both old and new items. The course design is very fun and creative with how the new anti-gravity feature has been utilized - especially with short-cuts and such.

Nintendo Feed: Is there a new feature in Mario Kart 8 that you feel should be a staple for the series going forward?  Are there any new features that you feel should be omitted or altered in order to make for a better experience?

Jools Watsham: Along with many folks, I expect, I am happy to finally see a way for the player to neutralize the dreaded blue shell. This ability should stay. 
In regards to features that perhaps should be altered for future entries, I think it is safe to say that the battle arenas should have been included instead of only having race courses for battle mode.

Nintendo Feed: Are there any characters or kart setups that you gravitate toward when you’re racing?

Jools Watsham: I stay fairly traditional and usually go for Mario or my Mii, with the standard Kart or Bike. When venturing outside of that, I like to use Toad, Koopa Troopa, or Shy Guy.

Nintendo Feed: Given the emphasis many gamers have on graphical output for “next gen” titles, do you feel that Mario Kart 8’s visuals help to establish the Wii U as a comparable experience alongside the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One?

Jools Watsham: Yes! Mario Kart 8 looks fantastic.

Nintendo Feed: A lot of people in the industry feel that this is a “make or break” title for Nintendo’s struggling console. Given initial sales figures of 1.2 million units sold, do you feel that we'll see a second coming for Wii U?

Jools Watsham: I think it is certainly possible that we'll see a surge in hardware sales this holiday with the success of Mario Kart 8 and the imminent release of Smash Bros - not to mention the unannounced titles Nintendo has up its sleeve.

Nintendo Feed: Finally, what’s your fondest Mario Kart moment?

Jools Watsham: With my first experience of Mario Kart being with Super Mario Kart on the SNES, my fondest memories are of playing that game with my roommates. It was such a new and refreshing experience, it is difficult to top those memories.

Jools' impression of the big launch are certainly very interesting. We'd like to thank Jools Watsham for taking the time to answer the questions put to him and would like to remind readers to also take a look at our previous article with Nintendo UK's Roger Langford.

We'll be gauging more Mario Kart 8 launch impressions soon.

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