Off to the races again with Mario

Any new “Mario Kart” game is an eagerly anticipated addition to the Nintendo library. “Mario Kart 8” features 32 gorgeous racetracks and nearly as many Mario family characters to race on them. The tracks follow Nintendo’s usual pattern of 16 new courses and 16 “remastered” favorites. Nintendo has carefully tweaked some of the older courses to add in the signature element of “Mario Kart 8”: anti-gravity racing. Yes, the game will drive you up walls and even take you upside down as tracks twist in every direction. Unless you’re the type of Karter who exclusively played battle mode, which Nintendo unexpectedly hamstrung in this outing, you’ll find “Mario Kart 8” a typically fantastic entry in the line. The kart handling is as precise and satisfying as ever. $60 for Wii U; rated Everyone.

Chicago Tribune