This week’s lineup of new games for Nintendo consoles is rather hefty but, for most gamers, it can all be boiled down to exactly two words and a single number: Mario. Kart. 8.
It’s no secret that the Wii U has been floundering since launch, with only a handful of high profile games arriving on the console over the past year and a half. For 2014, only a pair of games are known heavy hitters for the console, and one of them is finally here today.
Mario Kart 8 speeds onto Nintendo’s home console in a time when it could really use a boost, possibly one of the only franchises that could push the system’s numbers up to a level that’s a bit less terrifying for fans of Mario and Co. Whether or not it can “save” the console remains to be seen, but if it doesn’t at least offer a nice shot in the arm, I’d be very surprised.
There’s little to explain when it comes to this beloved series, which has been winning over racing fans since the glory days of the SNES. Players can pick a favorite character from the Mario universe, throw em in a kart or motorcycle and get to racing and battling across loads of courses that turn familiar locations into white-knuckle speedways. Mario Kart 8 is available in stores or for download on the Wii U eShop.
Also arriving on the eShop for Wii U this week are a couple of smaller titles, including Gravity Badgers and Luv Me Buddies Wonderland, as well as the highly anticipated indie adventure game, Ittle Dew.
“Adventurer Ittle Dew and her sidekick, Tippsie, crash onto a strange island filled with loot and mysterious inhabitants,” reads a press release from Nintendo. “It quickly dawns on the duo that this might become their biggest adventure yet. Experience devious puzzles, timeless gameplay and lots of exploration in this puzzling adventure game.”
If you’re looking for something in the same neighborhood but from an older era, then you can also take Klonoa: Empire of Dreams for a spin on the Wii U Virtual Console this week.
There’s also a sale on LEGO The Hobbit in the Wii U eShop this week, marked down from $49.99 to $39.99 beginning June 2.
The 3DS is also home to a sale this week, giving players a chance to enjoy Pushmo and Crashmo at up to 33 percent off before Pushmo World arrives on the Wii U. You can read all about that promotion in our related story.
Otherwise, Mega May comes to a close on the Nintendo 3DS as one final game featuring the Blue Bomber makes its way to the portable console. You can pick up Mega Man Xtreme 2 through the Virtual Console starting today.