MK8 is tons of fun...Game visuals are great and has high play value...unlockables are simple (collect coins/ finish cups/ and time)..play w/o tv right onto the gamepad
The drawbacks are:
1. Battle mode stinks - instead of a battle arena its on a race track without a map - so most ppl hide
2. Online is shady - when its running smooth - TONS AND TONS of fun... but has its laggy races and drops the race altogether.
3. Cant chat with online buddies during a race, cant even join a room together unless you open the friends list and jump into their game or simultaneously hit race at the same time
4. Cannot split player screen so that one person can play on the gamepad and others can have more of the tv screen
But its Def tons of fun - even play it in my dreams
Now let me start off by saying I am somewhat of an old school mario player (Double Dash is my favorite and most experienced mario kart), I was a kid around the time the n64 version came out and for me that one was too outdated, that being said I do not know if it is age or just being used to a different style of mario kart gameplay but this mario kart feels like they tried to put to much into the game and it took away from what makes mario kart what it is.
In this mario kart the visuals are stunning they get the style down great, But the gameplay and choices you have in choosing a cart, motrorcycle, and then choosing the wheels and parachute as well just seemed like a lot of overkill, what happened to the days where we were actually driving just karts in mario kart? Very fun game nonetheless and definitely worth a rent to try it out first. If you enjoy lots of choices/change and are not too loyal to earlier versions of mario kart I am sure you will love this game. I enjoyed it very much myself I am just an avid mario kart player and these were my opinions of the game.