Mario Kart 8 is the latest entry in a series of games where Super Mario goes go-karting with his best friends, worst enemies, and some goddamned babies, for some reason. It's been out for three whole months, which means that shit is officially retro. In Internet time, you might as well be playing Excitebike. Even the once hilarious Luigi Death Stare meme has by now reached the saddest stage in the life cycle of every Internet phenomenon: the one where only the very old and the tragically unhip attempt to use it.
Like me. This took me two hours.
But if you're still determined to get the most out of your $60, I have good and bad news. The good news is that I have invented (and recorded myself testing) eight alternate ways to play that will allow you to get, like, at least 36 more minutes of enjoyment. The bad news is that they're all stupid. Heeeeeeeere we go!
8Instant Death Mode
In a Balloon Battle game, your character is given three balloons, and other players try to pop them with ridiculous weapons as you race around the track. In my version, however, the goal is to pop your own balloons as quickly as possible and lose the game ... in order to win. And to keep it interesting, all three balloons should be popped by your own hand. Get killed by someone else and you're dead. I mean, the wrong kind of dead. Not the fun one we're going for here.
Note: This mode should only be tried within Mario Kart 8. Do not attempt to die in real life. Or at least don't leave any evidence that you died after reading Cracked ... for instance, by tying a bunch of balloons to your car, sans parade and/or marriage.
The Test Drive:
Losing is actually kinda fun! My current record is about 20 seconds. I was lucky enough to get a Bob-omb, so for my first balloon I repeated a technique I've accidentally done a million times called "being a doofus":
Using a bomb to pop a balloon feels slightly like overkill.
For the other two, I just ran straight off a ledge as my baffled opponents circled around me, hopefully wondering when I was going to flip out and point my self-hate in their direction:
How the hell did I share last place with two other people? Did this game mode catch on already?
To make it even more fun, ask a friend to join you online so you can see who can lose the fastest. He'll say, "No, that's stupid," so keep insisting until he finally gets into a Balloon Battle with you. At this point you'll ask him for a time out because you have to go answer the door, and he'll use the opportunity to kill you and ruin your game.
You're a fucking asshole, Felipe.
7One-Person Two-Player Mode
OK. OK. Hear me out. For this mode, you need to: 1) hold two controllers at once and 2) be a fucking idiot. Ready? Are you doing both things? Cool. You're ready to play with two characters at the same time. Make sure you're using motion controls, obviously, because trying to operate a joystick with each hand would make you look ridiculous. Playing with motion controls, on the other hand, always looks ridiculous, so there's no difference.
Now simply go into a VS Race, pick your characters, and find out which one of your hands is a better Mario Kart 8 player! Will your favorite hand (aka the one you use to wank) win the race?
The Test Drive:
I'm controlling Shy Guy and Toad here:
You probably wouldn't be able to tell if I hadn't told you.
I realized partway through the first lap that it would be a good strategy to hold each controller with the hand corresponding to the side of my TV screen where that character appeared -- up till then, I was looking at Shy Guy on the left and trying to control him with the right hand, which for some reason wasn't giving such great results. So I switched hands, but I still didn't win the race.
Or complete the race.
That's the part where I got a message saying the race had ended because I (both of us) was too far behind. The worst part is that Toad lost, and he was my favorite. And now you know which hand I use to wank, so I think we all lost here.