New Trailer for Virtual-Reality Mario Kart Game Looks Like a Crazy Good Time
Turns out, Mario Kart is pretty intense in first-person VR.
There are few experiences more satisfying in multiplayer gaming than hurling a perfectly-placed green shell at your friend in Mario Kart. You line up, take aim as you're both hurtling down a straight, and whamo, watch them flip majestically through the air as you zip by underneath. Now imagine all that, but in glorious first-person virtual reality. Count us in.
Bandai Namco has produced several licensed arcade versions of Nintendo's most popular racing series, but its latest creation is no cabinet with a steering wheel. No, Mario Kart Arcade GP VR is a life-sized kart simulator with a tilting, vibrating base, an HTC Vive virtual-reality headset for truly immersive action, and hand trackers so you can actually grab and throw items at your opponents.
We reported on the project when it was announced back in June, but today the game was officially unveiled at Bandai Namco's VR Zone Shinjuku, a huge, virtual-reality arcade complex in Tokyo, Japan. With early reviews starting to trickle in, a new trailer released this week seems to confirm what they've all been saying—it's a rollicking, insanely fun time.
Up to four players can get behind the wheel and race each other through familiar settings like Princess Peach's Castle, using green shells, bananas, and hammers to take down their competitors. Regular Mario Kart isn't what anyone would call a sedate experience, and being so close to the action kicks the intensity up about twenty notches.
One thing that stands out is just how massive everything looks in virtual reality. Modern Mario Kart tracks are designed as big showpieces with a sense of scale befitting the third-person camera perspective. But down on the track, Piranha Plants loom like hungry dinosaurs, Bullet Bill seems to blot out the sun as he passes overhead, and even Peach's Castle soars menacingly into the sky.
If this sounds like your thing (and it should), you'll unfortunately have to spring for a ticket to Japan. Bandai Namco is only planning on rolling out Mario Kart Arcade GP VR at its facilities in their home country for now, so don't hold your breath for it to trickle down to your local Dave & Busters.