Nintendo Says Mario Kart 8 Offers The Most Balanced Items In Series’ History

Hideki Konno and Kosuke Yabuki have revealed that they think Mario Kart 8 offers the most balanced set of items in the kart-racing series’ history. Speaking with GamesMaster, the two Nintendo designers also defended the inclusion of Blue Shells, which can be repelled via the new Super Horn in the recently-released game. Mario Kart 8 is available in stores and on the Nintendo eShop for Wii U.

“Blue Shells provide a certain level of tension that helps maintain the excitement right up until the very end of a race,” Konno and Yabuki said. “Of course we pay particular attention to balance. Through literally thousands of races, we’ve made numerous adjustments to get it just right. In our opinion, the items in Mario Kart 8 are the most balanced in the history of the series.”


      1. Even when I was in last place I barely got anything useful. I’ve only gotten a bullet bill *once*.

    1. I disagree, as that only happens when you’re in 1st or 2nd place. So congrats on being a good racer :P

    2. I agree. I only played one time so far, and coins is the main item I kept getting. What’s the point of coins?

      1. 10 coins maxes your top speed. Even if you max out 10 coins already just keep using/getting coins so you can have a slight boost and to unlock things.

      2. play frantic mode if you want crazy items like the blue shell in third place. i usually play that mode i like mk to be crazy but frantic mode doesn’t feel as bad as mkwii balance was

      3. The coins boost your top speed, capping at 10 coins. They help you maintain your place if you get them in first or second place, and they go towards unlockables as a whole. Also, each coin you collect gives a tiny boost, so it helps you close the gap between you and the racer ahead of you to a degree.

    3. Yeah. That sucks. Although I sometimes get the sound box while in first place. That has happens very rarely but it has. Which is pretty sweet. But most of the time I’m just holding onto a banana or getting two coins.

    4. if you are 2nd or first you get coins.
      so if youre in these position, it would not be fair if you get a 8 ore 3 red shells.
      but mk 8 is to easy.

      1. it’s quite a bit harder than MK wii.. and it’s not about the difficulity either.. MK is supposed to be played with others and how hard they are or aren’t isn’t up to the game

    5. You usually get basic items like that in top three. Green shells, bananas, and sometimes red shells. Oh, and on Mario Kart 7 you unlock customizations from coins. I can’t wait to play this game. :D

    6. I disagree. I have held on to 1st multiple times and I can say that you will get shells and bananas in 1st place.

      If you are continuously getting hit by red shells in 1st, then you have poor defenses.

      1. Ive seen so many 2nd or 3rd place people get triple red shells, so don’t even try to act like you know what defence is..

      2. I would need to get the defenses first, which is the problem; they’re not appearing for me when I race. I never thought I’d rejoice so much over getting a shell in first place to defend myself. You know why? The system gives me coins more than proper defenses.

    1. This was probably due to Japanese players stopping to back over opponents repeatedly the moment they got a power star. (If you’ve ever played online MK7 at 4am you’ll know what I’m talking about)

      1. So in other words, they knew how to play and have fun unlike western noobs…

        I used to do that too and still win…

      2. Only dipshits like you play a kids game at 4 a.m, social degens that you Nintendo fanboys are

      3. Only no lifers spend every day on a Nintendo site bashing it and its fans…

      4. Joe Pee, why do you waste you valuable Dorrito eating time to trolling people? Your mommy is worried.

      5. Ya, I’m a pretty normal guy. I browse this site every so often to hear about new games… You don’t like Nintendo?? Good for you.

        This is what you need to do:

        1. Leave

      6. Only no lifers think that being a Commander means anything within our empire…

        I’m just one step above grunts…

      7. Cough….

        ” bashing it and its fans…”

        The irony is too much to endure.

      8. Haha, in one race I went from first to last at the finish line since I got hit by a blue shell, couple red shells, a green and finally a star… Then just to rub it in they backed up into me before finishing…

      9. Sounds like the triple red shells, such an unbalanced item in this game. As if three boomerangs shots, triple green shells, and twenty fireball shots weren’t enough.

      1. I’ve only ever gotten it on rainbow road, ending in me flying off the stage

  1. I’ve played through all of the game on 100cc and only had the boomerang and piranha plant once the entire time. Never had the star. Never had bullet bill. Never had 3 bananas or 3 shells. And I wasn’t always in 1st or 2nd place. And playing through 150cc, I’ve still never had the squid. How many coins have I had? Can’t even count.

  2. I’d have to say im pretty disappointed in the helpful items that show up when you’re in, or close to, last place. The star seems to be less effective now, as well as the bullet and lightning. Anyone else notice that?

    1. And I think it really sucks that you can have one item at a time. No more holding onto an item with one in stock. I loved that.

      1. They removed it as part of the balancing. It is too OP to stock up on two items.

      2. Yeah I hear you. But it doesn’t really matter. I’m pretty much in first place all the time lol.

      3. I feel the game is smoother now, as people trow away their items alot more to take new ones!

      4. i was thinking the same,
        but now i like it.
        more race skills than item smasher.

    2. The lightning is the new blue shell if you ask me, you can’t avoid it, it can easily throw you of the side and it makes you lose your item. It wouldn’t be as bad when you kept it so you could recover a bit faster but it isn’t…

      1. I know. I dont mind the blue shell because i can get a coin and use my coin item (that I get 90% of the time) to get back to the 10 coins i had. The lightning slows you down the most, its the only item to get rid of the item you are holding, and people get it a lot

    3. I think they toned them down as part of the balancing. Previous Mario Kart games were often criticized as being unbalanced because of excessive “rubber banding”, both in terms of A.I. and in terms of items.

      Part of making the items more balanced is making sure that whatever items you get are as equally useful as possible for that particular situation. Of course, this also means that previously super-OP items have to be toned down, and the items that are most powerful, like the super horn and crazy 8, appear more rarely.

  3. The only thing I’m not a fan of with MK8’s items is the fact that red shells follow you even in the air. Other than that I’m thankful for all the work these developers put into the items in this wonderful new game.

    And come on guys, I love getting coins! More unlocked features!

    1. Like in the Mario Games before it, moreso referencing the first MK, the coins sped you up by veeeeery little. Now they do that and unlock stuff. Its a two-fer

  4. The items might be balanced, but the races aren’t. I never get hit just once by opponents. It’s always AT LEAST three times in a row.

    1. Agreed, I was in first place, winning, blue shell, then red, then green and suddenly I’m in last place

      1. It really sucks when you’re trying to get three stars for every cup and this crap happens. I get first in every race in the Lightning Cup, but then on N64’s Rainbow Road (which is EXTREMELY short), I get hit three times in a row and don’t have enough time or enough balance to catch up. Then I have to restart the Cup >_>

      2. can’t have everything handed on a silver plate to you

        getting 3 stars on a cup is supposed to be tough

      3. Of course not. Getting hit by items is a part of Mario Kart. But ALWAYS getting hit three times in a row when it’s supposed to be the most balanced game in the series is just bullsh*t.

      4. i can’t confirm what you’re saying here

        getting hit 3 times in a row did happen to me but certainly not all the time.. not even close

      5. What’s bullshit is when you put a * inbetween the h and the t. Don’t try to censor yourself to give off a slightly better excuse to curse. Either do it right or not do it at all. At the least, use a word that implies similar to that.

  5. I got a crazy 8 item in 2nd place and got one good lead, but I wouldn’t say I got the most fair or ‘balanced’ win :P

    1. I got the same :P
      I also got a single Green Shell in 7th place >.>
      It’s pretty random.

    1. because obviously the guy in 10th place should get nothing but red shells stars and mushrooms.. i wonder what the guy in last place should get then since the guy in 10th place is already getting nothing but the best items

      why not just do the same courtesy to the guy in 7th place because.. you know.. that’s also pretty far behind..

    1. Just a heads up, please stop screaming at the start of your videos it blew my earphones

    1. I’m subbed coby, y u no have porn? I’m a huge fan of mod Mondays, do more for different games :)

      1. I do Pr0n on my second channel SullyPwnz

        I’m a troll not cobi duhhhhh

  6. coins actually help me a lot in 150cc because thoses asses go fast, if you don’t the game will rape u

    1. I will say they made red shells hard to come by. Also coins aren’t useful in 8place Star please. Game is still fun can’t stop playing…

    1. I hate the lightning more than anything… It wouldn’t be that bad when you wouldn’t lose your item… You keep it with every other item so why not with lightning?

      1. they changed it with all the shells which has been in the game just as long so why not lightning too?

    1. You message them it’s pretty simple, most of my friends check miiverse first before they do anything

      1. Most people don’t though. It’s extremely slow and prone to miscommunication.

        *I send message*
        *I create a room and wait 10 minutes*
        *I figure he hasn’t seen it, so I leave and start playing Grand Prix*
        *Friend checks Miiverse and sees message*
        *Goes to Online mode and waits for me*

        See how stupid this is?

  7. This game is certainly very balanced. You can only hold one item, so not too much power for one player. The only item that knocks yours away is lightning, which is nice. Red Shells function better, Blue Shells can hit more than just 1st place on the way, and 1st place takes less stun now. The new items and many other things make this came easily the best so far. Could use some interface and menu tweaks here and there though.

      1. its hard to compare tires, characters, and vehicles. there are just dozens of them and you have to scroll through all of them to compare, that should be made more easy to compare

      2. An options menu and statistics for example. It’s rather naked and lacks just that.

  8. I miss the Fake Item Box.

    Anyway, online, I’ve found my kart outclassed when placed in a group where the majority of racers have bikes & none leave that group. I hated bikes in MK Wii, & I’m not too fond of them now.

      1. And what’s wrong with liking Sony? I love my ps4 and I love my Wii u. Heck I already have 2700 coins on mario kart and all the characters unlocked. Also, coins are super helpful in first. They give you a boost and help you unlock me items. However, I always get shells and nanners in 1st. I find I have about a 1 in 3 chance of getting them. This game is an absolute blast and it will not leave my Wii until smash comes out.

      2. He never said liking Sony was bad, I was just an ignorant fanboy which I just realized. Sorry.

  9. It’s good that the game isn’t completely dependent on items anymore, you could be as good as you want in Mario Kart Wii but you were still not better than beginners with items.

    I don’t like that we can’t freely choose the course we want to play online and I also don’t like that we can’t fight for shinesprites anymore.

    Furthermore there’s no POW Block and no Cloud.

    And we can’t make a wheelie anymore.

    Aside from these minor things it’s a good game….oh and the occasional stutters bother at the very first time playing

    1. Correction, it’s an awesome game and not a good game.

      They upgraded in many ways like online loading times, fairness of the score system and the ability to fully create and customize races and tourneys.

      But a few downgrades still happened, they don’t decrease the fun but it would make everything more awesome if they could give us back what we already had IN AN OLDER GAME.

      Also there’s a bug in their online system which kicks you out of the game when someone quits right before the countdown for the course selection reaches 0.

  10. I’m sorry guys for all the trolling, I’ve been having a relationship with SassoriObininanMii for days now and we haven’t had sex and it makes me upset…

    1. its funny how battlefield 3 and 4 can do 16,32,48 and 64 players. even forza 5 can do more than 12 players.

      1. Do you really want 64 characters in mario kart, there would be blue shells flying at you every second

      2. Not just that… there is no such thing as 12 players in Forza 5 because you can only have up to 8 players on one console.

      3. An yet no one cares because the Xbox One can only do up to 8 Players… do some research kiddo ;)

        Battlefield 3/4 are FPS games built for big open Battles, Mario Kart 8 is built for people who actually like fun ;)

      4. mario kart 8 isn’t even fun. its just a generic rehash of other mario karts.

      5. Battlefield is a fps multiplayer shooter that supports 24 players on your last green piece of cheap crap 360. Sorry to burst your bubble, but bf4 isn’t very good. It suffers from unbalanced weapons, vehicles, items, and has tons of problems they promised to fix and haven’t. This it’s mario kart for Pete’s sake. It’s a weapon based kart racing game that is balanced and actually takes skill to play.

  11. Bikes are horrible in this game!
    Also with the game a great combo is
    Iggy+Retro Car+Blue Wleel+Parasol have fun

  12. When playing locla multiplayer on MK8, are you able to have one just playing on the gamepad and the second player on the screen? And why isn’t a map utilized when playing split screen?

    1. Remember the Words, “Screen Shots”… once in motion you can’t see them at all ;)

      I’m guessing you’re damage controlling because people are now buying the Wii U more than the Xboned.

      1. Actually, never mind, I found one source. It’s called the common sense I failed to pick up from the hospital after I was born.

    2. it’s funny how you don’t own any xbox console and still kiss microfuck’s dick

  13. The item “balancing” is bullshit, and they know it. Something’s wrong when you’re mostly getting a single green shell, single banana, or a coin from item boxes when you’re in 10th place.

  14. *Plays online match twelve people on DS Wario Stadium*
    *Stays 1st most of the race*
    *All items were coins on final lap*





  16. We get a Great game and you Guys complain.
    Come on, thus far this is the most balanced Mario Kart. I hated being first place most of the race just to get blueshelled right before the finish line in MK7 rainbow road. Oh I love the new Rainbow road.

  17. I love this game. I am happy Nintendo gave us this wonderful gaming experience. Thanks Nintendo. :)

      1. Just because someone prefers Pepsi–or Coke, for that matter–doesn’t mean they can’t also enjoy Dr. Pepper.

        Just because someone prefers Star Trek–or Battlestar Galactica, for that matter–doesn’t mean they can’t also enjoy Star Wars.

        Just because someone prefers Sony–or Xbox, for that matter–doesn’t mean they can’t also enjoy Nintendo.

      2. Ironically I’m one of the dumbest shit on this site! Lol, I’m so stupid.

  18. Its the most balanced game, yes. The reason why you get so many coins in 5-7 places is that it motivates to get you back to the race by your own effort.

    1. Yeah and how can you avoid a blue shell with no item barely any environment around you? Yeah….

  19. I get nothing but turtle shells and bananas in battle mode, lol. I see some asshole throwing fire balls and I wanna do that…..


  21. ps4 fans are casual dicks carnt play real games and fps with AUTO AIM ON OUT DATED PADS CASUAL FUCKING SCUMBAGS



  22. My TWO and only TWO problems with the games.

    Stop giving me so many coins when I’m in first AND I already have 10 coins. Give me something to defend myself with.

    Rainbow Road 64 was more or less ruined. Yeah, it looks nice, but the one lap bs ruined what was so great about playing it as a kid. Are peoples attention spans really so short that they can’t have a 6-8 minute race?

    Other than those two things MK8 makes owning a Wii U worth it. Its just about as perfect as a game can be.

    I’m just hoping for some DLC! Not new tracks, save those for later games in the series, but the old ones should be added at a later date, there is literally no reason to not have them! 32 tracks is a very small amount of tracks for a racing game in this day and age.

  23. I haven’t really been all that upset by the balance of previous games. Sometimes it seems like the bastards in last get too many blue turtle shells when you’re in first, but otherwise it has seemed fine. From the comments above it seems like you get coins a bit too much. I really don’t understand why this is an item and isn’t just around the track like previous titles. Bananas and green shells, while not overly useful, were at least helpful for defending yourself. Coins sound pointless besides helping you unlock stuff.

  24. Now that everyone’s played it. Is it true about the 59 FPS? I know that the guy claimed that he noticed immediately so I was wondering about your take on that. Definitely looks pretty great and I’ll be getting it myself for Christmas

    1. The guy claimed you wouldn’t see it unless you were looking for it. Going into the game, I was afraid I would then see it and wouldn’t stop seeing it. However, I quickly forgot about it. I haven’t seen it, but then again, I haven’t truly been looking for it. You really won’t see it.

      1. Excellent, then I can rest easy and just enjoy the game. I’ve heard that the online has been greatly improved so I look forward to trying that out as well

  25. Yeah, a Crazy 8 or a blue shell in second place is totally balanced.
    They should add some kind of invulnerability after you’re being hit, like Sonic games. You can fall on the spikes, lose all the rings and still have time to jump to the ground during a couple seconds.

    In MK you can be hit by three items in a row and go from first to last place in less than 5 seconds. Thunder, shell and bob-omb. Killer trio.

    1. I got TWO crazy eight’s. I also saw a 2nd placer (online) get a star. How exactly is that “balanced”? Oh, wait. If your nintendo, fucking up games then claiming they’re better/awesome/balanced is the thing for Nintendo lately.

      They claim Mario 3D World is the first 3D Mario to feature multiplayer? Nope. All it is, is a 3D New Super Mario Bros. Plus, Super Mario 64 DS was the first to offer multiplayer.

  26. Then explain to me why 2nd can get stars, 4th can get zaps, and explain to me why I got TWO crazy eights.

    All online. No frantic mode.

  27. Are they kidding us? This is easily the worst balanced Mario Kart game in history. At the start of every race who ever is in front at the start (as they won the last race) pulls off and the people in 3rd 4th 5th and 6th get destroyed with that stupid Piranha Plant. And the people in 1st and 2nd get away scot-free and one of them ends up winning the race. And if it’s not that it’s if you’re in first and all you get is coins and nothing to protect yourself. I keep getting killed with red shells at the last bloody turn. The game is a load of bollicks if you ask me and it’s not even good. You have to admit It got all of it’s publicity with how good it looks. But unfortunately, it looks better than it plays. It doesn’t even have a decent battle mode. I’m trading it in tomorrow, i’m honestly sick of it already. At least I can play the free game I got with it and I’m sticking to Mario Kart 7

    1. Thank you! Don’t post that over on the forums, you’ll get bashed for having your own opinion and dislike for the game. I posted about how MKTV is flawed (with facts) and they’re all like “oh be happy” or one of them even had the guts to tell me my thread was flawed.

      1. Yeah, the game’s not that good in my opinion, but it’s not that bad either. I’m not bragging but i’m pretty darn good at Mario Kart 8. I can literally drift to the pixel and all this BS happens and all the less skilled and inferior players win. That’s the crap that pisses me off. It’s so frustrating. Another piece of BS is when the same courses get picked over and over. I swear i’ve played thwomp ruins 59 times today. There’s also a lag at the start of the race with the countdown where occasionally you’ll just blow up. Maybe custom with no coins or items is the best for me. I still might trade it in. It’s sold out in GS so maybe it will go to a good home.

    2. Thank you! Don’t post that over on the forums, you’ll get bashed for having your own opinion and dislike for the game. I posted about how MKTV is flawed (with facts) and they’re all like “oh be happy” or one of them even had the guts to tell me my thread was flawed

  28. Hahahaha, what?! The most balanced item in Mario Kart history to date? Please Mr. Konno and Mr. Yabuki; if what you are saying is true, why is there coins (mostly and I mean mostly) in first or second place instead of actual items like the fake box or the banana. Isn’t it the whole point in being ahead of the race is to lose ’em behind for good? Slow them down with bananas, or trick ’em with the fake box with the other item box. The Squid has to go. Why is the blooper there??? It doesn’t do anything. A lot of tracks is infested with boost to take that crap of gunk out! It’s a waste of space like the coin item box. It should of stayed on the floor so players could pick up on the way.

    I love the lightening bolt. It kicks ass. You’re small. A player runs over you=smashed. That’s how it should be and don’t forget that. That simple.

    No ghost? Where is the satisfaction to steal someone’s good (if its crap its funnier with friends to laugh at them) item to get in the lead?

    I could go on but please, balanced? Hahahahahahaha!

    I would say in my opinion, Mario Kart double dash and Mario kart DS was more balanced with items.

  29. Katy Perry is destroying the music industry, yet rap, which is the only genre apes and those who fantasize with being born with a cancerous, shit skin tone falsely compared to chocolate to raise self esteem as if they needed anymore of it and sereves no p says:

    Good luck getting those horns in fist place where you mostly get green shells, banana peels, coins and rarely anything else.

  30. I got a Blue Shell while 4th in online mode (Worldwide).

    I also got hit by a Blue Shell (offline, I think), just as I’d gotten an item. The roulette finished when I was free to start moving again; ’twas the Super Horn, too little, too late.

  31. Yeah, Mario Kart 8 is balanced which is why I’ve litterally gone a handful of courses getting nothing but fucking coins. They’re really helpful when goddamn motherfucking donkey shit and toad are fucking spamming me with red shells

  32. I sold the game already. By the time I got to mirror mode I was done with this bullshit item system. Then I went out and bought a PS4. If nintendo doesn’t pull their shit together at e3 I’m selling my WiiU.

  33. This is a joke, right? I get coins constantly in 2nd-3rd place while the guy up front gets triple red shells.

    It should be IMPOSSIBLE to get certain items at certain positions.

  34. Yeah right is balanced because the lead racer gets stupid usseles coins 99% of the time and the guy in 3rd place can get easly a freking star and triple red shells, items that alway appeared when you were in 7th or lower place in past games.
    MK8 is broken thanks to the item priority, now is more luck than skill.

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