The Wii U may be on its last leg, but the old girl still has some life left in her thanks to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and a number of Virtual Console releases that have been issued over the last few weeks. Most of these titles have been available in other areas already, but Nintendo has been steadily releasing them in the US, adding a lot of classics to an already pretty good roster. The latest is Mario Kart 64 which will hit the North American Wii U Virtual Console some time tomorrow, December 29th.
Mario Kart 64 is a true classic in nearly every sense, receiving high praise when it came out and still retaining a lot of fun gameplay that even its successors never fully topped. Mario Kart 8 was a true masterpiece, to be sure, but there’s something about this one that really set in for a lot of gamers in the 90’s. It is definitely dated in a lot of ways, but if you can get past that, this should be a nice return to classic Mario Kart fun.
As usual, the game should cost $9.99 for first time buyers. Those who owned the game on the Wii Virtual Console, and transferred it to their Wii U should be able to simply upgrade for a discounted $2 price tag. There were some issues with this when The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask made its way to Wii U, so be sure that you’re getting your upgrade discount before buying.
The benefit of the upgrade is mostly in ease of use, being able to play the game without launching the Wii emulator that is found on the Wii U. It also gives you off-screen play using the Gamepad, which can be a huge benefit if you’re sharing your TV with someone else.