This week, I couldn’t decide whether to review the new Lana Del Rey album, Ultraviolence, or Super Mario Kart 8. I recently picked both of them up and was undecided. In the end, I felt it best to review them both at the same time.
Please note: Do not play Mario Kart 8 and listen to Ultraviolence at the same time. I am nor recommending, or condoning, this action. It can only lead to disaster.
“It’s a me! Lana Del Rey!”
Mario Kart 8 is the latest edition in the series of Mario Kart games put out by Nintendo. Ultraviolence is the new album by artist Lana Del Rey. Mario Kart 8 has new lots of new features and characters to choose from. Ultraviolence has the new single, “West Coast”.
Admittedly, I haven’t played through Mario Kart 8 in its entirety. I have, however, played enough to know what is new and the game play. Features form the Nintendo DS version include underwater driving, gliding, and customization of vehicles. These features blend in well with the big console version, giving the player multiple combinations of driver / vehicles to choose from.
Ultraviolence is the sophomore album Lana Del Rey, and includes songs in the same tune and manner if her first album, Born To Die. Born To Die introduced the world to Lana Del Way with a set list worthy of lounge singing and tear jerking. Del Rey sung beautiful, well written songs (Diet Mountain Dew included). It was very well done, and hard to outdo the second time around.
Super Mario Kart 8 is the eighth main installment of the Mario Kart series. Super Mario Kart had its humble beginnings back in 1992. Ah, I still remember those nostalgic moments. Planting a banana directly in the center of the road, because that was the only way for the other karts to hit it. Blasting Donkey Kong into oblivion, because he’s a big-ass bitch. Going into the battle mode arena where you can get red shells to orbit another car if you fire it while in a skid. It was such beauty. My brothers and I would play for hour upon hour (vagina not yet becoming available).
Lana Del Rey may have have taken a step back with her character going from a young girl in love to a used up and jaded LA slut, but the Mario Kart franchise still continues to grow. There are still quite a few similarities and differences between the two.
One thing that was missing from Ultraviolence that I thought would be there, was the single “Young & Beautiful”. I guess I’ll have to buy The Crap Crapsby soundtrack if I want that one. Super Mario Kart 8 wasn’t missing much, but I can’t help to feel a pang of regret every time I get a new Mario Kart and there isn’t a Double-Dash feature. It was the gimmick of the Gamecube version of the franchise, but I always felt they should at least bring it back for a two-player mode.
This time around, Ultraviolence has more of a “mature” feeling. I’m not saying that Lana Del Rey matured as an artist. Oh no no no no no… NO. I’m saying the character she portrays in her songs has matured from a naive young girl into a jaded west cost harlot. I really believe that the song title “Fucked My Way To The Top may be a little more autobiographical than intended.
One thing that definitely did not mature is the ever present baby characters on the Super Mario Kart 8 roster. The game starts with four baby characters: Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Baby Peach, and Baby Daisy. I’ve already unlocked a Baby Rosalina, so there’s at least five. That’s too many of what’s redundant and useless. They could have had five smaller characters in those spots, but opted for baby version of every human character in the game. You’re better than this, Nintendo. YOU. ARE. BETTER. THAN. THIS.
New to Super Mario Kart 8 are the anti-gravity tracks. This is this version’s main gimmick. Even some of the classic tracks have walls or ceilings to drive on. It doesn’t bog down the game, and it’s a welcome edition. New weapons were added as well. The piraña plant is a rare find, but it’s one of the funner weapons in the franchise’s history, chomping your competition or obstacles. Another item is the boom-box, which knocks away any obstacles or other karts in a small radius. This is a welcome item, since there’s finally a means of destroying that pesky blue shell.
New singles released from Ultraviolence include “West Coast” and the title track, “Ultraviolence”. West Coast seems to skip back and forth from two separate songs, but it does so well. It’s a nice little melody even if the lyrics are a little disappointing. I really believed she’d wait a million years, as she sang in “Blue Jeans” off Born To Die; but I’m not buying that on the West Coast: they like their movies.
New characters to Super Mario Kart 8 are the Koopalings, Bowser’s illegitimate bastard children that he tells are his nieces and nephews even though he’s never had any brothers or sisters in Super Mario history. We know what you’re up to, Bowser. We know. There’s nothing better than choosing one of the bigger Koopalings and bashing one of those stupid fucking babies off the track.
In conclusion, Super Mario Kart 8 is a game that I’ve already invited people over to play, and more people have invited themselves over to play. I haven’t invited anyone to listen to Ultraviolence, and probably won’t admit openly to having it. I more than likely won’t give Ultraviolence multiple listens due to being a mediocre follow-up at best to Born to Die. I will be playing Super Mario Kart 8 over and over again, as it is a perfect addition to a strong franchise. Finally, Super Mario Kart 8 is playable with my daughter as well (even if the Grand Prix mode is too intimidating for a four year old girl). I don’t want my daughter anywhere near Lana Del Rey until she’s at least thirty years old and has had a tetanus shot.
Well there you have it. A side by side comparison of Ultraviolence by Lana Del Rey and Super Mario Kart 8 put out by Nintendo. I think the world of pop culture sorely needed this article written. So get in your kart, get a question block, and blast Lana Del Rey’s sullen and expressionless face with a red shell.