So you want to know if Inside Drifting is really gone in Mario Kart 8, huh? Wait, what’s that? You don’t know what Inside Drifting is? Okay, time for a quick lesson! Okay, so if you’ve played Mario Kart Wii before, then you already know vehicles came in two types: Karts and Bikes. And when it came to drifting-or power-sliding, as it’s also known as–most of them behaved the exact same way, where initiating a drift would cause the vehicle to slide toward the outside of the turn, as demonstrated here with the Standard Bike. But as it turns out, some of the motorcycles in Mario Kart Wii actually handled quite a bit differently.

Let’s take a look at how Mach Bike tackles that very same turn. Did you notice how it immediately drifted toward the inside of the turn, as opposed to the outside? This means it can make turns both tighter and faster. Now of course, you can steer your vehicle while power-sliding to increase–or decrease–the angle, but for clarity’s sake, we didn’t steer at all for the comparisons in this video–so what you’re seeing is the raw deal. Now let’s take a look at the two bikes side-by-side, and in slow-motion. As you can see, even though the Mach Bike started cornering later, it had no trouble making it through the turn, whereas the Standard Bike nearly clips the outside wall.

To better illustrate this, take a look at us tackling the S-Turns just ahead– even without steering at all, the Mach Bike has no trouble navigating the windy road, whereas the Standard bike can’t even stay on the road. So clearly, there’s a pretty big difference. So big, in fact, that bikes with “Inside Drifting” had a distinct advantage when racing online. Which might be why a lot of people are wondering if Inside Drifting is returning in Mario Kart 8, since it could introduce a huge imbalance. Well, now that I’ve played Mario Kart 8 a ton, I can finally answer that once and for all: and I can now definitively and categorically, state that, Inside Drifting, as it appeared in Mario Kart Wii, isn’t back.

Sort of. Come on, you didn’t really think it was going to be that simple did you? Okay, let’s take look at how the bikes in Mario Kart 8 actually handle drifting–and we’ll even test it on that very same Moo Moo Meadows track. Now for this comparison, we’re going to initiate the power-slide at the exact same point for both vehicles, which is just a moment before the peak of the second bump–and like before, we won’t provide any steering input during the power-slide itself.

So first-up is the Standard Bike. And as expected, it drifts outward just like in Mario Kart Wii and most of the other vehicles in the game. But let’s try out the Sport Bike, Hold-up–the bike is still drifting toward the outside, just like before! But check out what happens when we unfreeze the video. After the initial outside drift, it immediately starts drifting toward the inside! Let’s put the two side-by-side for a better comparison. As you can see, while the Standard bike almost clips the outside wall, we actually have to abort the power-slide with the Sport Bike to avoid hitting the inside one, due to its much sharper angle So as it turns out, Inside Drift back is sort of back, though now with a noticeable delay–which you can better see in this comparison between Mario Kart Wii on the left and Mario Kart 8 on the right.

As you can see, Mario Kart 8’s take on “inside drifting” is actually more of a compromise between both of the styles in Mario Kart Wii. But this delay really does help make level the playing field between the different vehicle types and result in a better balanced than experience than Mario Kart Wii. Oh, and in case you’re wondering which bikes have this feature, look for the Sport-Bike icon on the vehicle parts screen. See? Sport Bike. Normal Bike. Sport Bike. Normal Bike. Yeah, we think you get it. And for completionists sake, let’s take a look at all 4 drifts at the same time! So Mario Kart Wii is on the top, and Mario kart 8 on the bottom, with normal drifting on the left and Inside Drifting on the right. Got it? Let’s go! So there you have it! Inside drifting is back…somewhat. Just not in quite the same form that it appeared in Mario Kart Wii.

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