Sec­ond to none

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

HWM (Malaysia) - - GAX - by Michael Low

En­hanced for the Switch

The Switch gets many things right, but the slow trick­ling of games – de­lib­er­ate or other­wise – does make one won­der if it’ll face the same fate as the Wii U later down the road. But for now, Switch own­ers who passed on the Wii U can find out just what they missed out on with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Nin­tendo es­sen­tially took the Wii U ver­sion and ported it to the Switch along with the pre­vi­ously-re­leased DLC char­ac­ters, ve­hi­cle, and cour­ses. Five new char­ac­ters were added to the ros­ter: Bowser Jr., Dry Bones, King Boo, and Spla­toon’s very own Boy and Girl In­klings.

Apart from nerf­ing the in­fa­mous ‘fire hop’ trick, one of the big­gest ad­di­tions to the

CON­CLU­SION

Switch ver­sion is the re­turn of Dou­ble Item Boxes (pre­vi­ously seen in GameCube’s Dou­ble

Dash!!), which adds to the fran­tic na­ture of the race by al­low­ing rac­ers to hold two items at once, but not swap be­tween them. Other note­wor­thy fea­tures in­clude the new smart-steer­ing and auto-ac­cel­er­ate op­tions. Smart-steer­ing sub­tly guides

Mario Kart be­gin­ners from go­ing out of bounds, while auto-ac­cel­er­ate is some­thing you’d want to con­sider en­abling by de­fault, es­pe­cially when split­ting the Joy-Cons for lo­cal mul­ti­player.

With­out a doubt, the best Mario

Kart that money can buy to­day.

If at first you don’t suc­ceed

But that’s not all, as the much-ma­ligned Bat­tle Mode of the orig­i­nal has been re­vamped with eight may­hem-ready are­nas (in­clud­ing a Spla­toon- themed one) for that un­mis­tak­able bal­loon-pop­ping, coin-steal­ing, and Bob-omb-blast­ing bril­liance. We par­tic­u­larly en­joyed Rene­gade Roundup, which puts a new spin to ‘cops and rob­bers’ by hav­ing the Au­thor­ity team equipped with Pot­ted Pi­ranha Plants and the Rene­gade team avoid­ing cap­ture un­til the timer runs out. It’s also nice of Nin­tendo add lit­tle touches like a vis­i­ble crown on the lead­ing char­ac­ter’s head at any time in the match.

To en­sure that it lives up to the Deluxe moniker, players will get to un­lock Gold Mario, new kart parts, as well as ad­di­tional rac­ing suits for their Mii char­ac­ters – the lat­ter which re­quire se­lected ami­ibo fig­ures. With the ex­cep­tion of th­ese un­lock­ables, all other char­ac­ters and cour­ses are yours to choose from the get-go. When docked in TV mode, the game runs in na­tive 1080p, and re­verts to 720p on hand­held and table­top mode. With 48 cour­ses and a myr­iad of mul­ti­player modes to choose from, there’s bound to be some­thing to satisfy players – both new and fa­mil­iar to the Mario Kart fran­chise.

The high­light reels are great for grab­bing screen­shots.

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