Second to none
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
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
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.