Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Review
The Nintendo Switch grows with the arrival of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. One of the few titles that had found major success on the Wii U, Mario Kart 8 finds itself being remade for the Switch and offers a complete package with some new additions as well. The Nintendo Switch also has features unique to it and so, Mario Kart 8 had to be tampered to take advantage of these features as well. Was this remake worth the trouble or is this a simple duplicate to the Wii U version? Let us find out!
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Nintendo Switch can be played through a multitude of ways thanks to its multiple modes. On the big screen or on the go, the game shows some HD graphics and smooth frame rate. This is great since the experience does not get affected either way. Of course, on the go, you can always play with a friend by sharing Joy Cons. So even with a single Switch console, two can play on the same screen. Furthermore, it possible for more to play on the same console but they will need controllers of their own.
Since this console is also portable, Nintendo added wireless local multiplayer as well. So two or more Switch consoles can connect together to play. Also, on each console, up to two players can share together the same machine while connecting with others so even a friend who lacks a Switch can join in. Finally, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe brings back the online mode where one or two players can challenge the world in Mario Kart. Through this online mode, players can participate in races or even tournaments, organized by others or create yourself. Mario Kart has always been about multiplayer fun and Deluxe can provide that better than past titles through its easy and malleable experience on the Nintendo Switch.
Of course, sharing its title with the original 8 on Wii U, it shares its character roster and its course lineup. However, there are some additions and changes. The roster is the same and includes the DLC packages of the original like the Link, Dry Bowser and the Animal crossing villagers. Plus, there are a few additions such as both Inkling Boy and Girl, King Boo, Dry Bones and Bowser Jr. The tracks are the same as Mario Kart 8, but Deluxe decided to twist some of them up a bit so some of the cups will have different combination of tracks this time around. Furthermore, all the speed modes are also available from the beginning including the Mirror 150CC and the latest 200CC.
A big change has also befallen the Battle mode of Deluxe. This mode was lacking in Mario Kart 8. However, not only is the classic Balloon Battle still available but there are four other Battle modes to try now. The four new games are Renegade Roundup, Bob-omb Blast, Coin Runners and Shine Thief. The first is a classic game of cops and robbers where one team must the Piranha Plant item to capture the enemy team before time runs out. The second is an explosive game where the only item available are stacks of Bob-ombs players must hurl at each other to score points. Coin Runners is a simple game to see who can collect the most coins before time runs out, but getting hit shells and bananas hurts your stack too. Finally, Shine Thief is a game where a player must capture and keep the precious Shine Sprite for as long as possible while having to dodge every other player around.
The Battle has become very variant and it’s good that the maps have also seen a big change. Unlike its predecessor, Deluxe uses brand new maps to serve as arenas and each are interesting in their own way. There are 8 different arenas and one of them sports the Splatoon style as well. This change is very welcome and it offers brand new experience for new and old players. In the past, it was always a mode that lacked presence compared to the main race mode.
The choices and modes have improved but that is not all Mario Kart 8 Deluxe brings new to the table. Nintendo has implemented more gameplay mechanics that can make the experience easier for players who struggle to stay in the track. Smart Steering is a new feature that can be turned on and off at any time for each player and what it does when active is prevent players from steering out of the track. Tilt controls can also be activated at any times as well for fans of motion controls. Finally, another new addition is Auto-acceleration. This feature can make your kart move without having to hold on that A button. Nintendo never ceases to add more control options.
A few elements have made a return from past Mario Kart titles as well. From Mario Kart 64, they have brought back the triple-stage drift boost instead of the regular two-stage. When expertly drifting for a long time, players can benefit with a prolonged boost. Also, from Mario Kart: Double Dash, the double items blocks have made a return. Players can now hold on to two items at the same time. This gives more strategy in some cases since players can plan the uses for their items.
Mario Kart is a long-standing franchise and it never ceases to change. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe feels like a bit more than a simple remake to the Wii U title. With new and old features making an appearance in the game, Deluxe presents itself as an ultimate experience of Mario Kart to play on the go or at home. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe does what it is supposed to do and that is bring fun to a single or a group of players. Now this experience can be taken anywhere. The Switch offers a great freedom to the Mario Kart experience and I feel this is something that will be felt with every other franchise as time passes.