It’s been 25 years since Nintendo released Mario Kart for the Super NES, and with the recent release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Switch, fans of the game franchise and newbies will not be disappointed. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the must-have game for the Switch, after The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.
There are several things to look forward to, even if you’ve played Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U, my favorite being the fact that you can play Mario Kart with up to four players with just the Switch and an extra pair of joycons.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe boasts of 42 characters, including two new ones, Inkling Boy and Inkling Girl, from the third-person shooter Splatoon. Old-time favorites from the Mario franchise are also present, with new additions such as Bowser, Bowser Jr., and King Boo. Race courses are, as usual, unique and vibrant, with twists, turns, and shortcuts that make the game more exciting. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has 12 cups with four courses each, totaling 48 fantastical tracks all in all. Plus, there’s also the opportunity to play the courses in reverse with the Mirror tracks.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a game for everyone. The game features a smart steering mode that prevents players from going off track, which is best for rookie players. Hardcore Mario Kart players can easily turn the feature off from the Settings menu for a fun/challenging experience. Races range from 50cc, the slowest speed, all the way up to 200cc, which can be a bit overwhelming for some. (But go ahead and try it anyway, because it’s fun how fast everything is.)
While Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is similar to 2014’s Mario Kart 8, there are some elements that take the newest installment a notch better than its predecessor. Players can now carry two items at once, adding a more competitive element to the races. One of the major additions to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is Battle Mode, wherein players get to choose from five games that have specific objectives.
- Bob-omb Blast – Players start with five balloons each. The aim is to pop your opponents’ balloons by blasting them with bombs that you get from item boxes scattered throughout the course. The player with the most balloons left when the timer ends wins the game.
- Coin Runners – In this Battle Mode, players scramble to collect the most coins. You can steal coins collected by your opponents by hitting them and getting the coins that they drop. The player with the most coins collected at the end of the game wins.
- Shine Thief – The aim here is to be the one who holds the golden sun at the end of the game. There is one sun on the course and everyone scrambles to get it. You can steal the sun from an opponent by hitting them. The player with the sun at the end of the game wins.
- Balloon Battle – Each player gets five balloons at the start of the game. The goal is to pop your opponents’ balloons using power-ups that you get from Item Boxes. The player with the most balloons at the end of the game wins.
- Renegade Roundup – This is a cops and robbers-type game. The 12 players are divided into two teams – the cops and the renegades. Cops play equipped with a Piranha Plant that is used to chomp the renegades, which will put them in jail. Renegades, on the other hand, evade the cops. They can also free their captured teammates by running over a large button at the bottom of an elevated cage which can be found somewhere on the battle map. Cops win by catching the most renegades while the renegades win if they have more free teammates.
Overall, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the best version in the series to date and is just as addictive as ever.