My job requires a lot of what we call in the media biz ‘hurry up and wait’. Now this means that after a crunch to get things ready, maybe it for an interview or a performance or anything of that sort, I have to wait for the other party to be ready. This waiting time is expected and often appreciated as I use it to collect my thoughts or to catch my breath, but it can also get pretty boring. My iPhone is great for these kind of situations, but ever since I got my Nintendo Switch, it has become my go-to boredom killer. With the release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, I can now share the fun with with friends and colleagues on the go!
Mario Kart 8 was released on the Wii U May 2014 and we absolutely loved it. Later, came the DLC and it made a solid Mario Kart title even better. The fan favourite makes its debut on the Switch and we’re still in love with it. 3 years later, what’s the advantage of getting yet again on a different console? We have a few!
A Battle Mode That Doesn’t Suck
Checking back on our original review of Mario Kart 8, Cat’s major gripe with the game was Battle Mode. Reason being that the matches took place on the normal tracks, making it really hard to find opponents to ping with shells. Nintendo took the criticism to heart for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and revamped this traditionally fan favourite mode. The maps are now themed around other tracks in the game, but the lay of the land is more more indusive to a traditional Battle Mode scenario. The ground is a maze of paths going every which way, having players weave in and out of lanes, with items flying all over the place. Battle Mode has eight new arenas for you to zip around, and five different modes to spice up life. A few choice swear words have crossed my lips as red and green shells came out of seemingly nowhere to knock my character on its ass. It’s probably my favourite aspect of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and I am so happy they revisited it.
Take It With You
Since getting the Nintendo Switch, it never left my side, becoming like another appendage. I take it everywhere. We’ve had portable Mario Kart games in the past (I owned the red Nintendo DS with Mario Kart DS packin) but I found that the experience was too solitary for a racing game, and if you did want to play with a friend, they needed their own 3DS console! I love playing Mario Kart with people, and I feel that multiplayer is the best way to experience the game. The fact that I can hand a Joy-Con to a friend and we can jump into a race or battle right away is golden. No need for another console. I don’t think I have ever found a person who hasn’t at least tried a Mario Kart game before, so the learning curve is very minimal for pick up races. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is great for impromptu game sessions on the go.
Of Course, There’s New Stuff
Mario Kart 8 was probably one of the first Nintendo games to get legit DLC. A few months out from launch, Nintendo delivered new playable characters (hello finally getting Link in a Mario Kart game), tracks, cars and the speedy 200cc for our gaming pleasure. Everything from the original game plus the The Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing DLCs are in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe but Nintendo still delivered on new content and features to make this great game even better. 200cc is now available in Time Trial mode so veterans can land some new high scores. With the added ability of multiplayer on the go through Deluxe on the Switch, of course you are going to be bringing some less seasoned drivers to the starting line. Enter smart steering, a feature for younger players and newcomers so they won’t feel at a disadvantage.
There are five new characters to play as, bringing the popular Splatoon series onto the racetrack with Inkling Boy and Girl alongside King Boo, Dry Bones and Bowser Jr to round out the roster. I am working my way through every cup at 200cc as well to get my hands on the unlockable Gold Mario. A sweet reward for a tough challenge. There are also three new vehicles in the game, two of those to go alongside Inkling Boy and Girl with Splatoon influences.
The Comeback: Features and Items
With every iteration of a game, we hope and pray that the developers carry over our favourite features from previous titles. Stuff we loved from other Mario Kart games that were missing in Mario Kart 8 have been added to Deluxe to up the ante. I love how you can again hold 2 items at a time (super handy in Battle Mode by the way) and the variety of items has improved with the revival of Boo, the item stealing ghost and the Feather, which gives you high jump in Battle Mode.
Onegai Nintendo-sama, Do More Of This
Ever since the Nintendo Switch was announced, we at Girls on Games were hoping and praying that Nintendo would bring the best of the Wii U to their new console. Though the Wii U didn’t meet expectations as far as sales went, it does have a library of great games that many people didn’t play. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe goes above and beyond just a port, bringing in the DLC, adding new features and fixing what wasn’t working, along with the perk of gaming on the go thanks to the Switch’s portable mode. Here’s hoping that Nintendo does the same with other Wii U games (Captain Toad next please!).
DISCLAIMER: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe review unit was provided by Nintendo. The opinions expressed in the video above have not be affected by, dictated or edited in any way by the provider. For more information please see Girls on Games’ Code of Journalistic Ethics.