[review for Mario Kart 8: Deluxe]
This is a stellar repackaging of 2014's Mario kart 8. For this version you get all of the game's dlc prepackaged, which features all of the new characters like Link
and the Animal Crossing Villager, the many different Karts and parts including the weird Mercedes sponsorship, the 16 additional courses like the terrific F-Zero
, Excite Bike
, and Animal Crossing
tracks, as well as 200cc which completely changes the way you approach drifts, boosting, and braking. All of the main game's content returns like time trials, online features, tournaments, VS mode, the epic highlight reel and Mario Kart TV. Plus they've gone and added a totally revamped Battle Mode along with some new characters and karts which most notably introduce the Splatoon
kids. The core racing is essentially the same with one exception being the doubling up of items similar to how items worked in Double Dash
. Personally I think this feature was unnecessary but it makes for even more hectic races. Not only can you be more offensive in lower placings but it forces you to be much more defensive and observant in higher placings during a race and I greatly appreciated that dynamic.
I was surprised with how much I dug the battle mode, it's much more fleshed out than it was in the 2014 game. The maps are really well designed and the modes and options are also great. There's a cops and robbers type mode, a capture the flag type mode, a bob-omb frenzy mode, and of course the classic balloon battle mode returns. I love the Splatoon themed map, the wuhu island map (from Wii Sports Resort
), and especially the lunar space map with lighter gravity. Battle mode also makes online play much more fun, since human foes are more fun to battle against than bots. Online racing for me was much much smoother than it was on the WiiU, sessions didn't crash anywhere near as often nor would it lag at the starting line for a while before races began. I'll admit that online racing is waaaay more crazy now with the doubling down of items, so for casual play this'll make racing more wacky and unpredictable, but if you're going in with a competitive veneer than prepare to go bald within the next week or so...
IDK folks, I've been playing Kart racers my whole life and this is just the beefiest, most polished and refined Kart racing package I've ever come across. Mario Kart 8 was a great game back in 2014 but it still had it's own limitations and flaws... And it's not that this package fixes EVERYTHING but it absolutely improves upon the original's content in so many ways. This is a must have title for Switch, and also for those who have the WiiU version but didn't get to experience the DLC or were extremely unsatisfied with the old Battle Mode.