Developer: Nintendo EAD
Release Date: April 28, 2017
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Mario Kart 8 has hit the Nintendo Switch in a reprise of its Wii U release with lots of extra content, earning it the Deluxe in the title. Coming into this, you probably will be coming from one of two camps. In camp one, as with me, I’ve put over 200 hours into the original release and its extra DLC. In camp two, you might be jumping into this for the first time, in which this is an instant buy. If you are like me or somewhere in the middle, does the extra content warrant the purchase?
To get it right off the bat, Mario Kart 8 was already one of the best in the series. It was already fast, fluid, and packed full of racers and tracks. The two DLC packs came along, adding 16 more tracks to the already impressive 32, and bringing new racers, such as Link to the fray for the first time. The online might not have been the best out there (its Nintendo after all), but it was certainly doable for some great racing if you couldn’t have your friends over for the favorite 4-person split screen mayhem.
The only real downside of the title was the original Battle Mode, which certainly felt like an afterthought, forcing you to battle on the normal racing tracks. Can you imagine how frustrating it was trying to drive around a whole track trying to search out for someone to hit? Suffice to say, it was the one mode that hardly ever got any attention. Luckily, the Deluxe portion of this release scraps the original and completely revamps the Battle Mode with 5 new types of battles with 8 arenas to do them in. It’s exactly what you need for some good old fashion Mario Kart cursing in a room full of friends like we use to do it on the Nintendo 64.
While battles certainly get the most attention, Nintendo did add a few extra perks, such as some new carts and pieces, along with a few extra racers like King Boo and the Inklings. This though is also the downside of being in the first camp we talked about, being someone who has already invested tons of time into the title and previous DLC. While a few new characters and karts are certainly welcome, would it have been two much to ask for the addition of two extra cups of tracks? It’s hard to nitpick about it when the game already boasts a series high 48 tracks, but it would have been nice for Nintendo to go that extra mile for Wii U owners who have been playing this for the last two years.
If you’ve already played Mario Kart before, you will be jumping back into it for a bit of new content and the extremely welcome addition of the new Battle Mode. Most importantly, you will be jumping in for the best version of Mario Kart that you can take with you anywhere. It also gives you instant 2-player ability with each person using a Joy-Con. There really is nothing better than jumping into Mario Kart by yourself, split screen, or online, no matter where you are. That right there makes it a must have purchase for everyone who owns a Switch, regardless if its your first time with Mario Kart 8 or not.