Editor: Diane Hutchinson Editor@girlgamersuk.com

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Posted by GG Goblin On May - 9 - 2017

Switching up the best Mario Kart game ever to make it even better.

It could be suggested that Nintendo are a little lazy for releasing a port of Mario Kart 8 for their new console. The Nintendo Switch is severely lacking in triple A titles at the moment, and dropping a deluxe version of the best Mario Kart game seems like an easy fix, a stopgap until Nintendo can get round to releasing something new. It’s true that the majority of our original review for Mario Kart 8 on Wii U, from back in 2014, still stands as the game is more or less identical.


However, it could also be considered as a stroke of typical Nintendo genius. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is being sold as a full price game, not the usual “Game of the Year” reduced price that we so often see with other games when they are repackaged with all of their DLC, and Switch owners are desperate for some shiny Nintendo goodness on their new console. I would be the first to shout “cash grab!”, were it not for the fact that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is such a compelling package that feels perfectly at home on the Switch, perhaps more so than on the Wii U.

The Deluxe in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe stands for the additions and improvements that have been made to this version of the game. From a content point of view, it includes all of the DLC that was previously released for Mario Kart 8, bringing a substantial total of 48 tracks to the game, along with a host of new characters to play as. There are even a couple of new characters included for this version of the game. All of this content is readily available for the player, leaving them only to unlock the various different parts for the karts and bikes that players may require to build their perfect racing vehicle.


The Battle Mode, where players do things other than racing around a track, has been somewhat neglected in recent Mario Kart games. But in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, it returns with style. Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U had players competing in only one mode across tracks that were already used for racing, and it was uninspiring. On the Switch however, a selection of new arena maps are on offer, giving purpose built areas in which to battle it out. They are all great maps, providing plenty of nooks and crannies in which to get stuck or stalk other players.

But it is the new types of game that make the battle mode really shine. Balloon Battle is the most familiar, with the player racing around with balloons attached to their kart, trying to avoid being attacked whilst attacking the other players. Lose all of your balloons and it is not game over, but coming back will result in losing points. Bob-omb Blast is more or less the same, except that the only items available are bombs, leading to some explosive action.

Coin Runners is a great mode in which players simply collect coins, and less simply steal them from other players. In Shine Thief, players compete to grab the shine sprite and hold onto it for as long as possible. The final mode offers some team-based fun in a mixed up version of cops and robbers. In Renegade Roundup, players are divided into teams. One team is armed with Piranha Plants and charged with capturing the other team. Caught players are then put in cages, but can be released if a team mate drives over the big red button beneath the cage.


All of these modes are great fun to play, especially with other real life players. Playing on the Switch, there are so many different ways to play. The single player Grand Prix mode is just great on the big screen, in handheld mode and and even in tabletop mode. But there are plenty of choices to get other players joining in. Playing with a single JoyCon is easy, if a little fiddly, so two player fun is available anywhere. Then you can connect to other Switches for some massive multiplayer fun, and of course online allows players to meet up virtually. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe works great in every configuration that the Switch can accommodate.

And accessibility is the key on the Switch, ensuring that no matter what the skill level of the player, they can all compete on a relatively level playing field. To help out newer players, a smart-steering and auto-accelerate option is available, although this can be turned off for the more veteran players. For those veterans, the drift boost now has three levels, allowing experts to shave their times, and two items can now be held. There is even a 200cc time trial mode for those looking for extra challenge.


Mario Kart 8 was already a great game, and this Deluxe version simply improves upon that great starting point. The Nintendo Switch is the perfect platform with so many different ways to play. With all of the improvements and extras, along with the Switch’s versatility for playing alone or with others, at home or on the move, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the best Mario Kart game ever. If you own a Switch, get it. If you don’t, get a Switch and then get Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.




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