Hot off the tails off of the smash hit “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild“, the next major first-party release has finally made its way to the Nintendo Switch: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe! Despite the title being a mere update to the popular Nintendo Wii U kart racer, it should be met with a sigh of relief to all Nintendo Switch owners. While still a relatively new console, the launch library was notably thin on must-own games. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe marks the first major game release since the new console’s initial launch.
The original edition of Mario Kart 8 was wildly popular of course, largely thanks to its gorgeous visuals, addictive gameplay, and the gift of internet memes such as “The Luigi Death Stare”. The buzz died down quickly enough, however, with the eventual bonus downloadable content failing to resonate with mass audiences on the same level as the core release. Now, everything that was available for Mario Kart 8 during its run on the Wii U has been made available in a single package, plus a few new additions and much-needed tweaks.
Some of the main features of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe include new characters, courses, items, Battle Mode tweaks, and the obvious handheld compatibility. Thanks to the on-the-go design of the Nintendo Switch, you can experience the game at full power right in the palms of your hands. You can take the game with you anywhere you go, something that’s remarkable for such a graphics-intense gaming experience. The battery life leaves a little to be desired in some respects, but it’s rare that you’ll ever find yourself needing to play any Mario Kart title for more than a few hours anyway!
As for the rest, the added characters are certainly a strong selling point. Mario Kart 8 already had an amazing roster as is, but the new additions serve to put it over the top. With the likes of Inkling Girl and Inkling Boy from the smash-hit shooter Splatoon, it’s nice to see Nintendo bringing their modern intellectual properties into the Mario Kart fold. If you’re more of a traditionalist, there’s also Dry Bones, King Boo, and the ever-ebullient Bowser Jr to choose from. Of course, the original DLC character additions such as Link (Legend of Zelda) and Villager (Animal Crossing) are also available right up front.
The same can also be be said for the courses. Mario Kart has long been known for its wild race tracks, and new additions like Urchin Underpass are just as fun to get a feel for as any other. For the truly nostalgic, Battle Course 1 from the original SNES game has also been thrown in!
The main selling point for enthusiasts of the franchise overall may be the new Battle Mode, however. Most fans felt underwhelmed by the altered direction taken by the original Wii U title. Rest assured, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has restored much of the charm of the original Battle Mode!
All considered, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a must-buy for any Nintendo Switch owner. It’s especially sweet if you missed out on the game or its DLC the first time around. Whether you’re going handheld, playing online, or enjoying some co-op with your friends, the core gameplay is still just as fun as ever. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters! Given all of the supply shortages from Nintendo these days, make sure you grab a copy as soon as you can!