Written by Jon Scarr
Start your engines! The definitive version of Mario Kart 8 has sped its way onto the Nintendo Switch and includes everything from the Wii U version and more.
With new characters, a new Battle Mode, new items and karts, improved graphics, and more ways to play—Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a must-have game. Read more in our Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Review.
Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U had impeccable gameplay and it’s hard to image but Nintendo has made some tweaks to gameplay that make it even better on the Nintendo Switch. The tweaks that Nintendo have made to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are two fold.
The game is now more accessible to gamers of varying skill and experienced gamers get some bonuses too. Smart steering, enabled by default, helps gamers new to the series stay on the tracks. So tracks like Rainbow Road are no longer frustrating and gives everyone a fair shot.
At first I wasn’t too keen on this feature being enabled by default, but then realized it allows for different handicaps when racing against others. It’s easy to turn this on and off and makes an already mainstream game even more accessible.
Nintendo didn’t forget Mario Kart veterans when tweaking the gameplay. There is now a third level of drift boost, indicated by purple sparks, that allows you to shave precious seconds from your fastest lap times. This adds an extra level of completion on and off online that I found absolutely compelling.
Furthermore, it feels as if the distribution of power ups has been levelled. Of course you still get the best power ups when you are lagging behind to encourage epic comebacks. Now that you can hold two power ups at a time, it makes taking out your opponent that much more fun.
If there was one thing that I could complain about Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U was its Battle Mode. Simply put, it wasn’t fun. Luckily that’s all been changed with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, welcome back arena-style maps.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has eight arenas to play in, including some classics from previous Mario Kart Battle Modes, and a nice variety of gameplay modes.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe adds five new characters, Inkling Girl, Inkling Boy, King Boo, Dry Bones and Bowser Jr. to bring the total number of racers to 42—the most for any game in the series.
The Koopa Clown kart from Mario 7 makes a return, and two new Splatoon-themed ATVs—the Splat Buggy and Inkstriker—make their debut. In addition, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sees the return of the item-stealing Boo and jumping Feather.
The Mario Kart series has always been a franchise that invokes friendly competitive play, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is no different. I’ve come up with these tips to give you the competitive edge against your opponents.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a perfect example of what Nintendo does best, make fun and enjoyable games that everyone loves. This game is yet another reason to buy a Nintendo Switch and even if you own Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U, Nintendo has packed so many new features into Mario Kart 8 Deluxe that makes it worthy of a purchase.
Simply put, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch is the best Mario Kart game in franchise history. I can’t think of a single game that has got my attention and kept it for so long than this game. If you are looking for a game with incredible replay value, loads of hours of competitive fun both off and online—then you can not go wrong with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Nintendo EPD
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Final Score: 99/100
About the Author: Jon Scarr
Based in Toronto, Jon is a proud Canadian who loves all things gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been in love with technology and gaming for over 20 years. Come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Twitter.