Review: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Arcade racing
Let’s face it, there’s not heaps to do with your Switch at the moment and you probably already know whether or not you enjoy Mario Kart. I often think of reviews as opinion pieces that will help inform or sway someone for or against the purchase of a game but I feel in this instance your mind is probably already made up. Doubly so for anyone who’s played the Wii U iteration of the series of which this is largely a GOTY edition port, you already know what you’re getting, you don’t really need me.
I mean wait… stop… don’t go… uh…Hey! Do you know what is kind of amazing?
When you look at Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as the next iteration in the long successful series there’s not that much to talk about, especially after 8. The game is, of course, beautiful and fun and the track design with the music is pure and good in all the best ways possible. However, we’ve seen it all before only now the resolution is slightly higher and the DLC I already paid for on my Wii U is included on the disk. There’s also the addition and improvements on battle modes, but we can get to that later.
The part where Mario Kart 8 Deluxe becomes amazing is when you remember it’s the next portable Mario Kart and boy then does it feel like a step up.
The switch screen is infinitely nicer than that of the 3DS and the portability of a Mario Kart title instantly increases opportunity for play. When you look at how the switch controllers snap off for multiplayer action you can see this is the console doing exactly what it was made for. A game so designed for multiplayer that is partnered with a console that is literally made to be taken and shared is an almost perfect combination, the only downside being that the Joy-Cons are not the most comfortable controllers in their multiplayer form (this is improved when using the included bumper additions to make the controller a bit bigger). Mario Kart 8 even starts with all the characters (bar one) unlocked because it knows you want to get straight into playing with your friends.
We also have the aforementioned Battle modes. On the Wii U version, the standard Mario Battles were played out on the racing tracks which simply weren’t designed for the task and we were limited to the standard balloon popping arena affair. Deluxe offers players purpose built stadiums to duke it out with their friends and extra battle modes to shake up the action. These modes are as fun as they can be frustrating and allow the game to become more than just a constant tour around the circuits. Unfortunately, there’s no explanation on what to do once the action starts, so your first few goes in some of these new battles will likely leave you baffled before coming to terms with the objective. In multiplayer party games, variety is the spice of life and although for me the battles will never be more than a brief intermission from Gran Prix, they are certainly a welcome addition.
This game takes one of the best Mario Kart titles to date and improves upon it in every way possible. It brings us better graphics, minor bug fixes, portability and releases it all on a console that actually seems to be selling reasonably well – which makes for a better future for the game. Racing is as fun as ever, and the whirl of grinding a corner, seamlessly defying gravity on an upside down map and paragliding to the finish only to be blue shelled into oblivion has never been better than it is in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
|Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a must have title for any Nintendo Switch owner. It can feel a little stale for Mario Kart 8 veterans, but the additional portability and battle modes make for a fresh experience.||4.8 4.8 ( on 5 rating)|