Mario Kart: It’s back and it’s better
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Nintendo Switch is a souped-up version of the Wii U’s Mario Kart 8 that came out in 2014. The Wii U version was voted one of the best Mario Kart franchise games released in recent years — the deluxe version takes what worked for its predecessor, going back to its Nintendo 64 roots, and set the bar even higher.
The deluxe version includes everything that the original version included, plus all the previously released DLC along with some new additions. There are 48 courses to choose from and 42 characters (including your Mii) you can use to race with, including some new faces like the Inklings from Splatoon and Bowser Jr. Most previous Mario Kart games had racing classes from 50cc to 150cc, the deluxe version includes a brutal, unbelievably fast 200cc speed class.
You won’t need to spend endless hours unlocking your favourite characters or special courses because every course, character, and mode is unlocked right from the start, meaning you can just jump right in and hit the track. Instead of unlocking characters, you collect coins as you race and those coins help unlock different vehicles, wheels, and vehicle accessories that let you customize your ride.
There’s a few new features that players will either appreciate or hate that can be accessed when selecting characters or at any time in the pause menu. ‘Smart Steering’ is an automated system designed to keep your kart on track, a small antenna will pop up behind your kart, and a bulb will glow whenever you’re about to go off-road and keep you on the tarmac. It’s a great assist for new players and kids, especially with the new ‘auto-accelerate’ which means players can focus on steering and throwing items.
One complaint that Nintendo gamers had about the Wii U and portable gaming systems, was that when a game came out that they liked, they had to buy two copies — one for the stationary console at home, and the other for whichever version of the portable system they had. With the Nintendo Switch, you can play the system at home, or take it with you and play it on the go. Thanks to the beauty of the Switch, you can buy one cartridge and take it everywhere.