Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart is a well-known franchise of arcade races from Nintendo that was created 25 years ago and has come a long way since the first release: five console games, three PC and another three even for arcade machines. Each of these games had some new features that slightly changed the regular gameplay and gave a fresh look to the series. Keeping the same tactic, Nintendo has released an improved version of Mario Kart 8 for the Switch and named it Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has all the same colorful characters from several previous parts of this game and some of the updated fantastical Nintendo-themed tracks. To win the game, you will still need to use your racing skills and, of course, your luck because random power-ups and weapons will be sprinkled throughout the tracks. So if you want to refresh the memory of a long forgotten but a favorite game or just improve your driving and maneuverability skills, then you should consider Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Visually, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe still looks amazing! The animation is bright and beautiful with a three-dimensional graphics, excellent lighting, and impressive special effects. The resolution seems to be the same as earlier. Also, comparing to the version for Wii U, it’s hard to notice any particular changes, but even so it’s great that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe graphic looks perfect and didn’t lose its charm over the past years. Nintendo artists have done an excellent work with creating stunningly attractive locations and characters, and the engineers have perfectly optimized this game for any platform. Therefore, it’s hard to find technically any flaws in the game. It’s not buggy, slow or glitchy and works the same way its creators planned from the beginning.
One of the significant changes of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is that players don’t need to open characters anymore. All forty-two drivers are available to you from the beginning. So to start playing the game you just need to pick the desired character, vehicle and enjoy your ride.
There are five adjustable parameters in the game. To change them just press the "-" or "+" button and you will see speed, acceleration, mass, controllability, and patency. There is also a smart management feature which is one of the new functions added to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and that helps a lot to new players. With this feature, you won’t leave so simply the track because the AI will drive the car for you.
There is a single player mode as well as a wireless multiplayer for up to eight players and a 12-player online mode. But the biggest changes we can see in the new Battle Mode. It gives you eight brand new arenas and a special "Mirror" mode that can reflect vertically all paths that you have gone through already. It feels like you are on completely new tracks which is not exactly true. So that you explore something interesting for yourself in the game even after completing all the modes. In total, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has forty-eight tracks some of which are from the original game, and some are updated routes from previous parts. However, no new tracks were added to the Deluxe version. Likely most players won’t notice that except those who have been playing in Mario Kart 8 for a long time.
Mario Kart 8 wouldn’t have been a real Mario Kart without items. All those power-up boxes with red and green shells, banana skins, and a vision-obscuring squid are the key elements of the gameplay. There are twenty-three items in the game twenty-two of which you can use in races and the last one only in the "Fight" mode. Moreover, in the Deluxe version, you can take two items at a time, and you should always think about whether to use the item now or hold it for a while because some of them give speed, some protection, and some attack. Also, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has got a few of new items like a boomerang, a feather that you can use for the big jumps or a super horn that deflect a blue shell. In addition to those unusual items, you get one more - a Boo ghost that can steal your competitor’s items and which you can use only in a Battle mode.
The most exciting feature added to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is auto acceleration which allows you not to hold constantly the "A" button. This function is highly helpful if you play with your kids for example because it simplifies the learning process for them. However, if you need to turn it off, you will likely get a bit confused because this feature works by default and it’s not mentioned how to turn it off. Therefore, somebody might be surprised when he finds out that cars are following the route by themselves. So if you want to take a full control of your car just go to the settings and adjust them the way you want.
Another interesting detail of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is drift. Every time you hold "R" for a while you turn this game’s mechanic on. While you’re drifting, you will see a sheaf of sparks from under your car’s wheels, and if you press the "R" button one more time at the right moment, you will get a boost. There is also a new color of sparks appeared: previously there were just blue and orange colors, but the Deluxe version has now a purple one. To get the purple sparks, you need to drift as long as you can. Moreover, if you get a boost while having purple sparks, it will last much longer.
Thankfully, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe gives us a pretty wide range of options for the multiplayer. You can choose to play with a console, connect a few Switches to the local network or even go online and battle with other players. However, if you have a few people playing with Switch, it would be better to play on TV because a screen is still too small. It will be comfortable for two players, but if you have four of them and a screen divided into four parts, the image might be too small.
In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, not all maps, motorcycles, wheels or gliders are open from the beginning. You can purchase cars and other stuff for coins that you earn from racing. For 50 new coins, you get access to one random detail every time. The most expensive items a gold glider which cost 5000 coins and right after you get it, you can start customizing your vehicles.
Replay Value 5/5
Even if you have been playing Mario Kart 8 for a long-long time, you still should try the Deluxe version because its gameplay has changed enough to make it more interesting to discover for the veterans of this game. The newcomers will likely find this game’s storyline deep enough and will be excited about learning the game’s mechanics and new colorful tracks. So no one will likely notice how many hours are spent with this game especially when you take it with you wherever you go.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe doesn’t have any in-app purchases.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a sequel to a legendary Mario Kart franchise designed especially for the Switch. Nintendo didn’t change the gameplay significantly, but they did add some new exciting tricks and features to the Deluxe version. The game still uses the concept of "Easy to Learn, Difficult to Master," but this time you really need to master your skills to get on the top of the winner's list. I can admit that the Deluxe version has got all the best from Mario Kart 8 and grants players with the even better gaming experience. Improved combat mode, lots of added multiplayer options, better controls, colorful graphics, beautiful animation and great music, what else can be desired?
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is even more exciting than its predecessors, and it will easily drag you for dozens of hours especially on the switch because there are so many multiplayer options available and you an take the switch with you wherever you go.
- Graphics 4.5
- Gameplay 5
- Controls 4.5
- Replay Value 5
lots of interesting tracks;
a wide variety of items;
new characters and objects were added;
ability to take two subjects at a time;
no new tracks;
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