- Price: $59.99
- System: Nintendo Switch
- Port? Yes. Mostly.
Battles, Balloons, and Blue Shells.
I would not kid with you that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is simply a port from the famed Wii U version. It is, but with slight tweaks to make your game better. Though, the true question is, look at it as a new game or instead treat it as a completely new game?
We did review Mario Kart 8 a while back and gave it a 9.5, and after doing some math and calculations, we would call it an 8 on the tggReview scale. So, let’s get underway with the review!
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is another spin and race around the rainbow road. It’s a take on Mario kart 8, but fine tuning it to make it perfect and overall a great experience for everyone to enjoy.
To start, the most obvious change is the battle mode. It has been brought back to the Mario kart roots of battle mode, bringing the best from all Mario kart games. Balloon Battle from Mario Kart 7, Coin Runners from Mario kart Wii, Shine Their, and Bomb-Omb Blast from Mario Kart: Double Dash, and an all new mode called by Renegade Roundup. Each mode can be played free-for-all, or in teams (other than Renege Roundup, which is in teams by default) All these modes I found enjoyable. Yet, I struggled to find fun in Balloon Battle and Coin Runners. But, as well, Bomb-Omb Blast I actually was surprised at. Other reviewers claimed that this mode lacked, but not playing Double Dash, I was surprised and had fun in this mode. Shine Thief, too, I found beating out my opponents and getting clobbered with shells and bombs. Battle was a great addition to the game and was well needed. Though, the courses presented were lacking. Battle Course 1 I found amazing, with the music and overall improvements. But, some areas like Wuhu Island and Battle Stadium were way too widespread and big for battle. They should have brought more retro maps. Even Urchin Underpass felt a bit too big for battle mode. And, one more thing too. There’s no last man standing option in the game. When you “die,” you lose half of your points, and respawn. This feature is super annoying, and I would have preferred to have the last man standing. Heck, even Mario Kart 8’s sucky battle mode had the last man standing option.
Past the battle mode, racing completely remains unchanged. You have all the tracks from Mario Kart 8, plus all DLC. I would like to see a few more tracks, perhaps distributed into the cups, but it’s not a big push factor from buying the game. As well, there a few tweaks to racing, and the game in general. I started to find that if you were to say take on 100cc, and score gold, on say the Shell Cup, the result would be mirrored in all the levels below it. This means, if you scored Gold on the Shell Cup 100cc, you would get a gold in the shell 50cc, but this excludes doing 200cc. This is a nice feature to get cups done faster. And, in racing, double items are finally back. This means one can hold 2 items, and collect double items. This is great for people in first place, wanting to defend themselves from all those Blue Shells, and believe me, there will be a lot of them. So much, that I started to notice the AI really wanted to catch up. In 100cc, I was racing on Sweet Sweet Canyon. I started to get so far ahead, landing from the canyon as people neared the finish line, that I started to see a blue shell come. I pulled into an item box, hoping for a Super Horn to knock the shell away. To my luck, I receive what I wished for, a Super Horn. I prepared to use it, as the shell neared, but then suddenly, a Boo stole it, and I got blew up. This sinerio has happened countless times across races and CC’s. The AI and computing within this game are terrible, and they will continue to the blue shell you, as long as your of marginal distance ahead. Speaking of items, there are 2 new ones: the Boo, from Mario Kart DS, and the feather, exclusive to the battle mode from Super Mario kart. Both bring new skills to the table. I actually found it enjoyable to jump over my opponents, stealing coins and even the shine in Battle Mode. It may take some practice, but it’s very satisfying when you get the hang of it. As well, there are a few new racers: The Inklings from Spatoon, Dry Bones, and Bowser Jr, all great additions to the game. Yet, the roster has not been revised of older, worthless characters. The video I included below is a good summary of Mario Kart’s lackluster roster (warning: some profanity in the video below)
I then go onto to respond to the video:
Truly, I think Nintendo may be scared to try it. My reasoning for this is because, over the past few years, Nintendo’s lack of creativity and thinking outside of the box has diminished. It started with the Wii U. Since Nintendo tried to come up with a unique idea, they thought they would dominate the market with the Wii U. But yet, as time has shown us, the Wii U failed. Maybe there trying to apply things that have worked in the past. Nintendo realized that medal and baby characters were well welcomed in Double Dash, Wii, and Mario Kart 7. Maybe they took a route that they thought would be safe, and not outside the box. Now that the switch is out, it has shown that the creative side of Nintendo is back, and I do hope that the next Mario kart has some skin option. Sure, Pink Gold Peach and Gold Mario are fine but put them on a different screen like the Yoshi’s and Shy Guys.
Multiplayer also hasn’t changed that much. You can play Online, or Locally on the same Switch (4 Player) or up to 8 Switches locally. All these options haven’t changed as much. For online though, one welcomed change is the ability to switch your character without leaving the game lobby. This is a perfect change and feature for online. In online, you can create tourneys, and play worldwide and regionally. Tourney creation is the same as last time, but I would have like to see something more unique. I suggested that it would be bracket styled, as players would have scheduled race times to move up and race in the bracket. Seeing, though, that Online will become paid in the fall, Nintendo needs to add or change something significantly to make paying for online worthwhile. I also found connecting to online was hard, as in, lots of disconnections and errors. You can also play locally on the Switch. I did not suffer any issues playing with Claire, other than the general hiccups the Switch processor brings to it.
Overall, with more improvements than downfalls of the deluxe model, the true question everyone has been asking: Should you double dip on this game, if you own a Wii U and have Mario Kart 8? I would ask yourself this: Did you enjoy Battle Mode in Mario Kart 7? If the answer is yes, then you should double dip, as I think you would enjoy the new battle mode and changes present in this game. If you said no, I may just stick with the Wii U version for now. Now, you could always sell the Wii u version and invest in the Switch Version, but it’s always on your personal preference. And, remember, you can take Mario Kart 8 on the go, so if you wanted to race on the go, I would consider that factor as well.
- Solid battle mode
- New, and great features
- Good online
- No new tracks
- Character Roster is still bad
- Bad AI/Computer Players
- Not all battle modes are winners.