There’s no question that “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” is an essential game for Nintendo Switch owners.
Although the game is just an updated version of “Mario Kart 8,” which came out nearly three years ago for the Wii U, it still offers more than enough reasons for people to buy it, even if it’s essentially for the second time. But just because it’s being released on a system that’s vastly superior to the Wii U, doesn’t mean “Deluxe” improves upon the original as much as it should.
In fact, Nintendo missed a few opportunities when porting the game to its newest console.
Here a few areas where “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” either improved, or failed to improve upon the original.
Improved: Battle Mode
Without question, the biggest difference between “Deluxe” and “8” is Battle Mode. Balloon Battle, Bob-omb Blast, Coin Runners and Renegade Roundup all are fantastic, with Renegade Roundup really stealing the show, as it’s “Mario Kart’s” version of cops and robbers.
The Wii U version infamously had an extremely barebones version of Battle Mode, so fans were eager for Nintendo to return the mode to its former glory. Thankfully, it created the best Battle Mode seen in any “Mario Kart” game yet.
Improved: Taking advantage of hardware
Although the Wii U’s “Mario Kart” also supported multi-screen functionality, the feature is put to far greater use in Switch’s “Deluxe.” In addition to being able to play the game on the go, players can prop Switch up on its kickstand and play multiplayer anytime, and anywhere they feel like it.
Furthermore, the Joy-Cons on their own function well enough as controllers to eliminate the need for purchasing additional accessories. Given how small the Joy-Cons are, this was a huge surprise.
Opportunity missed: Online mode
Once again, Nintendo gets online play all wrong. Voice chat? Forget it. Inviting friends to matches? Nope. Competitive Rankings? Not even close.
“Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” is an extremely fun game. But the fact Nintendo failed to improve upon the Wii U version’s poor online mode is quite disappointing.
Opportunity missed: More new content
This isn’t a huge gripe, but it’s still worth mentioning. One of the great things about “Deluxe” is how all of the “8’s” unlockable and downloadable content already are available to use. Every character, course and mode is here, with only a few things, such as a Golden Mario, left to unlock.
But was it too much to ask for Nintendo to put in a few new courses? Sure, there are four new characters, and some new courses within battle mode. But a new Grand Prix Cup, or perhaps a few more characters outside of the Mario universe, would’ve been welcome additions.
Thumbnail photo via Nintendo