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Game I won’t review – Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
I reviewed Mario Kart 8 already. I gave the game decent praise, but re-reading my old review I was surprisingly mild on it. Replaying it again now I do feel I should’ve been more positive about it in the first place. It’s damn good. And I knew that back then, so I don’t know why my review on it is so lukewarm. Weird.

So I don’t really need to be talking about Deluxe, right? Well why not. But there’s no need for a full on review. I’ll just talk about it quickly.


Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Date of Release: April 28th 2017
Platform: Switch
Genre: Kart racing

Rated E for Everyone

This is the same Mario Kart 8 we’ve already played and loved, but it adds a lot of small stuff that makes it feel a bit fresh.

As for what’s the same, the gameplay itself is absolutely fantastic as per Mario Kart tradition, it looks fucking amazing, the music is great… Nothing to really criticize about it.

So what’s better in this version: the framerate is fixed so there’s no stuttering frame every second, it’s native 1080p, it doesn’t slow down in 2-player mode (though it apparently does with more than that still, haven’t tried that). A quick glance at online and I feel like it performed slightly better, but I can’t prove that. And it comes with all the DLC from the Wii U release, making it the biggest release in the series by far.

And what’s new… A few things.

6 new characters (doesn’t REALLY matter gameplay-wise since character stats are determined by their weight class, however you can play as an inkling and that’s awesome). Also new vehicles.
2 new/returning items: the feather (sadly only in battle mode which is a shame, I’d love to see it in races) and the boo (which makes you steal something from another player). They’re fun but not a huge thing.
This version actually changes the gameplay in 2 ways. First it lets you hold 2 items at once (though you can’t switch between them Double Dash style), which is quite useful and a pretty large change to the gameplay. That also adds the double item box from Double Dash, but they tend to put them in slightly less optimal parts of the courses. They also added a third level of drift boost, if you drift long enough the sparks under your kart turn purple and the boost is more effective than the others.
The big one is obviously the battle mode. It existed in the Wii U version, but it was shit. Instead of well-designed battle mode courses, the battles just happened on some normal race tracks. Now you have I believe 8 battle courses (I should’ve counted those) and they’re all really good. 2 of them are completely new, while the rest are from previous versions, though I know some may be modified (Battle Course 1 from the SNES game is actually really cool here). Plus there’s several modes for battle mode. Shine Thief, Bob-omb Blast, Balloon Battles, Coin Rush and the entirely new Renegade Roundup. All fun modes, though the new mode is a bit weird to me. Battle mode is an absolute blast now. I still prefer racing but it’s a nice addition.

Complaints… well, the game has what I think is a new “Smart Steering” feature turned on by default. It controls the kart for you if you’re about to mess up. That’s fucking stupid. I was wondering on my first few races why the controls weren’t working, and that’s why. There’s also no option menu, so before playing be sure to pause at the start of a race to be sure it’s off. Oh, they didn’t remove the coin item. They need to patch that shit out, it’s such a useless thing, I’d prefer to be flooded in bananas when in first place… Yeah, that’s all my complaints. There’s really not much else I could really fault the game for.


It’s Mario Kart 8 but even better. It’s a lot of little things that, put together, make the whole package a hell of a lot more worthwhile. Plus it’s on Switch, so the portability and versatility of the platform helps a lot.

The fact that this is playable as well as it is and as pretty as it is on a handheld is just absolutely crazy to me. The previous handheld Mario Kart was 7 and that one was… pretty damn weak compared to 8, in most aspects. This is one of the mindblow moments of the Switch to me.

Statistically you didn’t have a Wii U, so get this version. You have no excuse.

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