It was exciting when Nintendo announced the new Mario Kart game. While we had expected a ninth edition of the series, what we got instead was a mere port with a couple of upgrades, making it Mario Kart 8.5.
It's obvious that Mario Kart 9 isn't ready, but I can tell you that if you skipped
the Wii U and missed out on Mario Kart 8,
then now is the right time to jump into the game with the Nintendo Switch.
So what's new?
There are 42 characters including two Splatoon characters, 48 tracks to race with, the ability to hold up to two items, driving assist features, split-screen mode for up to 4 players with the added option of connecting multiple Switch systems for up to 12 players, and of course Battle Mode, which is the star of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
If you're a veteran player, the driving assist features such as auto-turning can be annoying. Don't dismiss this as something silly however, because this is targeted for younger players - because kids actually play with the Switch, and not just hardcore Nintendo rockers from the 80s and 90s.
There's also a new boost mode which flares up
while making those epic drifts, with the infamous pink boost give you a much
more powerful burst of speed. Nintendo also fixed fire-hopping, a technique
where you hopped around to get those quick boosts to speed up your vehicles.
There are different Battle Mode courses. The first one, Renegade Roundup, involves enemies capturing your teammates and tasks you with freeing them. Another mode, Balloon Battles, pits Kart players in an arena and makes them throw items at each other. The third mode, Bob-omb Blast, has players throwing only bombs at each other. The second to the last Battle Mode course, Coin Runners, is a race to acquire the most coins.
Finally, there's Shine Thief, which has you acquiring the Shine and surviving for 20 seconds. If you get hit by an enemy, you lose the Shine and must hunt them down before they reach the time limit. This is by far my favorite mode, though it can go on for a very long time depending on how well other people play. This is also probably the most exciting game mode in all of Battle Mode.
Despite all the fun I had, there are a few instances where I lost my online connection. The incidents are big enough that they are making headlines, so it would help if Nintendo got a hold of this issue and address it as soon as possible.
These network issues aren't a deal-breaker though; Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a fine port of the Wii U hit and should you ever have the hankering for some fast-paces races, then look no further to Mario and pals.Ã