Mario Kart 8 Deluxe offers its players a wild ride! Those who skipped the Wii U will have a lot of fun racing along the newly released Mario Kart‘s twists and turns. The race tracks defy gravity and will leave you wondering where you’re going to end up next!
As a veteran of the previous renditions, driving along walls and holding more than one item at a time is taking some getting used to. I often find myself holding onto important items, completely forgetting that I have something even better hidden away as my next available item. My favourite new item in the game would have to be the fireball. It is so satisfying to chuck Mario’s fireball weapon at racers as they attempt to pass by. On the other hand, I find the new coin item to be completely uninspiring despite knowing that it provides a slight boost in speed. As for driving along the sides of the road and literally up the walls, it has proven to be an excellent way to get out of the line of fire so that I can navigate my way to 1st place. I also really like seeing some fresh faces in the competition, such as Isabelle from Animal Crossing or the Squid Kids from Splatoon. Of course, it’s great to see Mario, Luigi, and the rest of the gang again too!
Using the Joy-Con controllers via motion control to steer feels extremely intuitive, unlike Mario Kart Wii. The timeless thumbstick still reigns supreme for accuracy, but motion control steering isn’t the frustrating mess it was in the past. In addition, a smart steering option is available (and is automatically turned on by default) which can help people with disabilities or those who are new to the game stay right on target. In fact, smart steering, tilt controls, and auto-accelerate can each be turned on or off by pausing mid-race and players may want to experiment with each option to get their set-up just right. Veteran players will be able to get right into their groove because the controls are laid out exactly how they have been in the past. New players, on the other hand, should be able to jump right in and race alongside the experts because the controls are incredibly easy to learn and become accustomed to.
The cutest surprise in the game was coming across Mario Kart Television, also known as MKTV, within the main menu. Within this feature, adorable Miis gather around a large TV screen and watch race highlights. These highlights can also be viewed in fullscreen without the Mii characters if you so desire. Originally launched in 2014, MKTV was formerly a website where Mario Kart fans could watch highlight videos posted from the original Mario Kart 8. Unfortunately, the web page was shut down as of April 4th, 2016. It is great that Nintendo still offers this feature for Mario Kart 8 from within the console games so that new players can discover it and watch their highlights in style.
If there are any negatives to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, it would be that this is quite an expensive game for a port that had been released in 2014. However, those who haven’t played the previous version yet are in for quite a treat and may decide that the high price is worth the admission. At the very least, this Wii U skipper certainly thinks so!