The lights are on
When it first launched in May 2014, Mario Kart 8 was championed as one of the Wii U's most entertaining titles, but also as the apex of the entire Mario Kart series. Now, nearly three years later, an enhanced version of the mascot racer is making its way to Nintendo's latest console, the Switch, with a ton of new features in tow. Most of these additions have already been revealed, but this serves as a nice round-up for everything that will be new.
Right off the bat, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe comes packaged with all of the Wii U version's DLC, from Link and his home stage of Hyrule Circuit, to the endearingly wacky Mercedes-Benz kart bodies. On top of the baked-in DLC, Deluxe will also include a wealth of new content, including five new racers, bringing the grand total of playable characters to a series-high of 42 (but still no Birdo, who has been sadly missing in action since Mario Kart Wii). The new challengers are Dry Bones, King Boo, Bowser Jr., and Splatoon characters Inkling Boy and Inkling Girl. In addition, Splatoon-themed amiibos can now be used to unlock outfits for Mii racers.
No new courses are being developed for the traditional races, but the original release's oft-derided take on Battle Mode is getting a complete overhaul. Mario Kart 8 tried to shake up the classic Battle Mode formula by removing the traditional enclosed arenas and having the action take place on the normal circuits. Ultimately, the fandom unanimously rejected this approach, and Nintendo noticed. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe completely replaces the Wii U's Battle Mode, setting the action on eight arenas (five new, three from classic Mario Kart titles) and bringing back fan-favorite modes like Bob-Omb Blast, Shine Thief, and Coin Runners. A brand new mode, Renegade Roundup, has players attempting to capture one another with potted Piranha Plants.
Rounding out the package are a series of small, but significant, improvements: a new Smart Steering control setting will keep less experienced players from constantly falling out of bounds and falling hopelessly behind the pack; characters will be able to carry two items instead of just one, allowing for more action-packed races; when played in the Switch's Docked Mode, the game runs at 1080p, a marked boost from the Wii U's 720p mode.
LAN support allows for large-scale portable competition; of course, classic four-player split-screen mode in Docked Mode is still being supported. Additionally, two-player split-screen is possible in Portable Mode with sideways Joy-Con controllers.
All told, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe aims to be the definitive edition of the crown jewel of the Wii U library, with the same classic gameplay and personality of the original Mario Kart 8, but with a slew of improvements, refinements, and enhancements.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launches on Nintendo Switch on April 28 for $59.99. A new Joy-Con Wheel accessory will launch alongside the game for $14.99, allowing players to hold their Joy-Con controllers like a car's steering wheel, as was the case in Mario Kart Wii. For more on Mario Kart 8, check out GI's original review here.
Email the author Zak Wojnar, or follow on Game Informer.
Actually seems worth the repurchase. I'll definitely be getting this day one. Can't wait for the classic battle mode to return.
That game already looked amazing at 720, I'm looking forward to seeing it at 1080.
There's also new items
I'm looking forward to this one. The improvements seem nice.
As much as I feel like all of these additions could have just been added as DLC Pack #3 for the Wii U version and am quite annoyed this didn't turn out to be the case, I'm tempted to pick this up. I really missed Bowser Jr. in the original release.
Even though there aren't any new race courses incoming. And, it doesn't seem as though they're going to allow us to play more than one loop of Rainbow Road N64 (which is a real shame, that race is always over far too soon).
But, I have so much love for this Mario Kart game. It was the reason I first bought the console, and it's my second favorite Mario Kart game under Double Dash (although now with the inclusion of a proper Battle Mode, 8 may top DD). I know they tweaked the item roulette a little... here's hoping they tweak the difficulty just a little. 100cc even got a little brutal at times.
While I enjoyed Mario Kart 8 for its great course design and amazing graphics, the lack of a real proper battle mode was really disappointing, and that alone placed Mario Kart on the lower end on my scale of favorite Mario Kart games.
MK8 Deluxe sounds like it has all the missing stuff MK8 should have had, and then some. I'll definitely pick this up when I get a Switch, unless Mario Kart 9 is somehow announced by then.
The battle mode on Wii U was a huge disappointment, so glad they're completely reworking it in this one.
Thanks Nintendo, for making me pay for dlc only to turn around and make it free for a ported version.
...and Wii U owners are stuck with the de-luxe edition. See what I did there Nintendo?
No thanks. I have the Wii U version and I'd rather play Mario Kart 64.
Mario kart and smash bros my reasons for any Nintendo system it's why I got my switch