What’s New With Mario Kart?

Mario Kart for the Nintendo Switch came out almost a month ago, so we’ve had some time to assess its value compared to its earlier release for the Wii U. While technically it’s the same game, the Switch claims “Mario Kart 8: Deluxe Edition.” Overall, the new game is pretty similar but there are a few key features.

Double Items

The biggest change is the ability to hold two items at once. While this feature has been included in previous Mario Karts, I have to point out the distinction that in Double Dash, you could switch between your items. For example, in Double Dash you could use the second item you picked up first. Now, the items must be used in the order that you grab them, but I think this just adds an even more interesting element to the game. With two items in a locked order, sometimes you have to waste that first item (i.e. banana) to get to that second item you need (red shell). Also, you’ll sometimes catch yourself with a coin or another relatively useless item in your second spot, and you’ll have to dump your first item before you can get rid of it.

Extra Boost

If you played the Wii U version, you might remember drifting for what felt like forever, and maxing out your drift boost halfway through the curve. Well now, with ultra mini-turbo, there is an extra level of speed boost you can get for drifting, denoted by purple sparks coming from the wheels. This subtle difference can make things way more interesting if you’re good at drifting.

Breakneck Speeds

200cc is new to the game, and I gotta say, it’s fun. It’s also really hard though, and to be honest, it feels like Nintendo didn’t work out all of its kinks. When you’re going light speed, braking and turning are crucial, but it’s very frustrating to consistently fly off the map at the same spot, or have to run through the slow grass to get back on course. I find myself doing both of these a lot in 200cc races. While we can expect it to be harder, some tracks just feel terrible when played on 200cc. I get the feeling that Nintendo only tested out a few before greenlighting the new race mode.

Even with 200cc’s difficulties, the new Mario Kart is a blast to play. Playing it on the Nintendo Switch makes it even more fun. My wish for Nintendo is that they would look into some of the tracks’ compatibility with 200cc, but as you may know, Nintendo doesn’t have the best track record of listening to its playerbase. For the double items and 200cc mode, I give Mario Kart 8: Deluxe Edition a 8/10, would buy.

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