Loser Reviews: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe!

Welcome back to Nasty Review with Mod Loser, Jackie, whatever you want to call me! Oh yeah, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. A good game on the Wii U that unfortunately was very limited in it’s initial debut given the lack of awareness of the console. Does the port to Switch really make that much of a difference? Let’s find out!

Gameplay: At first glance, Deluxe plays almost identically to Mario Kart 8, which absolutely isn’t a bad thing. The steering is responsive, drifting allows for more control, there is a ridiculous amount of Kart customization that can allow you to build your racer how you like. However, Deluxe in particular has two major additions to gameplay that have brought out both the best and the worst in the series.

Bringing back Battle Mode in the way that we all wanted was a good decision. Shortly after getting Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, I had a chance to play with three other friends, and it was just as fun as I remembered. The craziness of battle mode was fun if not terrifyingly chaotic for every player involved, but was simple enough to grasp what was going on. That being said, the motion controls for Battle Mode are not a good idea! I like them during standard races, but the very nature of Battle Mode demands for more precise controls.

Next, we have the addition of two item slots as opposed to one slot. At first I was overjoyed, as my favorite game in the series up to this point was Double Dash. However, the double items act more as a shackle than they do as a fun benefit. Unlike in double dash, you can’t switch what items you’re holding, meaning that you have to waste your first item in hopes that you will ever use the second one. This removed a layer of strategy, and instead was more based on luck. If you got two great item, but you wanted to save one? Too bad, you’d have to waste one of them to use the other at the appropriate time.

This made for a less strategic and more random, chaotic experience during races, and often made the difficulty feel unfair when playing at higher CC’s. That being said, when playing on 100 CC, normal mode as it were, the game shines at the brightest. A good speed with minimal RNG and a great racing experience on the whole. The character roster, as always, is enormous with the Inklings, Villager, Isabelle, Link, and more! However, some characters are an utter waste. Rose Gold Peach, Baby Rosalina, the Koopalings? These characters were obvious filler, as most people just ignore them.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe gets an 8/10 for Gameplay. Its solid, but still flawed.

Visual and Audio Art: Yup, no story section this time. Its a racing game, a story section really isn’t needed, especially when the game has nothing advertised about a story. Here’s looking at you, Overwatch. Regardless of my salt, Mario Kart 8 looked great on the Wii U, and utterly fantastic on the Switch. The game now runs at 1080p, 60 frames per second in docked mode, and 1080p 30 frames per second when docked in local multiplayer. While HD is still HD any way you look at it, I was very happy to see the game taking advantage of the Switch’s better internal guts.

When in handheld mode, multiplayer or not, the game runs at a silky smooth 720p 30 frames per second. I’ve never had any frame drops in my many hours playing, and its very impressive! The character designs, as well as the designs of each stage and Kart, look exactly how I would imagine a true HD Nintendo performance. Breath of the Wild made me think “Wow, this is what Zelda can look like”, but Mario Kart 8 has now made me feel that way about any Nintendo franchise. Just getting to see many of these characters brought out finally in real HD has me excited to see what else will come to the Switch.

The art style is fantastic, and the music is everything you would expect out of classic Mario Kart. Fast paced, lively, and geared to fit the track. Hearing the bombastic, threatening tones of Bowser’s Castle never fails to give me chills.

The Visual and Audio Art gets a 10/10. I’ve seen no flaws, and I can’t imagine how it could have been handled more expertly.

Online/DLC: Rather than make you pay for the old DLC as well, Deluxe gives you all four DLC packs that released for Mario Kart 8, which better justified the $60 price tag at launch. I wouldn’t have said that the original Mario Kart 8 was worth $60, but Deluxe certainly was, at least to me. The Online functions stunningly well. I was never kicked out of a match, and there was minimal lag whenever my internet actually decided to behave. I lament no voice chat or way to communicate at the moment, but Nintendo claims that their online service, when it does drop, will link that to a smart phone.

The Online and DLC gets a 9/10. Very well handled, and my only gripes at this point are meaningless knit-picks.

My final score for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a 9/10. Its an incredibly game despite a flaw here or there, and deserves the attention it has received. If you have a switch but didn’t have a Wii U, or just didn’t pick this game up for your Wii U, grab this game. You won’t be disappointed! That’s all for now, Nasties, thanks for reading!

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