Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Switches up Battle Mode

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If you played "Mario Kart 8" for the Wii U in its original form and didn't bother with the DLC, the "Deluxe" edition adds 16 new courses, the new 200cc speed and difficulty mode (200cc was added to "Mario Kart 8" after launch), 12 new characters including one that is unlockable and 11 new vehicles.

Originally launched for the Wii U, the most recent addition to the Mario Kart series is finally coming to the Switch. This is probably a good time to mention the Joy-Con Wheel that Nintendo is also releasing on the same day as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. However, players quickly realized that with a simple trick involving the joystick, they can maintain that speed boost for much longer, thus gaining an advantage over the other racers. And for anyone who has ever dreamed of driving a real-life Mario kart, the retailer has decorated some of its shopping carts to make it appear as if they Mario karts. This is definitely going to be the racer you play all summer on your Switch. "Nintendo didn't do enough to make the online experience better, but the rest of this game holds up well".

Perhaps the least significant of those are new driver aids which add auto-acceleration and steering assist (the latter removing the danger of plummeting off cliffs), created to make Mario Kart 8 Deluxe accessible to those who are so young that they haven't yet developed effective motor skills.

It's not radically different from the Wii U original, but the versatility of the Switch takes things to another level. Renegade Roundup might not be the best of the bunch, with games often ending swiftly, leaving a sour taste in the mouth - but the likes of Shine Thief and Bob-omb Blast are wonderfully fun and complement the classic Balloon Battle mode nicely. The trailer shows off the games character roster, including the original characters, as well as the DLC characters like Isabelle and Link. In my experience with the online, Battle Mode worked smoothly and I saw none of the players lagging out, jumping around the track, as I was initially afraid may happen. The Boo item, absent from Mario Kart 8 - which lets you steal rivals' items - has also made a welcome return.

Track design in the Mario Kart franchise has always been a strong point, and for the greater part Mario Kart 8 doesn't disappoint. Those are the controllers that you can detach from the sides of the Switch tablet, turning them each into their own mini-gamepads.

You'd also have to place third or better in each cup in order to unlock the subsequent one, which would add different, harder tracks to the game.

That's not to say that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is ideal.

The biggest tweak is being able to hold two weapons at the same time, although you can't switch between them at will like Double Dash. Pop the Switch into its dock, and the game outputs an even more attractive 1080p.

The entrance to the store will be decorated like the start of a Mario Kart race, complete with the checkered starting line and "Go!" pronouncement.

So what does the added power of the Switch bring to the game over the Wii U?

And then, in local multiplayer, Nintendo Switch enters its own. All five game types can be played on the eight battle courses, three of which were carried over from old games. You can play with two players on the Switch itself or four players on a TV. It makes flawless sense, of course, giving Wii U owners that little bit more impetus to buy the game a second time for Switch, as well as ensuring there's no loop hole to get out of paying for online multiplayer, but it's a shame that people are being left behind.

As you keep playing the game, you obtain coins.

But ultimately, this is a game which I struggle to justify a purchase for. This may not seem like much to the novice kart racer, but for this is a big deal to the "Mario Kart" competitive scene.