After seeing him in great shape on Nintendo Wii U, Mario barth 8 has been able to establish itself once again as one of the reference points in the field of arcade racing games. With the Wii U chapter now consigned to history and a new adventure started with Switch, what better opportunity to revive the motorsport racing of the mustachioed plumber, in a complete Deluxe edition to accompany the first months of Nintendo's hybrid console?
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Mario barth 8
Super Mario Grand Prix
3 years ago, on the occasion of the release on Wii U, during the review phase we branded Mario Kart 8 with the title of “the best Mario Kart 8 ever". A verdict that is certainly ironic, but at the same time strong and important, which to date after the hundreds of hours spent competing with friends and online we cannot fail to confirm without delay that this is one of the best Mario Kart ever created. After all Nintendo, teacher in this kind of productions, had managed to actually pull out one of the most complete and refined chapters, not without some small flaws, of course, but overall a title from which it is difficult to break away and from which we always want more. The attention and importance of this eighth chapter was then underlined several times with the announcement of the Season Pass that added new contents and updated everything with various tricks, which allowed the game to keep the interest of the players high over time, and to bring them back on track maybe after months of inactivity, introducing themed circuits for the first time and vehicles from the most famous Nintendo titles such as Animal Crossing, F-Zero o The Legend of Zelda.
It is therefore not surprising that Nintendo's choice, after having supported and taken care of it for some time, to exhume it for this "phase one" of the Switch, thus filling the initial "void" of the line-up (cleverly spread over the course of these first months of 2017 ), re-proposing one of the most loved and appreciated titles of the Wii U era. And to do so, Nintendo is offering Mario Kart 8 in its complete form, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, definitive version that contains all the contents available in the original, plus all the DLCs released later with new sets of tracks, Kart parts (and motorcycles) and characters. A kind of remastered, as they are so fashionable now, but not for this a carbon copy of the original.
Bigger is Better
As mentioned the contents are roughly the same as in Mario Kart 8, such as the 48 available routes, the drivers or the various parts of the vehicles indispensable to create new combinations capable of dominating the asphalt. But you know, Nintendo likes to go big, and in this new edition for Switch the load of novelties is not lacking, both on the content side and on the balancing side, not a small factor that goes to further refine the balance of the game, thus forcing the users of the old guard to review their way of playing adapting to the novelties of this new chapter.
But let's start with order. We won't be talking about Mario Kart 8 basics again, as the overall "core" experience remained the same as the original, with an easy-to-master gameplay on multiple levels (from casual gamer to hardcore player) and an equally simple structure without many frills, which only brings out its marked arcade verve. In addition to referring you to the review of the Wii U version where the gameplay was analyzed in every single aspect, now, directly from the initial menu of the game we will find a quick guide in which all the driving techniques of Mario Kart from the Rocket Start to the use of drifting and related turbo are illustrated as a videotutorial. One of the most important introductions of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, as trivial as it may seem, concerns the drifting and the inclusion of a new level of miniturbo, called "ultra" and highlighted on the video by a pinkish color of the sparks of the car during the derapage, obtainable by keeping the pressure of "R" even longer when cornering and working on the steering to continue "skidding". This small addition modifies, especially for competitive pilots, the reaction times and the way of driving, just to take advantage of the extra speed that can be gained with this maneuver. Still talking about retouching, the "fire hopping", A technique born precisely in the competitive field to keep the turbo active, concatenating different" hops "with the vehicle (in turn evolution of the snaking of the previous chapters) restoring a certain balance especially in the multiplayer sector (waiting for a short some replacement technique).
Deja vu, I've just been in this time before
With Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Nintendo wanted to go big and this new edition also marks the debut of new drivers, with the expected returns of Re Boo, Tartosso e Bowser Jr. (inexplicably absent in the first exit given the presence of the various Bowserotti) or the new ones Inkling, coming from Splatoon (with color variants attached), each with its own “weight” class that will influence the driving pattern of the vehicles. These, in addition to some new unpublished bodywork (a couple dedicated to Splatoon) reappear carrying a variation of the statistics compared to the Wii U edition. A change that may not seem so radical at first, but that data in hand, comparing the two versions together, instead shows drastic changes that, in this new Deluxe edition, make the old combinations unusable, forcing to study new configurations that are effective in the race. This choice, after having already faced dozens of hours on the slopes of the mushroom kingdom, seems to arise from a certain will on the part of Nintendo to to narrow the gap in competition between new and old players, thus stimulating the old users to look for new set-ups.
Once on the starting grid, the race is made even more chaotic with the re-insertion of the double object, introduced for the first time in Mario Kart Double Dash. Now each driver will be able to carry two different items that can be used if necessary as in the past using the "L" key. The amount of objects in the field now further modifies the already fragile balance of the race, making it difficult to climb to the podium and ending up victims on more than one occasion of a shower of shells, bombs, bananas and so on like never before. Compared to the chapter for Game Cube however, it will not be possible to alternate the objects in our possession, forcing us to use the one selected to move on to the next. Here too we find a couple of new objects that are added to the already rich arsenal such as the Boo, which once launched will make us invisible (as well as invincible) for a few seconds, and will steal from a random player the object he is holding or the Piuma, exclusive to the battle mode, which allows you to bypass opponents thus avoiding being hit.
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The Legend of Zelda X Mario Kart 8
Who in shell hurts ...
On the side of the modes we find all those that we had the opportunity to appreciate in the original, from those for the single player, with the Grand Prix, Time trials (now also available for the 200cc displacement, which reminds us that there is also a brake button in Mario Kart) and Race Challenge (a series of races that can be customized in every single aspect). The main focus of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is undoubtedly on its multiplayer sector, and online is certainly the best opportunity to test our skills behind the wheel.
Also in this case we find the same infrastructure of the base chapter, with a matchmaking divided into two geographical areas (global and regional) with the opportunity to join your friends and dramatically increase the fun in the race. By popular demand it was added the ability to make changes to your vehicle in the pre-game lobby, thus avoiding having to leave the room and having to log in again after the changes. Still on the balancing side now new players who enter the game will be placed in pole position, "Disadvantaging" the strongest drivers and balancing the results of the race, which will be influenced both by the innate ability of the drivers and (to a greater extent) by the course of events in the match.
Online, the quality of the connections is almost excellent, without the slightest sign of lag even when playing against pilots from all over the world, demonstrating the optimization done on the net-code by Nintendo (net of incompatibilities with some Telecom modem models), which managed to minimize the problems related to connections, with rare phenomena of drop or synchronization. In the hundreds of games played in these days of overcrowding of the lines, the problems encountered can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and are mostly related to the slowness with which it is possible to join friends already in the race.
Although Mario Kart 8 is, and has been, one of the best games ever released, on one aspect he could not fully convince: the Battle mode. After the numerous requests and complaints from the players, in this re-edition Nintendo goes to put a patch, giving a blow to the improvised competitive mode of the previous version, reintroducing the Arenas, with 5 specially designed for this version and 3 drawn from the old chapters, adding 5 different game modes to the package. In addition to the classic Battle Balloons, a lethal death match in which we will have to burst the balloons of the opponents using all the objects available (with the variant Bob-omb in Carpet, in which we will only have bombs), we have Guard and Thieves, where the pilots are divided into two teams, and the guards to win will have to catch all the thieves, Coin catcher, in which to win we will have to end the game with the highest number of coins collected e Steal the Guardian Sun., a sort of "capture the flag" in Mario Kart sauce, which will see the winner who will be able to keep the keeper sun in his possession longer. It goes without saying that this mode manages to bring out the best of itself when played with friends, becoming the main cause of the end of ten-year friendships.
On the sofa, in the park or on the toilet
But let's now turn to one of the fundamental aspects that make this Nintendo Switch version different. The hybrid nature of the console, which allows you to use it both at home and on the move, makes this Mario Kart chapter not only a title to be enjoyed in every aspect at home but also on the go. The versatility of Switch, in particular the ability to play with multiple friends on the same console even in tablet mode becomes the object of improvised matches in the most unthinkable places and with the most varied companies. It is therefore right to speak of a type of experience that even with Nintendo 3DS was not possible to achieve. Now on the same console, it will be possible to play up to a maximum of 4 friends in tablet mode, using the Joycons, both individually and in the pad version, or the Pad Pro. Of course, the screen dimensions are what they are, just as the Joycons are uncomfortable to use due to the small size which affects grip and driveability, but all of this manages to fade into the background within seconds, once the game has started and the laughter and insults have taken over. Furthermore, to meet those players who are part of that category not very similar to the world of video games, an assisted driving option is added, complete with automatic acceleration (in addition to the various classic control systems or via motion sensor) that will allow everyone to have fun without too many worries.
Always on the social side, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also allows you to take advantage of the LAN Play option, connecting up to a maximum of 12 consoles (via dock and LAN adapter), a fundamental option in the case of tournaments, or participate in local multiplayer up to a maximum of 8 players.
In the Mushroom Kingdom I would like ...
Let's talk about the performance of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Switch. The game is in more than great shape, showing off the same graphic sector, this time embellished by a resolution set at 1080p and 60fps in TV mode (compared to the 720p of the Wii U version) which are able to better enhance all the details on the screen, with the transition to 30fps by activating the split-screen. Even in multiple players, despite the drastic downsizing of fluidity, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe manages to behave beautifully, without the slightest hesitation, especially once the console is extracted from its base and used in portable mode. As we have said, the small screen size is a limit in the case of multiple players, but they are limitations that take second place compared to the fun that arises, thus becoming a playable title at any time and, above all, on any occasion.
The new Arenas for Battle mode are excellent, articulated and well developed on multiple levels, they are the perfect theater for challenges with friends, and they manage to make us regret the absence of new leads, despite the high number available immediately.
The sound sector instead returns in its entirety, with the addition of new songs (also in this case) for the Battle.
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Animal Crossing X Mario Kart 8 Verdict 9.5 / 10 The best Mario Kart 8 ever, even on Switch Comment Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the definitive version of one of the best arcade racing games available on the market. Nintendo has not limited itself to re-proposing everything as we knew it but has enriched it with new content, improving the overall experience that rises further. On Nintendo Switch it seems to find a new identity, thanks to the hybrid features of the console, becoming the perfect title to play with friends on any occasion. The screen in portable mode is what it is due to the limited size, as the controls in long sessions feel all the limitations of the Joycons, but all these problems vanish as soon as you start playing. If we were to find something wrong with this new edition it could be in the price at which it is placed, which to the old owners of the Wii U version may seem too high, but given the good work done and the additions made, we are sure that it will darting back into the mushroom kingdom is too high for anyone. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe therefore represents a mandatory purchase for all Nintendo Switch owners with which to grind hours upon hours, perhaps climbing the online rankings or battling with their friends in complete carefree. However, we want to close with a hope: given the return of Mario Kart and the excellent results obtained, we hope that Nintendo decides to support his creature for the next few months to come, perhaps by proposing a new series of tracks through DLC. Since E3 is upon us, dreaming costs nothing. Pros and cons ✓ The definitive version of Mario Kart 8
✓ The return of the Arena in Battle mode
✓ Numerous balances and additions x "High" price for a reissue
x Wii U version owners may not be motivated (seriously? Come on)