Players can no longer do "fire hopping", which immediately makes it better than the original game.
There are eight custom race tracks available to players, all of which are meant to maximize the amount of damage and competitiveness that players experience. Originally released on the Wii U back in 2014, this superlative kart racer remains arguably the best Nintendo has ever created, but it won't define the Switch in quite the same way as its predecessors.
The release for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is next Friday, April 28, so Nintendo is getting a jump on that release by releasing a new trailer for the game. Especially so when you consider that Mario Kart 8 was the only full iteration of any of its classic franchises to grace the Wii U. The Wii U sole 890,000 units, with this occurring in the lead up to Christmas.
Essentially what I'm saying is, whether you enjoyed the original game or have yet to play it, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is already worth a look based exclusively on the virtue of the original's qualities made portable.
So if you had the choice, how would you improve Mario Kart?
In fact, in our original review of Mario Kart 8, we complained pretty loudly about the lame take on the series' staple competitive mode. And, at the very least, it's proof that the Switch can be everything the Wii U was and more. It's now 25 years since the first Mario Kart, and in that period, Nintendo has honed the franchise's gameplay to utter perfection.
What is really gratifying about Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is that it contains more than we expected. Having each kart carry two items at one time is a bigger deal than you might expect. They each ask different things of you, so you might suck at Bob-omb Blast's combative play, but be exactly the kind of slippery racer that excels at breaking teammates out of prison in Renegade roundup.
In the said "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" clip, performing the same action no longer resulted in the expected "fire-hopping" speed increase. I remember when we only had eight characters to choose from in the original Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo.
First up, Deluxe includes all Mario Kart 8's downloadable content, which brings 16 new tracks, including Zelda and F-Zero themed ones, a bunch of new playable characters (there are 42 in all), karts and kart-parts, plus the 200cc mode which was added to Mario Kart 8 as an update. It splits participants into two teams, which are essentially cops and robbers. The bad news is that you'll have to shell out a lot of dough to take one home. When I played as Donkey Kong in Balloon Battle, I was surprised to see so much detail in his fur. But the sheer exhilaration of taking on human opponents remotely in a Mario Kart game is what matters. They're quick three-lap bursts of adrenaline, and whether you play alone, with friends in couch co-op, or online, Mario Kart 8 will entertain you even if you turn your nose up at its seemingly simple gameplay.
This is how you spiff up an older game.
Nintendo's decision to port a few of Wii U's most popular and beloved games to the now content-deprived Switch - which, at the moment, is functioning as little more than an expensive Zelda box for most people - was inevitable. This is, in my eyes, the most polished entry in the series, bringing together a set of fun new courses and well-curated old favorites with unmatched visual clarity (in 1080p, 60 frames per second when docked and 720p/60 when portable) and a rollicking, toe-tapping soundtrack produced with live instrumentation.
Unless all of your friends have their own Switch and copy of the game, you'll need to share one system and TV.