Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the most popular game on Switch, the definition of an “evergreen” title. However, apart from the battle mode and some minor changes, avid fans have been playing the same content since the Wii U original with its DLC content, a scenario that finally changes with the exclusive Booster Course Pass for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Wave 1 has landed and caused a lot of excitement and it is certainly exciting to launch the game and enjoy two new cups – Golden Dash Cup and Lucky Cat Cup. The mix of courses reminds us that this is the equivalent of the “bottom tier” of the original lineup, with a range of retro and – for the first time – Mario Kart Tour tracks included in the eight new offerings. It’s a solid first pick though, given that this is the first batch and therefore arguably the ‘easier’ cups in a whopping 48 title pack.
The standouts in this first wave are the Mario Kart Tour tracks, partly due to their unfamiliarity to anyone who hasn’t spent much time on the mobile entry in the series. The Paris and Tokyo themed courses look great and have smart alternative routes on the last loop, a nice touch to shake things up.
Ninja Hideaway is the fiendishest track in Wave 1, with multiple routes for strategists to experiment with to find an advantage. It’s a course that seems almost too tricky and clever to play with mobile controls and is an early favorite for us. Though relatively short (especially in the faster 200cc mode), these Mario Kart Tour courses hold up very well on Switch’s widescreen.
The retro tracks all have their appeal as well, with Coconut Mall and Shroom Ridge being the strongest. The latter is a frenetic and quite hilarious experience in 200cc, with Everyone Racers struggling to dodge the heavy traffic. The others are rather easy and “passable” tracks, although based on work done for Mario Kart Tour we get a fairly easy Sky Garden which is a slight disappointment.
It’s also worth noting that these recreations don’t go the extra mile by adding anti-grav sections – the main gimmick Mario Kart 8 introduced to the series. In truth, these additions were pretty simplistic at times in the original MK8 retro tracks, and you’re getting boosts and glides here – just don’t expect major departures from the source material.
That’s the main thing to remember about these tracks: Ultimately, they’re recreations of fun courses, but not the creative makeovers some would expect. On the one hand, there’s an air of disappointment and a consideration that this is some sort of “B-Team” effort from Nintendo, but the source courses are still entertaining and fit well with Mario Kart 8’s speed classes and mechanics.
In terms of presentation, the audio is a treat, with music remixes that improve on the originals, full of the energy you would expect in this title. Visually we just respectable Results; The tracks look sharp in portable or docked play, and the development team has improved the lighting and some aspects of the design over what mobile players will have seen.
However, the origins of the MK Tour in this content are also evident, and in some cases it feels a little lackluster on the part of Nintendo. Environmental factors like grass and sand are simple, flat colors that lack texture Life. Compare aspects like this to equivalents like Moo Moo Meadows or Dry Dry Desert – both retro remixes in the core game – and it’s not a favorable comparison.
Overall, Wave 1 of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass is fun and brings an exciting new spark of life to a modern classic. After blasting our way through the racing classes the itch will likely be back and we’ll be back in the online lobbies eagerly awaiting the five more waves to come by the end of 2023. That’s the main takeaway we drew early on while trying out the Booster Course Pass – you can’t go far wrong with “more Mario Kart.”
https://www.nintendolife.com/reviews/switch-eshop/mario-kart-8-deluxe-booster-course-pass-wave-1 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass Wave 1 Review (Switch eShop)