Mario Kart 8 is by far one of the best in the series (in my opinion the best). The unfortunate part of the eighth iteration of the game is that the Wii U has a less than desirable install base. Now that everyone is clamoring to get their hands on a Switch, the deluxe version is selling like hotcakes. With a small library of releases so far, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe brings a well-known party game to a crowd desiring to have something to show off or play on the go.
There are only a few differences between the original version and the DELUXE version. A few more characters are added to the roster including King Boo, Bowser Jr. and the Inkling kids (squids?). There aren’t any more standard tracks but the battle mode, which was absolute trash in the original, has been redone with multiple modes and arenas pulled from across the series and makes it much better.
In standard racing, there are a few more options to optimize your play. You know how can boost by drifting and you either get blue sparks for a short burst of speed and orange for a longer one? Well, now you can get PURPLE sparks for an even bigger boost! It’s actually really satisfying and feels like you are getting a mushroom power up. You also can hold two items now so you are less likely to get purely coins when you are in first and have more opportunity to get a banana or other defense item so you don’t blow your lead. Beginners can also turn on auto accelerate and an easy mode that helps you not to drive off of the edge of a course (also known as cheating) but can mess you up if you try to take shortcuts.
The progression is a little frustrating for me because I played the original but that’s really the only issue I have with it, other than not adding a few more standard courses. When you play a course, you collect coins during the race. You unlock carts, wheels, and gliders as you get more coins. So although I had a set up I liked in the original, now I’m racing just to unlock my favorite cart and getting annoyed when I don’t finish a race with ten coins.
I still think this game is as excellent as ever and has been made a tiny bit better by the portability and ease of play for some. I’d buy more DLC for Mario Kary 8 Deluxe if they provided it but for now, if you want a fun game to bring along with you and play with friends, my impression is: buy it.