By Z. Galaxy
The new entry in the “Mario Kart” series, “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” was released on April 28 to critical acclaim. Garnering a score of 93 on Metacritic, it has the highest score listed for the series since the 2001 entry, “Mario Kart Super Circuit,” for the GameBoy Advance.
Though the new game did not make many changes to the main game it was ported from, it has taken on a life of its own through the little tweaks and one larger addition.
After the original release of “Mario Kart 8” for the WiiU in May 2014, which was equally loved by fans, there still lingered a sour taste from a missing element. The “Battle Mode” that had become known as a series staple was altered, essentially diminished to taking the normal looping tracks and adding a “battle” element to them.
“Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” brings back the arena-style brawls that made “Battle Mode” so well-received. Some arenas from past games, such as “Luigi’s Mansion,” join new arenas like “Urchin Underpass” from the “Splatoon” series and a moon-based arena called “Lunar Colony.”
Populating the game are drivers both old and new. The full cast of 36 from “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” returns in this title. They are joined by the Inkling boy and girl from “Splatoon,” a gold variant of Metal Mario, and three returning characters from past games: King Boo, Dry Bones and Bowser Jr.
Having played “Mario Kart 8” furiously on my own WiiU during its time, I had high expectations for the new title. I played the game myself for a few rounds and they were quickly met. The controls are tight, the races are fun and the addition of older elements brings a fresh but nostalgic spin on “Mario Kart 8.”
I am left stunned by the amount of graphical improvement with the release of each new title. Just when I thought it couldn’t look any better, Nintendo surprises me yet again.
“Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” runs beautifully, displaying as 1080p when docked. Even the 720p view when in handheld mode is sharp and colorful. No glimmer off the water or hazy particle of air in the desert escapes its eye.
The game is now netting Nintendo quite the profit.
According to press information released by Nintendo to Business Wire, the new game sold “more than 459,000 combined packaged and digital sales in the U.S. on launch day alone.” This is a record-breaking statistic, making “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” the best-selling entry in the series to date.
For anyone on the fence about the game, the press release also reports that “nearly one in two Nintendo Switch owners in the U.S. purchased a copy of “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” on the first day it was available,” so its quality is assured by almost half of all consumers out there with a Switch.