Updated: Oct 8, 2018
When the long-running franchise of Mario Kart is discussed, most of the time, fond memories of wild swearing and excitement will fill any Nintendo fan’s mind. This latest rendition of the established franchise fortunately holds true to that tradition. Its racing is fun, frantic and overall a blast to both play and enjoy. Some truly outstanding stages for heated races litter the game, from faithfully nostalgic tracks from the original SNES title to brand-new courses that challenge common tropes of the series. While a lack of worthwhile single-player content may throw some players off, there is no denying that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a terrific experience that is bursting at the seams with both familiar and original content and is also the result of Nintendo’s perfection of their kart-racing gameplay, gameplay that has proven to be a staple of the racing brand.
Like other Nintendo titles, the clear focus for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is its gameplay. Running at a smooth 60 FPS in both handheld and docked, the sheer thrills of a race are always apparent. Never once during my experience did I encounter any noticeable drops in the performance of the title. This is made even more impressive with the beautiful courses and backdrops that are present during the 24 tracks. These courses are lit with a massive attention to detail and creates what is easily the best-looking and running game available for the Nintendo Switch. The technical achievement of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe cannot be understated, especially for such a low-powered console as the Nintendo Switch. However, while it is impressive on its own terms, in relation to its original Wii U release, there is very little noticeable difference. There are some miniscule adjustments to lighting and detail, but they never add anything to the experience that the original was able to create. It is easily the most disappointing aspect of the title’s presentation and portrays the game as just another mere port, a port that never takes full advantage of the enhancements in technical specs that the Nintendo Switch offers over its predecessor. While it may look beautiful for a Nintendo Switch title, there is no denying that it doesn’t even match the shockingly realistic designs of Forza or other current-gen racing titles, to say nothing of how it will look with the next generation.
While the presentation does much to bolster the quality of the experience, the memories that players create from Mario Kart is in its blusterous gameplay. As a result, any new titles in the franchise would be deemed worthless if it didn’t provide the same sense of fun from the tense races. Fortunately, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe proves to be successful on that front. Often times, the races are exciting and momentous for all players involved. Racing down Rainbow Road has never felt better in any previous title in the series.
While there are few additions to the standard gameplay of the franchise, the ones that are implemented prove to be worthy additions. For example, the anti-gravity sections proved to be