There’s no denying that the Mario Kart series is one of the most addictive and entertaining racing franchises of all time. Bringing fan favourite characters from the world of the Mario Bros. and beyond to a number of eye-catching and hugely imaginative racing courses means that no race ever feels the same for a player, especially so with new Nintendo Switch release Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Though for the most part the game is a simple port for the Nintendo racer, there are some intriguing additions. Before we get to those, it’s important that we note the original Mario Kart 8 was one of the closest-to-perfection games we’ve played, so anything else is an added bonus. With that in mind, let’s delve into the new features…

In the original Mario Kart 8, different courses, speed classes and characters had to be unlocked by progressing through earlier stages of the game. When it comes to the Deluxe version however, everything is immediately available, and there’s brand new additions in the form of Splatoon Inkling characters, the massively competitive 200cc speed class and more. This is THE perfect edition of the game for any seasoned Kart veterans who are looking

One of the game’s new addition is Smart Steering, which is frustratingly automatically enabled when you first install the title. Though it’s great for new players and stops the younger gamers in the community from careering off the edge of the trickier tracks every few seconds, for the seasoned veterans that will make up the majority of the playing community here, it’s an unnecessary ability. If you DO want to turn it off – because that isn’t something the game makes obvious – you have to wait until you’re in a race, press the + button to get to the menu screen and toggle the Smart Steering option at the top of your screen with the L button.

The most interesting addition however comes in the revamped Battle Mode, which makes its return with five different modes across eight unique arenas. Items are of course integral to a player’s success here, as you play individually or team with either real-life gamers or computer characters to reach your objective. Playing these battles online are of course where the real fun kicks in.

Quickly planting you into a game with random racers from across the globe, there’s nothing about the randomised online experience that would harbour an experience. It’s as seamless as the rest of the game. What is a little odd however is how nothing has changed when it comes to inviting friends to a game. You can’t send an invite as you would do on other current-gen consoles, instead having to communicate on another device such as a mobile phone to get the message across that you want to play. Not as frustrating for me as it could be for some, as I constantly have electronic devices all around me, but it’s certainly something that could have been improved upon.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is as fantastic as the kart games that have come before it. Beautiful art and exciting gameplay make this a must purchase for anybody looking to get the most out of their Switch. Local multiplayer is easy to jump into with the detachable Joy-Con controllers, and it doesn’t take long for the entire family to jump into the action. So start your own tournaments, decide on a character you want to represent and jump into the action as soon as you can.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is available for Nintendo Switch now.

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