Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was just released on the Nintendo Switch, and we here at GameOctane could not be more excited! The game comes with everything that was on the WiiU version of Mario Kart 8, plus all the DLC, some new drivers, some new battle courses, and an awesome new battle mode! And although most of the game remains unchanged, there are some awesome new features that we had to sink our teeth into.
There are two new driving features on MK8 Deluxe, Steer Assist and Auto-Accelerate. Steer Assist is a feature that will help the player to not drive their kart off the edge of the track. Some more experienced players seem irked that the default setting for Steer Assist is on, as it could suddenly change their plans to take a shortcut, and things of that nature. So keep an eye out for that – the settings can be changed while selecting your kart, and when any race is paused. However there has been an overwhelmingly positive reaction to this new feature from parents of small children, and those with a disability that previously made Mario Kart difficult. Many people, including myself, are very pleased to see Nintendo adding accommodations like this to their games!
I found that I actually really like both Steer Assist and Auto-Accelerate. I don’t feel like I especially need Steer Assist, and I really didn’t see a difference for the most part whether I had the feature on or off. However I couldn’t just stop at “not noticing a difference”, I had to push the limits of the Steer Assist! I decided to turn it on, and play some of the most difficult tracks (at least for me) on 200cc. I chose WiiU Rainbow Road, SNES Rainbow Road, Mount Wario, and Yoshi Circuit. I found that while the Steer Assist was overall very helpful, it messed up a few times when I was boosting through some extreme turns (I’m lookin’ at you Yoshi Circuit). I don’t think I’ll have it turned on very often, but I’m glad that it’s easy to toggle on and off through the pause menu if I’m having a rough time. I do think I’ll always have the Auto-Accelerate turned on though, because even though I always feel the need to hold down the button anyway, it’s nice to know that if I need to itch my nose it won’t slow me down!
The new battle mode is so much fun. It’s called Renegade Roundup, and it’s basically Mario Kart’s version of cops and robbers! It’s extremely entertaining, and I really loved the little police lights on top of the Piranha Plants’ heads. I’ve already played many rounds of this battle mode, and I plan on playing many more! The new Splatoon battle arena is great too, but I feel like it’s more difficult than the others due to its many walls. The Splatoon music was a nice touch though, especially in the final minute of the battle!
The rest of the game hasn’t really made any departure from the rest of Mario Kart 8 as we know it. This isn’t a problem really, as MK8 is probably my favorite Mario Kart game of all time (sorry Double Dash). Some might be teetering on the decision to make the purchase for Deluxe if they already own the WiiU version. As a player that decided it was worth it to have both, I think the new battle mode, driving features, and the fact that I can now take it anywhere on my Switch make this game totally worth the money. Be warned though… playing with 4 players on the tiny Switch screen in tabletop mode is NOT easy. It does bring a new element of difficulty to the game though, and maybe that’s just what seasoned players are after!
So what do you think? Will you be snagging a copy of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for yourself? Let us know in the comments below!
Check us out at Opencritic!
New battle mode is a blast
Steer Assist and Auto-Accelerate are great for new, young, or disabled gamers
Steer Assist setting default is "on"
4-player mode is difficult on Switch's table top mode