With every new Nintendo game console, you can reliably expect several franchises to make an appearance: “Super Mario,” “The Legend of Zelda,” and “Pokémon,” among others.
Prime among those others is the “Mario Kart” franchise — a beloved series that’s existed in various forms since 1992. But this isn’t 1992’s “Mario Kart” game:
The upcoming “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” is a gorgeous, updated re-release of 2014’s “Mario Kart 8” for the Wii U. It’s got prettier graphics, more tracks to race on, and a brand new “Battle Mode.”
It is, in every way, the best version of “Mario Kart” to date.
Allow me to enumerate the ways:
- There are an absurd number of Nintendo characters to race as — from the classics seen above to bizarre newcomers like King Boo.
- There are an equally absurd number of cups to complete (a whopping 12 in total, with four courses each).
- The new Battle Mode fixes the one glaring flaw in 2014’s “Mario Kart 8” — distinct, Battle Mode-specific courses. There are eight in total in “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” including four classic maps that have been re-made and four brand new maps.
- The online battles just work. Instead of the usual Nintendo nonsense with online gaming, “Mario Kart 8” (and “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe”) seamlessly drops you into matches against players around the world. Want to play against the world and against a friend? You can go online with two players from a single console. It’s the best!
There’s one major change coming with the “Deluxe” version of “Mario Kart 8” that is slightly less obvious: It’s prettier than ever before.
But how pretty is the new game compared with the 2014 version? Thankfully, IGN put together a video comparing as much — check it out below. “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” launches for the Nintendo Switch on April 28, and we’ll have a full review ahead of that. Stay tuned!