Waluigi Pinball returns (pic: Nintendo)
The second set of eight new courses for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe have been released, featuring more retro tracks and more Mario Kart Tour.
First released in 2014 for the Wii U, it won’t be until the end of 2023 until Mario Kart 8 is finally complete. In typically inscrutable fashion, Nintendo waited until this year to release a new set of DLC, with 48 courses set to be released in sets of eight. This is the second wave and, as before, all of the courses are remakes of tracks from existing games, but with an emphasis on mobile title Mario Kart Tour.
Wave 1 came out in March and was generally well received. Given the generous pricing of the ‘Booster Course Pass’ it’d have to do a lot wrong to feel a complete rip-off and indeed there were only two real problems: 1) none of the tracks feature any kind of anti-gravity elements, which was meant to be the original’s main gimmick and 2) the weird obsession with Mario Kart Tour extends to applying its more cartoonish art style to all the new tracks, instead of making the Mario Kart Tour ones look like the original courses.
Nintendo presumably views this as a kind of advertisement for the mobile game (which is terrible and we don’t recommend). The abstract nature of many of the tracks in this wave means the change is less immediately noticeable than during the first wave, but the minute you start mixing up courses from the parent game, as happens automatically when you play online, the differences become obvious.
Neither of these issues are flaws, exactly, but they are odd decisions, with most of the courses having very little changes of any kind. Mario Circuit 3, for example, is just a straight recreation of the original SNES course, with no anti-gravity or other special features. It’s still a fun track, and the retro visuals retain their charm even without extra embellishment, but the lack of additional effort is obvious and disappointing.
Compare that to Donut Plains 3, from the base game, which is also a remake of a course from Super Mario Kart. Back then the graphics were very simplistic, forcing the tracks to be entirely flat, but the remake has underwater sections and moles that pops up from the ground, and if you didn’t know you’d never guess it was based on an old SNES game.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass Wave 2 track list
New York Minute (Mario Kart Tour)
Mario Circuit 3 (Super Mario Kart)
Kalimari Desert (Mario Kart 64)
Waluigi Pinball (Mario Kart DS)
Sydney Sprint (Mario Kart Tour)
Snow Land (Mario Kart: Super Circuit)
Mushroom Gorge (Mario Kart Wii)
Sky-High Sundae (Mario Kart Tour)
Game Boy Advance title Super Circuit used similar technology and yet its course was reinvented by essentially folding in half, Inception style, and forcing you to use the car’s anti-gravity abilities to get around. There’s none of that in this DLC …read more