Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

If all generation-delayed rereleases were this good, the practice would be much more well-regarded. Mario Kart 8 on Wii U was a supremely entertaining racer with a handful of flaws – it felt a little incomplete thanks to an infamously stripped-down Battle Mode, and the threat of the series running out of ideas loomed over it. The latter was only offset by a couple of new items and, more importantly, an anti-gravity mechanic that led to the most insanely twisted track design in the genre. With Deluxe, the Battle Mode has made a grand return with new modes and maps on top of existing ones, and Nintendo has doubled down on the crazy by including all of the original game’s DLC maps. This is about as close to perfect as a formula this reliant on chance can get.

Mario Kart 8 embraced the chaos of its series like no previous entry, but only sometimes to its benefit. The detailed visuals take full advantage of the jump in graphical technology, but the overwrought soundtrack and nonstop racer vocalizations make the audio downright cacophonic at times. With Deluxe, an effort has been made to upgrade the game’s default state to controlled chaos. Several items and mechanics have surprisingly been retuned, creating an ideal balance where their presence is always a factor but rarely overwhelming. Additionally, a couple of automation options make the races more accessible to new players. At the other end of the spectrum, the stupidly fast 200cc mode (formerly post-launch DLC), the first worthwhile gameplay mix-up the series has had since Mission Mode in DS, is a treat for veterans.

8.5/10
8.5/10

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