Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a racing game for the Nintendo Switch, and the first Mario game overall for the console. It is the first port of the Mario Kart series, being a port of Mario Kart 8 from the Wii U. It has additional features such as several new characters and features more options for Battle Mode. First teased in the Switch's announcement video in October 20, 2016, the game was formally announced as part of the Nintendo Switch presentation on January 13, 2017.
Differences from the original
Characters can now carry up to two items at once, even if they don't drag the first item, and the game features the return of the Double Item Box from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! The game also introduces smart-steering and auto-accelerate for beginners; the former makes driving and staying on the track easier, the latter makes the vehicle automatically accelerate.
200cc engine class for Time Trials has been added (separately recorded from the 150cc Time Trials), and there is an additional level of Mini-Turbo, called Ultra Mini-Turbo, denoted by purple (pink in Europe and Oceania) sparks that appear after the orange sparks. This new level of Mini-Turbo can only be obtained if Smart Steering is off.
The game also features a different in-game guide, directly accessible from the game's menu. There is also an option to change character and vehicle combinations during an online lobby without having to leave; this is done by pressing (left on when playing with a single Joy-Con) during the course selection screen of an online lobby. The game also has reduced loading times when compared to the Wii U game.
Some of the vehicle parts that are exclusive to downloadable content in Mario Kart 8 (i.e. parts included within the Mercedes-Benz × Mario Kart 8, The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8, and the Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8 add-on packs) are now randomly unlocked by collecting coins during gameplay.
There are more character weight classes when compared to the Wii U game, with several returning characters having different statistics. Also, the statistics of some vehicle parts have been altered.
The game features most of the base and DLC content of Mario Kart 8. Content excluded includes the battle mode in the Wii U game, Miiverse compatibility, stamps, and the ability to upload highlight reels on YouTube - the latter three of which were discontinued on the Wii U version when Miiverse was terminated on 7 November 2017. The same 48 race courses are present.
Red Shells and Spiny Shells are now slower when they lock onto their target, meaning players are able to outrun them in 200cc when they have any kind of speed boost. The pathing and drifting patterns for the CPU racers have been adjusted to accommodate for the 200cc engine class.
CPU players now have a chance to pull Triple Red Shells from item boxes. However, it primarily happens in the Shells Only item setting.
Online lobbies are also changed. Players playing Worldwide or Regional VS Race between 1000 VR and 3000 VR will be randomized either a 100cc or 150cc race, and starting at over 3000 VR, players will now be randomized a 150cc, Mirror, or even 200cc race.
Battle Mode has been significantly altered (further detailed below), and characters that are unlockable or exclusive to downloadable content in Mario Kart 8 are available from the start in this game.
The biggest change made between Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and the original release of Mario Kart 8 is the Battle Mode. Battle Mode now returns to the arena-based battle and unlike previous games, each player starts with five balloons, as opposed to three. Another addition to Battle Mode is that the character in the lead now wears a crown, unlike in Mario Kart 8 where the crown is displayed only on the HUD map. Additionally, players now start out with zero points instead of Mario Kart 8's default three points, and their balloons do not serve as the remaining three points. Returning from Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7 is the ability to respawn after all balloons are popped; this causes the player's total score to halve and the player respawns with three balloons instead of five. A new addition to this mode is the feature to tell exactly which character hit whom, which appears on the bottom of the screen. Furthermore, after getting hit, players now have about 1.5 seconds of invincibility frames, unlike in Mario Kart 8. The item options also appear to have been updated; alongside the "Frantic Items" option, a "Skilled Items" option is also available for selection; in this mode, powerful items appear less frequently, similar to Mario Kart Wii's "Strategic" ("Basic" in the PAL version) item option.
There are five different Battle Mode types:
There is also the option to randomly select one of the five available modes by choosing "Random Battle".
Eight battle courses are present in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe; five new and three retro, replacing the repurposed racetracks used for Battle Mode in the Wii U version.
Similar to regular races, a course introduction scene is now added at the start.
All base and DLC characters from Mario Kart 8 are present in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Additionally, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe features 6 new characters not present in Mario Kart 8, 4 of whom are returning from past games in the series. New characters include additional non-Mario characters with the inclusion of Inklings from Splatoon. Players can choose either the Inkling Girl or Inkling Boy, and they include three selectable colors each; similarly, the two Villagers have also been separated, after being present in the same character slot (with the female villager being considered a variant of the male one) in Mario Kart 8. Excluding character variants, there are a total of 42 playable characters in this game, the largest number of playable characters thus far in the series.
Characters playable in this game that are not playable in the original Mario Kart 8 are listed below.
1 - The character has been previously playable in the Mario Kart series.
Like in Mario Kart 8, characters have set rivals that consistently appear when racing in Grand Prix races. They are once again restricted to Grand Prix only, not appearing in single player versus or battle mode. Unlike the previous game, more characters have rivals: the twelve characters from the previous game who had rivals retain their rivals in this game, while other characters range from having one to two rivals each, or even none at all.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe features three additional vehicle body parts. One is the Koopa Clown, returning from Mario Kart 7. The other two new vehicles are Splatoon-based ATVs Splat Buggy and Inkstriker. All three change their colors for certain characters: the former for the Koopalings, and the latter two for all Inkling variations.
Computer characters now also choose from a wider variety of kart parts than the original version, such as the Flame Rider and the Sports Coupe. However, they are still restricted to a set amount of body parts per character. A computer Baby Daisy has the tendency to choose a Wild Wiggler with Wood wheels, for example.
The parts available are listed here in the order shown in the vehicle customization screen, with the following notation:
The "8" logos on the parts are replaced with the character's emblem, except on the Gold Standard and Gold Glider.
Drivers' and vehicle parts' statistics
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe features different statistics with respect to Mario Kart 8.
Statistics shown in the vehicle customization screen
Just like Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8, the game uses "points" ("PT") which are conferred by characters and vehicle parts to determine the final values of the game's statistics. In each statistics, the points given by the character, body, tires, and glider are summed to obtain a final value called "Level" ("Lv") which is then used by a table to convert the level into appropriate physical parameters used by the game. The Level of five statistics is displayed in the vehicle customization screen:
Said Level is represented through bars by adding three points to the sum of points, then dividing the result by four, resulting in values ranging from 0.75 to 5.75. As an example, the process through which the statistics of a certain combination of character and vehicle parts are calculated and displayed is shown below:
Drivers are still grouped into small groups of characters sharing the same statistics, the number of groups has been increased with respect to Mario Kart 8.
In addition to the statistics shown in the vehicle customization screen, there are the following statistics:
Just like in Mario Kart 8, Miis can be Light, Medium, or Heavy, depending on their height and weight.
The statistics are shown in points.
The number of groups of vehicle parts sharing the same statistics has increased as well when compared with Mario Kart 8.
The statistics are reported in points.
The only unlockable playable character in this game is Gold Mario, who is unlocked by winning all twelve gold cups at 200cc. Once unlocked, he replaces Metal Mario on the character select screen. Metal Mario is from then on treated as a color variant of Gold Mario. The two differ only in their color scheme and the voice clip used when selecting them. Their other voice clips, horn sounds, animations, and statistics are identical.
A vehicle part is randomly unlocked every 30 coins. Once reaching 450 coins this changes to every 50, and once reaching 1500 coins this changes to every 100. Eventually, the last non-gold vehicle part is unlocked on reaching 3100 coins.
Special gold parts are unlocked with the following criteria:
150cc Staff Ghosts
In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the times for staff ghosts in 150cc are slightly different from the original Mario Kart 8. Also, unlike the original game, players will not unlock any stamps if they beat the ghosts.
200cc Staff Ghosts
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe features a new option for players to race in Time Trials in the 200cc engine class. This option also features entirely new staff ghosts for each of the 48 courses.
The Boo and Feather items make a return in this game, functioning as they had previously. All other items from the Wii U version return as well. Also, the item distributions have been altered beside the addition of the new items.
New amiibo compatibility
In addition to all of the compatible amiibo in Mario Kart 8 with their respective Mii Racing Suits, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe adds compatibility with amiibo from the Splatoon line, which unlock a Mii Racing Suit based on Splatoon. Additionally, more amiibo can be used to unlock the returning Mii Racing Suits, as all Animal Crossing related amiibo being compatible and unlocking the Animal Crossing Mii Racing Suit, and the Pikmin amiibo unlocking the Pikmin suit.
Note that in order to play online, players must have downloaded the most recent software update.
An update was released on May 17, 2017. The following changes were made:
An update was released on June 28, 2017. The following changes were made:
An update was released on August 9, 2017. The following changes were made:
An update was released on October 18, 2017. The following changes were made:
An update was released on December 12, 2017. The following changes were made:
An update was released on June 25, 2018. The following changes were made:
An update was released on July 19, 2018. The following changes were made:
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has been received with universal acclaim, garnering higher aggregate scores than the original Mario Kart 8. The game has been praised for being well-suited to the Switch's portability, the increased performance, and particularly the redesigned Battle Mode, although several reviews noted Deluxe would not be as appealing of a proposition to players who already own Mario Kart 8 and its downloadable content.
In the United Kingdom, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe debuted at No. 1 on the sales chart, making it the first Nintendo game to be No. 1 in the UK since 2011's Pokémon White Version, and the first Mario game to place such since Mario Kart Wii.
The game sold 459,000 copies for its US launch day, making it the fastest-selling Mario Kart game in the US and meaning 45% of US Switch owners purchased the game.
As of December 31, 2017, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe had sold 7.33 million units worldwide. On March 31, 2018, it reached 9.22 million units, exceeding the original Mario Kart 8's 8.42 million and making it the second best-selling game on the Nintendo Switch behind Super Mario Odyssey.
Awards and acknowledgements
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was nominated for the "Best Family Game" and "Best Multiplayer" awards at The Game Awards 2017. However, it won neither, losing the former to Super Mario Odyssey and the latter to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
References to other games
Names in other languages