Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a racing game for the Nintendo Switch. Excluding Virtual Console (as Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, and Mario Kart DS were previously ported to newer consoles through this service), 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 hinted 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. The game was released worldwide on April 28, 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.
The statistics of the vehicle parts and drivers have also been changed, 200cc engine class for Time Trials has been added, and there is an additional level of Mini-Turbo, called Ultra Mini-Turbo, denoted by purple 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 the "Y" button 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 all of the base and DLC content of Mario Kart 8 (excluding the battle mode in the Wii U game, Miiverse compatibility, stamps, and the ability to share highlights on YouTube), with the same 48 courses.
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 racers now have a chance to pull Triple Red Shells from item boxes.
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.
One of the biggest changes made between the port and the original release of Mario Kart 8 is the revamped Battle Mode. Unlike Mario Kart games before this, each player starts with 5 balloons, as opposed to the normal amount of 3. Another addition to Battle Mode is that the character in the lead now wears a crown, unlike Mario Kart 8 where the crown is displayed only on the HUD map. Additionally, players now start out with 0 points instead of Mario Kart 8's default 3 points, and their balloons do not serve as the remainder 3 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 respawns with 3 balloons instead of 5. 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; it is currently unknown what items appear during this selection.
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.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe features different statistics with respect to Mario Kart 8. Stats range from 0.75 to 5.75 in the vehicle customization menu, indicating that the stats have 21 levels instead of the 20 featured in Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8.
Below, the statistics of the drivers and parts are shown; statistics not currently featured in the vehicle customization menu are derived from the official game guide. Those featured in the game's menu are the following:
The statistics not featured in the menu are the following:
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.
The statistics shown are the ones obtained when using standard parts (Standard Kart, Standard Tires, Super Glider).
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 as difference with respect to standard parts (Standard Kart, Standard Tires, Super Glider).
The only unlockable playable character in this game is Gold Mario, who is unlocked by winning all Grand Prix cups at 200cc. Once unlocked, he appears on the 'main' character select screen instead of Metal Mario. Metal Mario can still be selected, but he is from then on considered a variant of Gold Mario. Aside from the different color scheme, Gold Mario is otherwise identical to Metal Mario, as they share the same voice clips, horn sound, animations, and statistics.
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.
Special gold parts are unlocked with the following criteria:
The Feather and Boo 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.
Note that in order to play it online, players must have downloaded the most recent software update.
On May 17, 2017, an update was released. The following changes were made:
This update is required to play online.
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.
References to other games