Stay fresh in the Mario Kart™ 8 Deluxe game by playing as guest characters Inkling Girl and Inkling Boy! You can use their Splatoon inspired karts on their battle mode stage, Urchin Underpass. There are also returning items, like Boo, the item-stealing ghost, and the Feather, used exclusively in battle mode. Veterans rejoice—you can hold two items at once! Prove you’re the world’s best racer and battler in online tournaments, or simply race and battle friends online.
New Features And Fixes
A big fix from Mario Kart 8 concerns item capacity. Now characters can hold two items at once again! This might seem small, but it completely changes how many people play the game. I like to strategically plan how and when to use my items. Going between box point to box point only being able to carry one item made me less likely to use them until the very last moment before seeing a new box. Now I don't feel that need to hold on.
I remember the days of constantly falling of the tracks left and right, especially on the old rainbow road. Those are now over thanks to the new Smart Steering feature. If you're playing as an adult with adults I might judge you for using this since it's kind of like bowling with bumpers. However, if you have kids interested in playing it's a great way to get them started with the game!
Speaking of difficulty, the Grand Prix mode, which is for many people at the heart of any Mario Kart, has a lot going for it. It has four CC options, plus a Mirror Mode that flips tracks, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to decide if you want a challenge or to learn the track. The 50CC option is the easiest as all karts will be slower and the COM players will not play as hard. As you go up to the 100CC, 150CC, and 200CC the speed you'll scoot around the track at will be noticably faster and you're more likely to get whacked by an enemy shell.
Being able to relive the good ol' days by playing favorites from early Mario Kart titles, like the crushingly difficult N64 Rainbow Road, then move on to new maps that bring in new PC favorites like Animal Crossing, made me excited to play every cup. I also loved that it identifies what system the old maps are from. As for Mirror Mode, you get some fun out of accidentally plowing into the back of cows, shy guys, and other obstacles, so I'm glad they kept the feature in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
In earlier Mario Kart games, the characters were exclusively Mario characters. Although this isn't just new to Mario Kart 8, I do love that you can play as characters from other PC titles like Inkling from Splatoon, Link from Legend of Zelda, and more. Characters new specifically to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are the Inklings, Dry Bones, King Boo, and my personal favorite, Bowser Jr.
One thing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe tweaked from the regular Mario Kart 8 was the slow addition of new characters. All characters (excluding Gold Mario) are available right from the beginning. This helps the player get used to their character of choice sooner instead of having to wait.
The "VS Race" option, which has been in all Mario Kart games, is similar to Grand Prix but it's customizable. You get to choose your settings for teams, items, COM level, COM vehicles, how your courses are chosen, and how many courses you race.
If you're overly competitive (like me when I play anything with my husband) and your relationships may fare better if you were competing together against others, you may want to consider turning on the team option and choosing the same side. This makes it so you can play on the same side against other players or just computers and you win or lose as a team based on the points you earn individually based on place.
Messing with the items setting can make for a fun chaos too. Imagine everyone racing around with Bob-ombs only or getting a shell with every "mystery" box. Although none of this is new, Mario Kart wouldn't be the same without this classic mode.
There are a lot of modes in Mario Kart, but Battle Mode has always been my favorite. You go against the other characters in these various battles in a free reign map with the goal of being the last man standing instead of the traditional race. This is the way to play with others.
Like racing in "VS Race", you can do this either as teams or as individuals and instead of racing you choose your battle type. Battles include Balloon Battle, Bob-omb Blast, Coin Runners, and Shine Thief players, which players may recognize from older Mario Kart games and, new to Deluxe, Renegade Roundup. In this new mode, you use a piranha plant to round up the other team and put them all in jail before time is up. You can also pick Random, which will select any one of those for you.
By far my favorite is the Balloon Battle. You start with five balloons and drive freely around the map trying to pop the other players' balloons. I enjoy the opportunity to explore all the items and the chance to roam the maps at will. Trying out different strategies for trying to get other players' balloons is the most fun in this mode because of the variety of items and multiple chances to try again without having to start over or feeling like you have to do a lot of hiding.