I know, I know. You have a Wii U and a copy of Mario Kart 8. You’re quite disappointed that you’re going to have to buy the exact same game again when/if you buy the Switch.
Well, for one, it’s not the exact same game. Just mostly the same…with some upgrades. And I, for one, am not upset about that, because while 8 was as good a Karting experience as one can expect, this new installment appears to have perfected the formula:
- All the DLC from the Wii U game comes on disc: Link with his Hyrule Circuit track, the Animal Crossing stuff, Excitebike course, and even the Mercedes-Benz karts.
- New racers (42 total): Dry Bones, King Boo, Bowser Jr., and Inkling Boy & Inkling Girl from Splatoon, with the Splatoon amiibos now unlocking Mii racer clothes.
- Complete retooling of Battle Mode with the 8 total arenas (5 new, 3 returning courses from Kart’s past). Additional battle modes: Bob-Omb Blast, Shine Thief, and Coin Runners, with new mode, Renegade Roundup, which sends players after each other with nothing but Piranha Plants.
- New Smart Steering control, making it easier to drive.
- The ability to carry 2 items at a time.
- 1080p graphics while the Switch is docked (Wii U only clocked 720p).
- LAN support for larger local races.
- Four-player split-screen mode when Docked. Two-player split-screen in Portable Mode, each player using a sideways Joy-Con.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe drives onto the Switch April 28 at $59.99. If you liked the steering wheel accessory made famous by the Wii, that’s coming back, also on that date.