It’s fair to say Mario Kart 8 is one of our favourite games of all time.
Then we got a revamped version on the Switched called Mario Kart 8: Deluxe in 2017. But that seemed to be it… rumours were adrift of Mario Kart 9. But, no!
In February 2022 Nintendo announced 48 new tracks are on the way. Here’s the first wave in review.
Test Driving Mario Kart 8’s First Wave of New Courses, Yo!
The 48 new tracks will bring the total number up to 96 by the end of 2023. An incredible amount! What was already the greatest Mario Kart game just keeps on giving.
It’s paid DLC, of course, which you can either fork out £20 for or sign-up to the main Switch Online and Expansion Pack.
Do that and you get the full 48 tracks as they roll out. The first wave includes:
- Paris Promenade (Mario Kart Tour)
- Toad Circuit (Mario Kart 3DS)
- Choco Mountain (Mario Kart 64)
- Coconut Mall (Mario Kart Wii)
- Tokyo Blur (Mario Kart Tour)
- Shroom Ridge (Mario Kart DS)
- Sky Garden (Mario Kart Advance)
- Ninja Hideaway (Mario Kart Tour)
There are some gems in there, but as a first wave it’s a relatively steady but unspectacular start. Especially compared to the 2014 and 2015 DLC tracks, which were super dramatic.
Part of the issue here is these are revamped old tracks from games such as Mario Kart Wii (2008) and the older Game Boy versions. As such, they’re not fully designed to maximise the full potential of the wall scaling and gravity defying aspects of Mario Kart 8.
However, the tracks ARE revamped for the Mario Kart 8 experience and offer someone new and entertaining racing alongside some of the game’s established classics.
For example, Ninja Hideaway is a complex treat with multi-layered shortcuts and what have you. Plus, Sky Garden is a nuts flat-out blast.
But some of the others are a bit… flat. Shroom Ridge and Tokyo Blur are now (arguably) the two worst tracks in the game. They’re kind of beginner courses from older Mario Kart titles, so it’s a same they’re not more dramatic.
But! Nintendo has included a heady mix in there for different levels of player experience.
The main draw to Mario Kart 8 are its various online modes, especially up against 12 players simultaneously across the globe. That’s what makes it so addictive.
Its multiplayer aspect has been the main draw for Mario Kart since the SNES in 1992.
And the fact another 40 tracks are on the way is a thrilling realisation, frankly, and one we’re super excited about.
The first wave has been pretty well received and we await, with baited breath, for the Mario Kart 8 experience to become increasingly irresistible.
The Arrival of the N64’s Choco Mountain
One of the highlights from the first wave is the return of Choco Mountain from Mario Kart 64 (1997).
It’s fully revamped from the famous original on the N64, which has a tricky track in a figure of eight. In the official booklet packaged with the game, Nintendo described it so:
“This mountainous course climbs and descends through extreme altitude differences and has continuous sharp curves. Your skills at sliding can greatly affect your rank or time. Watch for the signs along the way warning where large rocks might fall on you.”
In the N64 days, it really rewarded skilled players who could drift boost around the tight and twisting track. This turned it into a speedrunner’s delight.
Summoning Salt’s brilliant documentary series documents Choco Mountain’s legendary (if notorious) history.
Basically, the push to get the fastest ever lap on the track has been an ongoing dream for many players.
And the arrival of Choco Mountain on Mario Kart 8 is very welcome. The track is now much more spacious, less foggy, but still a lot of fun to race around.