Around this time of year I always feel like going back to Mario Kart 8, and the new tracks have come at just the right time to encourage me to get back into their hilarious arcade driving. The question is whether this new wave is up to the task, and I’ll tell you in advance that I have good news in this regard.
Nintendo wants to continue its work to reinvigorate Mario Kart 8, originally released in 2014, eight years ago! Its sales are huge, with cumulative figures (between Wii U and Nintendo Switch) of about 55 million units. For this reason, the strategy has not been to launch Mario Kart 9, but to continue feeding this installment with new content, which in this case comes in the form of various DLCs. In a previous article I already told you how good the first installment had turned out. Now I can only tell you that Nintendo has once again reached a very high level with this second wave of new tracks.
The new set of courses is made up of two cups (Copa Nabo and Copa Helicóptero) that are made up of 8 circuits who return to make a remix of traditional tracks, more or less known, as well as a completely unreleased track (Heavenly Skies). This is precisely what I missed most in the last installment, although there are still some questionable things, such as the previous work done on Mario Kart Tour being recycled. It’s not a bad thing in itself, but I would have liked to bet more on the novelty than on the work done previously. With that being said, let me tell you what the new tracks have to offer, as they are really interesting… and above all, fun to play.
variety and fun
Visit to New York It is one of the proposed circuits, directly rescued from Mario Kart Tour, but with a forceful facelift to adapt it to the possibilities of Nintendo Switch. It is a night route with a very festive air, especially on the musical side, with trumpets and the piano playing a lively melody while we go through a path that changes its configuration with each turn, opening new routes. In short, a very interesting and fun urban circuit to play, with a variety of landscapes characterized by passing through Times Square or Central Park.
Circuit Mario 3 It is the most technical approach of this wave of new tracks. This is a route from the first game in the series, the SNES Super Mario Kart. It has an excellent combination of fast turns and more pronounced ones, with which the technique of drifting becomes essential. Also, as in the Super Nintendo classic, you can take advantage of the occasional accelerator to cut corners. If you are a veteran, like me, you will love this tour.
The new set of routes is made up of two cups (Copa Nabo and Copa Helicóptero) with 8 circuitsKalimari Desert It is not only one of the most iconic circuits in Mario Kart 64, but in my opinion one of the best in the Nintendo driving saga. The first thing that stands out is the renewed visual aspect that it has obtained, with an excellent use of lighting, which shows a desert landscape at sunset, generating really beautiful prints. As in the original for Nintendo 64, it stands out for the possibility of putting yourself on the tracks, with the obligation to avoid the fast train that goes in the opposite direction to your progress. Beautiful and fun in equal parts.
Pinball Waluigi It is another classic and I know that it is also one of the most valued routes by fans within the Mario Kart saga. Released on Nintendo DS, it simulates the path of a ball in a pinball game, from the initial launch, through some winding rails, until you reach an area of blades that hinder your path. How could it be otherwise, the visual finish is very psychedelic and the soundtrack very arcade. Perhaps it is missing having incorporated some variation between lap and lap, but its classic air cannot be said to feel bad either.
Sydney non-stop It is a circuit recovered directly from Mario Kart Tour, and it is one of the ones that I particularly liked the most. You go through an amusement park, a suspension bridge while you see how a tram overtakes you, you cross a ferry, you skid right in front of a port… It’s a spectacle, because each lap also presents different routes, making you go through some parts in reverse and thus discovering new obstacles, as well as accelerators. The music is also tremendously lively, accompanying the festive spirit that manifests itself in the graphic plane, which is magnificently resolved.
Tierra Nevada is a circuit from Mario Kart Advance, and as such you can understand that it is quite simple, but with an enormous charm. This has been thanks to the fact that a remake of the layout has been made. Yes, I think that’s the best way to define it, because although the original base has been taken, everything else is completely transformed in the audiovisual section. I especially like the reflections that the icy track generates, as well as how the wheels are marked on the ground. That’s not to mention how nice and pleasant the stage is, with a very well chosen color palette. Circuit delight.
I have a fair memory of Mario Kart Wii, but that does not mean that it has bad circuits. Mushroom Ravine is back with a convincing audiovisual work and all the original charm, manifested basically in mushrooms that act as springboards that we find in various sections of the route. So it is not only important to skid, but also to maintain control while we are in the air during the jumps that we star in. There are a couple of forks, but nothing more, making it a somewhat simple circuit, but still fun to play.
frozen skies is the jewel in the crown of this new installment of bonus tracks, as well as a completely new circuit in the Mario Kart series. The starting grid is in an ice cream parlor, and the rest of the route is made up of all those things that we like so much: chocolate wafers, flavored ice cream scoops, popsicles, almonds… Playably it stands out for proposing a ride full of jumps, with many lifts and descents, as well as the use of hang gliding and gravitational driving. In summary, a very complete tour that takes advantage of all the attributes of Mario Kart 8. Magnificent.
New circuits with a high potential to have fun and extend the life of Mario Kart 8With all that said, I can’t tell you if this new wave is better than the previous one, but it does offer what matters: new circuits with a high potential to have fun and extend the life of Mario Kart 8. content recycling, but it is also true that there are very iconic circuits (such as Kalimari Desert and Pinball Waluigi) that deserved to be back. In addition, there are more dedicated works such as Tierra Nevada, apart from the fact that we have a completely new circuit, Cielos Helados, which is really inspired by its execution. So if you ask me, I think It is worthwhile content..