The Nintendo Switch is undoubtedly one of the best new consoles on the market. If you’ve been following along you know that we’ve been covering different reasons to buy the Nintendo Switch this holiday season, including the newest Legend of Zelda. It also uses the most developed motion sensor and touchable technology, to transfer games between your TV and portable device, even to sync and play with up to eight other people at a time. But none of that matters without the games on it. If the games aren’t good enough, your kids won’t use the console no matter how advanced it is. So what games are available?
Today let’s explore Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. This game is based on the same underlying system as the Wii Mario Kart games. Some hardcore gamers may see this as a downside, but for you and your kids it is a solid upside: if they liked Mario Kart on the Wii, they will probably have fun with and use this game, so you know you can get it for them. We loved Mario Kart on the Wii. Remember, this one they can take on the go with them.
That said, there are a few solid differences between this game and the Wii versions which make it all the more special. It is a much more upgraded than their last games. It runs at 1080p, as opposed to 720 on the Wii, meaning much smoother images and real time movements, kind of essential for a game you may be playing via motion sensors, and ending the constant “lag” arguments that happen when someone loses a race.
It comes with around 50 race tracks with great and challenging designs, making sure there are plenty of hours of fun to be had. What is more, on top of all our usual favorite Mario Kart characters they have added another five new characters. Inkling Girl, Inking Boy, Bowser Jr., Dry Bones, and King Boo are now playable characters, much to the delight of kids who love their designs and personalities. There are also some new kart designs which your kids are bound to love.
As far as playability is concerned, the game is very well adapted to the system. You can split the screen between up to four players, and if you link several systems together you can have twelve players racing against each other. What is more, you can clutch two items at the same time, and it has a smart steering option, making it much easier for younger kids in the family to play this edition of Mario Kart than previous editions. All in all, it is a pleasant experience for long time players and newcomers alike. It’s the perfect family game and one of my favorites to play.
Battle Mode has been changed the most of all, though. Not massively. You can still play the usual games which involve squaring off against the characters, or other players, in challenges that let you test your skills. And most of these games are still pretty much the same. But there are some cool and interesting upgrades to them. In Balloon Battle there is much better, smoother movement. And Shine Thief is much more detailed as well. But they have also added a new game: Renegade Roundup. In this mode you are split into teams and one will try to capture the other team and put them in jail, a bit like cops and robbers. You are under a time pressure to complete the challenge, but the escaping team has an ace up their sleeve: they can sneak up and release their teammates from prison.
In short, other than in graphics this game really isn’t much different from the latest Wii editions of Mario Kart. But that isn’t a bad thing. If you know your kids love Mario Kart, then this is a dead-cert present which will be used loads if you get in for Christmas. What is more, the new system provides an opportunity for more varied and more social play, which will ensure your kids make the most use of it.