Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Wave 1 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Neil Flynn 20.03.2022

Review for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Wave 1 on Nintendo Switch

Much to the surprise of literally everyone, Nintendo announced that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe would get paid DLC in the February 2022 Nintendo Direct, almost five years after Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launched on Nintendo Switch. More details on the announcement and how to purchase the paid DLC is available by reading our news article on the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass. Wave 1 launches with eight remastered courses placed into two cups, the Golden Dash Cup and the Lucky Leaf Cup, but are they worth shelling out for?


 
The Booster Course Pass should help bring back nostalgic vibes for fans of the series with tracks included in Wave 1 pulling one course each from Nintendo 64, Game Boy Advance Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS iterations of Mario Kart. The remaining three courses come from Mario Kart Tour on Android/iOS , which actually released after Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

The Golden Dash Cup kicks off with Mario Kart Tour's Paris Promenade, a fairly competent looping track set to the backdrop of Paris and French style music. There are multiple routes throughout and the third lap cleverly loops racers to drive the track in reverse, which is a pleasant twist to the formula. Next up is Mario Kart 7's Toad Circuit, which is quite a short track but was always a favourite of those racing online on the Nintendo 3DS iteration. It hasn't had much of a facelift applied to it, with the tracking looking the same as it did on the 3DS with no new routes or changes to the layout. The third track in the cup is Mario Kart 64's Choco Mountain, and this track does look quite different from the source material that it is pulling from, starting with an open vista, to a far more adequately designed cave and an added flight section taking away an otherwise straight stretch of the raceway. The elongated hairpin corner still has flying rocks crashing on to the track but a permanent barrier (no matter which CC) has been added at the top to stop drivers falling back on the ground below. The final course in the Golden Dash Cup is a fan favourite, Mario Kart Wii's Coconut Mall, which has a handful of changes have been made to design. Changes to the track include a more obvious colour coding to the escalators going up and down which should now make it abundantly clear which side to take, the other change is to the moving cars at the end of the lap which were previously driven by Mii's. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's version of Coconut Mall instead has the cars stationery and being manned by Shy Guys instead of Mii's, and the boost pads removed, which does unfortunately take away some of the difficulty from the final part of the lap.

Screenshot for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Wave 1 on Nintendo Switch

The Lucky Leaf Cup boosts out of the gate similarly with Mario Kart Tour's Tokyo Blur, which just like Paris Promenade has differing routes, although Tokyo Blur's are fixed in each lap, with the third lap going on an off-ramp section which takes a fair bit longer than the other two laps. The game won't allow drivers to pass through the alternate routes on the other laps as drivers are forced to go down a particular path way, unlike tracks like Yoshi Valley which has them open at all times. The next course is Mario Kart DS's Shroom Ridge, a hilly road that has road traffic akin to Toad Harbour, but with a little less charm. This is a particularly difficult track to race on 200cc with very sharp turns and traffic to contend with, but it is certainly one of the better returning tracks available. Mario Kart Super Circuit's Sky Garden is up next, and it is the first time this track has had any verticality added to it, with the original GBA Mode-7 style in the original and Mario Kart DS's more faithful recreation putting it on a flat plain. Given that this course has been re-imagined it would have been great to have made it a bit more grandiose like Cloudtop Cruise, and it does feel there was a missed opportunity to make this track even better. Rounding off the first wave of the DLC is Ninja Hideaway, another course from Mario Kart Tour, and what a great track this is. Ninja Hideaway has multiple routes to take, some are less obvious than others and require the glider to get to, but the element of choice is great and will certainly please the fans of the series.
The courses vary in their graphical and texture fidelity, with some parts of the track and background lacking the detail that otherwise appeared in other tracks in main game, and while this issue may bother some people, they are not so apparent when the racing actually commences. Strangely none of the eight tracks utilise Mario Kart 8's defining feature, anti-gravity, which unfortunately could set a precedent for further waves yet to come. It is a shame that anti-grav hasn't featured, as courses such as Sky Garden could have certainly used it to improve the overall track variance.

Screenshot for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Wave 1 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

There is no doubt that the Booster Course Pass is going to heralded as "must-have", but so far Wave 1 hasn't set the track on fire. The runaway winners of Wave 1 are the three courses featured from Mario Kart Tour, but that is not to say the other courses are bad, but are lacking in imagination compared to other retro-courses featured in the base game of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The lack of anti-grav and some questionable graphical decisions also mount up to disappointment and it is interesting to see if Nintendo are going to address this with the remaining 40 courses. However, in the grand scheme of things it is great to have new courses to race on and is certainly thoroughly recommended for all Mario Kart fans.

Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Driving

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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