Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Wave 3 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Neil Flynn 15.01.2023

Review for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Wave 3 on Nintendo Switch

As great deals go there aren't many that extend as far as the Booster Course Pass for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Nintendo Switch. Even more so for those who have the Nintendo Switch Online Pass who can get these courses included, providing they stay subscribed.

Alongside Wave 3 there has also been an update to the base game, available for free that has allowed for custom items and other subtle changes. This update won't be included in the review round up as it isn't actually part of the Booster Course Pass. Wave Three brings 8 tracks to the fray, some are returning from previous iterations and others are from Mario Kart Tour. Does this improve from Wave 1 and Wave 2 offerings? Let's find out!


 

Wave 3 introduces two new cups, Rock and Moon, each with four courses. Rock cup kicks off the wave in style with Mario Kart Tour's London Loop. Complete with its depiction of a raised Tower Bridge (often confused as London Bridge), Charing Cross and the Elizabeth Tower, a.k.a. Big Ben. As a resident Londoner, the call outs to red phone boxes, bus stops and Underground logos and other locally famous locales, such as Leadenhall market and the London Eye, are all added in with great attention to detail. Like the other waves in the Booster Course Pass, bystanders and adorning background items such as post boxes and bus stops look completely off-scale compared to the karts and characters on the track. That aside, London Loop has three very distinctly different routes on each lap, making each lap feel different. For those that love to drift there are a lot of corners to maneuverer around and reach top speed.

Boo Lake from Mario Kart Super Circuit on GBA is next up. This course feels spectacularly different from the original, with added verticality that couldn't be done on the original Game Boy Advance hardware. Adding another axis isn't all that has been done to Boo Lake though, with the track now having an underwater section as well as the return of Mario Kart 8's defining feature of anti-gravity. The only issue that Boo Lake is far too short, and it really feels like it's over before it begins. This could have benefited from a 5-lap race, given that each lap is only around 30 seconds long.

Screenshot for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Wave 3 on Nintendo Switch

Alpine Pass from Mario Kart 7 boulders up next, and very little has really been done to this course from the Nintendo 3DS counterpart. There are huge swathes of open grassy pathways that can really cut some significant lap time if racers have multiple mushrooms to use. The end of the track features an uphill battle against giant falling boulders, but a tiny anti-gravity section has been added to this small stretch of road to help boost out of it with some speed. Otherwise, those familiar with the Nintendo 3DS classic will almost feel right at home with the addition of Alpine Pass, although given the 'recency' of Mario Kart 7, fans may have hoped for an older track to perhaps return.

Rounding off the Rock Cup is a huge fan favourite, Maple Treeway from Mario Kart Wii. This looks and plays as people remember it does, large autumnal feelings of golden-brown leaves littering the track and red orange colour schemes in the background. The large cannon is still intact and the whoosh of blowing through leaves on the landing is still there. However, not much else has changed, which for many is a blessing in disguise given how revered the original track is.

Screenshot for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Wave 3 on Nintendo Switch

The Moon Cup, like the Rock Cup, also starts with a track from Mario Kart Tour, this time with Berlin Byways. Having never been to Berlin, this course does not invoke the same sense of familiarity as the other city tracks of Sydney, New York, Paris and London. However, given that Nintendo have added in nods to real world locations in those it is hard to imagine that Berlin is any different. As a course it plays like the other aforementioned city locations, with multiple paths ways and access to pathways changing lap-by-lap. As mentioned in Wave 1 and Wave 2 reviews, the Mario Kart Tour tracks feel far fresher than the returning tracks, as they often offer more obstacles and innovative track design; Berlin Byways is no different in this regard.

Returning from Mario Kart DS is Peach Gardens, which has had a couple of subtle changes made to it compared to the original, such as the roundabout at the start now having the alternate, longer route cut off and blocked. Chain chomps no longer have items trailing behind them either and the Monty Mole's that pop out at the end of the track can now pop out from anywhere rather than the same hole each time. The largest changes to this course though are that the third lap incorporates a loop to then drive a reverse of lap instead, similar to Paris Promenade, and that there is now a glider section which flies drivers straight over the maze. Overall, this is a much-welcomed returning track offering a great challenge and a lot of diversity in the track layout.

Screenshot for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Wave 3 on Nintendo Switch

Apt for the Northern hemisphere season (given that Wave 3 released in December) is Merry Mountain from Mario Kart Tour, a picturesque and festive feeling course complete with snowy hills, pine trees and large candy canes adorning the sides of the road. There is even a flying magical sleigh in the air! It is a fairly simple looping track, with one half ascending the mountain and the other half descending the mountain, but with a couple of side routes to take and an anti-gravity section.

The Moon Cup rounds itself off with Rainbow Road from Mario Kart 7, making it the fourth Rainbow Road in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. This is one hell of a great Rainbow Road track, with great turns and twists as well as the course constantly changing, either by boosting along the rings of Saturn, flying through the air or bouncing along the Moon's surface. Those familiar with the 3DS entry will not be too surprised by this track, as it largely plays and feels the same as the original, other than the graphical overhaul.

Screenshot for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Wave 3 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

The Booster Course Pass Wave 3 tracks are some of the most enjoyable yet and certainly make the overall package even more attractive. Tracks like London Loop, Berlin Byways and Merry Mountain will feel like brand new courses for those who have not played Mario Kart Tour, and the return of Maple Treeway, Peach Gardens and Boo Lake are also much appreciated to add to an already diverse mix of tracks. The Booster Course Pass, either as a standalone purchase or for those with Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pass, has incredible value and with 24 more courses to come there is still plenty of scope for other inventive courses and remixed tracks to join foray.

Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Driving

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

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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