Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Wave 4 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Neil Flynn 09.03.2023

Review for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Wave 4 on Nintendo Switch

The Booster Course Pass is now over the half way mark, delivering 8 more tracks to the already jam packed Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The Booster Course pass has been dripping out tracks in waves and Wave 1, Wave 2 and Wave 3 have all added great content to the best-selling game on Nintendo Switch. Now Wave 4 has arrived, what can players expect?


 
Wave 4 is the first wave that has added a returning character to the roster, with Birdo now available to pick from the character select screen. Nintendo have also left the idea open that more characters from past Mario Kart titles will return, although how many and which characters have not been explicitly stated. The character roster is already pretty large, standing at 42 characters, plus Mii's, and there are only a few characters that aren't in the base game from previous titles, although it is criminal that Diddy Kong is still missing from the current line-up. Birdo's inclusion has opened up another 5 slots on the character select screen, which are just question marks at the moment, but that is not to say Nintendo will stop at 5. Let's hope that Wave 5 and Wave 6 add in characters like Diddy, but also consider other characters such R.O.B and Petey Piranha.


Wave 1, 2 and 3 were all impressive due to the inclusion of courses from Mario Kart Tour , which certainly felt quite fresh to have a console counter-part. As it has been said before, these courses feel like new courses for many, particularly for any players not playing Mario Kart Tour. Wave 4 really leans quite strongly on including courses from Tour, particularly courses based on worldwide cities. First up is Amsterdam Drift, and these courses like to take stereotypical themes from each of the countries they represent. Tulips, windmills, trams and canals - everything that represents Amsterdam, right? Like all other Mario Kart Tour tracks, Amsterdam Drift changes on each lap to open up slightly differing pathways. The first lap takes racers out of the city scape to race around tulip fields and windmills, although it is a shame that the windmills weren't utilised as a racing obstacle of sorts. Instead, they feature in the background, the same with the tulips, which are decorative displays rather than on track obstacles. Lap 2 brings racers back into the city but this time driving underwater through the canals and lap 3 is a bit of a combination of lap 1 and lap 2. Overall, this is a fun track with good twists and turns, but it does feel devoid of obstacle-based interactions, and more could have been done with the trams for example, such as racing on the platforms or stations.

Screenshot for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Wave 4 on Nintendo Switch

Sticking with Mario Kart Tour courses, there are two more, this time representing Asian capitals, Singapore and Bangkok. Singapore, a city famous for its night time Formula 1 race is a spectacle to behold and Singapore Speedway is certainly no different. A busy built-up city, complete with integrating well known tourist attractions into the course such as racers flying off the top of the Marina Bay Sands hotel through the bustling markets and streets. The variety of track elements in Singapore Speedway makes it far more interesting than Amsterdam Drift. A great example of this is the cannon which boosts racers to the top of the Marina Bay Sands hotel. It is reminiscent of the cannon from DK Mountain. Racers drive through the infinity pool and then glide down through various speed rings. Lap 2 strolls around a built-up Chinatown market before a ramp that shoots past the Merlion and Marina Bay and onto a rampway above the Gardens by the Bay attraction. Lap 3 continues on the rampway which have forward and reverse momentum dash panels on before looping around Marina Bay and Chinatown one last time. This is a fun track to race on, and strangely, feels like a very good representation of Singapore.

Bangkok Rush, another Mario Kart Tour track is similar in nature to the branching paths, and like Singapore Speedway this track feels far more creative than Amsterdam Drift. A lot of tourist hotspots are visible in this course, with Buddhist temple, Wat Arun, the Maeklong Railway market, Chao Phraya River, famous monuments and shopping malls. The inclusion of the Skyrail above the track makes an intriguing player choice between not just the 3 lap branching paths that each Mario Kart Tour track has but also multiple routes that anyone can take simultaneously. Just like Singapore Speedway, Bangkok Rush breathes enough variety in its track layout and scenery to be considered one of the better tracks in Wave 4.

Screenshot for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Wave 4 on Nintendo Switch

DK's Snowboard Cross (or DK Summit for the US) from Mario Kart Wii marks its console return for the first time since the Wii. There aren't too many changes to this course from the original, although anti-grav has been added on the numerous half-pipe jumps. Graphically the track has also seen an upgrade, as one would expect, but feels almost a carbon copy of the original. Like other GBA courses that have returned in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Riverside Park from the sublime Mario Kart Super Circuit has had a major face-lift. Just like Boo Lake and Sky Garden before it, Riverside Park looks unrecognisable to the Game Boy Advance original, largely owing to the added verticality that was missing from the original. The long hairpin corner at the end now goes through a cave system and out of a waterfall. There are also added enemy obstacles in the form of walking Ptooies, (those are the Piranha plants from Super Mario Bros. 3 that hover obstacles above their heads). The Ptooies are walking around with mushrooms and other obstacles and if they are bumped into these items drop on to the track. Unfortunately, like other GBA tracks, Riverside Park feels a bit too short, and it is a shame that there isn't a way to extend these tracks to a 5 lap race.

Mario Kart DS' Mario Circuit has had many graphical upgrades to it, and like Riverside Park has had new enemies inserted into it. The most distinct edition is a new forest section which has a Wiggler walking down it. Otherwise, this feels very similar to the original track, but that is not a negative comment. The track features a few tight corners which are great for drifting and meandering parts of the track which can be boosted over using a mushroom creating very useful shortcuts.

Screenshot for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Wave 4 on Nintendo Switch

Waluigi Stadium rounds up the list of returning tracks and marks the first returning course from Mario Kart: Double Dash to be in the Booster Course Pass. This is very much one of the fan favourite picks for a return. Some of the slower, muddier parts of the track in the GameCube version have been removed allowing for a faster track overall. The steep banks towards the end of the track have now been turned into anti-grav half pipe jump, similar to the one present in DKs Snowboard Cross. The end of the track also features two suspended rampways, the first of which feels more of a long cut but the second features two anti-gravity boost pillars and a ramp which allows racers to glide over the final ramp to the finish line. This should be a well-received course, as the changes are subtle but certainly add a bit more character to the track.

Another new and original course has also been added, Yoshi's Island, based on the sublime Super Nintendo classic hit, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island . This track is awesome, thematically the music takes chimes and effects from the SNES game, and has its own unique victory theme. There are Shy-guys on stilts walking around the racetrack, again, another element paying homage to the source material. There is a brief underwater segment, before being boosted up above an erupting volcano and into the clouds. After tapering around the clouds and mountaintops racers dive off to the ground below, where there is a Winged Cloud item, that if touched, makes a bridge shortcut appear before jumping through a Goal Ring full of Yoshi themed coins. The inclusion of this course is amazing, given that the expectations of the Booster Course Pass was that it would be returning courses. Yet, Yoshi’s Island is the 2nd such track after Sky High Sundae, although this was also content for Mario Kart Tour. What could Nintendo do with the next two waves and could they feature anymore new and original courses?

Screenshot for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Wave 4 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Wave 4 has continued to deliver, and as each and every wave before it, the courses lifted from Mario Kart Tour are fun additions, particularly with branching paths, alternative routes and reversed laps. It is particularly exciting to see new characters returning and having Birdo on the roster is certainly warmly welcomed. Yoshi's Island stands out in Wave 4, not only for being a new and original track but also for unique musical themes and being such a varied course overall. Subtle changes to DKs Snowboard Cross, Waluigi Stadium and Mario Circuit all make improvements on their original counterparts and Riverside Park looks fantastic. This is an enjoyable set of tracks and adds to what is an already fantastic package from other waves of the Booster Course Pass.

Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Driving

Players

8

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (2 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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