Let me give you a bit of back story into myself and my Mario Kart road trip before we get into Mario Kart 9 Deluxe.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Where it began for me
The first one I ever played was the original Super Mario Kart on the Super Nintendo, with Koopa being my go to character throughout the entire game. From there, I dabbled in Mario Kart 64 and Super Circuit for the Game Boy Advance.
I really came into my element with Mario Kart: Double Dash on the Game Cube (which quickly became my favourite Mario Kart game of all time) and Mario Kart DS while in college. Mario Kart Wii came and went, becoming more of a family playing piece more than anything else. Mario Kart 7 on the 3DS has become one of my more recent pickups, along with my Nintendo Switch and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Stacking up against older versions
I missed out on the Wii U version of Mario Kart 8, so I figured I’d pick up this for my Switch as I thought I’d be in for a good time racing about and bringing back memories of old school Mario Kart.
That being said, while I was happy to be sliding around and speeding to victory, I was left feeling disappointed.
Don’t get me wrong, the core gameplay in itself is still what I know and love, with all the DLC from the original Wii U version added into the game from the get go and the graphics have had a shiny gloss of paint which looks fantastic either in docked or handheld mode. The music tracks are as memorable as ever, with older tracks being slightly remixed as is par for the course for older tracks, which gives them a fresh feeling that I find myself humming even now while writing this review.
It was almost perfect…
So, I hear you cry, ‘what is it that left you feeling disappointed?’
Well, it’s the fact that pretty much everything is unlocked from the start. New characters, tracks, modes – the lot. While it seems like a very slight nitpick, it makes me think what did I really spend my money on if there’s nothing to earn through playing the game when it’s already there for you?
Well, there are some unlockables left to get (of which I won’t spoil) – which means you are going through all the content you paid for in some way, shape or form to earn a reward – but it’s nowhere near what I’d usually expect from a Mario Kart game.
That hasn’t stopped me from enjoying my time however and that’s even without touching the multiplayer.
The multiplayer is the standard, stable, chaotic affair you expect from Mario Kart, with weapons flying left and right and tussles for positions all over the grid. One advantage of everything being unlocked however, means that it can get even more hectic in certain multiplayer game modes (like the improved battle mode) which only increases the fun factor.
Star Struck Gaming Rating
All in all then, I didn’t let the fact that everything is pretty much unlocked from the start ruin the fun I had with this game, sinking in at least 25-30 hours solely on the single player and as some what of a completionist, I will go back and get those unlockables that I missed, which I am more than glad in doing.