Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s Pass to the Booster Course combines nostalgia with ingenuity
Nintendo seems to have a strange relationship with DLC updates and updates. The Japanese giant has become more adept at updating its games since the Wii U’s launch. Even though Mario Kart 8’s original version received some DLC, it was not enough to keep the game updated after launch. The Deluxe edition of Mario Kart 8 arrived on the Nintendo Switch.
This is not surprising considering that it took Nintendo years to add online support for Super Mario Party board boards. They have been inconsistent. There’s a Mario Party Superstars for every Animal Crossing. For a while, it seemed like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe would be the same. But, finally, the Booster Course Pass has arrived.
Despite being five years too late, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s Booster Course Pass is just what it needed. It brings 48 new tracks to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe over the next two years. It’s up to you to decide if it’s a shameless cash grab or a smart business move. However, adding new tracks for one of the most loved Nintendo Switch games is a smart business decision. Although it could easily have been a lazy cash grab the Booster Pass feels like a great mix of smart nostalgia, new ideas and smart nostalgia.
The Track Pack’s main selling point was its inclusion of many classic tracks to MK8 Deluxe. This included such great hits like Coconut Mall and Shroom Hill. Mario Kart is no exception to the rule. It’s as beautiful to hear the song Coconut Mall again as it was when the Wii first came out.
Strangely, however, it seems that the best tracks are not the older ones, but the newer ones. Well, new-ish. The pack includes tracks from all previous Mario Kart generations. It also contains tracks from Mario Kart Tour’s mobile game. These tracks are some of the most enjoyable in the game. Ninja Hideaway is especially a great track. It’s filled with alternate routes and shortcuts which makes it a challenging track that rewards practice.
Even tracks that are based on real-life locations like Tokyo Blur and Paris Promenade, have gimmicks to distinguish them from the rest. Each lap changes the track layout, so you will have to deal with new obstacles. The track layout at Paris’ is particularly impressive, forcing players to do the third lap in reverse. You could end up driving directly into traffic depending on how spread out your karts.
The pack has its flaws. This is especially true if you are looking for reasons to consider this a low-cost cash grab. The visual style of all Booster Course Pass courses feels a little flat and lacks texture in comparison to the rest. Nintendo didn’t hide the fact that Tour tracks were just scaled up to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The massive moped at the Paris Promenade sideroad was heavily mocked on social media over the launch weekend.
The nostalgia dollar is limited in its reach as not all tracks have the same cultural impact as Coconut Mall and Maple Treeway. Mario Kart Super Circuit was a lot of fun on my GBA, but Sky Garden wasn’t. While I would love to see Daisy Cruiser or Peach Beach from Double Dash, I know not everyone will share my excitement. It would be great to see all the features in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe used on the tracks. Gliding is great, but these tracks would feel “lesser” than the MK8 Deluxe mainstays.
Despite not being a perfect addition to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s track design, the Booster Pass is a great excuse to play a multiplayer game again. All the issues you may have with the track design, or Nintendo’s reasons for creating the Booster Course Pass will fade away when you launch red shells at all your friends again. This is the perfect excuse to go back to Mario Kart.