The Best Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Courses from DLC Waves 1 & 2
By: Tobin Carlberg | August 15, 2022
Waves 1 and 2 of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s Booster Course Pass are finally here, and they’ve been well worth the wait. These 16 maps are a mix of classic old tracks and fresh new ones we haven’t seen yet on the Nintendo Switch. For me, the most impressive part about these maps is how Nintendo always seems to find a way to creatively adapt them from previous Mario Kart games to fit the fast-paced design and mechanics of the new generation.
Needless to say, these are just the first two waves of DLC courses, so I will be anxiously awaiting the next 32 tracks to release throughout 2022 and towards the end of 2023. But for now, we’re going to revel in what I feel are the five most brilliant races that we’ve seen so far.
Starting off this list, Ninja Hideaway is a fantastic track, taking place in a classical Japanese dojo with a plethora of hidden passageways and hazards along the way. Originally released as a course on Nintendo’s mobile game, Mario Kart Tour, Ninja Hideaway has been given a proper console makeover on the Switch, and I’m so glad it has. This track is distinctive because it has an unusual number of alternate routes, many of which take full advantage of the dojo’s verticality and are only accessible via a staircase or a well-timed glide.
Some noteworthy obstacles include Shy Guys ninjas and a lowering spike ceiling full of shurikens. More than just an upgrade of the core Mario Kart gameplay, Ninja Hideaway is a fantastic display of mesmerizing style and atmosphere, and a welcome addition to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s vast roster of courses.
This ice cream-themed track is extremely colorful and wacky, almost as if it was pulled straight out of Kirby’s Dream Buffet. Like its title suggests, Sky-High Sundae prides itself on morphing everything into delectable sweets, offering a fun and playful combination of visuals. As you glide through an ice cream cone and jump off chocolate wafers, you may find yourself getting a craving for some tasty treats.
Sky-High Sundae is a brand new track that was also released on Mario Kart Tour. But unlike the mobile version, Mario Kart 8’s take on Sky-High Sundae features anti-gravity karts for the entire race, making the course floaty and full of mini boosts as you run into other players and drift into a golden handrail. It’s a fun and fast-paced track that’s plenty exciting on 200cc — and pure chaos when you bring items into the mix! Sky-High Sundae deserves a spot on this list for its creativity alone, but it also packs a delightful mix of fun drifting sections and takes full advantage of Mario Kart’s anti-gravity mechanics.
I’ve always dreamt of owning a motorcycle and drifting around cars as I swerve into different lanes. Of course, I would never actually do that in real life because it’s incredibly dangerous, but Shroom Ridge provides all that sense of speed and adrenaline that I would ever need in a perfectly designed traffic course.
Newly remastered from the DS version, the cars in the console edition are much slower than the kart racers, heightening the sense of speed when you rush past all the drivers on the highway. As a whole, Shroom Ridge certainly brings the speed and mayhem that every good Mario Kart track needs. It also comes with some cool shortcuts, including a hidden gliding section in the field and a floating fan on the cliffside that gives you a competitive edge right before the finish line.
Also revamped from Mario Kart DS, Waluigi Pinball offers vibrant neon lighting and a creative theme that builds on classic arcade tropes. In the first lap, you follow a giant pinball until you reach the pinball table, where players will be forced to dodge the ball as it ricochets off bumpers.
Along the way, there are massive opportunities for drifting, which can help you achieve the ultra mini-turbo (with purple flames under your wheels) for impressive speeds throughout the course. I would argue that Waluigi Pinball delivers the best drifting experience in the entire game, surpassing even the likes of Baby Park and Mario Circuit 3.
What can I say? This course is simply perfection, and there’s no way around it. Coconut Mall is expertly paced, features catchy music, and includes a much-needed recoloring from the Mario Kart Wii days. This course is so fun, in fact, that its two minute length seems to breeze by in seconds. Most importantly, Coconut Mall uses its environment wonderfully, with the two-way escalator system, extra hallways to drive through, and plenty of ramps and speed boosts scattered throughout.
But the funniest part of the map comes at the end of each lap, with a couple of obnoxious Shy Guys waiting in their convertibles near the finish line. In a recent update, Nintendo decided to make them aggressively tail spin into other players. These annoying buggers may cause you to lose the race in its final stretch, and you can’t knock them off the track with power ups so you have no choice but to plan your approach carefully and dodge them.
Enjoying the old and new with the best Switch Accessories
With a ton of nostalgic favorites from consoles past and recently designed courses adapted from the mobile game, there’s a lot to love in the first two waves of the Mario Kart 8 Booster Course Packs.
Naturally, the best way to play Mario Kart is with one or more friends on the couch shouting at each other over who threw the blue shell. If you’re in need of some extra controllers to enjoy these new maps with friends, NexiGo has a wide range of Switch accessories for you to choose from, including a new light-up controller, a fun-sized mini controller, and a more comfortable option for handheld mode. Some of them even have advanced features like extra mappable buttons, which are perfect for customizing your controls for a racing game like Mario Kart.
For more about Mario Kart and finding the proper Switch controllers, you’re in the right place. Tune in every Monday for a new blog from NexiGo!