Thursday, Sep 21, 2023

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Course Booster Course Pass Wave 2 - Reviewed and ranked

Starring Wendy O. Koopa

Nintendo meant what it said when it stated that the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Course Pass would be available until 2023. Although it's been almost five months since the release of the first wave DLC, I am ready for something new. Wave 2 of the Booster Pass is now available.

Mario Kart Tour will feature a new course, one of the Turnip Cup or Propeller Cup courses. I like the idea that Booster Course Pass members get early access to these tracks - for lord knows, I won't be returning to MKT. These tracks will have to do a lot of work if they want their music to be different from the returning classics.

As I did with Wave 1 of DLC, here are the 8 tracks from Wave 2. This ranking was not as straightforward as last time.

8. Mario Circuit 3 (SMK)

This track's ranking at the bottom is not a sign that it's not my favorite. Mario Circuit 3 is my favorite track and I have been playing it since 1992, when I first played it in Super Mario Kart. The 180o turn in the middle of the track was always a test of my ability and agility to navigate around corners. It's much more difficult than the Mario Circuit 4 turn, which had a wider driving area that made it far easier to navigate around corners.

Although the track's difficulty has not been easy to transition to 3D racing, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's inclusion of Ultra Mini-Turbos (and 200cc) makes it relevant and fun to race. It's not as flat as the track on the SNES. But when you combine these speeds and drift mechanics with a track this compact, it can be able to return to its original difficulty.

Would it have been more beautiful if it was given a complete overhaul? Yes, that would be great for all the SNES courses. It doesn't have to, because Mario Circuit 3's layout works 30 years later than it was when it first appeared.

7. Kalamari Desert (MK64)

Kalamari Desert, like many tracks from Mario Kart 64 is much more fun as a retro course in future Mario Kart games. This track was too long and slow for the N64. Each iteration has seen the course improve tremendously over the years. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is now available. Mario Kart Tour offers a modified version of the course called Kalamari Desert 2 which allows you to drive on the train tracks during the second and third laps.

The train tracks were used in N64's version as a shortcut, provided you had booster items. They are mandatory here as you must make your way through the tunnel and possibly play chicken with it. This track is just a smartly revised version that, combined with the beautiful music and dusk-soaked skies, makes this the most spectacular Kalamari Desert Mario Kart has ever seen.

6. Snow Land (MK.SC)

Similar to Wave 1's Sky Garden in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Snow Land has been given a complete 3D makeover in Mario Kart tourSuper Circuit already saw some of its most memorable tracks remade with Mario Circuit appearing as Mario Kart 8 and Cheese Land and Ribbon Road added as DLC. It's high time that we hear some of the lesser-than-great tracks in the game.

Snow Land is a fine 3D version of the Game Boy Advance track. It features tight corners, sliding penguins and a few clever shortcuts. Although it is beautiful to see, the track is also quite flat. The track is basically one long road made of ice, with no bumps or snow piles. They are also too small to be able to navigate the 180o turn.

It's still a fun track to play at high speeds. The track's short length makes it a bit of an obstacle course when you reach the final turns. It's an enjoyable drive on 150cc Mirror and 200cc. I'm eager to see how Mario Kart fans react to the online mode.

5. New York Minute (MKT).

New York Minute was the first track to be revealed by Mario Kart Tour. This marked a major shift in the direction of the franchise, with Mario and his karting team visiting real cities for the very first time. Mario Kart Tour's review revealed that the design and layout of tracks like New York Minute were not suitable for Mario Kart games with proper controls.

Surprisingly, this is the case. Wave 2's New York Minute is a wonderful example of the course's design. This track features three versions of New York Minute from Mario Kart Tour, which take players on a quick tour of NYC. You will drive through the park, along Broadway, into Times Square and underneath the Empire State Building.

This track in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is great for testing your drifting skills. It's possible to hit the Ultra-Mini Turbos many times, and it can be quite nerve-wracking when you go 200cc. Although there are some designs that I don't like, such as the stationary taxi cabs at the end, overall it's a great example of why Mario Kart Tour's original tracks should be included in a Mario Kart title.

4. Sky-High Sundae, (MKT).

Sky-High Sundae, one of the original tracks on Mario Kart Tour's Mario Kart Tour, will make its debut in Wave 2 just before it launches for mobile devices on August 9th. The track will be entirely anti-gravity in the trailer for Wave 2. The track is the second Wave's anti-gravity portion. It would be, if it weren't so obvious that antigravity was added to a track in Tour that doesn't have the gimmick.

It's still nice to have at least one DLC track with anti-gravity. There are some benefits to anti-gravity, such as the boosts you get from hitting other drivers and the poles at the handrail of the staircase in the first turn. Although Sky-High Sundae's oval track is disappointing, the developers managed to fit a lot of track features into this short course. Two large drifting turns are included, as well as a fast gliding sequence. There is also a section that feels almost like it came straight out of Fall Guys.

Sky-High Sundae's bright colors remind me of Super Mario Galaxy 2: Rocky Road. The track was too sloppy and the last section where you drive on ice cube tray trays was more creative.

3. Sydney Sprint (MKT).

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's Sydney Sprint may be the most "real-world" course in Mario Kart Tour. It is a long race which was a problem with the original tracks. However, it incorporates Sydney Australia's dynamic features into the track design. One example is the Bay Run Sydney. This waterfront walking and biking trail offers great opportunities for drifting, and mini-boosts. You will also pass the Sydney Opera House and the Luna Park Toad-ified. Finally, you will cross the Sydney Harbor Bridge, where Yoshi and Toads throw coins onto the Tangara tracks.

Sydney Sprint, like New York Minute merges multiple tracks from Mario Kart Tour into one race. Sydney Sprint may have the best music of any Booster Course Pass, unlike New York Minute. This is serious. The assignment was understood by the saxophonist. Make sure you listen to the link before Nintendo starts to claim copyright.

2. Waluigi Pinball MKDS

Waluigi Pinball is one the greatest tracks in a game full of great tracks. It's been talked about a lot over the past fifteen years. It is still a well-designed course, with fast turns and lots of reward/risk opportunities. While I think Waluigi Pinball doesn't need any changes in its track design, it could benefit from some modifications to the section where pinballs bump into the bumpers. This section is too predictable. While other players may make it a nightmare, it would be nice if developers changed the way the pinballs behave in the final section.

It's still one the most beautiful courses Mario Kart has ever seen. I hope that other tracks from Mario Kart DS will be included in the Booster Course Pass's later waves.

1. Mushroom Gorge, MKWii

Mushroom Gorge was a game I fell in love with until Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Mario Kart Wii's original version was a great adaptation of Super Mario's iconic toadstools. Players had many opportunities to perform trick jumps with the bouncy red toadstools, which was a brand new feature in the franchise. The toadstools slowed the pace and were not well placed in the cave section.

Since its debut, the track has been featured in several games. Each time, developers have made adjustments to the layout. For a while, the shortcut to the toadstool at the beginning of the race was lost. The placement and design for the toadstools within the cave has changed over time. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's Mushroom Gorge alters the design further by combining all the different track layouts to create what I can only envision as the best Mushroom Gorge that we have ever seen.

This track is amazing now. It moves much faster than in the past and is, along with Kalamari Desert's, the most beautiful track ever made. This course is actually, and this is going be controversial, not remade with the MK8D art direction. The Mario Kart Tour graphics style fits this course perfectly.

Overall, this selection of tracks is better than Wave 1's. There are no duds here, and none of the tracks have seen any changes to their play that would alter their performance in a negative manner. These courses are great, but it isn't as exciting as the Turnip Cup and Propeller Cup. There isn't one course that stands out as the best. Given that some of the most popular Mario Kart tracks can be found in MK8 Deluxe I believe I will be happy if all future Booster Course Passes are able meet this standard.

[This review was based on the retail version of DLC that the reviewer purchased.]

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