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Mario Day: Mar10 or Just Another Reason to Mario Kart?

It seems like every game has a DLC these days; Mario Kart 8 Deluxe included. Don’t get me wrong: It’s a great way to extend the playable experience of a family favourite. Bigger maps, more characters, extra features. It all comes down to value for money. Does the DLC really add anything to the game? Is it more of the same? And should you buy the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass for one additional track? Absolutely. But the others are pretty cool too. 

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is already one of Nintendo’s most popular games. The game is 5 years old and one of the few party games we can enjoy as a family. Nostalgia gives way to family competition, though I do try to stop and appreciate some of the classic maps every now and then. 

The Booster Course Pass is a DLC available for purchase now with new courses released in waves until 2023. To date, two waves have been released, each including two new cups. Each wave features a new course and a collection of classic favourites, including a race featuring a city from around the world, originally seen in the mobile release of Mario Kart Tour. 

Screenshot from Mario Kart: Yoshi's Island

Updates for the game have been released in ‘Waves’, with two cups made available each time. The fourth and most recent wave was released on 9 March 2023 (a nice tie-in with Mario Day). It includes two cups: Fruit Cup (with Tour Amsterdam Drift, GBA Riverside Park, DK’s Snowboard Cross, and Yoshi’s Island), and Boomerang Cup (with Tour Bangkok Rush, DS Mario Circuit, GCN Waluigi Stadium, and Tour Singapore Speedway). 

Old is New Again

Fans of Mario Kart will easily recognize the classics. My kids have not stopped raving about Coconut Mall (Wave 1), though I have to admit I really miss seeing the personalized Mii’s trying to park their cars outside. The DLC appeals to our sense of nostalgia by bringing back the classics and remastering them to fit the ever-increasing manic levels of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Additional shortcuts, more prize boxes (including the ability to double up), and a solid frame rate have helped update the races and brought them to the ‘Mario Kart Deluxe’ standard. 

Screenshot of Mario Kart: Coconut Mall / By EG Mum

Do not think for one second that you have the experience advantage. Some of these cups have been tweaked ever-so-slightly—enough to level the playing field in the family. 

World Tour from the Comfort of Your Couch

Paris is lovely. Tokyo is fun. New York is definitely a little chaotic and seems to capture the magic of Times Square quite well. But for me, Sydney Sprint (Wave 2) is the absolute icing on the cake. This is my home town. And I might have to moderate my driving next time I drive over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Including the World Tour races in the DLC is a genius move. I can’t speak for Paris or Tokyo, but EG Dad says the New York map is accurate enough to be relatable. Bangkok is chaotic enough to bring back some memories, and I love the inclusion of the Reclining Buddha but it needed more tuk-tuks!

Screenshot of Mario Kart: Bangkok Rush
 by EG Mum

We both agree with the accuracy for Sydney too. There is something so joyful about seeing familiarity in your video games. I still remember playing Forza Horizons 3 at an EB Games Convention years ago and slamming on the brakes because I recognised a road on the map. Clearly, my subconscious did not want me to be caught speeding down my in-laws’ main road. 

Screenshot of Mario Kart: Sydney Sprint / By EG Mum

That’s the sense I get from Sydney Sprint, and I’m sure there are many others who feel the same about the other cities too. Does Sydney look exactly like this? Maybe during the Vivid Festival, but usually, no. There are just enough familiar landmarks amongst the cartoonish Mario-esque landscape to make it fun. The relative accuracy is quite charming. The Harbour Bridge really does go right past an amusement park (Luna Park). The Opera House is directly on the water. Consider this the next best thing to visiting me. 

Is the DLC Worth My Money?

For AUD$37.50, you receive 48 more courses across six (6) waves until the end of 2023. Four waves have already been released, with the final two waves scheduled for later this year. If you already have a paid Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership, the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass is free. You can find out the details here.

Mario Kart has always featured high on our ‘family game time’, and having the additional courses is worth the money. Releasing the courses in waves gives plenty of time to practice and enjoy the course before the next release. I prefer paying one fee upfront and enjoying ‘unwrapping’ over a longer period. 

As a nostalgic Gen-X’er, I also love the mix of new courses with plenty of classics. It adds some extra shine to sharing this with my kids. The final bonus with courses from around the world adds a fun ‘realism’ twist to our play. We’re a travelling family–naturally, we love seeing some holiday highlights in our games but we are also taking notes for future trips too! 

In the meantime, I need to practice a bit more with my Sydney Sprint. I’m driving into the city on Monday morning, and I would love a new off-ramp over the Harbour. 

Screenshot from Mario Kart: Sydney by EG Mum

Categories: video games

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Evil Genius Mum

Evil Genius Mum
- Taking over the world, one blog post at a time

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