Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Additional Courses Pass: let's analyze it together

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Additional Courses Pass: let's analyze it together

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Additional Courses Pass

It is more than understandable Nintendo's choice to expand the experience offered by Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, through the new Additional Paths Pass, compared to dedicating themselves to a new chapter of their IP, which is probably more profitable. It is enough to look at the results obtained by the game over the past five years and relate them to the intrinsic nature of the product to understand that a new chapter, especially if released on the same game machine, would not achieve the same results.

On the other hand Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is, first of all, a party game with a very strong social soul, which represents the most important strength of Nintendo's production, able to keep it at the top of the sales charts for five years now. It goes without saying that with such a large user base, of which a very large percentage is represented by the notorious "casual gamers", releasing a new chapter may not have the same impact in terms of sales compared to expanding a product that is present, for some time now, in the homes of Nintendo Switch owners.

To better understand all this, it would be enough to observe the sales movements of any chapter of the Just Dance series. Although they keep coming out, punctual as death, every year, only the chapters that are released in the periods when a gaming machine is "on the crest of the wave" get really impressive numbers. The reason is very simple: because a casual player would have to spend, again, between fifty and sixty euros for an almost identical product that varies "only" the songs, in the case of Just Dance, or the tracks, in the specific case of Mario Kart ?

An operation that, moreover, was carried out in a very intelligent way, remastering 48 historical courses of the series and spreading their release within Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the whole next two years, dividing in 6 packages of eight circuits each the entire content of this massive downloadable content, extending the life cycle of the title by another two years.

An operation that brings to mind what was done with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate which , instead of proposing yet another chapter with a well-defined roster, has opted to become the biggest crossover in history, going to include, over the years, all the fighters who have played within the various chapters of the brand and a full-bodied series of new faces.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe But the real question remains: why an operation devoted to making Mario Kart 8 Deluxe a sort of anthological collection of the brand, was received with such conflicting opinions from users? In the end, at least on paper, both the concept behind the Additional Paths Package and its purchase methods are much more convenient than many other DLCs that are purchased every day by players from all over the world.

Le There are basically two answers to this question, and they go to answer the two criticisms that are most frequently raised against this additional content: a release mode that is too dilated over time and a remastering of the tracks that is not very convincing and, apparently, perpetrated in a listless way. .

Where the Nintendo eShop mentions verbatim that: The 48 remastered courses taken from different Mario Kart games will be released in six packs, each containing eight courses playable locally and online, which will be made available by the end of 2023. It is solely, and exclusively, the fault of the end user not having spent a few seconds to read what he was really buying. This may seem obvious to many of you, but you probably have no idea how Nintendo was accused of "cheating players" by not informing them correctly about content sharing.

By the second criticism of the Additional Paths Package, however, the discourse is much more complex and with multiple nuances that show an operation that, undoubtedly, needs to be refined more to be convincing from all points of view. The first package of the Pass, in fact, contains eight routes: Paris Promenade, Toad Circuit, Cioccocanyon, Cocco Outlet, Tokyo Neon, Mushroom Hills, Cloud Garden and Ninja Cove. A plateau of heterogeneous and extrapolated courses, at least on paper, from Mario Kart Tour, Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart Super Circuit, Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart DS.

The reality, though , is that the courses remastered by Mario Kart Advance, come from the versions recreated for Mario Kart Tour and, like the circuits extrapolated from the latter, do not present any re-adaptation of the gameplay dynamics present in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Therefore, we find paths in which antigravity is absent or we come across invisible walls that clash with the freer dynamics to which Mario KArt 8 Deluxe has accustomed its users.

In the same way the paths extrapolated from the versions for Wii or Nintendo DS, they do not show particular attention to the proportions, and the difference in speed, of the vehicles present in the various iterations of the series. This means that some tracks lend themselves very well to 200cc races while others are reduced to chaotic and confusing races. This is a flaw that already plagued some tracks of the original title but which we did not expect to find within an operation of this magnitude.

Finally, coming to the technical realization of the new tracks introduced with this first tranche of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Additional Paths Pack, we are faced with an operation with some obvious flaws that we did not expect to find in a Nintendo production. In order to avoid any misunderstanding, although many of the tracks present were taken from Mario Kart Tour, Nintendo did not limit itself to transposing them 1: 1 from the chapter for mobile devices, increasing the resolution.

The textures, especially of the terrains, have been redone from scratch, as well as many details of the tracks have been cleverly reworked but the difference, in terms of mere "glance", with the original tracks present in Mario Kart 8 is evident, as well as there is a clear "graphic alignment" of the older routes, with those re-adapted by Mario Kart Tour. Conversely, diametrically opposed speech for the original music of the tracks present in the Additional Routes Pass, all recorded from scratch and rearranged in order not to distort compared to the compositions already present in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Without all these considerations, is the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Additional Paths Pass a convincing operation? At the moment, undoubtedly, yes. We are not in front of a perfect product, the courses currently released could have been made with greater attention to detail, and with more attention to their balance within the game ecosystem, but the first round of circuits was still chosen with the right criteria, it offers very valid reasons to get back on track and has fun as per initial predictions. What we hope, however, is that the criticisms leveled at Nintendo do not remain a timid "background buzz" but are exploited to improve this long operation by increasingly refining future contents, which will be released for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. and those currently available.

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