If These Five Mario Kart Tracks Don’t Show Up in the DLC, I’ll Fly to Japan Myself
On February 9th the starved Mario Kart community got the announcement of a lifetime. Nintendo unveiled the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass DLC, which includes a staggering 48 remastered tracks for $25. Eight tracks will be released at a time across six different content waves. The release will begin on March 18th and will run to the end of 2023.
While some fans are disappointed that the announcement wasn’t Mario Kart 9, this move by Nintendo makes the most sense. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has never once dropped out of the top ten selling games in the history of the Switch. Why not literally double the offerings of the game instead of introducing a new Mario Kart with potentially subpar tracks?
What’s in the First Wave of Mario Kart DLC?
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s first expansions are the Golden Dash Cup and the Lucky Cat Cup. Check out the tracks below:
Golden Dash Cup
- Paris Promenade (Tour),
- Toad Circuit (3DS),
- Choco Mountain (N64)
- The beloved Coconut Mall (Wii)
Lucky Cat Cup
- Tokyo Blur (Tour)
- Shroom Ridge (3DS)
- Sky Garden (GBA)
- Ninja Hideaway (Tour)
That leaves 40 tracks yet to be announced. Some fans are already worried that the majority of released tracks will be simplistic Mario Tour knockoffs. As someone who’s played Mario Kart 8 at a high competitive level since 2014 (check me out at twitch.tv/the_groovitude), here are five tracks that objectively deserve to appear in one of the waves of content.
Five Mario Kart Tracks That We Deserve
Delfino Square (DS)
Can you feel the sunshine? Sorry, wrong racing game.
When trying to list positive aspects about Delfino Square, it’s hard to run out of things. The music, the vibes and most importantly the design of the track itself. Delfino Square offers unique distinctions for every leg of the race.
The course opens with a large curved space and then quickly crams the players tight together for immediate chaos. The sharp turns are a welcome change to the usual design of Mario Kart tracks and that change stays maintained even once the track is through the alley. The player is given the option to drop onto a lower platform, stay on the main path or take a sharp shortcut through a market alley.
Lastly, one cannot forget the drawbridge. It’s a genius addition to the track that allows players to launch into the air or quickly boost along the ground depending on the state of the bridge. It’s surprising that the track has only appeared twice in the series given the positive reception from the Mario Kart community.
While it doesn’t offer the flair of other courses, it’s made up for with intelligent design choices that keep players on their toes. Delfino Square rewards those who can execute properly and punishes those who can’t keep up the pace.
Peach Gardens (DS)
When it comes to obstacles, Peach Gardens is king. Or in this case, princess.
Right from the beginning the player is snaking around patches of flowers, weaving through hedges, dodging Chain Chomps and trying to not get knocked up by Monty Mole. The pleasing music and backdrop give the sense of a pleasant joyride, but the real pleasure comes from boost items. If a player has a boost, all flower patches become suggestions allowing significant cuts in more than one area. Boosting also gives Monty Mole nothing to do as the player can access jumps caught in the grass before hitting a delightful drift along Peach’s Castle to reach the finish line.
Peach Gardens is yet another course that has only appeared twice in the series for curious reason. The charm of the track nearly matches the charm of the Princess and hopefully that charm becomes realized on the Switch.
DK Mountain (GCN)
It’s bigger, faster and stronger too, it’s the best track of the DK crew.
The main highlights of DK Mountain are elevation and terrain. The recipe for disaster begins right out of the gate. The player climbs a twisted road with poor grip surrounded by everyone before being shot out of a cannon.
Once arriving at the mountain, it’s all downhill from there. Players have to mix high speed along with jumps before managing a bumpy downslope. Beyond the bumps there’s unforgivingly steep turns, falling rocks and a perilous jump cut for those who like to gamble.
Just when the player finally thinks they’ve survived the encounter, there’s the suspension bridge. This bridge leans to either side and one bump is all it takes to send Lakitu on a fishing trip. If DK Mountain in fact does make the DLC, heavy characters will have a serious advantage on the suspension bridge while light characters may never sleep again.
Waluigi Pinball (DS)
Waluigi has already been passed up in DLC once and we pray that it doesn’t happen again.
Waluigi Pinball is a track that’s gushing with personality, obstacles and twisting turns. The track is a visual treat that keeps the player on rails for the majority of the race, and in this case that’s a good thing. The rails keep all racers close together which guarantees constant action.
The track design also allows the immense pinballs to become a genuinely dangerous obstacle if a player is caught in the wrong part of the cycle. When the player is finally off the rails, the danger doesn’t stop. Instead the pinballs are launched around at high speed thanks to mobile bumpers and flippers which creates a high octane final leg of the race.
Fans of Waluigi Pinball should feel confident that this track will make the cut given that it’s already featured in Mario Kart Tour.
Mushroom Gorge (Wii)
This wouldn’t be a Mario article if mushrooms weren’t mentioned.
Mushroom Gorge is a beloved joyride that alternates between being on and off of the ground. The notable use of this alternation would be right before the final leg of the race where players have to jump across three or five massive mushrooms to cross a large chasm.
An interesting aspect of Mushroom Gorge is how the track gives the player direct choices to make at two points of the race. Early in the track the player can pick between a slower ground route or a quicker bouncy mushroom cut. Then in the chasm the player can pick between jumping all the way across or taking a path that results in the player gliding the rest of the way.
Mushroom Gorge also involves one of the most difficult cuts in Mario Kart known as an ultra shortcut which involves circumventing the final turn of the race entirely. Mario Kart 8 could use more challenging cuts, so hopefully skilled players can get their hands on this track.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will be changing dramatically and these are a small portion of the tracks that need to be there. What did we miss? Let us know on Twitter @checkpointxp!