Review: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass Wave 2

 Off to a good, if not the most exciting, start.

Console: Nintendo Switch


When Nintendo revealed the existence of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass (still a mouthful) they also gave a general, and I mean general, timeframe of the 6 waves in which the 48 tracks would come. Based on that timeframe people speculated that the next wave would hit sometime in July. The 2nd wave came racing to Switch only a few days ago, in August.

A bit later than expected but it appears that Nintendo put this extra time to good use. The tracks in wave 2 didn't just get people more excited but they are of a slightly higher quality Plus: we even got a brand-new track! Sort off.

Let's dive into this 2nd wave and see how they stack up!

To quickly recap, the booster course pass is divided up into 6 waves, each consisting of 8 tracks split into 2 cups. All of these tracks are remastered courses from games past. Remade in HD with minor tweaks to make them better fit with the gameplay style of MK8D and with re-recorded and remixed music.

In wave 2 we have New York Minute (Tour), Mario Circuit (SNES), Kalimari Mountain (N64) and Waluigi Pinball (DS) in the Turnip Cup and Sydney Spring (Tour), Snow Land (GBA), Mushroom (Wii) and Sky-High Sundae (New*) in the Propeller Cup. 

The 8 tracks in wave 2.

The tracks of wave 2 are roughly the same quality, but with an extra layer of polish. I get the strong impression that the DLC is handled by a less experienced B-team. Now that the team has one wave under its belt and together with feedback, their second go-around is better than their first.

The textures are better than wave 1, bar the barren squares of pure green that is the background of Mario Circuit 3. They even went back to wave 1 and polished up some things there. People were disappointed that the cars in Coconut Mall didn’t move like the original but now they do! There is also a track that has anti-gravity: Sky-High Sundae. With its fun atmosphere and very ‘loopy’ track design, it’s a blast of a course.

Anti-gravity isn’t the only peculiar thing about Sky-High Sundae. Nintendo has marketed the Booster Course Pass as "more courses from throughout the Mario Kart", series so seeing a new track amongst the lot is quite the surprise. However, I think its status as a 'brand-new track' is disputable. On the same day that Wave 2 was revealed, Nintendo also revealed that Sky-High Sundae would release for Mario Kart Tour on a later date.

I think that Sky High-Sundae was developed for Mario Kar Tour but with MK8D in mind and Nintendo just decided to release it for the latter first. Remember the confusion surrounding Ninja Hideaway in wave 1? That track was listed as a Tour track in some places while others didn't. If I'm allowed to speculate a bit here, I think that track was also meant to release for MK8D first and then Tour but the pandemic changed plans.

Back to the courses! Waluigi Pinball is the new Coconut Mall: the one track this wave people had on their wish list with a uniquely themed, well-designed and killer musical track course. New York Minute and Sydney Sprint are not that exciting visually, rather samey, but the variation in each lap is nice. Mario Circuit 3 is basic and boring sadly. Snow Land is also basic in design but it has a better atmosphere, fun attention to detail with the sound design and a much better background. Kalimari Dessert and Mushroom Gorge are a lot of fun. They’re more intricate in design with some fun tricks up their sleeves. 

Racing on Waluigi Pinball is like putting on a refurbished pair of old shoes and find they’re just as comfortable as your remember!

Conclusion

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass Wave 2 is Wave 1; but slightly better. It once again gives players 8 new courses from other games in the series to race on. Nothing more, nothing less. They’re still not on the same level as the courses in MK8D, quality-wise, but they are more polished than the courses in wave 1 and has some anti-gravity representation.. Plus, the team did what I had stated in my review of wave 1 I would very much appreciate: touch up the tracks of wave 1.

They are, once again, fun courses with a nice amount of variety and worth the asking price. Assuming that more courses to race on in this nearly 10-year-old game, that is. 

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