Yes, it’s a mobile game but, just hear me out…
As you probably know I am a huge Mario Kart fan. They’ve been (by far) my most played games on the 3DS, Wii U and the Switch. So, when the new DLC was announced back in February – I can’t explain how excited I was. Finally, after what felt like nearly a decade (no, wait it was literally nearly a decade) we were finally going to get some new console Mario Kart goodness. I was over the moon. And really, the only tiny concern I had was about the porting of the Mario Kart Tour tracks. I had tried Mario Kart Tour – it was nowhere near the worst mobile game I’ve played, but it was definitely a mobile game with gacha mechanics, timed events and unappealing controls and all the other things a lot of us cringe and throw our arms up in despair about when it comes to mobile gaming. And now, those tracks were coming to MK8D. I will admit I was concerned.
Mario Kart Tour – The Flipside
And yet, now a week later, my opinion has completely flipped. Yes, it’s true that Wave 1 of the Mario Kart DLC feels texturally very flat in some places and I am missing more anti-grav areas. However, the one thing that I thought would be my biggest issue – has actually turned out to be my biggest surprise. I absolutely adore the new Mario Kart Tour ports. Now, don’t get me wrong – it’s not that other more classic tracks are bad. In fact, barring Choco Mountain (with its overly brown palette and lack of fun shortcuts) I’m actually pretty pleased with all the new tracks. I’m completely on the “Coconut Mall still rocks” side of things and I’ll even admit that I’m on the “Toad Circuit is cool” team. However, the Tour tracks really stand out.
Yes, I’m sure some of my positive feelings are because I’ve simply not seen them as much (because of not enjoying the mobile game). However, even those that did play Mario Kart Tour – say that the tracks have been updated. The funky music, sometimes bonkers layouts and changing-route-every-lap designs mean these tracks feel fresh and interesting. Ninja Hideaway is quite simply one of the best tracks Mario Kart has ever had and in our rankings, you’ll notice that both Paris Promenade and Tokyo Blur are in my top 4. I’m really shocked at how good they feel and while I can’t wait to see some familiar favourites returning (I’m looking at you Waluigi Pinball) – if this is what the Tour tracks are like I’m now hoping the upcoming waves have more of them!
To check out our initial impressions of all the tracks see the video here.