The latest round of DLC for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has been released, bringing fresh content to the fan-favorite racing title. As the name suggests, this is the fourth wave of content, with two more due before the end of the year. And, as with the previous three rounds, this collection of eight tracks is just what the doctor ordered.
Wave 4 introduces us to the Fruit and Boomerang cups. We’ve become accustomed to beginning each new set with a journey through a real-life city, and these two newbies continue the trend. This time we’re taken through the streets of Amsterdam and Bangkok, with a bonus third city of Singapore at the conclusion of the Boomerang Cup. These twisting, fast-paced circuits take our own world and successfully merge it with Mario’s.
This wave marks the first appearance of a GameCube entry in the DLC, something that’s been sorely missed. With many fantastic tracks left to choose from, perhaps more will follow in future DLC. As for the rest of this wave, other inspirations come from classic DS, GBA, and Wii outings.
Something special is revealed at the end of the Fruit Cup in the form of a completely new track. Receiving upgrades from past titles is one thing, but to play a completely original course is unexpected and quite welcome, particularly when it features the adorable world of Yoshi.
With that in mind, let’s step back and break down the eight latest additions to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Tour Amsterdam Drift
The Fruit Cup opens with a scenic tour of Amsterdam. The city is bursting with color, from the tulips lining the streets to the decorative buildings in the background. This circuit takes you past windmills, trams, bikes on the street, and even into the famous canal that runs through the city. The twists and turns keep you on your toes, but this track feels fresh, fun, and slightly less confusing than some previous city outings. What a great opener!
GBA Riverside Park
This gorgeous track takes us through a tree-lined park during late afternoon. The low-set sun creates the perfect atmosphere for such a race, complete with bridges to cross, tight turns, and tip-toeing Piranha Plants to avoid. Somehow it’s still a relaxing romp, though, with updated visuals that make this one almost unrecognizable from its GBA origins. It’s simply beautiful to behold.
Wii DK Summit
This classic course comes from the popular Mario Kart Wii, taking us back to the slopes in a snow-capped journey through the mountains. It’s a frantically fast-paced circuit, especially as you sprint towards the end, with high-rising peaks, sudden drops, and pesky Shy Guys skiing right in front of you. Watch out for those slow zones, too!
This brand-new track takes us back to 1995 when Yoshi’s Island was released for the SNES. It serves as an homage to that platformer, complete with visual and audio cues from the game. There are so many references to that cute title, like Yoshi coins replacing the usual Mario coins, and a washed-out visual style reminiscent of the pastel colors we know and love. Not to mention Shy Guys on stilts, flying question marks, and even tunes from the game itself. This is one fun romp through a forested world that hits the nostalgic bone just right. It’s also a tough race to win!
Tour Bangkok Rush
Your tour through Bangkok features branching pathways that take you up and down the city streets. There’s so much to take in, with backgrounds featuring temples, statues, palm trees, and buildings. The twisty routes take you through water sections with many jumps, a train station, and a giant monument to avoid. As a tourist in this town, there’s much to see, but you’ll need to play multiple times to view it all!
DS Mario Circuit
There’s nothing like a classic Mario Circuit track to fill out the roster, and this one does the job nicely. It takes us through a forest and past Peach’s castle, with all manner of obstacles on the road. Goombas strut their stuff, Piranha Plants shoot fireballs, and there’s a giant Wiggler just waiting to block your path. The DS version looked good at the time, but this new take is simply stunning, with colors that pop off the screen. Another fun course.
GCN Waluigi Stadium
Finally, a track from the classic Double Dash! This muddy race takes us back to 2003, with huge Piranha Plants, rotating fireballs, and did I mention all the mud? The entire course is covered in brown sludge, something that clearly Waluigi revels in, making this a slippery, slimy level with plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes. It might be messy, but it’s also mighty fun.
Tour Singapore Speedway
This may be one of the best city tracks to date. Mario Kart’s take on Singapore is a neon-infused romp through a futuristic-looking city. It’s full of sprawling buildings, colorful bridges, and even a high-rise pool complete with floating Goombas. Naturally, the famous Merlion statue makes an appearance, as well. This high-flying level truly shines, and it’s the perfect way to wrap up the Boomerang Cup.
Wave 4 delivers more of that sweet racing goodness to this near-perfect game. It’s hard to criticize something so fun and fresh; in fact, the only obvious negative is that we’re now down to the final two waves. We can only hope Nintendo has more plans for Mario Kart after the year is through.
For now, as the roster of available tracks keeps growing, the DLC will continue to breathe life into the game. The colorful courses, terrific sounds, and addictive gameplay make Mario Kart 8 Deluxe the strongest in the series, and one of the strongest Switch titles in general.
If you somehow haven’t had a chance to play any of the new tracks, it’s an easy process. The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass can be purchased for a one-off payment of $24.99. With four waves now available, you’ll be treated to a whopping 32 additional tracks. Plus, if you happen to be a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscriber, these courses are already included in that package.