Five years after it came to Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is about to get eight new race tracks as part of its Booster Course Pass DLC, and players are already parsing whether they look deluxe enough. The consensus? There isn’t any, at least not yet.
The new courses go live on March 18, but some players have gotten an early glimpse by playing online in lobbies based in Japan. One of the biggest lightning rods for controversy back when the DLC was first announced was Coconut Mall, a level that originally premiered in Mario Kart Wii.
Some players argued a render of the course provided by Nintendo at the time lacked realistic details and polish compared to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s existing art style, likening them to the stripped down versions of some levels that appear in the mobile spin-off Mario Kart Tour.
Earlier this week, however, the Twitter account MarioPartyLegacy spotted changes in the latest version that made it seem like Nintendo had added more vibrant colors and textures to Coconut Mall since its Nintendo Direct reveal last month. Now, some players have seen the level in action and think it looks pretty good, while others have gone through and spotted all of the changes from the original Wii version.
For example, the Miis that previously drove cars to ram into players now have Shy Guys behind the wheel and don’t seem to move (they’d previously knock into you and spin you out). The escalators no longer look like escalators, there’s a new shortcut where a ramp previously used to be, and some players have pointed out missing arches and item boxes near the end of the course. On the other hand, Mario block art now adorns the walls.
“Coconut all has no right to be this fucking lifeless,” commented one fan on Twitter.
“This honestly looks better than Twitter makes it out to be,” wrote another. “Can’t wait for everyone to have access to these courses.”
Footage of courses Sky Garden from Mario Kart Super Circuit and Paris Promenade from Mario Kart Tour also made its way online today. Like the Switch version of Coconut Mall, both levels are crisp, vibrant, and honestly look just fine. Racing at 150cc and getting blown up with a blue shell, most players probably won’t ponder them as they would were they hanging on a wall at the Met. For the fans who will be, the levels look like they’re shaking out better than some originally feared, but with some changes to the original designs not everyone will agree with.
As with Switch Sports, Nintendo’s ongoing Mii revisionism seems especially egregious to some fans. Miis are officially retro now, and they’re a beloved part of the company’s gaming history. Then again, Nintendo has arguably never been one to prioritize preservation of its own legacy.