It seems when it comes to the unique course in Mario Kart 8 Nintendo reserved their most intriguing ideas for the recent DLC package which delivered some very special tracks to the Mario Kart franchise. The new tracks in the original game are by and large however a standard affair of three laps around a course which utilises Air, Water and Anti-Gravity sections. While this has meant we’ve received more interesting motifs than ever before, such as waterfall climbing in Shy Guy Falls and flying through storm clouds in Cloudtop Cruise, there is really only one new track that truly stands out as unique from the original line-up.
Unique – Mount Wario
Indeed the prize goes to Mount Wario, the only track in the game to not form a circuit. Racers begin in a loading bay at the top of the mountain and descend down this expert level ski run before flying through caves, ploughing through rushing snow sheets alongside a damn and navigating a tight network of alpine trees. The track runs the ski run design from top to bottom meaning that racers feel a natural progression as they begin to reach the finish line. Finally reaching the slalom gates really adds a sense of tension when the race is looking like anyone’s win making that final ski jump a dramatic close. It’s a great track really and yet I’m sure the idea for it came about from another game, Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games. It’s particularly noticeable in the final lap but of course it was going to be, the idea is a track designed as a ski run and it’s not like this is the first time this concept may has been used in Mario Kart (DK’s Snowboard Cross from the Wii for example). However it’s the colours and the feeling of celebration the track has for the competitors that make it feel highly reminiscent of the crossover Olympic affair. Besides I’m really not sure what the track does have to do with Wario apart from the hot air balloon on the track selection screen. Perhaps this was Nintendo’s intention to provide a subtle nod to another franchise bearing the Mario name (albeit one that is essentially Sega’s property). Then again perhaps it is a Sonic the Hedgehog fan trying to find links for the hedgehog wherever he can. Regardless of this Mount Wario still remains the most unique new track in Mario Kart 8 because out of all the tracks in the history of the series it is the only one that does not loop in any way, shape or form, providing one crazy mountain side drop.
Thanks for reading! That’s it for now in Best, Worst & Unique in Mario Kart 8. Please leave any comment below if any of your favourites or least favourites deserve some attention too. If you missed the Best & Worst you can find them here and here respectively.