Mario Kart 8 - Wave 2 DLC

I bought the Booster Course Pass for Mario Kart 8, which includes six waves of DLC, so I’m bringing you along for a ride through all the new tracks. In this article, I’ll be reviewing all eight tracks from Wave 2.

Like in my Wave 1 reviews, I used my own personal rating system that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to anyone who’s not inside my head. I hope it still helps someone, whether you’re looking for info before you buy or you just want to hear what another buyer has to say about these tracks.

New York Minute (Tour)

Mario Kart 8 - New York Minute

I feel the same way about New York Minute as I do about the other tracks from Mario Kart Tour: I think it’s cool to be racing around Mario Kart versions of real-life places (Times Square, Central Park, and Broadway in this case), but the fact that the track changes every lap is disorienting, and not in a good way. I may not notice a set of arrows directing me a certain way (a different direction in lap 2 than in lap 1, for example), and I feel lost throughout the track.

Unlike the other locations, I actually have been to New York City, but that doesn’t really help me navigate the track.

I rate this: One Mushroom/One Golden Mushroom

Mario Circuit 3 (SNES)

Mario Kart 8 - Mario Circuit 3

I apologize in advance to any SNES fans, but do we really need more SNES tracks? They’re all flat, without a lot of interesting things about them. Donut Plains 3 is somewhat of an exception to this, in that there are some neat water features, but Mario Circuit 3 was not needed at all.

I rate this: Two Coins When a Red Shell Is About to Hit You

Kalimari Desert (N64)

Mario Kart 8 - Kalamari Desert

I also apologize to any N64 fans, but I find this one to be kind of boring as well. The arrows feel awkward. The train is the most interesting thing about this track, but it’s also really easy to avoid, so it doesn’t really matter much to me.

I rate this: One Banana/One Giant Banana Special Item from Double Dash

Waluigi Pinball (DS)

Mario Kart 8 - Waluigi Pinball

Wave 2 might be worth it for Waluigi Pinball alone. This track is even better than I remember it being. The pinballs frantically dancing around the map are as exciting as the flashy landscape. Turns are just challenging enough to be fun without being too frustrating.

My nostalgia may be biasing me toward this one, but I think this is maybe the best DLC course in the game so far.

I rate this: One Super Star

Sydney Sprint (Tour)

Mario Kart 8 - Sydney Sprint

I’ve made no secret of my dislike for Mario Kart Tour tracks, but Sydney Sprint is an exception. I don’t find myself very disoriented here at all. I mean, no matter what, you’re following the track given. But I still don’t feel as confused following this track as I do the others. I guess something feels more natural about the turns here, though I’m not sure exactly what. Maybe it’s just that no turn feels too sharp or otherwise out of place.

The main landmark for this one is of course the Sydney Opera House, and I think it’s very cool to drive around this one — and even go inside it during the final lap.

I rate this: One Mega Mushroom

Snow Land (GBA)

Mario Kart 8 - Snow Land

Snow Land isn’t much of a standout, which maybe indicates it’s on the negative side of things. There are things I like about it though. I usually like a good ice course, like Sherbet Land and Mount Wario. I think the slippery track surface ups the ante and changes the feel of the course. And some of the slanting curves in Snow Land are aesthetically interesting. The moving question-mark blocks are a nice touch as well. However, not much else really stands out about this track.

I rate this: Three Green Shells

Mushroom Gorge (Wii)

Mario Kart 8 - Mushroom Gorge

Mushroom Gorge was always a favorite of mine from Mario Kart on the Wii, so I welcome its return in Mario Kart 8. I think this maintains all the high-octane fun of jumping from mushroom to mushroom, and it adds some very cool background aesthetics, like mushrooms off in the distance and caves full of luminescent crystals.

The track itself is pretty much exactly the same as it was, which is totally fine with me. It was already a very fun track, so it didn’t need much sprucing up.

I rate this: One Golden Mushroom/One Golden Mushroom

Sky-High Sundae

Mario Kart 8 - Sky-High Sundae

Sky-High Sundae matches the energy of Mushroom Gorge — in fact, it might even surpass it!

The track has you drive up a high incline, then it drops you from platform to platform. It happens so fast that it feels like you’d have a hard time landing, but the game seems to know exactly where you’ll land and prevents you from feeling too disoriented by all this. The result is a high-speed dash to the bottom.

Admittedly, the track layout is a pretty basic O-shape, but it crams in a few interesting things, including a hang-gliding section right away, multiple options for routes (which Mario Kart 8 has been keen on), and the drop from platform to platform I mentioned before.

I wouldn’t say Sky-High Sundae is my favorite of the bunch, but it’s on the higher end. Also, this is the first track in the Booster Pass that’s brand-new and not pulled from another Mario Kart game.

I rate this: One Golden Mushroom as Toad’s Special Item from Double Dash

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