Facebook Twitter

What’s the latest from Nintendo? 8 new Mario Kart race courses arrive

SHARE What’s the latest from Nintendo? 8 new Mario Kart race courses arrive
The DS Waluigi Pinball course for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

The DS Waluigi Pinball course for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Nintendo

Eight new courses for the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass are scheduled for release Aug. 4.

This is the second “wave” of 48 race courses that will be released between March 18 and the end of 2023. The new courses are:

  • Tour New York Minute (Turnip Cup).
  • SNES Mario Circuit 3 (Turnip Cup).
  • N64 Kalimari Desert (Turnip Cup).
  • DS Waluigi Pinball (Turnip Cup).
  • Tour Sydney Sprint (Propeller Cup).
  • GBA Snow Land (Propeller Cup).
  • Wii Mushroom Gorge (Propeller Cup).
  • Sky-High Sundae (Propeller Cup).

There are two ways to access the downloadable content: It comes included with the purchase of a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership ($49.99 per year for an individual membership and $79.99 per year for a family membership), or can be purchased without the membership for $24.99. The expansion pass also gives access to N64 and SEGA Genesis titles, new content from Animal Crossing: New Horizons and the Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion.

The first wave featured Wii Coconut Mall, N64 Choco Mountain, 3DS Toad Circuit, DS Shroom Ridge, GBA Sky Garden, Ninja Hideaway, Paris Promenade and Tokyo Blur.

Here’s a look at what else the family-friendly gaming platform has released so far in 2022 and what’s ahead.

Mario Strikers: Battle League

Release date: June 10.

Cost: $59.99.

Quick review: There’s the usual lineup of Mario characters — starting with Mario, Luigi, Toad, Peach, Donkey Kong, Bowser, Rosalina, Wario, Waluigi and Yoshi — who knock each other over and put destructive items like banana peels and turtle shells in each other’s path. At its heart, it’s a pass, shoot and score game. Everything else is just decoration and devastation.

Among the decorations? Arena backgrounds resembling different landscapes from the Mario universe and animated “hyper strikes” unique to each character.

Among the devastation? Electric fences that immobilize a player, the same type of destructive items that are found in Mario Kart and slide tackles (the effectiveness of which depend a lot on whether you’re controlling Bowser or Waluigi.)

Players who can successfully avoid collisions, bombs and anything else that can knock characters off their feet will find enough room to share the ball and create scoring opportunities. The real thrill of the game comes through precision passing and shooting.

It’s a simple game in concept, but avoiding all that devastation is quite difficult — especially when playing against more experienced, higher-caliber players.

Nintendo Switch Sports

Released: April 29.

Cost: $39.99.

Quick review: Remember Wii Sports? This is a reboot for the Switch, which features the more compact Joy-Con controllers — a definite upgrade. Switch Sports maintains the simplicity of the original and has a very low barrier to entry. Just about anyone can figure it out. For example, when playing volleyball or tennis, the game will put you in the right position — you just have to execute on the spike or forehand. The number of games is limited to just six (soccer, volleyball, bowling, tennis, badminton and chambara/swordplay). That’s disappointingly low, but is offset a bit by the lower price point. Plus, an update is planned for the fall that will add golf. Volleyball was an unexpected favorite with the groups my family played in, and bowling and badminton seem to have the most replay value. Check out the online bowling mode. It’s one of the game’s better offerings.

Also released in 2022 from Nintendo

  • Pokémon Legends: Arceus, described as a “game that blends action and exploration with the RPG roots of the Pokémon series,” was released on Jan. 28.
  • Nintendo Direct, where the company unveils its future offerings, was held on Feb. 2.

Major upcoming Nintendo releases for 2022

Here are some of the more notable titles yet to be released:

  • Splatoon 3 — summer 2022.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3 — September 2022.
  • Bayonetta 3 — sometime in 2022.
  • Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet — late 2022.
  • Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — sometime in 2022.