Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pack 3 Review


Photo Credit: Super Mario Bros.

Maximus Tate, Contributor

Another day, another year with Mario Kart 8 being the newest game in the franchise. It is almost comical how long this game’s lifespan has been, out lasting games such as Overwatch 1, Splitgate and two entries in the Super Smash Bros. series. While we can mock and belittle how long it has been since a new entry, the game is still putting out new content for fans to enjoy. So, while we are here waiting for Mario Kart 9 to be announced, let’s review and rank the new courses added in Booster Course Pack 3.

#8 London Loop

The first and the worst course in this booster pack for me was undoubtedly London Loop from Mario Kart Tour. When it was first announced that Tour tracks were being added to Mario Kart 8, my expectations were pretty low. While I have been proven wrong about the quality of the Tour tracks with stand out hits such as Ninja Hideaway and Merry Mountain, this track was easily the worst track in this pack. The track design has a lot of weird turns and does not flow together. On top of that, it feels like every other Tour city track with the catch this time being a moody filter over everything that makes it hard to see. Much like English cuisine, I will most likely pass on this a majority of the time.

#7 Berlin Byways

Luckily the seventh best track in the pack is a big rise up in quality with Berlin Byways. This course feels like a much better realized version of London Loop. It has pretty similar theming to that course, but it brings its own gimmicks that make it stand out from other courses in that game. There are a lot of moments that I enjoy in this course. The whomps that make up the Berlin Wall are pretty clever. While this course was seventh on my overall ranking, I do not want to undermine its quality. Compared to London Loops’ D ranking, this course would be a solid B. I just prefer some of the other courses that appear in this pack a little bit more.

#6 Peach Gardens

I was very excited to see Peach Gardens return for pack three. I genuinely enjoyed it in Mario Kart DS and Wii. So, when I finally played the remake for Mario Kart 8, I was very pleased with how it turned out with one exception. The first two laps of the course are what I would imagine a remake of this course would be. It has been streamlined to take away some of the annoying off-road segments and make the chain chomp maze sequence much easier to navigate. The piranha plant added at the end of the course was a fun touch. The first two laps of this course are great, however I have mixed opinions about the third lap. While going reverse on the track for the final lap is cool in theory, it just does not feel as carefully designed as the rest of the course. It is a little bizarre that they decided to do it only for this course. It is like they thought that Peach Gardens was not interesting enough to stand on its own. I love Peach Gardens and who knows, maybe I will come around on this change. As it stands however, I wish they went with a more traditional third lap.

#5 Merry Mountain

I was initially hesitant going into Merry Mountain. The third “brand new track” of the booster course packs, the quality of these new tracks has been very mixed. Ninja Hideaway might be in my top three Mario Kart tracks of all time and easily makes pack 1 worth its value. Sky High Sundae, on the other hand is one of the most boring and uninteresting Mario Kart tracks we have seen in a long time. I am happy to report that Merry Mountain does not stoop to that level but it also does not reach the high that Ninja Hideaway achieved for me. Merry Mountain is very simple, much like Sky High Sundae, but it easily makes up for it through sheer spectacle. With the reintroduction of half pipes from Mario Kart Wii, Merry Mountain is a simple course that is fun to play every once and a while.

#4 Boo Lake

I have always been a sucker for the SNES and Game Boy Advance tracks in Mario Kart 8. Something about their track designs manages to blend difficulty and simplicity to form a great time. Boo Lake, once again is a another one of these stelar GBA tracks. While there are not many gimmicks in this course, the track layout is very fun to drive through and the large underwater section for this course has a surprising number of sharp turns that make this track fun but kind of difficult. There is not much to say about Boo Lake. It is just a short course that just fills your brain up with some good ole serotonin.

#3 Rock Rock Mountain

You have heard the story of the ugly duckling. The moral of that story was that you should not judge things for being ugly as it prevents us from seeing what they are truly capable of. Rock Rock Mountain is a very ugly course, but I would be lying if I said I did not have fun playing it. Once again, this track is filled with spectacle with the massive flight section. Absolutely my third favorite of the pack.

#2 Rainbow Roads

One of the best Rainbow Roads ever made, Rainbow Road 3DS is definitely a great track. While I personally am not a huge fan of the single lap courses, this track is pretty dang good. It has a great sense of finality to it. If I had to choose a Rainbow Road to be the last track in all of Mario Kart, I would choose this one. Though I still do like Mario Kart Wii’s rendition of the track the most.

#1 Maple Tree

What else can be said about Maple Tree way. It is a remake of a course that was already fantastic in Wii. It is still challenging and as fun to race on as it was before. It even might be the best-looking track in all of the DLC tracks so far. This track is near perfection. The only thing holding it back from a 10/10 is the switch from the wire bridge to a lame flight section but even then, it does not hamper my enjoyment on Mario Kart Wii’s magnum opus. Koopa Cape is still better though.

Overall, this pack was easily the best of the booster course DLC by far. With only one stinker in the pack, every track is fun and re-playable. I highly recommend this pack and I cannot wait for what is in store for the future.

The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass is $30 or free if you have the premium Nintendo Wi-Fi subscription and is only for the Nintendo Switch.