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Ethan Walton-Jones - Sergeant Llama

19 November 2023

Mario Kart 8 Wave 6

The final wave of tracks for Mario Kart 8 has finally arrived, marking the end of an 18-month journey since the first wave in March 2022. Throughout this period, we've experienced a mix of great tracks and cool new characters, alongside some less impressive additions. Now, let's explore what Nintendo has delivered in this ultimate wave. Similar to previous updates, this one introduces two new grand prix events: the Acorn Cup and the Spiny Cup. Additionally, four new characters join the roster—Diddy Kong, Funky Kong, Pauline, and Peachette—solid additions that enhance the gameplay. The final wave also brings a music player accessible from the main menu, allowing users to enjoy the tracks' music at their leisure. Furthermore, Mii Racing enthusiasts can now choose from a few new racing suits to personalize their characters.


The Acorn Cup kicks off with "Rome Avanti," a track from Mario Kart Tour set in Italy's Rome. This track encapsulates the essence of a Roman landscape, featuring a Colosseum with Chain Chomp gladiators, classic Italian streets, and storefronts. The accompanying Italian-style OST, marked by soothing elegance and a delightful strings section, perfectly captures the sensation of driving through a city at night. While not the most thrilling track in this wave, its unique tour style, with varying directions each lap, provides a pleasant way to commence the final wave.

Following is "DK Mountain," originally from Mario Kart: Double Dash but also showcased in Mario Kart Wii. Personally loving this track since its Wii debut, I can't help but feel that Nintendo may have made it slightly too easy in MK8. Recollecting the mountain segment as more jagged and steep in the past, I might be nitpicking. Nonetheless, the track remains enjoyable, though it doesn't quite evoke the same excitement as before. The DK Mountain OST, on the other hand, maintains its excellence, seamlessly blending with the Donkey Kong aesthetic. The addition of a new flute layer further enriches this already outstanding musical experience.

Up next is "Daisy Circuit" from Mario Kart Wii, a classic track that may not be the most thrilling but is a welcome return, complete with its iconic shortcut up the stairs of one of the buildings. The background buildings have received a vibrant update, toning down the overall orangy-ness of the track. Nintendo continues its streak of enhancing already great music with a remix of the original Daisy Circuit track. While remaining faithful to the original, the remix injects a new layer of liveliness, achieving musical perfection. Concluding the Acorn Cup is the brand-new track, "Piranha Plant Cove." While other DLC tracks like "Squeaky Clean Sprint" and "Yoshi’s Island" rank among the best, Piranha Plant Cove falls short, lacking the same impact. It disappointingly concludes an otherwise solid cup, failing to stand out in any memorable way. Recollection of any part of this track proved challenging when writing this review, leaving Piranha Plant Cove feeling forgettable.


The second cup, and the final cup of Mario Kart 8's DLC, is the Spiny Cup. It kicks off with another European Tour map, "Madrid Drive," set in Madrid, Spain. Before delving into the track itself, it's worth noting that the music for this course stands out as some of the best in the entire DLC. The emphasis on percussion and Flamenco Guitar perfectly encapsulates the Spanish style, creating a musical backdrop that complements the track seamlessly. And the track itself lives up to the musical excellence. "Madrid Drive" is a fantastic course, brimming with iconic landmarks like the football stadium, art museum, fountains, and Plaza Mayor. Overall, it sets a high standard for the final cup.

Following is "Rosalina’s Ice World" from Mario Kart 7. Despite not having played Mario Kart 7 due to the absence of a 3DS, this track pleasantly surprised me. Despite its reputed lack of popularity, I find it to be a highly enjoyable course, featuring drifting around ice half pipes, navigating slippery ice, and exploring magical caves. The track's OST enhances its magical and mystical theme, coupled with a compelling background beat. As a fan of Super Mario Galaxy, I appreciate the tie-in to that game series. Overall, "Rosalina’s Ice World" stands as another great track in the Spiny Cup, one that invites repeated play.


Moving on, the penultimate track for the Mario Kart 8 DLC is "Super Mario Kart’s Bowser Castle 3." The DLC needed a Bowser Castle, and this one fits the bill perfectly. Balancing the classic 2D Bowser Castle feel from the old SNES tracks with modern elements like raised sections and, of course, plenty of lava, it also introduces an anti-gravity section unique to SNES tracks in Mario Kart 8. The track's OST is nothing short of epic, featuring shredding electric guitars and heavy bass that evoke a final boss vibe, fitting for a Bowser-themed track.

And now, the grand finale. The last track of the Spiny Cup and the ultimate track of the Mario Kart 8 DLC is "Mario Kart Wii’s Rainbow Road." This track holds a special place in my heart, with its Wii version ranking as my favorite track of all time. The recreation and port to Mario Kart 8 do justice to the original, striking the perfect balance between difficulty and beauty. Nintendo's attention to detail, such as the character hurtling down towards Earth when falling off from the Wii's version, showcases the love invested in this track. The OST for "Mario Kart Wii’s Rainbow Road" is nothing short of magical, instantly transporting me back to my younger self playing this track repeatedly in our living room. Confidently, I declare it the best music from any Mario Kart track of all time, and the remix is truly fantastic. This track serves as the perfect ending to Mario Kart 8, and its OST functions as the ideal outro music for a game that has played a significant role in the success of the Nintendo Switch. Well done, Nintendo.


In conclusion, the Acorn Cup receives a score of 7/10 due to the underwhelming Piranha Plant Cove, while the Spiny Cup earns a perfect 10/10, making the overall score for this final wave an impressive 9/10. The Spiny Cup's excellence elevates the final wave's rating, providing a satisfying end to the Mario Kart 8 DLC journey. Well done, Nintendo!


The Bad

-Rome Avanti
-DK Mountain
-Daisy Circuit
-Madrid Drive
-Rosalina’s Ice World
-Bowser Castle 3
-Wii Rainbow Road (the best)

-Piranha Plant Cove (probably harsh)

The Good

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