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Ethan Walton-Jones - Sergeant Llama

28 August 2023

Mario Kart 8 Wave 5

Wave 5 of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s booster course pass is finally here, and with it comes the first set of new characters added to the DLC. The new characters are Petey Piranha, in the heavy class, Wiggler, in the medium-heavy class, and Kamek, in the medium class. It’s always nice to get some new characters for Mario Kart, but with only two spots left to fill for the last wave coming later this year, it will be interesting to see who makes the cut, especially with a lot of fan favorites such as Pauline, King Bob omb and all of the Kong family barring Donkey Kong not present.


Now onto the tracks. The two new cups that have been added are the Feather Cup and the Cherry Cup. Starting with the Feather Cup, which may be my favorite cup in the whole booster pass, is Tour’s Athens Drift. This Greek-style track is, well, very Greek. Weaving through the marble columns, past the golden statues, and drifting around the ancient theaters set the scene perfectly and the medieval Greek music topped with some lovely playing of the clarinet really worked together to make the course feel unique to Athens. The track itself can be a little bit confusing to navigate the first time, especially if you get lost admiring the scenery.

Up next is GCN’s Daisy Cruiser, a very popular course set on a cruise ship. This course is relatively simple, but is still dynamic at points, with the multiple layers of the ship accessible and the tables in the dining hall sliding around as the ship rocks back and forth on the waves. The theming of Daisy Cruiser is tied together nicely with some tropical music that wouldn’t be out of place in Super Mario Sunshine.

The third course in the Feather Cup is Wii’s Moonview Highway. The tracks where you must weave in and out of traffic are usually a pretty fun, albeit difficult, experience and Moonview Highway is no exception. It does, however, take it one step further by adding bomb cars. The chaos that ensues after rounding a corner just to see a giant bomb heading straight for you is unlike anything in most of the other tracks in this game. Moonview Highway was one of my favorite courses on the Wii, and its port over to Mario Kart 8 lives up to the memory.

Finally, rounding off the Feather Cup is a brand new course, Squeaky Clean Sprint. This track takes place inside an immense bathroom, full of plenty of water sections, everything you would expect to find in a bathroom, and most importantly, a giant rubber duck with a Mario hat. I need one! The music in Squeaky Clean Sprint is some of the best in the whole DLC. It almost feels magical and fantastical, akin to being young and imagining the Mario characters racing around your own bathroom.


Unfortunately, the Cherry Cup starts off with more of a whimper than a bang with Tour’ Los Angeles Laps. This course just feels… uninspired and boring. Sure, it features the iconic Santa Monica pier and beach, the coastal vibes of LA, but then you make your way into… an oil well site?? Is that really how LA want’s to be represented, with ugly oil drills? The music for this track isn’t anything special either, feels a bit flat as with the rest of the track. I do generally enjoy the tracks that are one long loop, ending up where you start, but this one missed the mark for me.

Moving on, GBA’s Sunset Wilds is up next. In regards to the track itself, there isn’t much to this track. It’s a relatively simple loop with a few turns, shy guys and mud hazards. I know this was a popular track to be added to Mario Kart 8, but as someone who never had a GBA, the nostalgia factor isn’t there for me to find this track interesting. Sure, I am a fan of the western theming of the course and the western OST, but this course is pretty bland overall.


Thankfully, the Cherry Cup takes a turn for the better with Wii’s Koopa Cape. This track just feels fun, which is exactly how every track should aim to feel. The different sections of the track, from the standard part to racing with the water down the hill and plunging into an underwater section in a pipe feel dynamic and add together to create one of the better tracks in this wave. The music shifting keys and style as you transition between these different sections further adds to the experience, and helps to keep the track feeling connected.

The final track of the cherry cup is Tour’s Vancouver Velocity. This track is a massive step up from LA Laps. The snowy pines, the wooden bridges, and even the city itself are gorgeous, and it's easy to get lost in the scenery of this map. Makes me want to visit Canada. The OST for this track is fantastic too, and the use of an EWI is something I didn’t expect to hear, but am very glad I did because it sounds beautiful with the backing track. This, like most of the Tour tracks, is another track that isn’t a loop but switches up each lap, and they used the extra space to show off the best Vancouver has to offer and makes for a very fun track.


Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s booster pack Wave 5 comes with two new cups, the Feather Cup, and the Cherry Cup. For me, the Feather Cup is one of the better cups to be added to the booster pack with all 4 of the tracks being enjoyable. The feather cup scores a 9/10. The Cherry Cup starts off slow with Los Angeles Laps and Sunset Wilds but picks up steam and closes with a fine finish with Koopa Cape and Vancouver Velocity. The cherry cup scores a 6.5/10. Therefore, considering the scores for both of the cups, as well as the fact that three new characters got added in, my score for wave 5 of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s booster pack is 8/10.


The Bad

- New Characters
- Tour Athens Drift
- Wii Moonview Highway
- Squeaky Clean Sprint
- Wii Koopa Cave
- Tour Vancouver Velocity

- Tour Los Angeles Laps
- GBA Sunset Wilds

The Good

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