Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch has received its second major update this week. The first major update focused on fixing various animations (including the offensive female inkling animation) and minor changes that helped to improve the online experience. This second update focuses on fixing various bugs in both the single player and multiplayer modes. However, the most noteworthy change is allows players to unlock the Pikmin costume for the mii driver using the upcoming Pikmin amiibo.
The addition of the Pikmin amiibo functionality was an unexpected surprise. The Pikmin costume, like all of the Mii driver outfits, can’t simply be obtained through normal gameplay. Players have to own the correct amiibos and scan them into the game. The Pikmin Suit can be obtained through the Olimar amiibo, but the upcoming simultaneous release of the new amiibo and Hey! Pikmin for the 3DS offers players more opportunities to obtain the outfit.
As exciting as the inclusion of the Pikmin amiibo is, it isn’t the only important addition in the version 1.2 update. The course name and rules for the race now appear on the online loading screens. "Catch up" items spawn more often for those who fall behind. A maximum of two Piranha Plants will spawn at a time in the online races. Controls won't freeze when the timer runs out for choosing a racing suit for the Mii racer. The continuously spinning item wheel glitch is fixed. The boomerang now returns to the first slot after a player catches it. The item display reflects the correct item even if it's held behind the player. The frequency of communication errors has dropped. There are a few other, more minor changes as well. The full list of changes can be viewed on Nintendo's website.
Unlike the first update, which almost exclusively focused on online play, this update works to correct and enhance both the local and online experience. However, many of these changes are welcome additions. This is especially true for the increase in “catch-up” items for those who are falling behind. It will help give racers a competitive edge if they fall behind and ensure that the races aren’t dominated by one or two people.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe initially released for the Switch back in late April. Unlike its Wii U predecessor, the Switch version includes a whole host of new features that continue to evolve. The recent inclusion of the new amiibo to unlock a racer outfit is an exciting surprise. Nintendo’s updates demonstrate that they are dedicated to further improving the game. Unfortunately its Wii U counterpart is no longer seeing the same attention.