We're all pretty happy to have more Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to play, right? Over the past few months, we've got two brand new waves of courses thanks to the Booster Course Pass, which kicked off with Wave 1 in March and just recently followed up with Wave 2 earlier this month. But if there's been one common complaint among fans, it's to do with how the courses look compared to the base game.
Digital Foundry has now shared its thoughts on the 16 new tracks that we currently have access to, comparing them to both the main game's 48 courses and their Mario Kart Tour originals. So far, all of the Booster Course Pass additions have either been available in Mario Kart Tour or added at a later date (Sky-High Sundae), and this is what Digital Foundry thinks is "the heart of the issue".
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Even though the base game itself is an enhanced release of a Wii U game, Digital Foundry points out that Nintendo took a different approach towards porting the game to Switch, such as adding more detail to the textures like the sand, grass, roads, and even buildings, which makes the 16 new courses stand out.
Stating that the new courses "have flat, low-detail textures in general, particularly on trackside geometry and foliage", DF points out the different techniques Nintendo has used to make the Booster Course additions look a bit better on Switch but admits that they have a "clay-like appearance" as a result, and if you get close, you'll "notice some grime and roughness has been blended in with overlaid detail textures".
Other things DF notes in its analysis is that things like trackside buildings, flowers, and even trees in the distance look noticeably different. The bushes lack "alpha textures", and graphical tools like "cubemaps" that are used for reflections are much lower in resolution.
It's worth noting that Nintendo patched in some visual improvements to the Wave 1 courses when Wave 2 dropped, but there are still a few visual discrepancies:
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DF also looks back at the courses' iterations in Tour as well as in other Mario Kart games, noting the texture improvements and particularly real-time shadows (Tour uses baked-in ones). But the publication also acknowledges that, at the end of the day, we're getting 48 new courses for half the price of the base game — so we'll have 96 courses in total by the end.
You can check out Digital Foundry's full thoughts on the Booster Course Pass so far over on Eurogamer, or check out the video below for some side-by-side comparisons.
What do you think of the visuals on the Booster Course Pass tracks? Or are you just happy to be getting more Mario Kart every few months? Let us know!