European previews of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe have come in, bringing a few new tidbits of information we hadn’t yet learned from earlier preview events.

For starters, a third boost, denoted by pink sparks, occurs if you drift even longer than the typical blue and red sparks. This will give you an even stronger boost, though the preview at GameReactor mentions that it’s difficult to execute.

It’s also confirmed that almost all characters will be unlocked from the start – including the newcomers. The only exception is Gold Mario, who will be unlocked after completing every 200cc cup. While this may ruin the sense of progression for some, it’ll no doubt be welcome for those who exhausted the Wii U version.

Time Trials will also be getting a bit of a shake-up. While before they defaulted to the 150cc speed, you’ll now be able to hit X and tackle 200cc Time Trials. With the new addition of braking while drifting this is sure to be a test of skill for hardened veterans.

Also, it’s not possible to turn off the ability to carry two items at once if you want a more traditional experience. That said, you won’t be able to flip between the items you’re holding á la Double Dash; you’ll have to use them in the order you got them.

Finally, there are a couple of technical changes. For one, not only does the game now run at 1080p60, but it avoids dropping single frames like the Wii U version occasionally did. Load times are also improved, going from 13-14 seconds loading up the Egg Cup to 9 seconds.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launches worldwide for the Nintendo Switch on April 28th.


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Written by Tom Brown

Whether it’s an exciting new entry in a series long established or a weird experiment meant only for the dedicated, Tom is eager to report on it. Rest assured, if Nintendo ever announces Elite Beat Agents 2, he’ll be there.

Tom Brown