Yoshi’s Island is a new favorite of mine
Okay, so I have to admit this upfront: I adore the Yoshi’s Island series. Destructoid legend Jordan Devore and I would discuss this franchise constantly, and nearly every conversation ended in: “yeah, it’s real good.” It’s just a natural conclusion. Well, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe just dropped a track tailor-made for us in Yoshi’s Island, part of the newest Wave 4 DLC. Here’s why it’s so great.
The layout is breezy and unique without being too much
Some Mario Kart tracks can employ a semi-convoluted track layout, which doesn’t always gel with the folks who pick up and play with me casually. But so far, Yoshi’s Island has been a big hit with pretty much everyone. I’ve raced with.
The track itself is fairly straightforward, with a main road to follow that doesn’t deviate too much from the gold standard. But the combination of (tempered) land, sea, and air bits are balanced well, including a few really cute Easter eggs (like creating platforms from Question Mark Clouds). Like the Zelda map before it, there’s also a bit of enemy variety sprinkled throughout the track too.
The music rocks
The original Yoshi’s Island soundtrack (dating all the way back to the SNES) absolutely ruled, and is still living in my head rent-free today. But to hear a classic tune remixed like this in 2023 in what I can only describe as “Yoshi by way of Toy Story,” is incredible. Literally as soon as I heard it, I perked up and laughed.
You can listen to it yourself above via the SoljaDreams24 YouTube channel. I dare you to not smile once while it’s playing!
The theming is nostalgic without being cloying
What really ties everything together is the theming.
Nintendo typically goes all-out for the “brand new” tracks, as they don’t really reinvent the wheel on the majority of the returning courses. But with Yoshi’s Island, they can really stretch their legs creatively; drawing from the subseries’ decades-old history to give us a loving, but not overdone homage. And with how cutesy this universe is, it would be really easy to overdo it. Imagine if they opted to have a baby version of a popular character constantly crying throughout it. No thanks!
Anyway, consider this your PSA if you already have access to the Booster Course Pass. Give it a shot!