This Friday, the wonderful Wii U title Mario Kart 8 is making the jump to the Nintendo Switch with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The Deluxe pack will feature every track from the original game that more than 8 million people enjoyed as well as all of the DLC cups. That includes Baby Park, my favorite Mario Kart track ever.
Well, I should be clearer. Baby Park in Mario Kart 8 is beautiful and a little fun and the Mario Kart DS iteration is okay, but Baby Park in Mario Kart: Double Dash is not only easily the best version of the track, but the best Mario Kart track period.
At first glance, it doesn't look like much. In fact, it almost looks it should be a tutorial track to teach you the basics of the game. But once the green light flashes, its one-dimensional veneer melts away as you’re forced to survive eight laps of absolute hell. Each lap takes about 10 seconds, but in Double Dash, those seconds could be filled with you dodging giant Bowser shells, huge bananas, waves of fireballs and the rest of the special items that, for some reason, are exclusive to Double Dash.
That is what makes this track stand out. Other courses in the game are quite big, wide and occasionally too long, so it’s easy to avoid these massive obstacles. But here, in the baby-themed thunder dome, you’re lucky to make it five laps without seeing your kart tumble over itself. And when somebody lets loose a blue shell? Fuggedaboutit.
Baby Park doesn’t feel like a traditional race, it feels like the madcap chaos of Mario Kart’s battle mode has been isolated and concentrated into a deceptively cute-looking traditional track. For that, it’s the best of the bunch and I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.