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'Mario Kart 8 Deluxe' Update Rebalances Online Races, Fixes Bugs

Nintendo released an update for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe that rebalances multiplayer races and fixes several bugs in the game's online component.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is an updated version of the Wii U's Mario Kart 8 for the new Switch console. It quickly became one of the series' most popular entries after its April 28 debut, but many players also encountered bugs in the game's online mode. The game lagged, repeatedly gave players the same items, and appeared to suffer from hitbox problems. Now at least some of those issues have been fixed with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe version 1.2.

Here are some of the bugs Nintendo addressed with this update, according to the release notes:

Item wheel no longer spins continuously in online matches.Online matches now end as intended 30 seconds after the first place racer finishes.The Boomerang now returns to the first slot, if possible, after a player catches it.Items shown in a player’s item slots now display correctly when holding an item behind them. No longer possible to use an item after it has been used to block an attack.Communication errors no longer occur frequently while spectating or after spectating online matches.

Nintendo also used the update as an opportunity to rebalance Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's races. Like other entries in the series, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe offers players who fall behind certain advantages over those winning the race. Some items are distributed only to slower racers--like the infamous blue shell--and racers towards the front of the pack typically receive more defensive items, like that blasted banana peel.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe version 1.2 also includes some other balance tweaks. Nintendo said in its release notes that no more than two piranha plants will be distributed at any time and that "players who are behind in online matches will receive items geared toward catching up more frequently." We hope this doesn't mean blue shells are going to be handed out like pamphlets in Times Square, but we also welcome the additional challenge.

This update, much like the updated released for Arms earlier this week, highlights Nintendo's commitment to supporting its games after their release. That might not seem like a big deal--what developer isn't regularly updating its games these days?--but it's a marked departure from the "ship it and forget it" mentality from the company's heyday. Now we just need some more games (ahem) to make their way to the Switch.