Mario Kart 8 on Switch Brings Back Balloon Battle

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Nintendo has been touting the Switch port of Mario Kart 8 as the definitive version of the game since it was unveiled earlier this year. Now, it has been confirmed that the re-release will re-introduce a beloved component of the game's multiplayer modes — Balloon Battle.

Balloon Battle outfits every player with a number of balloons tied to the back of their kart, which are depleted whenever they take damage. It's a great alternative to multiplayer races, so it's good to see the mode return in the new version of Mario Kart 8.

The Switch version of the game will feature five different battle modes, which can be played across eight different courses. As well as Balloon Battle, the game is set to include the all-new Renegade Roundup, where teams are tasked with imprisoning their opponents and escaping from jail, and classic modes like Bob-omb Blast, Shine Thief, and Coin Runners.

Nintendo is clearly going the extra mile to ensure that the Switch version of Mario Kart 8 has enough new content to tempt players who already own the Wii U version of the game. It's already been confirmed that the game won't feature any new tracks, but we do know that new characters are inbound.

The Inkling Boy and Girl from Splatoon are set to join the roster of racers, alongside King Boo, Dry Bones, and Bowser Jr. That brings the number of playable characters up to 42, a new record for the Mario Kart franchise.

Mario Kart 8 will play an important role in the Switch's 2017 release schedule, as Nintendo has high hopes that the game will tide fans over until the release of Splatoon 2 this summer. It's no secret that the system had a relatively sparse launch library, but the re-release of a tried-and-tested multiplayer game should help occupy players once they're finished with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Mario Kart 8 hits the Nintendo Switch on April 28, 2017.

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