A Defense of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s Smart Steering

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is an excellent Switch port of the Wii U version, including all the DLC.  Its like a Game of the Year Edition.  A few extra driving mechanics were added.  I think all can agree that the auto acceleration was a good idea.  Holding down the A button continuously isn’t exactly engaging.  Why not have the vehicle accelerate automatically?  But then there’s the smart steering, which sparked a small controversy upon release.  Smart steering means the player doesn’t have to steer.  It assists less skilled players to make turns.  If left alone, the kart will automatically turn.  Some people see this as dumbing down the game.  The game plays itself and players won’t have the motivation to improve.  I am not one of these people.  Smart steering doesn’t make you automatically win.  It gives young kids or those with disabilities a chance to play.  Who am I to tell other people how to play?

A misconception about smart steering that it makes the game too easy.  I’ve put this theory to the test.  Since 50cc isn’t much fun, I put on smart steering while I did something else.  Every time I had to take control on the final lap.  My character would always be around 5th or 6th.  Smart Steering without player input will not drift or go for item boxes.  Drifting is key to Mario Kart for boosting.  Not much winning will be happening if you rely only on smart steering.  See for yourself.  Go to an online race and put the smart steering on, watch a YouTube video and come back to the game.  Chances are you’ll be dead last.  Winning races still requires skill.

Toadette Mario Kart 8

Nintendo games are made for everyone in mind.  Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is an accommodating game.  Not everyone who plays video games is looking for a challenge.  Young kids have a chance to play.  Those with disabilities can also play.  They want to enjoy video games but may have physical limitations that prevent them from playing most games.  Smart steering allows anyone to enjoy the game.  Not everyone has to play the game exactly like you.

At the end of the day, smart steering is completely optional.  If you don’t want to use it, you don’t have to.  Imagine that!  Games are about having fun.  Not who has the most skill or even about winning.  Everyone enjoys games for different reasons.  How elitist do you have to be that the way other people play bothers you?  People should play how they want.

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