Why it matters to you
If you ever felt that your opponents could one up you simply because of this one trick, that shouldn’t be the case on the Switch.
Nintendo has taken the executive decision to remove the “fire-hopping” or “frogging” trick from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. That means that when the enhanced edition of the latest Mario Kart launches on the Nintendo Switch on April 28, players will need to find new advanced tactics to get ahead in competitive play.
When Mario Kart 8 was released on the Wii U in 2014, fire hopping was rather controversial. The practice involves jumping left and right after initiating a boost, lessening speed lost and lengthening the boost. Some saw this as a cheat or cheap trick, but Nintendo never did anything about it so it is a practice that remains to this day. But in the Switch Deluxe version, it may even be counterproductive.
In a recent test of the new version of the game by GameXplain, the fire-hopping trick actually seems to slow you down when compared with just holding the proper racing line following your boost. The narrator does tell us that he’s hardly an expert at using the technique and it’s possible that some semblance of an advantage does remain, but if it’s there, it’s negligible.
This should be good news for anyone who considered the technique on the Wii U version of the game as cheating or at the very least a little bit of a dirty trick. Not everyone saw it as such, with most considering it more as a tool for time-trial racing, since it tends to make you more vulnerable to abilities in multiplayer, but it seems it was controversial enough for Nintendo to make some changes.
Other changes coming as part of the Deluxe re-release of the game include additional characters, bringing the total to 40 at launch; 48 tracks, including all DLC from the game’s Wii U release; returning items like ‘Boo’ and the feather, which turn you invisible and let you hop over obstacles respectively, and a revamped arena mode complete with new maps and unique game modes.