Late last night, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was released on the Nintendo Switch. My partner bought it digitally, I purchased it physically (and am still awaiting my copy *shakes fist*). We played for a few hours, scanning some Amiibos beforehand to land the sweet new outfits for Mii characters. One costume, a Sonic the Hedgehog one, looked particularly hilarious on my partner’s Mii. Part of that was because, well, the Miis don’t really emote anymore. His stoic, plain-faced Mii with dark glasses never looked particularly pleased to be racing at all, even while skidding across the finish line in style.
I noticed the lack of facial expressions in passing, though I thought nothing of it extensively. I didn't recall if the Miis of the past Mario Kart 8 expressed themselves more visually like the other racers. But on Reddit, other eagle-eyed players have seemingly noticed this oversight too. The Miis might be different this time around the racetrack after all.
In some comparative images uploaded on Imgur, the differences between the Switch and Wii U versions of Mario Kart 8 are stark. In one, the Miis make different facial expressions. Faces of joy, excitement. In the other, the Mii’s face remains the same throughout their wild race.
Whether this change was intentional or just a bug, it does make for some unintentional hilarity. And if it is an intentional change, it isn’t the only one. For the players that opt for a Mii in hopes of donning a cool racing outfit, instead of gearing up as one of the other highly expressive characters (the Inkling kids even take out their ink gun from time to time), this might come as a disappointment for players of the updated kart racing game.
As it’s unclear whether this was a conscious change on Nintendo’s part or just a bug, we have reached out to Nintendo for comment, and will update the story accordingly when they respond.