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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Apparently Nerfs Fire-Hopping

A high-level technique for extending speed boosts in Mario Kart 8 may not have made the transition into the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch. The maneuver, called "fire-hopping," was captured on video looking much less effective than it used to be.

Fire-hopping is performed by rapidly flipping the controller's joystick in alternating directions with a jump, at almost precisely the time a normal speed boost is supposed to end, to extend the boost past its normal end-point. When Nintendo released the 200CC mode for the original Mario Kart 8, the player community debated whether the technique was at all effective for the new high-speed mode. The conclusion was generally that it was less effective and harder to pull off, but could still lend some benefit. The technique continued to be used in lower CC modes.

With Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch on the horizon, though, the question came to whether it was still effective. The answer appears to be no. A video from GameXPlain (below) compares track times against a ghost–first in the Wii U version, in which fire-hopping allows the player to easily overtake his ghost, and then in the Switch version, where it gives no real benefit and actually seems to lose ground. 

This wouldn't be the first time Nintendo nixed a controversial technique. Snaking, a technique popularized by the online competitive scene of Mario Kart DS, was snuffed out in later iterations by changing the drift-boosts to only trigger after a drift is particularly long or sharp.

Nintendo is pretty keen on keeping an even playing field for everyone, which incidentally is why you can be in first place for an entire race and then get hit by a Blue Shell when you're inches from the finish line. Not that we're bitter.

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