Mario Kart 8 got some nice little updates today. Amiibo functionality has been added to the menu. Scanning those will give your Mii racer a costume. (I’ll be getting a Yoshi, but I might pick up Cap. Falcon just so I can pretend I have a proper F-Zero game.) Also added was the fantastic on-screen map, which had been missing until now. And after what feels like forever, we have the first DLC pack for Mario Kart 8. This pack includes:
Three Racers: Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, and Link
Four Vehicles: B-Dasher, Tanooki Kart, Blue Falcon, and the Master Cycle
Egg Cup: Yoshi Circuit, Excitebike Arena, Dragon Driftway, and Mute City.
Triforce Cup: Wario’s Gold Mine, Rainbow Road, Ice Ice Outpost, and the Hyrule Circuit.
Let’s start off with the racers. Link is the newest addition to the heavy class, which is fitting for the swordsman. Heavy class isn’t my cup of tea, but I know for others it’s a great fit. While I’m saddened to see a fourth variation of Peach and Mario instead of characters like Diddy Kong or Birdo, I’m finding that I enjoy Tanooki Mario the most. His jump animations are adorable, and at some points, he turns into a statue like in SMB2. Cat peach is pretty much the same. So, not bad, but I would have liked some other characters.
The new vehicles are great. I’m not a fan of the motorcycles, as no amount of me can figure out how to operate them properly, but the Master Cycle is a welcomed addition. I love the Blue Falcon. It’s so responsive and smooth that it makes everything feel like an F-Zero game. B-Dasher is a nice return, and also quite responsive. And the Tanooki Kart is a great heavier cart with some good handling.
Now on to the courses!
- Yoshi Circuit from the Game Cube makes a nice return. With all the twists and turns, make sure you’ve got a vehicle that can handle it.
- Excitebike Arena is like having a miniature Excitebike game within MK8. The course is always different, and like the original game, you can screw up very easily if you don’t time those jumps correctly.
- Dragon Driftway is almost entirely zero gravity. Its twists will keep you on your toes.
- Mute City is absolutely gorgeous and definitely my favorite course. It manages to feel way faster than it actually is. Really, it just makes me want a proper F-Zero game. You gave me this course Nintendo, MAKE IT HAPPEN!
- Wario’s Gold Mine makes a return from the Wii. I get thrown off easily in this course, but it’s wacky and fun.
- The SNES Rainbow Road appears, making it the third RR course in this game. And I have no complaints about that. As usual, the course is gorgeous to look at and feels great to play. Hell, just make Mario Kart: Rainbow Road Edition. I won’t complain.
- Ice Ice Outpost is probably the most boring addition to this game. A bland green and yellow split road set in an ice outpost. It’s fun to play, but boring as hell to look at.
- Hyrule Circuit turns the Mario Kart into Zelda Kart. The coins are replaces with rupees. Piranha plants are replaced with deku baba plants. It looks a lot like Twilight Princess, and it somehow works well.
It kind of just makes me think that Nintendo should just make a “Nintendo Racers” game that draws from every franchise. It clearly works. Overall, everything is just as good as I expected. I would have liked different racers, and Ice Ice Outpost is boring.. but if those are the only complaints I have at the end, it’s not even worth complaining about, especially considering how most other companies have been handling DLC. Nintendo manages to do things right, and for a fair price.
You can pick up the packs for $7.99 a piece, or get both for $11.99. Ordering both will get you color variations for Yoshi and Shy Guy.