Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack One for Wii U
Ok, hyperbole time. This is the best value DLC ever released. Let’s do some maths. New, Mario Kart 8 cost about £40. There are 32 tracks in the game. Since the tracks are the main draw, let’s call that about £10 for 8 tracks. This DLC and the next (which will be released sometime in the spring next year) can be bought together for £11. There are 8 tracks in each DLC so 16 tracks overall. A reasonable amount to charge would be about £20, since these DLCs contain about half again the content of the full game. Instead, we get both for a little over half that. Maths alone is reason enough to buy it.
This DLC pack adds two new cups, the Egg Cup and the Triforce Cup, all of which are replete with the usual stuff like the different CC speeds and Mirror Mode. The eight new tracks include three classic levels; the original SNES Rainbow Road, Yoshi Circuit from Mario Kart DS and Wario’s Gold Mine from Mario Kart Wii. These are all good tracks and it’s nice to have them back. There are also two entirely new courses; Ice Ice Outpost is a fun level of two intertwining tracks and Dragon Driftway is a slightly nauseating level which mostly takes place in anti-gravity. The real highlights are, of course, the tracks based on other Nintendo titles. Excitebike Arena is a surprisingly fun level, made up simply of a loop and jumps, which has the novel gimmick of being randomly generated every time you play. It’s the closest Mario Kart 8 gets to my beloved Baby Park from Double Dash. Mute City is an F-Zero themed level which is simple but fun, although it does just whet the appetite for an actual F-Zero game. The highlight and biggest draw of the pack is Hyrule Circuit, a Zelda themed level which sees you cross a part of Hyrule Field before entering Hyrule Castle. There are some great Zelda details, such as the mini-puzzle which sees you knocking three crystals which opens a shortcut, complete with the classic Zelda puzzle solving jingle. On top of these levels are three new characters, Link, Tanooki Mario and Cat Peach and a few new vehicles, such as the Blue Falcon and a Zelda themed bike. These are all levels showing Mario Kart at its finest.
Nintendo doesn’t half-ass stuff and this DLC is stuffed with charming detail. From the animations when Link and Tanooki Mario do a trick to the fact that the coins are replaced with rupees in Hyrule Circuit, this DLC is every bit as packed with love and attention as the main game is. The music is great, although I wish Nintendo had refrained from yet another electric guitar version of the Zelda theme; Hyrule Warriors was enough of that, thanks.