Nintendo do things at their own pace, this isn’t a secret. Downloadable content has become a standard in today’s gaming industry but it has taken up until now for Nintendo to fully join the fray. Sure there has been minor DLC updates in the past from Nintendo but the Mario Kart 8 Pack 1 is the first fully-fledged offering… and what an offering it is.
The first of the two announced Mario Kart 8 DLC packs contains 3 characters, 8 tracks and 4 new vehicles along with slick Triforce tires and a stylish Hylian kite glider. Mario and Peach both appear as new renditions of themselves in the form of Tanooki Mario and Cat Peach but the true highlight of the new characters is Link from The Legend of Zelda series making his Mario Kart debut. The validity of yet another Mario & Peach character is questionable but introducing characters from various other franchises open up an entirely new realm for the Mario Kart franchise. Not only does link appear as a character but also has an accompanying Master Cycle complete with custom wheels and glider. Other new karts include the Blue Falcon from the F-Zero series, Tanooki-Buggy and the iconic B Dasher.
Additional characters and karts are all fine and well but are they really worth the R96 price you are paying for the DLC package? The answer is: “Probably not”. The Egg Cup and Triforce Cup, that are comprised of 8 new tracks, add more value than an oasis in the Kalimari Desert . The newly designed retro tracks are the Yoshi Circuit from Double Dash!! (though it’s the second remake as it appeared in Mario kart DS), Wario’s Gold Mine from Mario Kart Wii and the SNES version of Rainbow Road. The new tacks are the Dragon Driftway, Excitebike Arena, Ice Ice Outpost, Mute City from F-Zero and the Hyrule Circuit from The Legend of Zelda. The Excitebike Arena, Mute City and Hyrule Circuit tracks are without a doubt the best additions with Ice Ice Outpost sadly falling a bit short as far as track design goes.
If you’re wary of purchasing this DLC for Mario Kart 8, don’t be. The content, specifically the new cups, add a wealth of new gameplay that is well worth the R96 pricetag. The DLC requires a retail or digital copy of Mario Kart 8 as well as an internet connection to purchase the pack from Nintendo’s eShop.