Saturday, November 15, 2014

A quick review of the MK8 DLC

I finally got around to trying out the new tracks, and if you weren't convinced buying the DLC would be a good idea... let's just say Nintendo absolutely delivered, with amazing new tracks (and amazing old ones, too). As far as I'm concerned, Mute City steals the show. If you thought the new Rainbow Road had some F-Zero inspiration... well, this is F-Zero all right. BOOSTS, BOOSTS EVERYWHERE. The repair areas also make a return, except they give you coins. Nice way to work the mechanic into this game, I have to say. Excitebike Arena is also rather unique - it's an oval with very, very long straights and sharp turns, think Baby Park except the straights are five times as long. But the defining trait is JUMPS, JUMPS EVERYWHERE. So it's basically a competition of who can find and execute the best trajectory to get as many boosts as possible. Hyrule Circuit is also a good one, with Rupees replacing coins, Deku Babas replacing Piranha Plants, and the whole place having that Zelda feel to it. No asphalt pavement anywhere, it really looks the way it's supposed to.

As I mentioned before, I always wanted to tackle GCN Yoshi Circuit with an inward drifter, and it really didn't disappoint, though part of me would've liked to see how it would've turned out with the uber-broken MKWii inward drifting. Wario's Gold Mine is the same as always, but it looks really gorgeous with the hardware improvement. As for SNES Rainbow Road... well, it's the hardest Mario Kart track of all time, and as it turns out it's the only track I didn't win at on my first try (150cc, for the record). Since the track is a lot bigger, and the Thwomps a lot wider, you have an easier time figuring out how to avoid them, but the lack of barriers anywhere still makes this place very unforgiving. A nice touch I liked is the Thwomps sending out shockwaves you can boost off of. Dragon Driftway and Ice Ice Outpost were both pretty nice too, despite not having the old-school or crossover charms of the other tracks.

Really, there's nothing this DLC pack did wrong, and with the way the game is tuned in terms of balance, none of the new characters or vehicles can be described as pay-to-win either. The Hylian Kite, despite not having unique stats, is a welcome addition to the game, for the simple reason that all the good-looking gliders are either heavy or the Bowser Kite, which takes so much space on the screen you can't see anything, which led to virtually everyone using the MKTV Parafoil. Well, the Hylian Kite finally provides a good-looking light glider that doesn't obstruct vision, which is something the game needed.

So if you were on the fence about buying that DLC... there's really no reason to be now. The $13 season pass has already paid for itself.


  1. I guess i'll pick it up, it will give me a reason to play some more MK8, which I haven't touched since about July when I 3 stared everything and played a good number of online matches

  2. The only things I'm disappointed with are Dragon Driftway and Ice Ice Outpost, simply because they feel pretty generic and uninteresting. Mute City is AWESOME, though I didn't know about the coin thing and I was very confused when there weren't any on the track.

    1. I'd say it's more a matter of feeling generic and uninteresting compared to everything else in the DLC pack. They're certainly no worse than most tracks in the vanilla game.

  3. Super Circuit and Mario Advance are on the Virtual Console now...Curse my nostalgia with those being two of the first games I ever played...

  4. Not sure if you've done this before, but what would you say are your top 10 Mario Kart tracks of all time?