diana;;mario kart;;nintendo;;racing;;party Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee


By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on November 25, 2014

Itís been six months since the release of Mario Kart 8. Is this game really as cool as we all thought it would be? And how much does the newly released DLC really add to this game?

I played my very first game of Mario Kart way, way back on the SNES. It was a very nice game, which you could easily play with a friend. Back in the day, the controls were perfectly simple and it looked amazing (remember, we're talking about 1992 here). Over the years that followed, seven more parts were developed and added to this fun racing-game series. And you know how you sometimes get a little nostalgic when you've been doing something for a long, long time? This looks to be exactly the case with the developers at Nintendo, because a lot of the courses you can choose from are remakes of courses from earlier Mario Kart games. These courses have of course been updated, but they're theme is basically the same as it was on the SNES, N64, , Gameboy color, DS, etcetera.

Iím not much of a racing game player, but Mario Kart has always treated me well. Itís a game everyone can enjoy. The controls are easy, the drivers are well-known stars of the Nintendo firmament (providing you've played Nintendo games before) and everything is just wonderfully colorful and happy. It really makes you feel good, and let's face it, that's exactly what gaming should be about.

The one thing you canít say about Mario Kart 8 is that it doesn't give you much of a choice in the area of drivers and vehicles. Everyone can pick his or her favorite: Mario, Princess Peach, Iggy Koopa, Yoshi, Shy Guy, theyíre all there. And if that weren't enough there are a lot of variants like Metal Mario or Pink Golden Peach. What was that? Still not enough options for you?!? Thatís where the new DLC comes in.

There are currently two DLC packs available for purchase. The first is The Legend of Zelda pack, which offers you three additional characters; Link (of course), Tanooki Mario and Cat Peach. It also contains four new vehicles and eight new courses. This pack is available for use immediately after purchase. The other pack is the Animal Crossing pack which, while being available for purchase right now, is set to be ready for use in May 2015. It will offer you three new characters, eight new courses and four new vehicles.

Separately, the packs will cost you $7,99/Ä8,00 each. But if you want to have them both, you can buy them as a bundle for the reduced price of $11,99/Ä12,00. As a bonus both Yoshi and Shy Guy will become available in eight different colors. There is also free DLC available. You can cruise in style with one of the three Mercedes Benz cars: GLA, W25 Silver Arrow or the 300 SL Roadster.

We had quite some fun with the new Legend of Zelda Pack. In my opinion the best new course is Hyrule Circuit. Everything is adapted to the well-known Hyrule style. Instead of coins you can collect rupees and the in game music for this track is changed to the Zelda theme.

The multiplayer option is also great fun! You can race against friends, or other gamers regional or global. There is not much of a chat option, just some preprogrammed sentences for our Mii to say right before a race, which is absolutely fine by me. No nagging kids calling you a noob (while you have been playing videogames longer than they have been breathing) or other people just badmouthing you during a race, just because they can't beat you. Now, I've never played a lot of multiplayer racing games, but I must say itís challenging. Racing against other gamers is a completely different cup of tea then racing against the AI. Sure, the main premise is still the same; the first one to finish is the winner. But what we found when playing online is that every race is different because sometimes youíre playing against people who just want to finish their race, while the next race you're up against people who just want to have fun and push each other off the course.

You can also challenge yourself offline by playing the time trial mode. You can save a trial so you can replay the race and beat your own scores or let a ghost ride your previous race so you can compete against yourself. And of course itís possible to choose a difficulty level, whatever category of race you want to partake in. There's the 50cc (easy), the 100cc (medium) and the 150cc (hard) level. While playing the 50cc variant, players will have the chance to get to know the track and search for those hard to spot shortcuts. This gives you an edge when playing on one of the higher difficulty settings later.

Final Verdict:
Mario Kart 8 is fun for everyone, even if youíre normally not that great with racing games. There are a lot of options you can choose from to match everyoneís favorites and style, especially with the new DLC. So fasten your seatbelts and make your way to the finish line!

available on:

May 30, 2014
The Legend of Zelda DLC - November 13, 2014
Animal Crossing DLC - May 2015