Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 2 Review (Wii U)
Each track is has been designed with care
The bundle price is well worth the price of admission
New tracks, cups, racers and vehicles add quite a bit of content
No new battle mode courses
Adding Fuel To the Fire –
Following up the stellar DLC Pack 1, Nintendo has released the final batch of DLC simply named Pack 2. Just like Pack 1, Pack 2 includes two new cups with a total of 8 new tracks along with new playable racers and vehicles. Not skimping on quality, Nintendo has once again created something special with this optional Mario Kart 8 content that highlights Animal Crossing.
DLC Pack 2 is now available either individually or through the bundle package option. This Pack is available for $7.99 or for $11.99 if you buy the Pack 1 + Pack 2 Bundle. Here is what’s included in Pack 2:
Baby Park (a remake from Gamecube’s Double Dash!!)
Cheese Land (a full 3D remake of GBA’s Super Circuit)
Animal Crossing (which has 4 different seasons)
Neo Bowser City (from Mario Kart 7)
Ribbon Road (another GBA Super Circuit remake)
Super Bell Subway
Villager (both male and female)
Whether it is the nostalgia from playing through remade tracks or experiencing new twists on the Mario Kart formula, each track offers something unique and stands as a must download.
Baby Park is basically a chaotic bloodbath composed of 7 quick laps and constant anti-grav. Cheese Land is interesting to see in 3D and cheese craters make boost jumping easy. The streams in Wild Woods make racing even faster while the Toads and Shy Guys in the background add to the aesthetic. The Animal Crossing track is probably the most unique as the entire track changes each time it is played, displaying one of the four seasons just like in any Animal Crossing title. The player will also drive through the town, collect items from balloons, try to avoid Mr. Resetti, listen to the sound track and sound effects from the game and knock over sea shells on the beach. Like the Zelda theme from Pack 1, the blend of Animal Crossing into Mario Kart is perfect and entertaining.
Seeing Neo Bowser City is an interesting choice since it is the newest remake from Mario Kart 7 but the rain effects look great in HD. Ribbon Road is like driving through the movie Toy Story with a colorful playroom environment littered with Mario Vs DK wind-up toys and mecha koopas. Super Bell Subway is basically the new Toad’s Turnpike as the player must avoid moving subway train cars. Signs even point to other Mario Kart tracks like Yoshi’s Valley. And Big Blue of F-Zero fame is probably the closest players will get to having a new F-Zero game. With 1 big track (no repeating laps), this track makes the best use of the anti-grav feature in all of Mario Kart 8. Even the F-Zero sound effects and the “the final lap” announcement ties everything together. The attention to details is what makes this DLC so great.
Although it is not a part of the Pack 2 DLC, Nintendo also released a free update coinciding with Pack 2’s release that includes 200cc mode and additional amiibo support. Playing through Baby Park, for example, at this higher speed is something that has not been in Mario Kart before and should be experienced by longtime fans. It adds a new element to gameplay – the break button. Breaking or choosing a car with the highest grip should be taken into consideration when playing through this new high speed mode. Mario Kart pros will find a challenge in this new Mario Kart 8 free feature.
Both Pack 1 and Pack 2 is some of the best DLC I have played in a quite a while. This is also rather strange coming from Nintendo, a company not known for creating DLC let alone compelling additional content. If you own Mario Kart 8, there should be no hesitation when it comes to purchasing this extra content. The merging of Zelda in Pack 1 to the inclusion of Animal Crossing here in Pack 2 provides hope for future crossover possibilities not only in Mario Kart but other Nintendo franchises as well. Star Fox F-Zero anyone? Fancy a game of Pokemon Pikmin? Metroid Fire Emblem?
Not As Good As: having a new F-Zero game
Also Consider: downloading Mario Kart DS on Wii U Virtual Console
Also Try: the Pikmin 3 DLC
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com