News Article

Talking Point: Mario Kart 8's Diverse DLC Sets Up Endless Potential for the Franchise

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

A vehicle that could be vital in future

It's safe to say that Nintendo caught us off guard with its recent DLC announcement for Mario Kart 8, with these extras bringing new franchises into the MK world and, just as importantly, serving up a significant dose of content. Once both packs arrive the number of courses will have doubled, which is substantial, while six characters and eight vehicles will significantly flesh out the game's offering.

There are a number of topics that are raised by this announcement, so let's start with the most obvious hypetastic example. Mario Kart 8 is stepping out of Mario's universe to incorporate other franchises, which is a first for the series — discounting the Bandai Namco arcades. The Legend of Zelda, F-Zero and Animal Crossing will feature in various ways, through vehicles and even new tracks, which raises tantalising and hugely exciting possibilities. It's a concept we considered earlier this year, wondering aloud whether more diverse characters could bring even more freshness and thrills to the iconic racing franchise. MK8 is exceptional to start with, due to track design and features such as anti-gravity, and the idea of a track inspired by the Zelda series is the stuff of fantasy. For some — not all — this is sheer wish fulfilment.

Of course, the flipside is an argument that this DLC is diluting the brand, opening floodgates to ever-increasing batches of tracks that confuse the overall package. That's a fair view, though for starters we wouldn't lump these two packs with the free Mercedes DLC that's arrived with the game's update today; having blasted around some tracks in these cars we're agreed that they can seem a tad weird, though they're actually put together rather well. This is more about taking Mario Kart in a Smash Bros. direction, albeit less extreme in its diversity; whether that excites or worries you is down to individual preference, though the concept undoubtedly gives Nintendo's development teams some extra scope for creativity and playful ideas.

It's a bold move from Nintendo, undoubtedly, certainly one of its most surprising announcements of recent times — even accounting for its increasing willingness to try new ideas. Much as the Smash Bros. roster typifies, it opens to door to innumerable possibilities — Metroid tracks that take the outer space Rainbow Roads of recent entries to yet another level, or a Kid Icarus track that goes through the fiery underworld. If the Mario Kart franchise has perhaps been burdened by its Mario universe limitations and some generic settings (snowy mountains etc), this development lifts the lid. While rival karting games such as the excellent Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed have enjoyed crossing franchises and designing tracks without limits, Nintendo's team has been slightly limited in comparison; we can't help but be intrigued to see — as a result of this new-found freedom — what's coming in these packs.

From Nintendo's perspective, it's potentially opened the door to an impressive money-spinner, and one that can accentuate the 'evergreen' nature of the title. In its early weeks and months Mario Kart 8 has already performed well around the world, but like its predecessor will carry Nintendo's hopes of being a consistent seller. These DLC offerings provide extra profile and buzz at regular intervals, with the November release of the first pack seeming to be particularly well-timed ahead of the Holiday season, while May's second pack will draw attention to the title's first birthday. Should Nintendo go beyond these offerings with more — the calls for a Battle Pack will likely be sustained and long — then they can provide terrific momentum.

Regular batches of DLC can do much to make a game feel more like a platform, far greater a product after a few years than on day one and with a broadening appeal. As we've argued in the past when suggesting DLC should be a factor in MK8, it also helps the kart racer feel more like a modern contemporary of the racing genre; as much as we love mastering the original tracks, new courses, cars and characters will keep the title at the front of our minds when, typically, it would quietly drop back and become an occasional party game.

From Nintendo's perspective, it's also a particularly logical use of its resources. It's no secret that the company and its partners have to produce more content than ever for its systems, but with the groundwork done on the new engine that's powering MK8 the process of designing new stages is surely far more streamlined — take Nintendo's 2D Mario titles, which are put together with intuitive internal tools that are being re-purposed for gamers to enjoy in Mario Maker. The company has already outlined how challenging it found the transition to HD with the Wii U, which contributed to some delays and problems, yet with that hump cleared in various cases we'd expect that smaller teams are able to turnaround this DLC content.

Our final point in assessing this DLC announcement is that Nintendo is clearly keen to offer impressive value to draw gamers in; the fact that the big N is having to work hard for sales is clearly to the benefit of us, the players. The individual packs ($7.99 / £7) arguably offer solid value — with three characters, four vehicles and eight tracks each — but the double pack is particularly enticing at $11.99 / £11. At a quarter of the full retail price — more like a fifth in the US — there'll be 16 tracks, eight vehicles and six characters. The 16 tracks part is particularly impressive, as that's half the typical line-up, with the usual 50/50 split — based on the teasing layout in the updated game — between new and retro courses. Nintendo seems to be adapting its perspective of value to market realities — rather than demanding like-for-like sums for DLC extras, these are being pitched as affordable enough to be considered a fairly hefty bonus on top of the default content, with enough included to shake off any sense of content lazily 'held back'. The core game has a solid level of content, but for a relatively low price it'll expand nicely by next May.

As you may tell, we're rather optimistic about Nintendo's DLC plans for Mario Kart 8, and don't hesitate to say that NL HQ has been a place of smiling faces and hype over what we'll see in November. That's not going to be universal, however, and it should definitely be acknowledged that the absence of improved Battle options is a source of regret. Though these new tracks will likely be usable in Battle mode — you just drive in opposite directions, after all — the lack of proper arenas (we assume, at least) is hard to ignore. We've suggested above that Nintendo's resources are surely stretched, and it's conceivable that statistics for online play in Battle for previous entries, and focus group data, points to the mode being a favourite of a relative minority. That's not really an excuse for the enduring weak-spot of Mario Kart 8, but it may be a reason.

However you look at it, this is a brave move from Nintendo, changing the feel of one of its most iconic franchises by opening it up to other IPs. It also points to a potential model for other games in future, expanding core experiences with more content to fill gaps in entirely fresh releases. New Super Luigi U, lest we forget, was an early step in that direction. DLC is becoming increasingly common for Nintendo, and we wouldn't expect this to be the last treasured franchise to break similar ground.

Let us know what you think of these points around Mario Kart 8's DLC in the polls and comments below. Are you excited by it, or do you feel it's the start of slippery, deadly slope for Nintendo?

Are you excited about the Mario Kart 8 DLC packs? (643 votes)

Oh yes! I can barely contain myself


Absolutely, I'm moderately hyped


I don't know what I think yet


Hm, I'm not sure about it, but will consider boarding the hype train in future


Bah! Down with this sort of thing...


I don't have Mario Kart 8 and don't plan to own it, so... meh


Please login to vote in this poll.

Are you happy to see Nintendo producing DLC like this? (605 votes)

Definitely, it's something I want to see more of


Yes, on the condition that it's well balanced


Hm, I'm not sure


Not really, but I'm open to persuasion


No, I don't like it one bit, no siree!


Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (189)



Takerkaneanite6 said:

One thing-Kirby in Mario Kart 8. The Rosalina Smash Bros reveal trailer got my hopes up, then it decreased over time, but now I'm confident that Kirby will make it in...



Phantom_R said:

Mario Kart has always had some crossing over with Donkey Kong, especially on the Wii. I don't think anyone complained about that.

There's nothing wrong with this DLC because, aside from the battle mode, nobody was calling Mario Kart 8 an incomplete game. Plus, these updates are very extensive at a budget price nobody was expecting! Now Nintendo is doing DLC right.



Takerkaneanite6 said:

@hopfolla Time to work on making the tracks, karts, animations, etc, the best it can be. Plus, it is at intervals, so if they release more at 6 month intervals, the content increases more and more and the more quality tracks we will get...



MrWalkieTalkie said:

Super excited. It's a long wait, but it makes sense. They're making 16 new tracks, that's half a game! So I can't blame them, especially since they likely started working on this very recently.

And I'd really love to see Nintendo keep this up throughout the Wii U's lifespan. I'd REALLY love to see Olimar racing through the Pikmin world!



Porky said:

Announcement? I thought it was a leak.

EDIT: The original article has an update paragraph I did not see on my first visit, apologies.



Tsurii said:

IF (note the bigass 'if') they do their DLC always like this, where you literally get 50% of the game for this little money, I'm all for it. I would've paid even twice as much for the MK8 DLC, simply because it is this much content. And high-quality content at that.

For me there's only one 'but'
I don't want any DLC at all in games like Zelda or a potential "real" 3D Mario ala Mario64 or Sunshine. Those games, that're somewhat story-driven, shouldn't get DLC at all in my opinion.
But for Mario Kart, Smash Bros and even games like Mario Party it'd be great to have things added here and there the year after its release. I also think Splatoon will get DLC and would be a no-brainer for it, given its concept.

@Porky the website was up a bit too early, but seeing that the update had the 'shop' option for the main menu included, they probably planned to announce it today anyway



Grumblevolcano said:

@Porky The Nintendo twitter accounts confirmed it this morning.

I'm really excited for this DLC especially seeing the return of more Wii courses (Wario's Gold Mine). The only thing that's rather annoying is the DLC placement in single player mode (you can see 16 "???"s in GP mode representing the 16 new tracks for example).



Phantom_R said:

@Moshugan Mario and Donkey Kong got their start together. But not Diddy Kong, and Funky Kong, etc., and tracks based on Donkey Kong Country. Like Wario, the franchises very quickly branched off and changed flavor.



Samurai_Goroh said:

I will buy both packs but I don't agree with the inclusion of non-Mario characters in Mario Kart. It opens up the wrong precedent imo.



Tlink7 said:

As long as I don't see Toad in new Zelda games, then I'm fine with this sort of thing. Let less-serious franchises have some cameos from other intellectual property, whilst keeping others (like Metroid, Zelda and Mario (platformers)) pure.



MrWalkieTalkie said:

@Tsurii897 I don't think there's any need to worry about games focused on story getting DLC. 3D World is confirmed to never have DLC, and I don't see Zelda U ever getting DLC packs either.

Sure, Pikmin 3 did it, but it was for bonus challenges because the gameplay works so well for just random challenges, like they don't even need a story to have fun, just challenging levels. Plus they were sold at very low prices.



ShadJV said:

I'm incredibly excited. I really hope we get a great Hyrule track. Racing around Hyrule field is a dream come true, though personally I'd love to race through the Lost Woods (with maybe part of it going into the Deku Tree). Then of course there's Twilight Princess's Goron Mines, which work perfect for anti-gravity...

My only gripe is characters like Dry Bowser should've been in the initial game (as they're veterans) while the Koopalings could've made a good DLC pack with a bunch of new and retro Bowser themed courses. And the babies could've been another DLC with baby themed courses (including the return of Baby Park). Still, I won't complain, I get to race around as Link! And... another Mario and another Peach... but Link!



Tiberius30 said:

Other DLC characters that would awesome to include...

Princess Zelda
Dixie Kong

So, bring on the Nintendo Kart!



S3OL said:

Nintendo Kart 8!
No in all seriousness, these DLC packs are amazing.



XCWarrior said:

Nintendo appears to be taking a different route with DLC than most companies. I get annoyed there is so much DLC for games that see yearly releases (COD, AssCreed, Battlefield, etc etc).

I don't think we are getting another MK on WiiU, so I guess the more tracks the better, but I have stated many times over the years on here I hate paid DLC. I love Mario Golf, 50+ hours in, but still haven't even considered buying the DLC.

16 tracks for $11 is tempting... (the characters I can take or leave, especially with ANOTHER Mario and ANOTHER Peach), but I won't say yes I'll buy it yet.



Ralek85 said:

Potential ... in like potential for an actually worthwhile Battle-Mode? Sure, I'm all for that. Tracks are cool, too, not so eager on drivers and karts though. But some people are probably excited about the potential there, for some old or new favourites, right? Good thing then, I guess.



unrandomsam said:

@Shepdawg1 What I think is more important is if the game had enough content to start with nobody would be bored with it already. (For what I have played I should have just about managed winning all 50cc.)



nik1470 said:

In this day and age no game can last an entire generation without dlc. Those days are gone. What Nintendo are doing with this dlc for me is offering longevity at great value.

This for me is where Nintendo are miles ahead of the competition right now they offer the biggest bang for buck!

I also welcome this new "smash cart" idea i think its the best mash up since hyrule warriors



Peach64 said:

I think it's a great move. I've been of the opinion Mario Kart should incorporate other Nintendo characters for ages. It's not like there's any story to the games, so no immersion is being broken. It's like Smash Bros but in Karts. This lets them have so much more variety.



unrandomsam said:

@MrWalkieTalkie The thing about 3D World is there was enough. (I have no desire for any more of it for the foreseeable future - liked it - content with it).

NSMBU / Tropical Freeze / Mario Kart 8 were not like that I think by design - never giving enough makes people keep buying in the hope of attaining it.



aaronsullivan said:

I think once the naysayers see the tracks Nintendo has a good chance of winning them over. Sounds to me like the tracks would have to be pretty poor not to win you over.

To me DLC is not inherently negative but it is abused and offered in an underhanded way sometimes. I'm bonkers for this implementation and I thought the Pikmin 3 way was pretty good, too.

I'll be pre-ordering for the multicolor options when I get home today. I haven't yet bought all the Pikmin DLC, but that's the beautiful thing, right? Pay as you go can be very consumer friendly and Nintendo is on a role as far as I'm concerned.

One caveat: I hope Nintendo is careful about advertising in the game. It's one thing to make sure everyone who owns the game is aware that they can purchase more, it's another to make them feel like the full price they paid for the game was just for a fraction of it. Perception is key. Plus, if it's naggy or pervasive it could feel especially tacky. The shiny polish of Nintendo games is pretty legendary and stuff like that sticks out.

I think the price is right. The game felt complete at the price I paid (I would have paid more) and the DLC is a great price especially in the US. I just hope the presentation of the game isn't marred too much.



Shy_Guy said:

I've never been so excited for DLC for a game before,but all this new stuff coming to Mario Kart 8 is so amazing! I can't wait until the release



outburst said:

Didn't they include the Excite Bike track on the promo images?

On topic:
I trust Nintendo when it comes to DLCs/expansions. It's nowhere near to EA/Activision/Ubisoft levels yet.

Mach Rider bike and track please! Also Metroid Ride and Zero Suit Samus!



RickyNGmr said:

All that is happening now is really GREAT!! But I believe there's a good point made by @Samurai_Goroh. I believe there's no Mario Game named that includes characters mixing up (Smash isn't named Mario Smash!!). Sooo that could possibly stands for a confuse evolution of the serie. Mario Kart... becoming more like Nintendo Kart Racing



Moshugan said:

@BensonUii There are small screenshots of Excite Bike, Animal Crossing and F-Zero tracks in the promo images.
Also Wario's Gold Mine and a small dark forest like course that isn't readily identifiable (maybe Zelda?).



TySoN_F said:

From personal experience. DLC has been more of a negative than positive impact on gaming in general but imo, this is how DLC should be done. A lot of content for a reasonable price. I don't mind essentially paying half of a full game to get an extra 50% added on to a game. And considering this is only 12$ for 16 courses?? That's a crazy deal and I think if Nintendo sticks to this kind of DLC practice, I'm sure more people will warm up to the idea.



aaronsullivan said:

This makes me confused about the next Mario Kart though. What will Nintendo do?

Make it like Diddy Kong Racing, Nintendo! Adventure-style unlocking of areas and tracks in different lands, "bosses", secrets. Now with more styles of characters it has even more potential. I can dream, right?

This might fit better on the next handheld though because I think console players, in general, would want to get access to all the tracks immediately. :/



DrSlump said:

Well done dlc's can be accepted and welcome. Bad dlc's done for marketing like mercedes cars will ruin the original game concept introducing "out of topic" cars and a lot of marketing. This is not the Mario Kart i want.
Unfortunately, even if i don't donwload the mercedes content, i will be forced to see it during online play becouse of other peoples using them.
I hope Nintendo will not choose to produce next MK brand racing games in the gameloft way



SanderEvers said:

@Grumblevolcano Truly a "MarioKart X Sega All Stars Racing" game would be awesome.

And I already preorderd the DLC.. so I can't wait

@DrSlump Are you truly STILL complaining about FREE DLC?! I already got the Mercedes karts, and I think they're awesome. I might not use them that much. (Since others are better)



Cinaclov said:

'Absolutely, I'm moderately hyped'

That's the best phrase I've heard in ages XD



Yorumi said:

This is definitely dlc done right, specially with the discount on the two pack. I like when games are kept alive with good value add on content.



miiandmario said:

Awesome move by Nintendo! Great way to keep people playing Mario Kart 8 for a months to come!



aaronsullivan said:

Battle Mode tracks would be good in the future but I think there should be a a few of them for free and then a few more as paid. It really is a sore spot in the original game and being charged for it might tick some people off.

I'm sort of amazed that it hasn't been done again.



DreamyViridi said:

Link Death Stare is totally going to be a thing. XD
It'll sound silly but I'd be all over Kid Icarus DLC!



C-Threep said:

@Tlink7 Amen.

I'm all for this DLC. I'm actually beyond excited for it. I welcome Link and the Animal Crossing Villager, along with new this is gonna be sweet



Olmectron said:

@hopfolla Wow, that was sooner than I expected! It will come out when it released back in May this year!

Okay, sorry, not trying to be rude, just thought it would be hilarious. I think it would have been both bad and good to receive DLC day one.



shigulicious said:

Link as a playable character in Yoshi Wooly World confirmed ! I don't like the crossover, but 16 new tracks?!? WORD UP!



umegames said:

Can't contain the hype. If Mario kart is getting dlc, they you know DLC has to be in the plans for smash bros, EASY!



Yorumi said:

As I'm reading the comments it occurs to me just how much the game industry has fallen and how much they're abusing their customers. Think about it when dlc is announced normally it's a bunch of "oh here we go again, more overprices crap that the robots will buy up perpetuating the abusive practices."

Now we have this, dlc that's good value for the content being added, and we're all pretty much screaming the meme "shut up and take my money." It just really shows the money comes in if you stop and put your customers first before anything else. Make sure you're treating them right and making money becomes much easier.



Octane said:

I would really like to know what people outside of Australia/Europe/North America/Japan think of DLC like this. As far as I'm aware, they cannot access it.



outburst said:

I didn't know there are more. I just mentioned it since the article only mentions 3 franchises (FZero/LoZ and AC).

Anyway, I don't think Nintendo would throw away the Mario Kart brand even though they are including other Nintendo characters outside Mario games. It would still be Mario Kart on the next console even with newcomers outside Mario Games.



GeminiSaint said:

Captain Falcon in Mario Kart 8. It has to happen.
(also, maybe an Arwing and/or Landmaster kart?)



Jazzer94 said:

Yes the DLC its self looks great and gives the series a chance to expand.



Gerbwmu said:

It doesn't matter to me which direction they go. The fun is not in the characters but in the tracks and the gameplay. From that perspective, I think expanding the roster would allow for more varied tracks.

I'm getting the DLC because the additional tracks will add to the variety but I never stopped playing any of the others so really it isn't needed.....but it will be fun.



Olmectron said:

@Octane I know what you mean. I'm in Mexico, and that's a relief since here exists support for eShop and eShop prepaid cards. However, it's a shame that South American countries won't be able to get this content easily.

There are many Nintendo fans around those countries. Nintendo MUST do something about eShop fast or it will miss many, many profits. Or they could release a GOTY Edition (physical) or something like that with all of the DLC on 2016.



Progniss said:

I am not surprised about this DLC pack at all. Excited for it? Definitely! But not surprised.

I am actually surprised that all the journalist reporting on this are surprised and haven't mention this one simple and obvious fact: Nintendo mentioned during E3 that they're releasing Amiibos to go across multiple games and cross-platform (wii u & 3ds) and that MK8 was a big target for that push. It only makes sense to add in character content for the Amiibos that are being released this Holiday. Now there's a 2 game incentive this holiday season for people to purchase the new figurines. I am positive Nintedo will lead a Nintendo Direct before this DLC pack is released outlining more information of the Amiibo use with the new and current characters for MK8, along with the sell push for SBU. This also leads me to believe future Amiibo characters will probably find their way to the MK8 roster, which is totally awesome. I doubt all of them will make it into MK8, but definitely enough to merit further exciment!



Sir_JBizzle said:

I love the incoming DLC. It's truly a shining example of DLC done right, being that like it was said, we'll likely only get one Mario Kart this console cycle. So that alone separates it from games that tend to be yearly installments like Madden and CoD and even games that may get two or three installments in a console generation. Speaking of Madden, I feel like this is something they could do with that franchise, pay for the core game every few years and pay for updates.

What I'm more excited about is the fact that this will probably be the start of Smash Kart for Nintendo's next console where they can get creative not only with courses and characters but with some of the weapons and mechanics!

@Progniss I had thought of that, but I just thought they would've just limited amiibo support to just the characters available in Mario Kart 8, which is probably why it took everyone by surprise. I think what shocked people the most is that it kinda came out of the blue, with no fanfare save that it came on the eve of the update that was already planned.

Just thinking everything over now, I wouldn't be surprised if they just turn Smash into a franchise across all of their party games from here on out. Mario Party 10 will surely have other Nintendo characters in it now. Along with their other sports games like Golf, Tennis, Strikers et al...



OfNullAndVoid said:

I'm definitely excited for the new content. Adding characters from other franchises is a great idea, and opens the door for more possibilities, in this game and other Nintendo games. One thing I do wonder about is what music these new tracks will have. Seeing Animal Crossing, I'm personally hoping for Go K.K. Rider, one of my favorites! Anyone else have any particular songs in mind for the new tracks, if they'll have new songs?



AlexOlney said:

I feel that this may well be one of the most positive steps Nintendo have ever taken – they've responded to modern trends in gaming and then blown everyone's expectations out of the water by doing it in the fairest way I can think of. It benefits Nintendo and it benefits us, the price is extremely reasonable and therefore will most likely be a roaring success, leading to more DLC like this for future games.



KDChronos said:

@DrSlump I'm going to be honest, at the beginning i also thought the cars felt out of place, but now that i have them in the game, they seems ok, they look great, and i don't think that is bad DLC, especially because it's free



Bass_X0 said:

I hope they keep releasing new packs every May and November every year until Mario Kart 9 is released.



Sir_JBizzle said:

@KDChronos right. Just looking at it in videos don't do them justice. They're not so bad when you get to experience them yourself. That said, it'd suck if you got in an online race and all the racers were driving them, though we won't have to worry about that more than likely since the issue was so divisive. Lol



Bass_X0 said:

Hmm. More courses, characters, karts and colors for the next few years or sympathising with fans who don't want to download too much digital content...

Sorry, I gotta go with more content.



rjejr said:

@aaronsullivan - Man, if I read your post correctly you are NOT going to be happy about in game advertising, its like a quartet of the game is locked away.

Thst said, I want to commend Nintendo for ramming the advertising down our throats. No MK8 owner will be able to refuse this. People will pay just to have courses and avarars unlocked just so the screens arent so "locked". Anybody who buys MK8 2.0 in the future is going to look st those screens and think they paid for a full game but only got 3/4 of it.

I applaud Nintendo for doing it, Im impressed at how they managed to get a disc based game to change that much, and I think it will earn them a lot of money going forward, but after the "gee wiz" factor wears off in a few hours or days and people get sick of looking at all those unusable icons the next 10 months I expect a backlash.



WanderingPB said:

Nintendo is so far doing DLC right in my opinion. Great amount of content at a great price the only downside for me is since im a bit of a collector i wish i had i guess the ultimate or GOTY edition of MK8…but i dont think that will happen. They also did DLC right with Pikmin3 which was really awesome and if they added online for mission or bingo battle would make Pikmin 3 superb!! I also dont have a problem with preordering the DLC for MK8 cuz i see it like an investment plus i want to make sure i dont spend that money on anything else…i know but im just silly that way



Salamihawk said:

A game like Mario Kart is obviously not canon, so why not make it more of an homage to what makes Nintendo awesome, like Smash Bros? Nintendo has incredible IP, they should use it however and whenever they can.



BakaKnight said:

To be honest I can't see this fully right, they are breaking few basic rules of the franchise for allow these DLC ideas >_>;

Still I guess this is just prove that Nintendo need to change mind and break some of their rules before the market can brake them, it's absolutely normal and already in the past nintendo had to change for keep up.
If that's their new way for try to get more money and customers however I must admit it's defintely a great way, they're jumping on the DLC wagon with rich, unexpected and fair priced solutions, I can only be eager to see more in the future ^_^



unrandomsam said:

@rjejr Don't see how anybody could commend that type of scumbag tactic. Same thing can and has been done more tastefully like e.g NSMB2 (Ignoring the issues that game had with all the best parts being in the DLC).

@Bass_X0 I would rather have another game like F-Zero / 1080 / Excitetruck or Waverace. Same amount of money from only 1/5th of the sales.



aaronsullivan said:

@rjejr I'll have to see it for myself and to judge it, but I don't think tarnishing your most popular game is a good idea. Hopefully they'll update it to something more respectable over time when the promotion is less important?

I'd like another Excitetruck or Waverace, too, but I think you are delusional if you are guessing the amount of work put into those would garner as much profit as the work that goes into the extra DLC in Mario Kart. Maybe you could show me some numbers to change my mind.

As for getting people to know about the DLC, I think just putting it on the store would lose at a large percentage of the potential customers. It's just a guess, but it has to be a significant percentage of parents who've bought the console for younger kids and for the casual nostalgic trip that are going to just pass over the tiny shopping back icon or just never even see it. This is a big reason there is a retail copy of the Luigi expansion.

There's another statistic I'd like to see. How many Wii U owners have bought something from the eShop?



markybbop said:

I cant wait for the dlc. It will keep the game going for longer, I hope they plan to bring out even more. If it was up to me id bring 1 dlc pack out every 3 months for the next 3 years the game is that special. It is by far the best online multiplayer out there



jjmesa16 said:

@hopfolla Somebody has probably told you this but you meant 2015. May 2014 has already passed and I'm sad to say I haven't seen the Animal Crossing characters yet. lol

Yeah I'm pretty excited that new DLC is coming to Mario Kart and I figured it was going to happen because of Amiibo. Just as long as everything remains balanced (like the new Mercedes-Benz cars) I'm cool with Nintendo adding stuff to their games. Although I don't want Nintendo to feel like they can release unfinished games and add to it for a price later. I'm actually ok with the price of the new Mario Kart DLC as well. As much as I've played Mario Kart I think new characters, vehicles, and tracks are somewhat of a good value at $8 or $12 for both.

Also, I don't want them giving GameFreak any ideas. Paying to transfer Pokemon (although it was free when I did it) is bad enough. I don't want to have to buy Pokemon for my game.



Bass_X0 said:

I would rather have another game like F-Zero / 1080 / Excitetruck or Waverace.

I would buy those too but Mario Kart is where its at.



IceClimbers said:

I think it's great that they are opening up new possibilities for Mario Kart. I've been a supporter of the idea of adding non-Mario/Donkey Kong characters and content for a while now, but the most part considered it some sort of fanboy dream. However, when I first saw Pink Gold Peach, my first thought was ".....Yeah, its time. It's time to branch out". Can't wait to race as Link.

Anyways, I think the DLC packs bring up a bigger talking point than just Mario Kart. This crossover DLC and the crossovers in the NES Remix games , as well as Smash of course, seem to be easing us into the idea of one large Nintendo Universe where all of their franchises coexist. Amiibo obviously will be one of the driving factors connected to that idea. Imagine Pit in Mario Party 10 or Kirby in Yoshi's Woolly World (actually I can see that happening). It opens up so many possibilities for many games, and letting 3rd party franchises and characters get in on that will open it up even more (cough Pac-Man for Mario Kart 8 cough).

Obviously, there would be some boundaries within this universe, as I doubt the main series Zelda or Pokemon games would be affected by this. That being said, any spinoffs are fair game (depending on said game of course).

EDIT: Just realized the big thing that makes me excited about the idea of one big Nintendo universe: the character reveal trailers for Smash! I mean, how many of us thought Kirby was gonna be in MK8 when first watching Rosalina's trailer? Or how about the epic fanservice Link vs Pit fight in Palutena's trailer?



LexKitteh said:

Having this poll here is refreshing. You see so many people complaining, but this proves (at least on this site) its a vocal minority. We will probably only have one Mario Kart the whole Wii U's life cycle, so why not keep adding tracks to keep it more interesting?



Spartacus3765 said:

I saw the update and how it's affected the menu in game and it is a your face (lol), but at the price point of $12 to add to a game I already felt great on it's own and knowing even before they announced said DLC that I would probably get it anyways, this isn't going to affect anything for me.

I could see it as "bothersome" if you were never interested in DLC as it shows the possible cups on the track selection screen. But again, $12 for 16 tracks, 6 racers, and 8 new karts is amazing as a bonus to the game. If you're a Mario Kart fan in any way, this is a no brainer in my book and will just be too hard to pass up.



Inkling said:

Characters that need to be in:

Captain Toad
E. Gadd
Samus (in her Zero Suit on a bike?)

Those icons are such a tease though.



Link506 said:

@hopfolla Well there could be reasons for that. They would have to take down the Mario Kart servers offline for a while. Because how would other users online see you as? They eould have to get an update so they can see you riding as link. And what about hosting races online with friends? How would they do that? Have the person hosting allow the friends to play them or just count them out? But then it would be useless. And after the finally figure it out, they have to reprogram it. The main problem, will be the online features.



dizzy_boy said:

I think Doc Louis from Punch out should be added with a boxing ring themed battle zone.
The Blue Falcon and F-Zero track is a welcom, it's highly unlikely that we'll be seeing a full F-Zero game any time soon.
The other thing to note is that I never see anyone complaining about the Namco charecters in the Arcade Mario Kart games, so I don't see the problem with a few non Mario charecters and courses. Just so long that Nintendo keep the balance in favour of the Mario franchise.



Kirk said:

Well I for one think a Nintendo All-Stars Racing game, with a mix of characters, vehicles and tracks from multiple franchises, would be an awesome idea.

Right now I'm particularly excited to see this F-Zero themed race track in Mario Kart 8 because it will be the first time we've seen any F-Zero racing track/level basically fully/properly realised in full HD...

Especially since it doesn't look like a proper F-Zero game is coming any time soon.



AJWolfTill said:

What they are offering and the price they are doing this at is exceptional, what is not so hot is the way the 'locked' characters and courses are already present on the layout.
I understand doing this once the DLC is out, but we've now got to put up with the tantalizing clutter for 2 then 6 months. It's just a bit ugly to be honest.



Yorumi said:

@Link506 actually all those types of problems have been solved for quite a while with mmos. MMOs from the beginning have been always online and have periodically released expansions. Those expansions came with new items that had their own graphics, possibly even entirely new character races. Not everyone buys the expansions so what do you do? They patch the game client side so everyone gets all the art files necessary to display everything but access to playing the new areas/characters is locked until you purchase the expansion.



rjejr said:

@unrandomsam - Its an industry wide phenomenon (just ask EA) Nintendo is part of the industry, everbody is always complaing how behind the curve Nintendo is, now they've caught up.

Is it deplorable? Yeah.
Will some people, parents, be annoyed at that persistent BUY ME billboard? Yeah.
But I think parents are so burned out buying Skylanders and Disney characters they're broken consumers at this point, and they'll buy this for their kids as well.

I guess you can say I'm impressed they sunk so low so fast. And the amiibo arent even out yet!



Nintenjoe64 said:

It's better value than I'd have thought and it's exactly what I wanted. Hope we get plenty of N64 tracks in the retro cups!



Bass_X0 said:

They sunk so low by giving us content we want? Not all of it that we want but that may come later.



Hy8ogen said:

This is how it went between me and my wife.

Me: Guess what? Mario Kart 8 is getting DLC!! New characters and courses!


Me: Uh, no. But we do get Isabella from Animal Crossing!

Wife: Yeah she's okay too. So when are we getting Kirby?

Me: .......



Octane said:

@rjejr I hope amiibo does the same for Mario Kart 8 as it does for Super Smash Bros.; nothing. Perhaps they'll act as a ghost character you can race against, or something like that. I'm sure Nintendo knows as well that many fans aren't going to be happy if they have to buy 40+ $10.00 figurines to unlock every character and track in MK8.

I think, and perhaps I want amiibo to be a collectable toy for those who like them; toys that happen to interact with several games, and not toys that act like DLC,



TwilightAngel said:

But damn look at those poll's, the people has spoken they are happy with this like i am.And Nintendo where is my Precious Dry Bones?



NintyMan said:

Not surprised to see the very enthusiastic response to this!

I'm not going to lie; I originally had some misgivings about Nintendo characters in Mario Kart outside the Donkey Kong and Wario games. But thankfully Nintendo proved it to me that it can work outside our lofty dreams in reality after all, and I'm just thankful for that.

I hope that the amiibos will unlock things too. Since they will cost at least $10, I don't think it's unreasonable that they could unlock a character and maybe even a vehicle as well, considering how impressively inexpensive these DLC packs are. They better be used in a very interesting way!



Spartacus3765 said:

Yeah, I have a feeling there's still something up their sleeve regarding the amiibos and their connection to MK8 as they briefly discussed at E3. As awesome as this announcement was, no mention of the amiibos is intriguing.



NintyMan said:

The utter ridiculousness of all of this is just brilliant. Link, Villager, and Isabelle racing against Mario and his clone Tanooki Mario, Peach and her clone Cat Peach, and Dry Bowser on Mercedes-Benz karts on a track from F-Zero, with the rest of the racers as multi-colored Yoshis and Shy Guys. Ridiculous brilliance.



unrandomsam said:

@rjejr Only the worst ones have resorted to that spamming method so far.

@Nintenjoe64 As long as the track is really thin with no sides / really sharp turns and loads of boost pads it will be good. If it is just like the rest but F-Zero themed it won't be.



ryuudou27 said:

Come November I'm going to use Link and the Mercedes silver arrow exclusively when playing online just to mess with the whiners.



BoobooMama said:

Ninty really knocked this one out of the park. $12.00 for 16 new courses, new characters and new vehicles. An amazing deal!



SparkOfSpirit said:

This is how DLC should be. Man, Nintendo really seems to get DLC. If only more companies would get behind this kind of content.

Here's hoping Smash Bros. get similar treatment.



unrandomsam said:

@aaronsullivan Waverace 64 sold about a 3rd of Mario Kart 64. Presume if it is good enough that it can happen again. (I knew nothing about it - didn't know of the existence of the Gameboy one until years later).

Or maybe they are not good enough any more I dunno (Or want to believe so really). There is no other public data I know of.



DualWielding said:

I don't have a Wii U and dont' care about Mario Kart but fair is fair, the 11.99 pack is one of the best value for money I've seen in a DLC offering from any company and a huge step up from the rip offs Nintendo tried to pull off with Fire Emblem and NSMB2



IceClimbers said:

Make Epona a vehicle. Anti-gravity horse would be hilarious. Though that might be a bit hard to program without it dropping the framerate.



greeeco said:

As excited as I am to race on the cources from other series, I would have soo prefered just more Mario Kart characters from the Mario games. R.I.P Diddy and Dry Bones



rockodoodle said:

@WanderingPB Steele Diver is very reasonable as is Dusty's Real Deal Baseball, and Mario Golf. Since sales haven't been that good, if thus is profitable for them, it wouldn't surprise me if they have more tracks down the line. Seems like people want more Koopas, Diddy Kong, Bowser Jr etc



unrandomsam said:

@IceClimbers I would take anything with more interesting physics that is comparatively really hard to control. (Cranky Kong on one of those Jet Barrels for example).



maceng said:

Nintendo just missed the boat.

Why offer DLC alternatives when you are about to release your amiibo figures that work in the same game?

The amibo figurines should have been the perfect vehicle to deliver DLC for Mario Kart 8. Imagine a 12 dollar figure, Link for example, with 2 new characters (Link and Tingles, please), 3-6 new vehicles and 3 new tracks? Sold!!! Imagine a Mario Kart special bundle pack, with 3 figures (Link, Tingle and The Villager), with 6-8 new karts and 5 new tracks or 20 bucks?
Another set: Samus, one of the hunters and Zelda, or Falcon, Chip and Diddy Kong, and so on.



unrandomsam said:

@SparkOfSpirit Valve or Rockstar are still the best you can buy just Episodes from Liberty City/Ballad of Gay Tony or Half Life 2 Episode 1 or 2 and play them standalone without having to buy the base game. Want more buy more as much or as little as you want. This sort of thing is second best. (But there are others that do this).



eltomo said:

Glad Nintendo has taken the step into DLC, but I'm not sure about Link in Mario Kart... Unless they give Epona as a vehicle



TheAdza said:

I would have liked to see some DLC for MK8 much earlier as I had stopped playing as I had just about seen everything the game had to offer, plus lack of newer games to sink my teeth into pretty much made MK8 my go to game for a couple of months.

I'm impressed with what they are offering and how they are doing it is really new for me and quite innovative with the preordering bonuses but i must admit it's quite cruel to see the characters I have paid for on the character select screen, but can't access them yet. But that's a small matter that would be hard to balance. Pre ordered DLC with no way at all of showing me what I have bought would also feel kind of cheap.

The DLC is priced well, and I can't help but think as this article states that MK8 could be trying to be a platform unto itself, but instead of what other game makers are doing, which is releasing full priced games, then tonnes of DLC for a year, and then release the yearly full price sequel and start the cycle over, what Nintendo could be doing could be setting MK8 up as an ongoing platform with half yearly updates to keep it fresh as the game ages, and becomes truly evergreen, not just in sales, but in content as well. It's something that Nintendo's other franchises could benefit from as well but it doesn't fit all games as well as Mario Kart or Smash Bros.

We still don't know how amiibo is going to work with MK8 yet either. I can't see new tracks being available by touching a character to the Gamepad, but having some more Nintendo characters to select as racers would be worth the price for me.

For now though, to me Nintendo has released a fully fleshed out game in MK8, that is fine as a stand alone game without the extra content. And with all the DLC coming and amiibo stuff coming, it's just blossoming into something else entirely, and I am ok with that. Sometimes it's hard to watch Nintendo be arrogant and do things their own way, but when it all comes together for some of that perfect Nintendo magic, like it seems to be doing now, well, soon, it does restore some faith in the company.



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@unrandomsam vgchartz has some data on Mario Kart Double Dash and Wave Race Blue Storm.

Also threw in F-Zero GX:

Both Wave Race and F-Zero sold about 1/10 each of the Double Dash numbers. They're not even remotely near the 1 million mark. I suspect those two titles probably require more development work due to higher physics requirements and a more realistic look. Between the sales and the costs of development it's probably not worth it for them to develop more F-Zero or Wave Race.

Not to say the sales are particularly bad, but they're probably not enough to recoup costs.

However, it might still be a good idea for them to develop titles in those series (and 1080) as those niches are noticeably missing quality titles on Nintendo's platforms since the Wii days. That is, futuristic racers, snowboarding, and jet skiing.



maceng said:

Any game that has a medium to heavy use of amiibo figures will (and to some extent, should) become a platform on its own.



2Sang said:

This is a great move to get zelda and ac fans to look at mk8. They should do more crossovers, it's obvious that it works well a la smash



SavoirFaire said:

I am fine with Mario Kart venturing into the realm of Smash Kart. I actually think of it as a natural evolution, even though I would PREFER to see it stick with the residents of the mushroom kingdom (such as... King Boo...) I know there are plenty of other characters with appeal, so I welcome Smash Kart with open arms, and wouldn't be surprised if MK9 or MK10 turns into a full blown, unashamed Smash Kart (if that isn't the direction of MK8, which I think it is).

As to this whole completeness debate, why do people expect the digital.. concept for lack of a better word, to disappear in 20 years? I fully expect there to be some system in place 2 decades from now to have access to your purchases (if the company is still around) or frankly to still have access myself (flash drives tend to last awhile). Who is going to keep their Game Discs and not also keep the flash drives with all of their eshop purchases? Am I the only one that has a full backup of their eshop purchases? Grated, this means Nintendo has to be a bit more modern with the NNID, but in 20 years, they should be there

I always think I am a crotchety old gamer that hates change, until I come to these forums. Thanks for making me feel young and hip all of you geezers I'll kindly get off your lawn!



SavoirFaire said:

@TheAdza What I was hoping to see from Amiibo and MK8 was costume unlocks or related character unlocks. Say Peach amiibos get you a SM3DW fire flower or boomerang Peach, Bowser unlocks drybones bowser or bowser jr, Luigi Amiibo may unlock Professor E Gadd, etc etc. I'm curious to see where they go with Amiibo, but I feel like there will be a lot of missed opportunities.



whanvee said:


just means they are actually working on it now, rather than a month before release to get it ready as day one dlc.



TonLoco said:

After 20 plus years I don't think expanding the character roster is a bad thing. It freshens the series up a bit. I did see a comment in the other article about toon link being used instead and I agree. Link just seems a little out of place.



ianandian33 said:

It seems to me that Nintendo has been incredibly generous with MK8 have we forgot the free game we all got with our purchase? and now 16 new tracks for £11 cmon people, enjoy it



Dragoon04 said:

And with MK8 becoming compatible with Amiibo, it really is turning into a platform. It is great to see. Link Amiibo, coincidence? I think not.



Pahvi said:

Now the "buy MK8, get another game free" campaign started looking smarter: they also increased the potential customer base (=number of people with MK8) for MK8 DLC packs.

Before this, I thought it was mostly a desperation move of sorts.



bisamrat said:

Already bought both DLC packs, but I hope that the Racoon and Cat characters (suits) will be like the new Yoshi and ShyGuy colours. Give certain characters the option to use the suits like Luigi, Toad, etc. Just adding two characters with ‘lame’ suits is wrong, we already got Metal Mario and Pink Peach.

Can’t wait for the new tracks though, main reason why I bought both DLC packs



FubumblR said:

I think this is all great, most definitely!

However, just a bit confused on how the new courses will work for online play, since not everyone racing online will have purchased them.

I would assume when online matchmaking occurs groups will be split into those who own (sorry...have license for) the DLC tracks and those who don't?



PinkSpider said:

I never even thought about a metroid track, that would be awesome imagine Ridley flying around the track a bit like dead or alive on the 3DS where he flys around and attacks you.
Also I wonder if we will see new items included at some point.
But the thing I would love to see the most is some sort campaign/story mode. Mario kart needs something more than just new tracks, don't get me wrong it's awesome and your basically getting half of a new mario kart game for £11.00 a fraction of the price of what the mario kart 8 bundle cost me. But I want to see more than just new tracks. Who knows what the future of his franchise holds. It could be endless and I can't wait to see it unfold.



jakysnakydx said:

@Tsurii897 I ABSOLUTELY agree. Mario especially is just absolutely meant to be a packaged solid game. I rather liked Super Luigi U but as we can all agree that was really standalone, it was even sold as standalone. In that sort of a game, I'd go back to buy new playable characters (Waluigi in New Super Mario Bros anyone???) but for some reason 3D Mario... it just shouldn't have anything.
Zelda I wouldn't mind seeing fan service DLC... for example Hyrule Warriors has bonus costumes and what not, while I'm not a fan of paying real world cash for virtual outfits, those are free depending on where you preorder. But If I had the option of throwing in some retro perks just because I'm so in love with them, I would.



jakysnakydx said:

I don't understand why people hold the notion that offering DLC is low. Why are you so satisfied by the prospect of a game ending where it lies? I personally feel games should add to themselves to retain relevancy. Everyone hated Nintendo during the Wii era because their heavy hitters came out so early in the life cycle that no new first party content emerged in the latter years. If Mario Kart Wii and Smash or heaven forbid any of the others had been attended to like MK8 is, each might have had an even longer span.
My policy on DLC is make it content that the true fans will want to add to their experience. The basic back is for those who want a basic experience but for the rest of us who actually enjoy the game and want to see more of it without waiting until Wii U 2 in 2020 allow us please to be satisfied.



GreatPlayer said:

@unrandomsam I don't think Mario Kart 8 has not enough content, although I believe Sonic Transformed has more content. It seems that MK8 focuses on making the details right. I can understand why you think it does not have enough content or boring in comparison. Given the tracks are typically short in MK8, I get familiar with them quickly already.

Focusing on details on proven old formula is the typical Nintendo strategy recently, although I do value more variety. I am quite content with the online gameplay in MK8, although I spent much more hours on Sonic Transformed. I will probably buy the downloadable content, but I hope the new tracks having boat racing and jet racing elements.

By the way, is 3D World really good? I want to buy it but I am worried about I beating the game within one or two days. I have considered buying Donkey Kong in Wii U but I actually found the Wii version monotonous (I beat it, by the way, but with no strong intention to get all those letters and unlock the secret levels).



art_kevinc said:

This is how you make real DLC. Looks excellent. Cant wait to see Zelda tracks and Link Character. Now if only it had more of the old style battle tracks for DLC, it would be perfect.



Grumblevolcano said:

@GreatPlayer I agree that Sonic Transformed has more content simply due to World Tour mode, was hoping that Mario Kart would someday return to Mission Mode (Mario Kart DS has it) to add more to the single player experience.

As for 3D World, it is very good but 2 of the bonus worlds are pretty much reskins of levels from the main game and to unlock the final world you have to get all collectibles and a 1-up from every flag the game. Tropical Freeze I found extremely fun but given your opinion on the Wii game you probably won't like it as the collect all KONG letters to unlock secret levels is still present but the number of main levels is also reduced to allow for unlocked by secret exits levels.



Theober555 said:

Does anyone else think that putting characters from other Nintendo IP's is just to increase the title's compatibility with Amiibo? Its already been announced that Mario Kart 8 is getting Amiibo support, this just makes other figures (non Mario series) compatible with the game



GreatPlayer said:

@ MJKOP @ Grumblevolcano
Thanks, and maybe I should try 3D World (I wish there was a demo). $60 and I will see if I can make my money worth. No one else in where I live have a Wii U (everyone plays PS or Xbox and gameshops often do not have Wii U games). I cannot even borrow the game.



Sean_Aaron said:

This is great news and I'm stoked. I think a battle arena pack is a must, but there's no reason why Mario Kart 8 could be earning revenue for Nintendo forever so I wouldn't worry about never seeing this or that come to it.

It will continue to be played in my house as long as I have a Wii U!



DarkNinja9 said:

to me this is good news more characters and whats even more cool is 16 new tracks! oh and yeah the free dlc is nice too

what maybe i didnt like is the kinda went with the wrong link i think maybe wind waker link would of been better to have least for me but hey still cool i know hes going to be one of my fav characters to pick

im hoping we later get a update on the items though i still think the "coin" item is the stupidest thing to have when they are coins in the track itself -_-



WanderingPB said:

@rockodoodle ur absolutely right my friend those games are worth mentioning too...and as for getting even more tracks than the 16 courses already announce sounds great but for selfish reasons i dont want Mario Kart to become overwhelmed with DLC. I wont complain of course but there is something to be said about good things come to those that wait ya know. People dont want to be ripped off by buying an incomplete game that tries to sell u dlc that should have been included and yet MK8 (a complete game IMO) adds much more and for a great price yet somehow some are complaining that the wait is too long…since when does nintendo really rush out games LMAO! I dont mind waiting because QUALITY takes time and i learned to be patient though while i wait i'll just bring out my gamecube and play sum double dash until November comes



mastermp2 said:

Kinda weird that there is no mention of amiibo. Wasn't the point of amiibo to unlock stuff in different games?

That being said, maybe DLC unlocked by amiibo wouldn't be profitable since that would mean that once you buy an amiibo, you will have the ability to unlock DLC for upcoming games as well at no extra cost.

So basically this DLC can be bought without amiibo?



Eight-Bit-Yoshi said:

May is a bit of a crazy wait for the second pack, but bringing 16 additional courses & new characters to the game is great news! Much better than that horrible mercades dlc idea.



unrandomsam said:

@WanderingPB What makes you think it is not already done ? (I think it is).

But what they tried with Mario Golf annoyed me far more. (So I never bought it).



valcoholic said:

For me it's the first time to see that Nintendo is actually doing something right in terms of Online distribution. I mean, they did some good things, but no jawdropper. Until this point. Pushing their flagshipgame with 16 additional tracks as a DLC is just priceless. unlike it's actual pricetag which is also very moderate. Compare the value of 16 Mario Kart Tracks plus new characters and so on to a NES remix that was even more expensive.
Nintendo, you're on a good path these days, don't let that go.



alLabouTandroiD said:

I don't think there should be a radical change. I can see the new settings and characters fit into the existing, relatively traditional look and gameplay quite well.
Sure, it would've been nicer to get Kamek and regular Dry Bones instead of Cat Peach and Dry Bones Bowser but aside from that it all sounds glorious so far.
It just remains to be seen what kind of effect the DLC will have to playing with online friends that won't get it.
And i think aside from a Battle Mode DLC there shouldn't be more. They will have played their best cards with these two DLC packs right now.



Fandabidozi said:

I've got my heart set on getting a SNES for Xmas, but now I know I'll finally be getting a WiiU for my birthday in May. This is just too good to miss!



WanderingPB said:

@unrandomsam long time my friend but could u be a little more specific i didn't understand exactly what u were asking. As for Mario Golf the game included the same amount of content as past mario golf games i downloaded mine and that sweet sweet season pass but like all games im old school and remember the times when DLC did not exist and my genesis cartridge boxes stood proud on their own…maybe thats what made me a collector of sorts which still holds true today



rjejr said:

@andrea987 - "Aren't the first 8 tracks coming in less than 3 months (november)?"

Yes, in Nov. Which makes me wonder why Nitneod was so quick to update the entire MK8 game for something we can't even buy for another 3 months. If the 1st pack was available the day the update came out and the 2nd pack in Nov I never would l have made all the comments I did. But why update the game now? I'ld rather they spent that effort advertising SSB which still doesn't have a date yet. How about a SSB demo w/ the ability to buy the game built in? The MK8 2.0 update just seems too early for purchasable DLC. I can see why they would do it b/c I always believe advertising is good, but why buy it now? I'll just pick it up in Nov when it releases. Probably the day after it releases, I'm sure their servers will be swamped w/ the 1GB DL.



rushiosan said:

After installing both update and Mercedes Benz DLC pack, I can say I'm somewhat disappointed. The advertising for new DLC packs (with Link, Animal Crossing and stuff) is really invasive. You're forced to see flashing icons in your character selection list and cup screen, and so a red "!" on the main menu begging for purchase. I don't think Nintendo is doing the right thing with DLCs, Pikmin 3 could have an extreme replay value for extra missions if they WEREN'T downloadable packs. Same for New SMB 2. I consider purchasing the packs anyway, I just wish they were more quiet about that.

But where's the item balancing and battle mode fix?



Nico07 said:

I fully expect all amiibo characters to be playable characters this November. Link will simply be an included character that the amiibo version may offer some added bonus (hook shot to pull a player back). But this later part of having unique abilities for each amiibo in MK8 does seem unlikely based on the number of characters. Still I am very excited for the additional content.



rushiosan said:

@Nico07 I don't like the idea of adding "premium" abilities for MK8 characters by relying on amiibo figurines. The game's already pretty unbalanced between luck/skill, adding such things would make it even more chaotic.



salxicha said:

@Bass_X0 You didn't undetstand the Amiibo concept. You can use the figures with all compatible games, also there will be features exclusively applied to them. it is not something restricted to a game like a DLC.



hopfolla said:

@jjmesa16 2014? Doh! Schoolboy error. Seriously though? I have wanted Nintendo to do this for years but I honestly never thought they would. I am surprised we are getting some new re-worked retro tracks as I thought they would hold them back for MK10. As we all know MK64 and MKDD only had 16 tracks so it is like we are getting a new console Mario Kart game without having to wait another 6 years and at £11 this is bargain. It does open the floodgates for DLC madness though (I'm not complaining!) and raises the bar very high for future entries in the series. (I suspect a track editor by the time we get to the next console MK). I just don't get Amiibo yet - until they announce what value it has to MK9 in terms of content I am not interested in collecting Nintendo figurines as lovely as they look. They just could have made F-Zero U with power-ups and had 2 racing franchises again instead.



Nico07 said:

@rushiosan Obviously my suggestion is mere speculation at this point as Nintendo has said nothing about amiibo concerning Mario Kart 8 other than it will be a supported title. It's difficult to see how adding amiibo could be unique and beneficial to the Mario Kart franchise. In Smash Brothers they will be used as co-opperative or competitive fighters with unique skill sets, but in Mario Kart? The ability to play as each amiibo would be all well and good. But what about the amiibo characters we know of such as Mario, Link, Peach, Yoshi, Isabelle, and Villager. They already, or will exist later in the game so amiibo would need to add something. The possibilities are pretty limitless as far as co-operative play, maybe a unique item or course. Perhaps even a unique battle arena. I suppose we won't know until Nintendo releases more information about the value proposition of amiibo in MK8.



Henmii said:

This is a very cool (and very unexpected) move from Nintendo. At first I feared the price-tag (7 Pound) because I didn't know how it would translate into Euro's. But now I know the packs do cost 8 Euro each, and if you buy them as one pack you get a 4 Euro discount. That's not to bad, I immediately ordered!

I thought that if Nintendo would do it, they would charge 5 Euro for one track. But now you get 16 tracks for 12 Euro, and even some new characters and vehicles (though in my opinion the only really interesting character is Link)! Looking forward to it.

I agree that maybe this is the first time that Nintendo gets paid dlc right.



vio said:

@rjejr My theory is that they are doing all this extensive advertising in the game itself and else where months in advanced because they are desperately trying to get a good 90% or more of MK8 owners to purchase the DLC, which is a very difficult thing to accomplish. I mean think of how many children without jobs and credit/debit cards there are that have MK 8. They have to basically beg their parents to put money on their eShop account to get this and Nintendo has now set it up so they will be begging their parents for over 2 months until the first pack is released and then another 6 months until the second pack is released...

Now the reason I believe it's so important to Nintendo that such a large portion of the MK8 owners buy this DCL is because I suspect Nintendo is going to split up the online community. I mean there's really no way to avoid it unless they let all the people who did NOT buy the DLC play the new tracks online for free, which is obviously not fair to everyone who did buy it and would hurt the DLC sales big time. The only other option would be to make the new courses off-line only, which would be absurd and cause a HUGE backlash! Hell, for me personally, all I really care about is the new courses. The new karts and characters are just icing on the cake. If I learned I could just play the DLC courses online for free, I definitely wouldn't buy the packs!

Anyway, I will shut up now. I think you get what I'm saying.



aaronsullivan said:

A new article shows that "70% of connected users have visited the eShop, which is decent but could be better."
That's actually a bit higher than I thought, but how many regularly visit it? Anyway, by having the shop in-game it reaches any player who has updated the game. If they didn't do it that way they risk 30% of the MK 8 owners missing the dlc altogether.

So... I understand why it's advertised in-game.

But, yeah, Nintendo just went for it, huh? The shop option on the main screen is fine with me. I'm not thrilled with the row of characters showing at the bottom of the character selection screen (look at all the things you don't have!) and the Cup selection screen (look at all the tracks you don't have!). It's certainly convincing, but impossible to ignore by those who aren't interested or simply can't afford it. I think it's over the line.

That said, my family are and I are very excited about the new content and ordered both. The different colors for Yoshis and Shy Guys are a fun little option, too, especially since it changes the kart colors along with the character.

I'm kind of hoping — vainly? — that Nintendo tones it down after the initial push... but let's face it, it's in Nintendo's best interest to push pretty hard even a good while after May 2015.

It all looks nice enough, but it takes a little bit of the sheen off the package for me. I guess as I play over the next few months it will be a reminder and something to look forward to, but right now it feels tacky to me.

I really don't enjoy ads unless they are opt-in.



Bolt_Strike said:

This is the kind of DLC we need to see more of, bonus content that wasn't just stuff they took out of the main game, and adds actual content to the game.



InnerSpirit said:

I don't get the purist who think non Mario characters is a bad thing. I've been hoping for a super smash kart outing since the GC and considering that Karting isn't something any of the characters in Mario do in their own games I don't see the issue bringing other Nintendo characters into the mix. It's a video game after all let's have some fun with it. The only reason seeing Mario and Yoshi driving around in Kart is less weird than Link is because they're been doing it longer.



Bizzyb said:

This makes me wonder just what kind of amazing DLC we might see for characters (Cranky Kong!), New Atls, and news stages?? It's entirely possible at this point



rjejr said:

@aaronsullivan - Yeah, it's really weird, my initial reaction was "Wow, they really went all out" and it looks great and the update was really smooth for me (unlike Disney Infinity which I kid you not took over 2 hours to install, not DL, install) but then I read your fist post, the one about it not being obtrusive. And boy is it ever. Have you noticed the top banner Quick Start screen on the Gamepad? Nobody is going to miss this.

And then I thought about people who buy the game this Christmas who don't read NL - I can't imagine even this site has 7 mil readers - and it really kind of makes it look like you are buying an incomplete game, they almost made it TOO integrated to the menu. Like maybe the menu should have a button that says - "add-on content at additional cost" where this is all hidden away.

But if I'm a shareholder, I think it's a win. And if I'm a tech guy I think it's a win. As a gamer, and a parent of 2 gamers, maybe its a little bit much. But we will be buying it. Well maybe, a lot can change in 3-8 months



vio said:

@InnerSpirit Exactly. Donkey Kong and Yoshi were there since the very beginning with Super Mario Kart, so everyone is 'used' to them being there. But is seeing Link racing around in a go-kart really more ridiculous than seeing a gorilla and a dinosaur do it?



IronMan28 said:

I'm very okay with them expanding Mario Kart to have characters from other franchises. However, it kinda makes me worry they won't make games in certain other neglected racing games they have. Maybe a new Wave Race is still a possibility?



Bass_X0 said:

DLC for Mario Kart 8 isn't equal to a new F-Zero or Wave Race game. They don't even come close to being the same.

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