Hands up now, who honestly thought we'd be getting brand new DLC for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in 2022?
We certainly didn't; we were all primed and ready for Mario Kart 9 to be announced, but Nintendo clearly had other ideas, breathing new life into a game that's now five years old (or eight if you include the original Wii U release — which you should).
Initially, it was a decision that undoubtedly confused many people — this writer included — who were there Day One and have been playing some form of Mario Kart 8 for years now. But now that we've had some time to digest it all, the only question we have on our minds is, "sure, why not?". After all, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has sold well over 40 million copies by this point, so it makes sense for Nintendo to take advantage of this while simultaneously bolstering its Nintendo Switch Online service.
It got us thinking, too. If an 'old' evergreen game like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe can get some brand new DLC, which other games would we like to see given a new lease of life? Mario Party Superstars is rumoured to be getting the DLC treatment, but that came out last October. Hardly an 'old' game, hmm?
So get comfy, dear readers, as we look at some hypothetical scenarios in which a few of our most beloved stalwart Switch games get some hot new downloadable content...
Super Mario Odyssey DLC
Released back in 2017, Super Mario Odyssey is already feature-packed, with over 15 kingdoms to explore to your heart's content, from the delightful Metro Kingdom to the tough-as-nails Darker Side, the latter of which is tough enough to test even the most experienced of Mario fans.
Like anything worth having, however, we just want more -- more levels please, Nintendo. The gameplay in which you utilise Cappy to traverse obstacles, batter foes, and collect coins is, in our opinion, pretty timeless, so why change a good thing?
In terms of what kind of levels we'd like to see, we reckon it would be just lovely if the game paid homage to past 3D Mario levels in a similar way to the Mushroom Kingdom. How about an expanded Isle Delfino? Or perhaps Gusty Garden Galaxy? Who are we kidding, just give us a new Dire Dire Docks with a remastered soundtrack!
Much like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the motion-controlled fighter ARMS has already received batches of DLC here and there — much of it was free, too. We're big fans of the game (at least some of us are), but in the years since its release, the enthusiasm around Nintendo's new fighting IP has undoubtedly died down, so it certainly makes us wonder just how successful a full blown sequel would actually be.
With over 2 million copies sold, ARMS — a brand new IP, remember — was hardly a failure, so we think it might make a bit more sense to test the waters with some brand new DLC first. Nintendo could play it safe with this and just introduce a few more fighters, a stage here and there, and perhaps a new mode. But how about revamping the entire experience with a whole boatload of new material?
It could be called Super ARMS EX' Turbo Alpha. Or not.
Luigi's Mansion 3 DLC
Luigi's Mansion 3 is a game that we'd sooner see receive the full sequel treatment rather than DLC (a haunted theme park, anyone? Ooh, matron!). The game as it is features a very solid bunch of themed levels courtesy of the hotel floor setup, but nevertheless, there's always room for more.
We adored almost all of the levels in the main game, particularly Paranormal Productions and Castle MacFrights, but we'd also love a level based on a top-class restaurant, or perhaps an indoor waterpark — heck, even a creepy nursery!
Again, Luigi's Mansion 3 is a game that's already received some DLC for its multiplayer component, but we think the main campaign is just itching for some hot new content. In addition to new floors, how about a couple of new abilities for the Poltergust G-00?
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DLC
The task of remaking such a beloved game with The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was no doubt an already-herculean task for developer Grezzo, who needed to strike a fine balance between paying homage to the original Game Boy classic and introducing something fresh for fans. One of the new additions to the game was the 'Chamber Dungeon Creator', an altogether neat idea that never quite found its footing.
In terms of new DLC for Link's Awakening, we think an expanded version of the dungeon creator would be just nifty. We wouldn't expect anything on the level of Super Mario Maker (in fact, that idea has already been firmly shut down), but some new layouts, items, enemies (maybe even something from another Zelda timeline) might just give the feature a bit more life, and give us reason to return to Koholint.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars DLC
Right, this one's a bit obvious, and there's also the teeny-tiny problem in the fact that Super Mario 3D All-Stars isn't actually available anymore outside of pre-owned physical copies (unless you stumble upon a new copy, which by all accounts isn't too difficult).
However, we'd be remiss not to beg Nintendo once again for the inclusion of Super Mario Galaxy 2 — just a little DLC to complete the package! C'mon Nintendo, this could be such an easy win!
Also, just release the full game again.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC... Er, hold up!
Okay, just slow down — yes, we know Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is about to get some new DLC (that's what this whole topic is about, after all).
With a total of 48 new courses coming to the game, we'd probably be a bit greedy asking for even more, but that doesn't mean we can't get new characters or karts, right? One of the big conversation pieces prior to the announcement of the Booster Course Pack was whether the next Mario Kart would effectively become 'Nintendo Kart', expanding on Mario Kart 8's roster of non-Mushroom Kingdom characters and courses from other Nintendo IP. We think Nintendo would do well to dip its feet in the water with even more DLC based on franchises like Metroid, Kirby, Pikmin — all of which have now appeared on Switch — and more. Imagine skirting around Coconut Mall as Samus or Ridley!
Then again, we've already asked the question as to whether more DLC for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a good idea, and the vast majority of you lovely people made it quite clear that you'd rather Nintendo make a full sequel.
Maybe we're just unimaginative. Or maybe we just can't fathom why we're unable to burn around in a Kirby kart yet.
And that's it! We're aware that none of the above is likely to come to fruition, but hey, we can dream right? Super Mario Party got an online update a couple of years after the fact — stranger things have happened!
But what about you? What games would you like to see new DLC for? Or are you in the camp of waiting for a full sequel instead? Let us know!