By Bryan Smith on November 19, 2014 at 11:36am
We at Player Theory thoroughly enjoyed "Mario Kart 8." So with the release of the first DLC packs, "The Legend of Zelda X Mario Kart 8," we took a look at the new content. Is the DLC worth your time? If you are a "Mario Kart" fan, we say so.
"Super Smash Kart" Has Potential Now
What caught most people by surprise right before this announcement for DLC was that "The Legend of Zelda" would be represented in a "Mario Kart" game. Not only that, but for the first time a non-Mario character, Link, would be featured and playable. The idea was toyed with when Rosalina was revealed to be a new fighter in "Super Smash Bros." for Wii U & 3DS as Kirby interfered with a race on Rainbow Road.
This DLC pack includes Link, Tanooki Mario, and Cat Peach as playable characters, the Blue Falcon from "F-Zero," the B Dasher from "Mario Kart DS/7," the Master Cycle based on "The Legend of Zelda," and the Tanooki Kart as karts. The Master Cycle also comes with Triforce Tires and a Hylian Kite to customize. Divided into two cups, there are eight new tracks to race on- some brand new, some from previous games, and some based off of other franchises. Those include Yoshi Circuit (GCN), Excitebike Arena, Dragon Driftway, and Mute City for the Egg Cup and Wario's Gold Mine (Wii), Rainbow Road (SNES), Ice Ice Outpost, and Hyrule Circuit for the Triforce Cup. And if you bought this pack and the "Animal Crossing X Mario Kart 8" pack, you get eight additional colors for Yoshi and Shy Guy.
Having Link, the new vehicles, and the new tracks are great additions to "Mario Kart 8." The old tracks feel better with the HD treatment and general overall. The old Rainbow Road is a blast to race through. With the three tracks based off of other tracks, all three of them are a joy to see. The Mute City track makes me want a new "F-Zero" game badly. The only track that is just meh is the Ice Ice Outpost. It doesn't offer much and is rather boring. But what works here really works well for "Mario Kart 8."
More Mario and Peach?
Then comes the eyebrow-raising inclusion of the other two characters: Tanooki Mario and Cat Peach. Nintendo could have used this excellent opportunity to bring in Princess Zelda or Ganondarf as characters, or even Captain Falcon since his car is in the game and he's even on electronic billboards. Having Mario and Peach getting more representations just feels lazy and redundant. We have Mario, Peach, Baby Mario, Baby Peach, Metal Mario, Pink Gold Peach, and the two new ones, putting them at eight racers out of the roster. Putting aside the missed opportunity to have characters outside the "Mario" series, there were characters that were missing that could have been put in; Diddy Kong, Birdo, Dry Bones, and Bowser Jr. are still missing.
The next DLC pack, "Animal Crossing X Mario Kart 8," rectifies the mistake a bit better by having more representation from "Animal Crossing" with the Villager and Isabelle being playable. Dry Bowser, a previous playable character, returns, which doesn't feel too redundant and unnecessary as Tanooki Mario and Cat Peach. Perhaps there will be more DLC future that will have characters that don't feel like unneeded.
Great Addition of Link ... Though It Needs More Oomph
For what its worth, "The Legend of Zelda X Mario Kart 8" DLC pack is great simply for adding Link, fantastic tracks, and the potential for having Super Smash Kart. It just feels ... lacking in the absolute wow-factor since Mario and Peach have another set of representations. They really should have been just skins, just like how Yoshi and Shy Guy have alternate colors. I recommend this DLC pack for those who really loved "Mario Kart 8" and enjoy getting more racers, karts, and tracks to mess with. Though for those who want all of the DLC to be worth every cent, it may not exactly do it for you.