Now, it has been out for a little while, I’m aware; I’ve been glued to the TV like a moth to a flame because of it. However, I wanted to not just copy paste from the myriad of other articles that are floating about. I wanted to write based on personal experience with it.
While I am going to touch on the new DLC pack, I want to go back a bit and talk about the first pack as well; they were intended to go together, I only see it fit to have them both here.
Both DLC packs, available on the Nintendo eShop for $7.99 each (or both for $11.99) includes a bunch of goodies for the price; karts, characters, and a total of 50% more tracks. What a steal! This article will go over what can be found in those packs, and some personal opinions on them.
Firstly, there was the Zelda pack. This included Link, who is a Cruiser weight class (between medium and heavy, such as Rosalina, DK, and Waluigi). It also has Tanooki Mario and Cat Peach, who are both part of their own weight classes; they are both on either side of the light-medium weights (Peach being the lighter, of course). I don’t think I’ve ever used any of them.
It includes 4 karts: the Blue Falcon (from F-ZERO, notable for good acceleration), B-Dasher (from previous Mario Kart games, designed for speed), Master Cycle (Zelda-themed bike, which is strong in speed and handling, weak in traction) and the Tanooki Kart (good with traction and is heavy, but bad for handling and acceleration).
This DLC adds 2 Cups, each with 4 races. Notable courses are the Hyrule Circuit, which has you skirting around the castle grounds, and Mute City, which is a hover-filled, speed bound course with perilous cliffs. It also includes the Excitebike Arena, which has 3 different forms.
In the most recent DLC, we get some Animal Crossing into Mario Kart. It has the same deal; 3 new characters, 4 karts, 8 tracks.
The characters start with Villager. You technically get 4 characters, as you can choose male or female Villager. The male shares the weight of Tanooki Mario, and the female shares the weight of Cat Peach. Not wanting to miss the excitement, the Villager’s trusty mayoral assistant Isabelle tags along. She’s a lightweight like Toad. And she’s also hands-down my fave newcomer, and great with the new mode; more on that later. Lastly there’s the skeletal Dry Bowser, who is as heavy as they come; and as speedy as he is spooky!
Of the new karts, honestly I don’t really like any of them. We have the Streetle, which is a beetle-shaped kart. The back spreads out like wings when you boost. The P-Wing, while a cool-looking kart, has alternatives that I would rather use. The Bone Rattler bike (more of a trike) is just… I don’t like the design one bit. If any, the only nice one is the vespa-inspired City Tripper; I would consider it if I used bikes.
As with the previous, we get new tracks too. Notably, we have the aptly-themed Animal Crossing track, which has 4 different variations based on the seasons (it is randomly selected upon race start) and Big Blue, a slalom-style rush through water, air, and a lot of boost pads.
When the 2nd DLC pack also released, they also included a free update with something new that Mario Kart has never seen before; a 200cc speed class. Originally you had to unlock it, but that is no longer the case. This is a FAST speed. By fast I mean REALLY fast; speed rating is almost irrelevant, with people being content with 3 speed and putting more into handling. This is because the already-tight turns throughout the course were not designed for this speed, making them even tighter. Upon starting 200cc I used lightweights (was a good excuse to use Isabelle), but have started shifting more towards the middle-weights like Mario and Peach. Its all a matter of preference and skill, though; I see people online using heavy-weights doing well, albeit using the acceleration/handling based karts.
Going as fast are you are, you have to use a never before used button in Mario Kart; the brakes. As in, if you don’t use them at least a little bit, you are bound to be kissing the walls more than once. Proper drifting is also key, as it can weave you in and out of corners. Even hopping around (the R button) to re-align yourself has come in handy more than once for me. You definitely have to re-learn a lot of techniques, not to mention pretty much all of the courses. You also have to experiment with new shortcuts, such as little turfs of grassy areas that you usually need a Mushroom for.
This is basically what 200cc feels like…
All in all, while the 200cc speed is absolutely exhilarating, it has its downfalls. Notably, the recovery time from getting hit with a shell is not sped up, so it isn’t unusual to get hit and go from 1st to 8th in a blink of an eye. You are bound to get bumped a bit more as well from that. Same goes for falling off the course.
Overall, I would say that these DLCs are great. They were also part of Nintendo dipping their foot into the waters, and I say they did pretty well with it. Most definitely worth the $11.99 for them. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I hear a blue shell coming…