Friday, 5 June 2015

First Impressions: Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 2

First Nintendo bring out one of the best Mario Kart/racer ever, then release a couple of free updates to cement its place in the top percent of racer. After that they release a DLC pack to rival the best DLC packs. What can they do next you ask?

How about releasing a second DLC pack with three new characters (Villager and Isabelle from Animal Crossing and Dry Bowser from Mario), two new cups (Crossing Cup and Bell Cup), four new vehicles (Streetle, City Tripper, P-Wing and Bone Rattler), some new tires (Leaf Tires) and a new glider (Paper Glider).
Let's get on with the awards for the tracks shall we? The first is Baby Park for the Crossing Cup. This is a retro track which consists of a short, Nascar-like loop. As it is so short, there is 7 laps. Best of all this racetrack is in an amusement park and consists entirely of anti-grav. Let the speed commence! This track wins my award of the Best 7 Lap Track.

Next up is Cheese Land. Set in a desert where the sand is cheese, the rocks are cheese and you are lactose intolerant, this track is great fun with lots of jumps in cheese craters, a chain chomp and the great pizza monuments of *entry deleted*. This track wins my award of the Smelliest Track.

Wild Woods is the third track in the Crossing Cup.Set in a massive forest, this track is one of the first tracks to see anti-gravity utilised in its entirety. With sweeping uphill sections, multiple paths and giant lily-pads this track is an absolute blast. This track wins my award for Best Use of Anti-Gravity.

The Animal Crossing track is the last one in the Crossing Cup. Every time you race, the season changes, giving a new atmosphere to the track. Hearing the brilliant opening theme for New Leaf and K.K Sliders synthesised tones makes for a really great racing experience, as well as a tour through all things great about animal crossing. All your favourite characters are available to be seen, from Blathers and Brewster to Tom Nook. This track wins my award for Best Themed Track.

The second cup in this DLC is the Bell Cup. The first track is Koopa City from the 3DS. With neon effects everywhere, this track benifits from the Wii U's (first time ever) far superior technical specs to the 3DS. This track is basically the same as the 3DS version although with added anti-gravity. This track wins my award for Best Use of Lighting.

The next track is Ribbon Road. Set in the room of a child, the track itself is a playset for the child. All around you can see other toys and posters displaying games from Nintendo's past, present and dreams, as well as references to pop culture. This wins my award for Best References to Pop Culture.

Super Bell Subway is, of course, based on a subway, with all the features you'd expect. There are trains, PA voices, maps, tracks above the trains... It is connected to nearly all the tracks in Mario Kart 8 with the map detailing where they are. This track is a lot of fun, even with no anti-gravity and wins my award for the Best Underground Track.

Big Blue is the last track of the Bell Cup and is another F-Zero track. With three sections instead of laps, (like Mount Wario) this track is amazing. The sheer speed you can get, coupled with the twisting turns and beautiful vistas makes me want an F-Zero game for the Wii U now. This track wins my award for Best Track.

This DLC pack is DLC done right, with some of the best uses of anti-gravity. Couple that with the awesome characters from Animal Crossing and Dry Browser, and you have a winning formula. Hopefully, this isn't the last we have heard from Mario Kart 8. This DLC wins the award for Best DLC.

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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