Mario Kart 8 The Legend of Zelda DLC Review

Mario Kart 8 X The Legend of Zelda DLC Review Screen 5

The Mario Kart 8 The Legend of Zelda DLC has been out for a week now, it certainly has turned a few things onto its head. If you have played the game itself, you will know it’s probably the game of the year for many people. It’s simply a perfect kart racing game, beautiful graphics, apt music, a truly expertly made masterpiece of a game. I may sound like a fan boy just now, but it’s my opinion and I am sticking with it, the hype was indeed justified, if you disagree, you either haven’t played it or you hate life to the point you can’t experience joy any more. Joking of course, yet I feel there may be a grain of truth there.

Regardless, when there was a big announcement for down loadable content for Mario Kart 8, there was a sense of confusion and hysteria across Nintendo fans on social media. How could this be? How can this game be improved? Eight courses for seven pounds, sixteen courses for eleven pounds!? You can play as Link from the Zelda Series!? There is a course based on F-Zero !? Seriously how can this even real!? That fan service is actually insane; Nintendo is giving content beyond any expectations expected. The hype was brought to Smash Bros level instantly.

A long wait followed accompanied with a drip feed of information. They kept dropping hints, pictures of new cars, videos of new courses, keeping the hype alive. The B –Dasher a fan favourite car being shown, videos being released for the popular and yet hard as nails Yoshi Circuit course. Then all of a sudden it was due next week, things come around quick for such a long wait sometimes.

Mario Kart 8 The Legend of Zelda DLC itself is split into three things specifically starting with three new playable characters. First of them is Tanooki Mario a version of Mario powered up from a Super Leaf, famous from Super Mario Bros 3 and a few other games, while a fan and my personal favourite, he can turn into a statue and everything, I was a bit disappointed that it was just another kind of Mario. The same can be said from Cat Peach, I do like her too though, her actions are cute, which my daughter loves and it scratches my Super Mario 3d World itch. The main eventer out of the characters is Link from the Zelda series, the fact he is playable in a Mario Kart game is astonishing in itself, unthinkable previously! He plays fine, the actions are accurate when he jumps, it feels very authentic to the Zelda games he stars in too. This is fine over all, the aesthetic change is appreciated, there’s not enough for me to change from Luigi though!

There was four new vehicles added too, the best of which is the Blue Falcon, Captain Falcon’s ship from F-Zero, it suits my play style perfectly, even to the point I don’t play as it because it feels like I’m cheating!! The B-Dasher is just as fans will remember it, I certainly like racing with it. The Tanooki Jeep offered is cute, has a tail at the back and rides fine, quite fun paired up with Tanooki Mario. The Master Cycle is Link’s bike, based on Epona from his series, it looks great, I can’t really comment on how it plays, I can’t use bikes in the game; I am too used to my karts.

The main event is the new cups and their courses, it’s best the break them up. The Egg cup has the Yoshi Circuit, an island shaped like Yoshi, it’s unforgiving and tough, but a great challenge. Next the Excitebike Arena recreated the old NES game and changes every time you play it, it’s fun enough, just not the best of the lot. After that Dragon Driftway is an anti gravity roller coaster based on a Chinese theme, riding along a dragon’s tale, great fun, just right feeling challenge wise too. Mute City is next and Nintendo fan boys will cry tears of joy to see this classic brought to life so well, I know I did, the music, the curved track, the boosters, the speed, this is clearly the best course on offer in this cup.

Mario Kart 8 X The Legend of Zelda DLC Review Screen 2

The other cup is good as well, maybe not as good, with two retro tracks including Wii’s Wario’s Goldmine, a roller coaster with lots of traps and tricks, quite fun, just not a highlight. The other retro track is the Super Nintendo version of Rainbow Road (making three Rainbow Roads in the game) this is old school, updated and yet brings me back to 1992 panicking about falling off and those shiny Thwomps, maybe not the most different course, it just brings joy to me personally. Ice Ice Outpost is okay, twisty, icey, not particularly special. The final one is Hyrule Castle, based on the castle from the Zelda game, this is a great homage and a very enjoyable track, the fine details are very special to any Zelda fan, I won’t spoil them, but play it and you will see.

I don’t need to reiterate how good this is, this is Nintendo showing the third party developers that shun the Wii U how DLC should be done properly. Great value for money, special content, enhancing the game, yet there is no indication previously that the content was cut before the game was released. I cannot wait for the next one with the Animal Crossing cross over. Nintendo are fighting to prove their place in the gaming industry and I feel like they couldn’t fight any better if this is what they are offering.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Wii U code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@brashgames.co.uk.

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