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Mario Kart 8 is about to get more exciting!

Nintendo has decided that it isn’t going to settle for Mario Kart 8 being the best Mario Kart game ever. They are also using it as a platform to (finally) experiment with DLC (downloadable content).

Starting this November we will see the first of two DLC packs for Mario Kart 8 that will feature new racers, vehicles, and courses! By the time both packs are released there will be sixteen new tracks total along with six new characters and eight new vehicles! (Even more if you include the free Mercedes update!)

The DLC packs are scheduled to include the following:

Pack 1: The Legend of Zelda X Mario Kart 8 (Release Date: November 2014) – $7.99

  • 3 Characters: Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, Link

  • 4 Vehicles

  • 8 Courses

Pack 2: Animal Crossing X Mario Kart 8 (Release Date: May 2015) – $7.99

  • 3 Characters: Villager, Isabelle, Dry Bowser

  • 4 Vehicles

  • 8 Courses

Pack 1 + Pack 2 Bundle – $11.99

  • 6 Characters: Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, Link, Villager, Isabelle and Dry Bowser

  • 8 Vehicles

  • 16 Courses

  • As a bonus for purchasing both packs bundled or individually, buyers receive eight new colors for Yoshi and Shy Guy. Those who advance purchase both packs can begin using the Yoshi and Shy Guy characters immediately.

This is some of the most exciting news in video games all year. The idea of Nintendo embracing the DLC revolution is a big deal as they have always been slow to move on new trends. Many of Nintendo’s biggest franchises would fit very well into the DLC model and my spreading out DLC releases for these games they could help alleviate the sparse release schedule that comes from being the only large company making games for the WiiU.

What do you think? Are you buying these DLC packs for Mario Kart 8? Sound off in the comments!

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Mario Kart 8 is one of the biggest releases this year for the Nintendo Wii U. It has, historically, been one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, but it has rarely received any kind of post launch support to keep the game fresh in its players’ minds.

That is all changing on August 27, 2014. Nintendo is releasing a free update that day that will bring some cosmetic game play changes AND introduce three new karts based on cars from Mercedes-Benz history.

The new karts are:

  • Mercedes-Benz GLA
  • Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
  • Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow

The GLA will come with its own set of wheels, but any of the three will be useable with current stock of wheels and wings. (The idea of a GLA with giant monster truck tires amuses me to no end!)

The game updates are mostly quality-of-life changes. They make the game experience smoother and more feature rich without changing the game play itself in any meaningful way. The updates (per the Nintendo press release) are as follows:

  • Drivers will now have the option to display the course map on the TV screen during races.
  • The order of the menu after each race will be changed to “Next Race”, followed by “Watch Highlight Reel”.
  • The game will remember the most recent kart options that were selected, even if the Wii U system was powered down.
  • Users will be able to change options of other players’ Mario Kart TV downloaded highlight reels, such as changing the focus to different characters or actions.
  • A score screen will be added so players can see how many coins they’ve collected, the win-loss record of their online battles and their frequently used characters.
  • Improved the stability of the online connection to enhance user experience during online battles.

These are definitely all welcome changes in our book. Are any of them going to be particularly important for you? Sound off in the comments!

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