Nintendo Shows How You Do DLC Right with Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart 8

Every Nintendo fan online pretty much wet him or herself the second they saw a fateful image. I remember it like it was yesterday (probably because it was). Link was on a motorcycle, racing through Shy Guy Falls. Yoshi and Wario were on his tail, but they couldn't catch up to him, because he's Link! It was magic. Music may have even spontaneously begun to play. It was then that a realization hit me.

Nintendo can do no wrong when it comes to Mario Kart 8 DLC.

Well, I suppose I should be more specific. Nintendo is aces when it comes to "paid" Mario Kart 8 DLC. I'd rather not think or talk about that Mercedes Benz free DLC that arrived August 27, 2014 and we couldn't opt out of. That was an advertisement and doesn't count. But when it comes to the real DLC, the company has proved that it knows how the concept should work, and is doing it right.


For example, look at the content. Nintendo made just the right moves to ensure every Mario Kart 8 owner would want this. Each pack will come with 3 new racers, 4 new vehicles, and 8 new courses. That's quite a substantial portion of content. The price is affordable too, at $7.99 per pop. Except it gets even better, because people who commit to buying both only pay $11.99. Considering the full game provided 36 racers, 26 vehicles, and 32 tracks for $60, it isn't bad to get an additional 6 characters, 8 cars, and 16 courses for $12. The inclusion of extra Yoshi and Shy Guy color schemes for people who buy both at once is just cake.

While we don't know enough about the available vehicles and courses in each pack to start salivating, the characters are enough to inspire people to buy them both. We may not have needed Tanuki Mario or Cat Peach, considering we have standard and metal variations of both, but the inclusion of Link in that pack is enough to make it an instant buy. Meanwhile, love for Animal Crossing will surely inspire many to grab a pack that offers the Villager and Isabelle. The inclusion of Dry Bowser only makes it better. People have dreamed of Mario Kart crossovers, and DLC that makes that real is the kind worth having.

Mario Kart 8

The only really bad part about the Mario Kart 8 DLC is that Nintendo's timing is all wrong. The Legend of Zelda X Mario Kart 8 Pack won't be released until November 2014, and the Animal Crossing X Mario Kart 8 Pack has a May 2015 release window. The company is undeniably smart for putting together fantastic, worthwhile DLC like this, but they really should have checked a calendar before they did. It would have been much smarter to release the first pack in, say, October, and the second in December. The holidays are full of huge gaming events for many, and I know that local multiplayer games like Mario Kart 8 win out every year. It would have been perfect if both packs were available to play in time for those December holidays.

Alas, I suppose we can't have it all. After all, Nintendo is already doing so much right with the paid Mario Kart 8 DLC. To ask for more would be greedy. Besides, these new characters will hopefully tie into Amiibo too. It would be great to have them all at once, in time to enjoy when all that holiday gaming comes around, but perhaps I'm even wrong about that too. Maybe Nintendo is showing even more brilliance by waiting three months for the first pack and eight for the second, as it will keep Mario Kart 8 new and relevant for so much longer. Ah, this DLC really is too good to be true, and one can only hope it's also an indication of the kind of DLC we'll see in other anticipated Wii U games, like Super Smash Bros. and Hyrule Warriors, as well.

Jenni Lada
Jenni Lada

Site Editor
Date: 08/27/2014

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