New Mario Kart 8 + DLC Wii U Bundle Announced In The US

If you don’t have a Wii U or Mario Kart 8 but want both of them (and DLC), then do I have a surprise for you! A new Wii U with Mario Kart 8 and its DLC has been announced by Nintendo, which retails for $299.99 in the US. However, Mario Kart 8 is not packaged physically with the console and comes pre-installed on the system.

Nintendo also has a Super Mario Maker Wii U bundle in various regions. That game is set to launch later this week on September 11th, and pre-release buzz for the game has been extremely positive. The Wii U keeps becoming more and more of a quality system to own, whether or not its detractors want to admit it!

Mario Kart 8 Animal Crossing DLC Launch Trailer Looks Awesome

Animal Crossing is joining the Mario Kart races next week, so check out what it’s bringing to the table in the new DLC launch trailer.

Next week owners of Mario Kart 8 will be able to download the second DLC pack for the game, with this one focusing on Animal Crossing. Now a launch trailer has been released for the DLC pack, showcasing all of the stuff you can expect to play around with.

The DLC pack comes packed with 3 new characters (Villager, Isabelle and Dry Bowers), 4 vehicles (two being the Streetle and City Tripper) and 8 new courses through 2 new cups. The download requires at least 1 GB of available storage space.

The Animal Crossing characters look great in HD, making me wish that Nintendo would hurry up and make an Animal Crossing for the Wii U already. Dry Bowser is also there, which I guess is cool, too!

Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 2 launches on April 23rd, 2015. Check out the launch trailer for it below. 

Mario Kart 8’s 200cc Class Is Ridiculously Fast

If you thought 150cc was fast, just wait until you see 200cc!

Nintendo is set to update Mario Kart 8 on April 23rd, and when that update goes live gamers will be finding a brand new speed class to check out. That class will be 200cc, which is a step up from the previous fastest class 150cc.

Just to give you an idea of how much faster you can expect things to move with 200cc, Nintendo has provided a video that compares 150cc and 200cc, and you can check that video out below. 

Yup, that’s pretty dang fast! Mario Kart 8 is also set to receive its second DLC pack soon, with this one being Animal Crossing themed.

Here’s Everything Contained In The First ‘Mario Kart 8’ DLC Pack

The first DLC pack for Mario Kart 8 offers a solid amount of content for a very reasonable price.

We’ve gotten bits and pieces of what is coming in the first DLC pack for Mario Kart 8, but now we have a video that shows off everything. For just $7.99 you get three characters, four vehicles and eight tracks.

While Tanooki Mario and Cat Peach are nice, Link is the obvious stand-out in the character department. This marks the first time that he has appeared in the series, and he brings with him the awesome looking Master Cycle. The eight tracks also look solid, with some old favorites and new ideas being thrown into the mix.

What’s really cool is that the video mentions another DLC pack that will be coming next year, which will also cost $7.99 and contain an equal amount of content compared to this one. However, rather than paying $7.99 for each one and end up paying around $16, you can purchase the bundle and get both packs for around $12. That’s a nice little savings if you’re planning on grabbing both DLC packs anyways.

Check out the video for the Mario Kart 8 DLC pack 1 below. 

‘Excitebike Arena’ DLC Course Coming To ‘Mario Kart 8’ Next Month

It’s about to get retro in here!

Next month Mario Kart 8 will be receiving DLC Pack 1, and one of the new courses featured in the pack is none other than Excitebike Arena from the classic Exciteback game. The track features all of the crazy jumps that you may remember from the original game, though obviously viewed through the gorgeous graphics engine of Mario Kart 8. Check out the video showing off this impressive new course below.

To make matters even better (or worse, depending on your style), Nintendo has said that the tracks ramp and boost locations are completely randomized, meaning that no matter how many times you race on this track you will never know what to expect. So gamers, if you’re planning to take the plunge and spend $7.99 next month for DLC Pack 1, make sure you bring your A-game!

Yoshi Circuit To Be Included In First ‘Mario Kart 8’ DLC

It’s back!

Next month Mario Kart 8 will be getting its first DLC pack, which is set to bring a variety of new things to the great kart racing game. The latest reveal from the DLC is that it will include Yoshi Circuit, which was a track that first debuted in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! before being brought to Mario Kart DS.

The remaining contents of the DLC contains Link, Cat Peach and Tanooki Mario as playable characters, as well as four new vehicles and eight new tracks. This new DLC is set to be released next month.

An Animal Crossing-themed DLC pack is also set to be released in May of next year, bringing some Animal Crossing characters and tracks to the races.

Condemn O.R. Condone – Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)

Nintendo was unquestionably lazy with some of the game modes, but Mario Kart 8 is still mechanically-flawless.

It’s no secret that the Wii U has been struggling pretty severely ever since it launched a couple years ago, which is largely due to the fact that the system simply had no great games to push the system. Nintendo desperately needed a game like Mario Kart 8 to come along and help get the system off of the shelves and into gamers homes, and now that game is finally here. So, is Mario Kart 8 the game that will turn everything around for the Wii U? It will definitely be a game that a lot of people will flock to, but there are a few simple issues that keep this game back from being the home run it could have been.

First up, the gameplay is fantastic. The racing has never been tighter or more fun, and all of the gameplay elements that have been gradually added to the series over the years all feel great. However, the big addition to the gameplay is the anti-gravity sections, which have you driving sideways, upside-down and all over the place. These sections are always incredibly fun, because there is always a sense of awe when you see a huge vertical wall coming up and knowing that you will soon be racing across it. As an added twist, when you bump into people while in anti-gravity it gives you a speed boost, giving you more incentive to race a little more aggressively.

Like with any Mario Kart game the tracks are what determine how much or little fun the game can be, and Mario Kart 8 brings a fresh set of great tracks while also bringing back some classic ones. You have the option to pick from 16 new tracks or 16 classic tracks like in previous installments in the series, but they are all mostly very well designed and look gorgeous. I was particularly impressed with how phenomenal the classic tracks look, as Nintendo really went all out to make them look brand new while also retaining the charm they had on their respective systems.

MK1

Of course, as you’re zooming down the game’s 32 tracks you will come across a bunch of items that you will be able to use against your enemies, and this time you’ll have four new items to use. These new items are the Boomerang Flower that can be tossed up to 3 times and hit your enemy coming and going, the Piranha Plant that chomps nearby enemies while also giving you speed boosts, the Super Horn that sends out a shockwave that knocks over nearby enemies and destroys all incoming items (even the Blue Shell!) and the Crazy Eight that generates eight items for the player to use. These are all great items, and I especially love the fact that you can finally do something against that damn Blue Shell!

Like in recent Mario Kart games you have the option to drive a Kart and a Motorcycle, but the new addition to this game is the option to drive ATVs. ATVs have a similar feel to Karts, with the main difference being that you pack more weight that lets you knock around other drivers more easily. Each vehicle has their strengths and weaknesses, so it all comes down to player preference on what type of vehicle will be best for you. They all control quite easily, as well, which is mostly due to the fact that you can utilize the Wii U’s gamepad, which is a huge step-up from the lackluster Wii remote.

You also unlock new vehicles, tires and gliders as you complete more races and collect coins contained on each track, which adds a lot of customization to the game. You can play around with things like overall speed and control, but I mostly ended up just picking the combinations that looked the coolest and still found success. No matter what combination you pick you will have a solid shot at winning the race, so you don’t have to stress out too much on which combinations go best together.

MK2

There are 30 playable characters in Mario Kart 8, with the game starting you off with 16 of them and having you unlock the other 14 through successful tournament completions. All of the usual cast of characters are here, though the biggest addition this time is the 7 members of the Koopaling Clan. The addition of these characters is a little disappointing, honestly, as they are all basically the same and aren’t characters that are all that memorable. I would have much rather Nintendo gone into the archives and dug out some classic characters that we don’t see as much, but what can you do. My favorite unlockable character is Metal Mario, simply because… well… he’s Metal Mario! Mario in metal form!

Another cool little addition to Mario Kart 8 is MKTV, which allows the player to go back to the previous race and view it in a variety of different ways and upload the footage directly to YouTube. This is kind of cool, as watching some of the biggest moments of the previous race in a montage of sorts is always funny, but I do wish that they had let you go a little deeper with the actual editing. It would have been sweet if you had the option to edit together several clips of footage to show off a string of specific moments in a row (say, a montage of just Piranha Plant chomping?), but this new feature is still fun to play around with, regardless.

Other game modes outside of the Grand Prix in Mario Kart 8 are Time Trial, VS Race, Battle and Online. Time Trial and VS are pretty standard modes that have been in the series for a while and are decent diversions, but the biggest bust is the game’s Battle Mode. In previous installments in the series you battled against other players in unique arena-style courses that were separate from the game’s main race tracks. In this game, however, Nintendo took the lazy route and just throw you into a handful of regular race tracks found in the main game. Not only is this incredibly lazy on Nintendo’s part, but it makes the Battle Mode very dull and frustrating. The point is to be able to drive around and attack other people, but when you are on a narrow and linear track that is much bigger it becomes much more of a hassle to keep a fluid battle going.

MK3

Fortunately, the online mode of Mario Kart 8 is very solid, as the connection remains steady and playing with others around the world is as fun as ever. The Mario Kart experience is meant to be played with others, so obviously the online portion of the game is the one that will get the most use, and rightly so. You have the option to do regular races or start a tournament, which is a cool way to compete in something a little more intense than a one-off race. You can do battle mode online, as well, but who the hell wants to do that?

Mario Kart 8 is another very solid entry in the series, bringing back all of the great features the series is known for while also throwing in a few twists to spice up the formula. The HD graphics are absolutely beautiful and the new anti-gravity mechanics are a lot of fun on any course. Nintendo kind of took a pass on the game’s Battle Mode, but seeing as it’s an extra mode and the main focus is racing it is easily forgivable. This is another fantastic entry in the series that will keep any Wii U owner happy for years to come.

CONDONE