When it comes to leaks in the gaming industry, I think it’s safe to say that Nintendo has to be one of the best companies at keeping its cards extremely close to its chest. In fact it’s tough to think of many instances where game information has hit the web before intended – Donkey Kong Country Returns being spoiled hours before Nintendo’s E3 press conference in 2010 being the only one that really springs to mind. These past couple of weeks however have been somewhat of an exception with two of Nintendo’s biggest games seeing information leak online.
Leaked Super Smash Bros information has yet to be confirmed by Nintendo themselves but with videos appearing on YouTube (and later removed by the company itself) it seems highly likely these rumours are the real deal. The Mario Kart leaks on the other hand were confirmed just a few days ago and finally we can officially put to bed the question of whether Nintendo’s latest racer will be receiving DLC and in what form. I think it’s safe to say everyone will be pleased with the result.
Downloadable content will come in the form of two pretty expansive packs. Both will include two brand new cups (each consisting of four tracks), three new racers and four sparkling new car parts. Strangely Nintendo have even decided to introduce some of their other franchises to the mix.
The first pack, which will drop later this November, will feature tracks that take the Legend of Zelda universe as its inspiration along with reworked classics and also brand new ones too. Judging by the teaser advert for this pack it seems like we’ll see a remake of Wario’s Goldmine from Mario Kart Wii along with F-Zero and Excitebike tracks too. As for the characters, we’ll see Tanooki Mario and Cat Peach make their debut along with Link (a first for the series!). Only one kart has been revealed so far (The Blue Falcon) but with a focus on the Legend of Zelda could we maybe expect to see an Epona bike?
The second pack which will come much later in May of 2015, will this time take the Animal Crossing franchise as its inspiration complete with tracks based on the series and if the first pack is anything to go by perhaps more franchise crossovers. Also included will be three more racers (Isabelle, Villager and Dry Bowser) along with another four extra karts.
Nintendo seem to be just teasing finer details of these two packs with plenty of unknowns still at play. What other retro tracks will we see? My hopes are on a couple more completely remastered Super Mario Kart tracks (after the original game featured a criminally low one track from this SNES classic). What other franchises might guest? Could we perhaps see a Metroid stage or maybe even a Starfox one? What other karts will we get to test drive? Already fans are speculating what the publisher might have up its sleeve.
So now we move onto another surprising fact – the price. At only £11 for both packs as a bundle (or £7 each if you only wanted one) Nintendo is offering a fantastic deal for what is essentially 50% more tracks plus a whole host of extra racers and karts. Whatsmore as an added incentive for pre-ordering both packs you’ll also receive eight more coloured variations of both Shy Guy and Yoshi right now.
Nintendo may not often venture into the realms of downloadable content too often, but when they do, the results have been excellent. They dipped their toe into the extra content pool with the challenge packs for New Super Mario Bros 2, Fire Emblem: Awakening and Pikmin 3 before then offering what was essentially a fresh new adventure in New Super Luigi U. Mario Golf World Tour was the latest effort (adding a massive six more courses) and now we find ourselves with Mario Kart 8, a game many never expected to see get DLC in any form at all.
The May 2015 release date for the second pack may seem far off but with Link and co making their debut later in November that should hopefully keep us busy for the months to come… or you know… make the wait even tougher. Keep those Mario Kart 8 discs handy, the plumber is heading back to the track in a big way later this year.