What do you do when your internet is up for longer than 30 minutes? Well I for one thought I’d download that there new karting madness by downloading the Mario Kart 8 update with the new speed class and the DLC tracks. For what it cost me as usual I am rather happy with what I got, if a wee bit disappointed with some aspects of it. Lemme spin you a tale at the possible speeds of fast and way too fast as to why that is. I might even say some words about that new speed class too. Riveting.
Okay, the new characters are nice and quaint and the new vehicles are nice but not something to scream about, that’s out of the way. Tracks are what we wanted and it’s tracks we got.
Why, why did Baby Park come back?! It barely counts as a race because it’s just 7 laps around an oval, throwing items at everyone. That isn’t a track that’s a damn battle arena, it isn’t very fun for me due to the whole “locked in a box with 11 bears” mentality it has, just take 12 racers with shells and stars and see what happens when you put them too close.
Cheese Land is…boring. It really isn’t all that interesting, as if all the love that was supposed to go across the GBA tracks was stolen by Cheep Cheep Beach. Bland colour palette being a track in a land of cheese (honestly could we have some blue cheese in here) and lacking in anything admirable or unique, it feels like an ass pull of a track for DLC. In a word, boring.
Wild Woods is a fun little original track where you race within a wood shockingly enough. The track consists of a small little village of shy guys and toads, a water flow that you ride and a few lily pad jumps to hop around on. Visually its pretty damn glorious, I love the starting area where you sit sideways on a tree trunk with a small little window through the trees of sun, I’d really like to see more fascinating lighting effects in other tracks, hell other games. I do wish the village section was a bit more interesting though, you just sorta drive by without interacting or anything.
Animal Crossing is the last track in the first cup and oh boy is it the star of the cup. Like a few others before it there are changes to the track every time you race, switching between 4 seasons each with their own theme. That is pretty damn fantastic, what’s better is it manages to cover a good few things I like about the Animal Crossing series. You see the NPCs on the side cheering you on and the trees in the centre of the track drop fruit that counts as a mushroom, changing with the season. You hop along a beach bobbing over detritus in the sand and go over a fountain to get some item boxes tied up to balloons. It is a mesmerising track that is a fantastic way to end the 1st cup.
The 2nd cup starts with Neo Bowser City, a koopa city covered with lights and smothered in rain. As a spot to race is isn’t bad but the aspects that are incorporated into the track are next to none and the track design itself isn’t very entertaining. I really think a track like this shoulda involved the area into the track more, we can have dolphins jumping through hoops in the shoals we can soar between buildings in Bowser City, alls I’m sayin.
Ribbon Road is a fun little track where you ride along what is essentially a toy set as you weave between toy mecha koopas and clown car jack in the boxes, riding along various coloured ribbons. The best part of the track is the surrounding area, posters and boxes of toys decorate the room, imagine racing on a track set in Andys room from Toy Story and you’ll get the idea. Quaint little track indeed.
Super Bell Subway is a quick race along the tracks with a big old train that likes to push me into the off road. It’s full of little details and extras in the scenery and the base for the musical track is the underground theme from mario but otherwise it’s not all that interesting. I feel as if all these shops and people would do better going about their daily business, it feels too much like a track that happened to be in a subway rather that racing somewhere you don’t belong.
Finally, the last track is Big Blue from F-Zero with a jazzy rendition of the famous theme. This track like Mount Wario and Classic Rainbow Road is a sprint, a get to the end rather than a loop round the same roads. As a track to race on, its nice, however it doesn’t seem to do anything that plays on the F-Zero origin, you go on some boost pads and down some water streams, you don’t really do much with the Big Blue setting other than have it as a tint for a sci-fi stage. Disappointing really, I wanted to go into the goddamn water in my water oriented stage.
Overall, solid but not a fantastic DLC pack, some better stage choices and modifications to tracks woulda been nice. Now let me tell you about 200cc, a speed class that says in its description that braking is crucial. 200cc is kinda bad as it is far too fast for the design of the tracks, taking some corners will just require you to stop for a while and shift while items are coming and going very quickly, you end up in weird places on the track if you draft by accident or get bumped by so much as a pebble.
It’s also incredibly biased to bike riders, as the balance of bike to karts is that a kart can turn in and out of a powerslide easily, a bike can go in hard but can’t really go out. Considering kart drivers will have to brake a lot and you can go through a corner without letting go of the accelerator, you will destroy people without question. I’d refuse and go play with karts instead but there there is this next problem.
This game isn’t fun with braking. It wasn’t designed to be a game where you brake really at all, in lower speeds you throttle it all the time and take corners as tight as possible, even 150cc. It’s fun and exhilarating to punch it for a whole race as you zoom into a corner. 200cc however you stop and slow down to take a sharp turn, sometimes you can’t risk power boosting a turn and then going too fast for the next one to be made. It ruins the flow of the race, I’m not jetting around corners like an F-Zero or Wipeout maniac I’m trying to race a suped up vehicle on a track designed for a stock car.
I don’t get a lot of fun at 200cc, it’s like those programs for kids to teach them how to program orders, FW 200, 90 degree clockwise, FW 400, 45 degrees counter-clockwise. It’s mechanical and lacks fluidity, they should bring out some 200cc designed tracks if anything to better suit these sort of speeds. I got all my golds on every cup and I’m not gonna try and triple star them because putting up with the bullshit of Mario Kart at those speeds gave me headaches. I like to go fast, I don’t like having to stop going fast to make these corners, it’s just not gonna do it for me.
What is your favourite track of the new DLC? Do you enjoy 200cc or is it too fast for you? What games let you go really damn fast that you adore? Thanks for the read and I’ll see you later.
P.S. sorry I’ve been rather quiet recently, since Easter we’ve had problems with our internet to the point we’ve had 4 technicians out who’ve replaced the modem 4 times and gave us a new cable. Turns out the real problem is outside in the box with a motherboard old as….something really damn old. I like the free stuff but dammit I’d also really like to have internet for a bit longer than a Mississippi or two. I mean hell I don’t owe nobody anything but I wanna post some more stuff and I got something to tell the world, even if sometimes it’s “shove it up your ass world”. Hope to be back to full capacity soon!