Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has unveiled its first wave of DLC tracks, but the mixed reaction highlights fundamental problems with Nintendo’s strategy.
Five years after its launch on the Nintendo Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe unveiled its first wave of DLC tracks. Drawing inspiration from the famous history of the fan-favorite video game franchise, there will be 48 DLC tracks in all, remastering tracks from classics Mario Kart games for the modern audience. However, while fans have been pleased with the addition of new content to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the first time in years, the technical presentation of the tracks themselves received a more mixed response.
the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC resurrects tracks from virtually every past era of Mario Kart. While none of the tracks look particularly dated, they don’t have quite the same level of graphical polish as the base tracks in the game. The textures don’t have the same amount of detail, and the tracks themselves don’t feel redesigned enough to capture the gameplay sensibilities introduced in Mario Kart 8. While Mario Kart 8 featured a whole range of classic tracks from previous games, the changes made to each match the rest of its tracks. That’s not the case with the DLC, and it’s especially noticeable with the environmental effects, including grass, backgrounds, and textures on the tracks themselves.
#MK8D Original versus DLC
Notice how the light reflects off the main road, red and grass the same way in the DLC. Nintendo did not create new normal/specular maps. Makes everything sterile compared to the rustic original.
The music still bangs. pic.twitter.com/XPcAx9Sn5V
— Mario Ramirez (OPEN Commissions) (@Marioshi64) March 18, 2022
The DLC tracks are a healthy mix of tracks from previous games, including three from the mobile game Mario Kart Tour that have never been available on a home console before. The DLC’s tracks have much of the same appeal as when they first debuted, with the rolling Choco Mountain and beloved Ninja Hideaway still as entertaining as ever. Despite their issues, the core design of this first wave of tracks, along with the nostalgia benefit, makes for a solid lineup. However, the quantity and selection of tracks themselves is not the issue.
One thing causing dissatisfaction with Mario Kart 8 DeluxeThe DLC of is its price. While Nintendo Switch Online subscribers with the expansion pack upgrade get access to DLC tracks at no additional cost, the set costs $24.99 for those without that premium subscription. Factor that into the base game which normally costs $59.99, and players might have expected better value for money in terms of technical quality with the DLC.
Another dissatisfaction with the DLC is its relative simplicity compared to Mario Kart 8‘s DLC during its lifecycle on the Wii U. Along with new tracks, the Wii U DLC brought additional racers and varying game speeds. The DLC was later included when Mario Kart 8 was ported to the Switch. Mario Kart 8 DeluxeNintendo’s downloadable content pales in comparison, although in Nintendo’s defense the company has never promised anything other than the announced additional tracks.
Fans are calling for a full sequel to Mario Kart 8 for years, Mario Kart Tour and Mario Kart Live: Home Track notwithstanding. the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe The DLC, which is releasing in six waves, with the last arriving by the end of 2023, feels like a stopgap measure between installments. Fans feel the quality of the DLC leaves a lot to be desired. Its general lack of polish doesn’t help dispel suspicions that the new tunes are little more than a cash-in. As five years have passed since the last main episode, fans want more from the popular racing franchise.
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