One of the first things I wanted to do when I woke up this morning was to see whether the new Mario Kart 8 update was available. I was somewhat surprised to find out that it was, but surprise didn’t stop me from playing the game in the new Mercedes-Benz karts that are now available as free downloadable content. Here’s a quick run-down of the additions brought to the game and how I feel about them:
I tried all three of the new kart bodies: the GLA, the 25 W Silver Arrow, and the 300 SL Roadster. As far as a kart’s stats go, handling and traction above all matter to me. I tried out the 300 SL Roadster first, due to its balance between those two and its good looks. I tend to like a kart with good handling, but I’m okay if it’s a little lower when the kart looks as sleek as the Roadster. You can check out a highlight reel I uploaded to YouTube of this kart in action above this post.
I tried out the GLA next, which had a better traction stat than handling. Though it looks and sounds pretty awesome, I just can’t handle a lack of handling very well. I finished on the 25 W Silver Arrow, which emphasizes handling. Of course, it felt like a dream to me, but I’m not a big fan of its look.
Overall, I really like the new karts. Some people have complained they look out of place, but I think they’re just weird and quirky enough to be a memorable Nintendo crossover.
Along with this update came the ability to display the course map on the TV screen, which I tried out while playing this morning, of course. You can toggle the map display on and off with a press of the – button, which is a bit of a hassle. Luckily, though, the map doesn’t get in the way too much. Actually, I found I was too distracted with the actual racing to look at it much. It shows up on the bottom right of the screen and is actually fairly large, with all the characters’ heads there, showing where the action is at. It’ll show who has a star or a bullet bill, but other items don’t show up, or at least I didn’t notice any showing up. This is a bit of a bummer, because I only ever used the map in Mario Kart 7 to quickly dodge green shells and such. That map, however, was zoomed in on me, the player, whereas the map in Mario Kart 8 shows the whole course plus everyone on it. I probably won’t bother using the map in Mario Kart 8, when all’s said and done.
Another small update that I didn’t expect, though, is a welcome change indeed: when you used to finish a race in Mario Kart 8, the first button it would default to was the “View Highlight Reel” button, as opposed to the “Next Race” button. Now it thankfully defaults to the “Next Race” button, making it so I don’t accidentally open up the highlight reel after a race when I don’t want to. I like watching highlight reels, but not after every race!
That pretty much sums up my initial impressions of the new Mario Kart 8 update and DLC. I didn’t try to find out how to access new paint jobs for the Mercedes-Benz karts; I just hope that’s still a thing and that I’ll be able to figure it out without having to look it up. What do you think of the changes and new karts?