Mario Kart 8: Playable Link, DLC Details and Release Date

In today’s Nintendo Direct we were given a much closer look at the upcoming Mario Kart 8 DLC content.  We already knew that we had a playable Link, Cat Peach and Tanooki Mario to look forward to, as well as new vehicles and 8 new tracks, but this time we saw everything up close.  We were also shown that Nintendo’s Amiibo figures could be used to unlock outfits for your Mii Racer in the upcoming title.  Additionally, Nintendo put up a cute little “Nintendo Minute” video on YouTube showing two of the most anticipated new tracks being played.

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Hyrule Circuit is beautiful, taking through town and right into the legendary castle -right up to the Master Sword!  The track seems to be an amalgamation of Skyward Sword, A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time, a pretty excellent combo if you ask me.  You’ll also notice that the coins have been replaced by rupies.  This doesn’t change anything except for adding to the lovely Zelda atmosphere and replacing the coin item with a rupy item.  F-Zero’s Mute City switches things up as well. As you speed through a lovely rendition of the famous track featured in every mainline F-Zero title, you’ll notice there are no coins to be found anywhere.  Instead, the track has you driving over a pink strip on the side of the road, the very same strip that would heal your craft in Captain Falcon’s series.  Excite Bike gets a track too, this one featuring randomly generated jumps and turns making the stage different every single time you play it.

The other courses were not previewed but we know that a couple of classics, such as Yoshi’s Circuit from the criminally-underrated Mario Kart Double Dash!! and the SNES Rainbow Road, are in there.  There are still more originals as well, note Ice Ice Outpost and Dragon Driftway, the latter of which seems to star a familiar face from Mario Galaxy 2.

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The drivers themselves are great.  Link, who also comes with a “Master Bike” motorcycle, derives from his Skyward Sword game and pulls out his sword or a tri-force when performing tricks.  Cat Peach and Tanooki Mario have their own unique tricks as well (expect to see a familiar statue).  Through in the F-Zero Blue Falcon car and you have a pretty excellent deal for a DLC pack.

The first Mario Kart 8 DLC pack arrives on November 13th.  The second pack, which promises to include Animal Crossing racers and courses, will be released in the Spring.