And I have no regrets.
I’ve made no secret about my love for all things Mario Kart, and number 8 is the second best Mario Kart I’ve played (hard to top Mario Kart DS, a game I bought twice so my brother could play with me). But when Nintendo announced its DLC plans for it, I needed new pants.
But it was more than just my love for new things Mario Kart that made me so eager for this DLC. It was the fact that the DLC simply contains so much content! If you’re too lazy to click links, it includes six characters, eight new cars, and sixteen new tracks, all for 12 bucks. That is a ton of extra content for what is comparatively a pittance. I was talking to a friend of mine about it (using caps lock as I tend to do when excited) and he mentioned how ModNation racers charged 8 bucks for one new character. I don’t know how true that is, but even if he was off by half, 4 bucks a character is a lot of money. He described it as Nintendo cheating themselves of cash. After all, why charge 12 dollars for something when you can charge 24? Or even 36?
In an age of video gaming that seems to be increasingly characterized by greed and squeezing as much money out of the consumer as possible, Nintendo’s Mario Kart DLC stands out even brighter. Sure, at the end of the day, it’s about lining Iwata’s pockets, but they really go out of their way to make it worthwhile. 12 dollars for half the content would be a steal. But for all of it? The money couldn’t leave my wallet fast enough.
To make my fanboy scream even louder, it’s not as if Mario Kart 8 held back content. It has just as much content out of the box as every other Mario Kart (with the glaring exception of mission mode from the DS). So, I didn’t feel like I was buying half a game at 60 bucks—I felt like I had bought a full experience. This DLC on top of that? Icing on what is already a very sweet cake.
Nintendo has not done a lot of DLC lately, with the most prominent examples being New Super Luigi U, Mario Golf: World Tour, and now Mario Kart 8. But so far, they seem to be going out of their way to make their DLC worthwhile. New Super Luigi U was a game I enjoyed more than the vanilla version, Mario Golf: World Tour gives you 50% more courses, and the same idea is applied to Mario Kart 8. Normally, I loathe the idea of DLC because it feels like they are holding content back from the full game. But so far in Nintendo’s case, it feels like they are doing exactly what DLC should be doing. Providing more content to an already complete experience for a low price. This is DLC I can buy without feeling dirty, nor feeling ripped off.
This is DLC I can stand behind.
I said it above that I have no regrets about buying Mario Kart 8 DLC, and I don’t. To me, this large number of new tracks and characters is well worth the price of admission. And if the latest rumors regarding Smash Bros are any indication, this DLC policy looks like it will continue. SSB4 already includes more characters than Brawl, and any additional characters will just sweeten the deal all the more.
Nintendo gets a lot of flack for being slow on the uptake. That is completely true. But no one can deny that once Nintendo catches up with the pack, they do things right. MiiVerse is a delight. Their online store on the WiiU works like a charm. And now they are nailing the concept of DLC.
As of this moment, I am proud to be a Nintendo fanboy.