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'Mario Kart 8' extras to feature 'Zelda,' 'Animal Crossing'

tech reviews Updated: Aug 29, 2014 11:26 IST
Wii U

Quickly established as one of the Wii U's essential titles, "Mario Kart 8" has a pair of supplemental character, course and carriage packs on the way, with the first arriving this November.

Each is to contain a selection of three new characters, four vehicles, and eight tracks to hurtle around.

Link, the green-capped lead from "The Legend of Zelda" and its subsequent sequels, heads up the first pack, joined by the more general-purpose Tanooki Mario and Cat Peach from "Super Mario 3D World."

Pack number two, set for May 2015, has The Villager and Isabelle from the "Animal Crossing" series -- both are set to appear in "Super Smash Bros. for Wii U" in one form or another -- as well as another "Super Mario 3D World" graduate, the bony bulk of Dry Bowser.

No word yet on which specific tracks and transports will be included in the downloads, though circuits themed after classic sci-fi racer "F-Zero," town tweaker "Animal Crossing" and the "Mario Kart Wii" level Wario's Gold Mine are to be introduced.

Nevertheless, fans can still put their money down right now and obtain a set of alternative drivers immediately: each pack goes for $7.99 (€7.99), or they can be pre-ordered together at $11.99 ($11.99), netting a clutch of multicolored Yoshis and hockey-masked Shy Guys in the process.

The announcement follows a game update that opens an in-game shop and adds several tune-ups to the title, such as an onscreen map, better online connectivity, and three free downloads courtesy of Nintendo's tie-in with Mercedes: the Mercedes-Benz GLA, contoured 1950s-style 300 SL Roadster, and open wheel Silver Arrow.

Well timed to endure the holiday season, Nintendo's two-part kart expansion plans encourage owners old and new to hold on to "Mario Kart 8" through to the new year and beyond, further cementing its status as a standard entry in any Wii U library and as a platform for further crossovers.