Mario Kart 8’s 200cc Mode Looks Perfect

Mario Kart 8Announced at last week’s Nintendo Direct, Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U will be getting a free update that adds a 200cc speed class into the game. Timed alongside the April 23 launch of the second DLC pack, the 200cc mode is a boost in speed compared to the historically fastest class of 150cc.

After watching a couple comparison videos showing the difference the jump to 200cc the speed difference is noticeable, but not so much as to cause players to completely lose control of their karts.

In addition to the 200cc speed class, the free update will also add additional Amiibo support in the form of additional race suits, including the third party guests: Sonic, Mega Man and Pac-Man. The Mega Man helmet in particular looks pretty slick.

The second DLC pack sports an Animal Crossing theme with additional racers of the Villager, Isabelle and Dry Bowser, two additional racing cups including an Animal Crossing themed track.

I had a blast playing the first DLC pack, the addition of Link felt so very right. I’m happy that Nintendo is expanding out Mario Kart to their non-Mario franchises because honestly, it is the perfect way to expand on content when the core mechanics are so solid. The second DLC pack marks the conclusion of Nintendo’s announced expansion plans for Mario Kart 8, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo decided to add single character add-ons or maybe even a new tournament. Maybe some pixelated Excite Bikes?

Dance Central Spotlight to Launch September 2 at $9.99

Dance Central SpotlightHarmonix Studios’ next Dance Central title, Dance Central Spotlight, will debut on September 2 at a very friendly price of $9.99. This is the debut Dance Central title on the Xbox One, a series that garnered near-unanimous praise on the original Kinect.

Dance Central Spotlight will include 10 tracks and routines with more than 50 more tracks available as DLC at launch. The tracks included with the launch package are confirmed as:

  • Avicii – Wake Me Up
  • Cher Lloyd – I Wish
  • David Guetta ft. Sia – Titanium
  • Jason Derulo ft. 2 Chainz – Talk Dirty
  • Kid Ink ft. Chris Brown – Show Me
  • Lorde – Royals
  • OneRepublic – Counting Stars
  • Pharrell Williams – Happy
  • Rhianna – Diamonds
  • Will.I.Am ft. Justin Bieber – #thatPOWER

It’s a solid list of songs of dance/pop chart-toppers. Honestly, Harmonix has made Dance Central Spotlight attractive with both a starter set-list of recognizable hits and a ridiculously low price point of $9.99. It almost doesn’t matter how much additional tracks cost, because purchasers are already making out with a solid game and great songs to dance to with friends.

Even with the initial launch support with the additional tracks, Harmonix has also stated that any DLC purchases for previous Dance Central titles on the Xbox 360 will be transferable to Spotlight owners for free. I hope that they will also make available on-disc songs from previous games, transferring them like they did for their Rock Band franchise.

Polygon – Dance Central Spotlight launches Sept. 2 on Xbox One for $9.99

Metal Gear!? Classic Snake a PS3/PS4 Exclusive

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, the prologue to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain which takes place somewhere in the middle of the Metal Gear timeline, is getting some really clever PS4 exclusive DLC. Announced at last night’s PlayStation 4 launch event in New York City, “Déjà Vu” will put players in the polygonal shoes of a classic Solid Snake, ripped straight from the black CDs of the original PlayStation. While the game is releasing across both the PS3/PS4 and Xbox 360/Xbox One, “Déjà Vu” will be exclusive to Sony consoles.

Just seeing that Solid Snake again, in all his PSX glory, gets me excited. I’m curious to see how or if Konami will intertwine the stories of Big Boss and Solid Snake. Hopefully it will be more than just a costume. Hell, I’d love it if they brought David Hayter back, just so he can exclaim “Metal Gear!?” one last time.

Konami throwing exclusive Metal Gear content in Sony’s direction should be no surprise especially with the amount of success the series has received on Sony consoles. But missing additional content from major releases, even in a delayed fashion has got to hurt Microsoft’s odds. Already Xbox is missing out the exclusive Aveline DLC to Assassin’s Creed IV, is set to have a lengthy six month delay on Watch_Dogs DLC and even Bungie’s Destiny will have their beta on Sony consoles first. I know the exclusive extra content is swaying my developing opinion away from Microsoft, despite my past support of the Xbox.

Destructoid – Play as Classic Snake in Metal Gear Solid V on PS4

Would you like fries with that? – On Pre-Orders & Collector’s Editions

Forza Motorsport 4

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GameStop has created a business model built on pre-orders and used game sales. Try purchasing a game on launch day without a pre-order is like playing Russian roulette, only their might be more rounds in the cylinder. Odds are that if you waltz into a GameStop without a prepaid deposit, you are more likely to get judgmental stares and criticisms of: “Sorry, we’ve sold out our launch stock, you should have pre-ordered.”

Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that often pre-order bonuses of downloadable content are included as incentive to choose a pre-order deposit over a $5 footlong at Subway. Before the days of DLC (and DLC pre-order vouchers), pre-order swag was a mini-strategy guide, or a map, or a plushie, or an abnormally thin T-shirt. Now, as a consumer, I feel that I’m not getting the entire experience of a game if I don’t have that super secret retro costume & mission pack that comes only with a pre-order.

Factor this into the allure of Limited Collectors Steelbook Fancy-Pants Editions and it is all over for me. Not only do I have to shell out $60 for the base game, tack on another $10 for the special edition, another $20 for the limited collector’s edition or another $40-$90 for space wasting models and toys that look really cool on paper, but not so much on my already cluttered desk. Continue reading