When the first round of DLC was announced for Mario Kart 8, some details were left blank. We knew that it would include Link, Tanooki Mario, and Cat Suit Peach, but there were a few mystery tracks and karts that were yet to be announced. Well, the first of those eight tracks has been revealed in the form of a homage to Nintendo’s first big racing game on the NES, Excitebike.
Nintendo showed off the new track by posting a video on their official YouTube channel that has eight racers making their way around the classic track, including the aforementioned Tanooki Suit sporting Mario and Cat Suit Peach. While it still retains Mario Kart 8’s insane level of detail and polish, Nintendo really nailed the feel of the classic NES racer. Large jumps, small jumps, and grass traps all remain as they did in the original game. The track also appears to be randomized either each lap or it randomizes each race – it wasn’t entirely clear.
Being that the entire track is a giant closed-off oval, this is also the first track where Mario Kart 8’s maligned battle could actually work. In previous Mario Kart titles, there were specialized courses just for this mode and it was a ton of fun. They were mostly closed off and small so it made the battles fast paced and fun. Unfortunately, Nintendo did away with that in the Wii U version and you now just race around regular tracks, which are wide open, long, and make the battles seem to last forever as you track down that last balloon-having jerk who refuses to die.
Hopefully this smaller Excitebike Arena track will be the first of many coming in the next two DLC packs that will be made with Battle Mode in mind, because it really is a lot of fun when it works right.
DLC Pack 1 is currently available for $7.99, or you can buy DLC Packs 1 and 2 in a bundle for $11.99 and receive bonus multi-colored Yoshi and Shy Guy racers. Get ready to race on this Excitebike track with Link, Tanooki Mario, Cat Suit Peach and more when DLC Pack 1 is released next month.