So this past Friday I was finally able to play Predator: Hunting Grounds, a game I have been looking forward to for months. Created by developer IllFonic, Predator: Hunting Grounds is an asymmetric multiplayer game where four people play as human commandos and one person plays as the ultimate alien hunter, the Predator.
During gameplay, the human players will attempt to complete objectives against an AI opponent (the rebels from the first film), while the Predator wants to hunt down and kill the four player characters before they can “get to da choppa!” and exit the level.
Despite being from a different franchise, Predator: Hunting Grounds is in many ways a sequel to the Friday the 13th game, which launched several years ago and which I also had a ton of fun with. There really is no one who can blend gameplay with fan service like IllFonic, well – at least when it when it comes to 1980s cult classics.
Thank you for those two packs of downloadable content for Mario Kart 8. They were affordable and added in some great tracks. The new vehicle options were engaging and 200 cc mode might be at the pinnacle of crazy-but-fun nonsense. The new characters… well having Link, Isabelle, and the Villager was pretty cool. Overall, they were great add-ons and I hate to complain but…
It’s the internet and I have first-world problems.
While Mario Kart‘s DLC has been great so far, it has failed to address the game’s largest weaknesses. The game already boasted an impressive course list, with 16 great new tracks and 16 excellent remakes. Now, with 16 brand new courses, it is tough to argue against Mario Kart 8 having the best track selection in the series. That’s definitely a positive, but in ideal DLC we need…
A REAL Battle Mode
You know what Mario Kart 8 also has? The worst Battle Mode since it was introduced back in the original Mario Kart. The problem is simple: Mario Kart 8, for all its raceways, has no dedicated Battle Mode stages. Not one. That’s right, while Nintendo found time to 48 courses to support one of Mario Kart 8‘s modes, they made a grand total of zip to support the other. Instead they have left players to battle on regular raceways, courses that were not designed for that style of gameplay. While there is still some fun to be had, it has made Battle Mode feel largely crippled. Heck, if they’re out of ideas for new stages, might I make a simple suggestion of four pretty good ones?
So yeah, Nintendo – PLEASE add a real Battle Mode, I am willing to pay eight more dollars for it. I haven’t taken a poll but I feel that I am not the only one in this camp. Also, if I could make one critique of the character roster:
It is deceptively limited.
There are currently 36 characters available to choose from in Mario Kart 8. At first glance, that sounds like a ton! I mean who could want more when you can choose from Mario, Metal Mario, Baby Mario, Tanooki Mario… okay that’s a lot of Marios, but there is also Peach… and Pink Gold Peach… and Baby Peach… and Cat Peach…
Seeing a pattern?
For all Mario Kart 8‘s character selection, it really boils down to 26 characters, and seven of those are just Koopalings. So, that really means that the total of unique characters (who most people actually care about) is closer to 19. That is quite a drop from 36. Nintendo, if you’re in the mood for additional DLC, before you add “Fire Luigi,” please consider the following:
Really, there are two forms for both Rosalina and Daisy, but no space could be found for pink female equivalent of Yoshi? Sure, Birdo is no longer particularly relevant to the series, but neither is Daisy… and was Waluigi ever?
Nintendo, do you really mean to tell me that you had room for two incarnations of Bowser and seven Koopalings… but no love for Bowser Jr.? The kid has been around for the last few games, what happened? Did he offend someone during the making of Mario Kart 7? If he is good enough for Super Smash Bros., he should be included in Mario Kart 8.
Or even Donkey Kong Jr., I don’t really care which, but there is enough room to let Donkey Kong have one sidekick. Toad has Toadette and again… do I need to mention how Waluigi is included in this game? Diddy Kong deserves more respect.
He doesn’t have to be royalty to belong back in Mario Kart. Boo is a unique villain and who doesn’t love the ghost chuckle that guy gives every time he passes someone. Bad enough they removed him from the game as a racer, did they have to take his power too?
Bet you thought I was going to mention the piranha plant, right? Nope, Professor E. Gadd is a bit more deserving. Again, give Luigi (and his side characters) a bit more room to shine. Plus, E. Gadd totally seems like the insane genius who would invent a racing kart.
Seriously, there are already two F-Zero courses in the game and an F-Zero racer. What does Captain Falcon have to do for a roster spot? It is great to see Nintendo bringing in characters from outside series, but puzzling to watch as they skip the obvious choice… while acknowledging how well the two series work together.
So there you have it, Nintendo – humble suggestions for a fan (who is willing to pay to get these things). I think I speak for many people when I say: come on! What are you waiting for?
P.S. – Also new powers would be pretty awesome. Two ideas: a Hook Shot power up (courtesy of Zelda) that allows the racer to shoot up to the person ahead of them and a Tom Nook coins/power steal (kind of like a variation of the old Boo power). Think about it.