New Items, Characters and Tracks Make for Head-Over-Heels Fun in Mario Kart 8
Nintendo today revealed new information about Mario Kart 8, the latest installment in the fan-favorite racing series launching exclusively for the Wii U console on May 30 in stores and in the Nintendo eShop. For the first time in HD, Mario Kart 8 introduces original track designs that highlight the gameÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new anti-gravity feature, which allows players to race upside down or up vertical surfaces. Racers will also enjoy a variety of series-favorite features, including the return of 12-player online competitive play*, four-player local multiplayer, hang gliders, underwater racing and motorbikes.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Spin Boost: While racing upside down or on walls, players can bump into other racers or certain track obstacles to get a speed boost. The Spin Boost fundamentally redefines the way that players compete, and makes anti-gravity racing even more exhilarating.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Returning Characters: In Mario Kart 8, players can race with returning characters Metal Mario, Lakitu and Shy Guy. These newly revealed returning characters join a host of previously announced favorites, including all seven of BowserÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Koopalings, who are playable for the first time in video game history.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ New Items: Two new items join the fray in Mario Kart 8. First, the Piranha Plant attaches to the front of the playerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s kart and chomps at other characters, banana peels on the track or even shells thrown by other characters. Each time the Piranha Plant lunges forward to bite, the player receives a brief boost of speed. The second new item is the Boomerang Flower. After acquiring it, racers can throw a Boomerang at opponents to stun them, and its arc allows players to strike multiple opponents with a single toss. The Boomerang can be thrown three times Ã¢â‚¬â€œ forward or backward.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ New Courses: Remixed classic courses make a return in Mario Kart 8, with favorites such as Moo Moo Meadows from Mario Kart Wii, ToadÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Turnpike from Mario Kart 64 and Donut Plains from Super Mario Kart, among others. The graphics and layout of these courses have been redesigned and re-imagined. For example, ToadÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Turnpike now allows players to drive up certain walls in anti-gravity mode. Mario Kart 8 will include 16 new courses and 16 remixed classic courses.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Live Recorded Music: For the first time in the Mario Kart series, select courses in Mario Kart 8 feature music recorded by live performers.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Control Scheme: Mario Kart 8 will support a variety of control schemes, including the Wii U GamePad, the Wii U Pro Controller, the Wii Wheel and the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. The game can also be played in off-TV mode using just the Wii U GamePad.