All of today's Mario Kart 8 info in one place

by: Sean Colleli -

Nintendo revealed a lot about Mario Kart 8 today, and now we have the full press released packed with all the details. Some of the highlights include the reveal of Metal Mario from Super Mario 64 as a playable racer, the new kart-gobbling Piranha Plant item, and the inclusion of several retro tracks from previous Mario Kart games, such as Mario Kart 64's Toad Turnpike (one of my favorites) and Moo Moo Meadows from Mario Kart Wii. Much like the revamped courses in 3DS's Mario Kart 7, these retro tracks will be enhanced with new features like the anti-gravity pads exclusive to Mario Kart 8. All I'm saying is they better put Maple Treeway in the game or there will be hell to pay.

New Items, Characters and Tracks Make for Head-Over-Heels Fun in Mario Kart 8

Piranha Plant and Boomerang Flower Items Join the Fray Across Original and Re-imagined Tracks

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 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 game’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.

New features in Mario Kart 8 include:

  • 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.
  • 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 Bowser’s Koopalings, who are playable for the first time in video game history.
  • New Items: Two new items join the fray in Mario Kart 8. First, the Piranha Plant attaches to the front of the player’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 – forward or backward.
  • New Courses: Remixed classic courses make a return in Mario Kart 8, with favorites such as Moo Moo Meadows from Mario Kart Wii, Toad’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, Toad’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.
  • Live Recorded Music: For the first time in the Mario Kart series, select courses in Mario Kart 8 feature music recorded by live performers.
  • 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.

Mario Kart 8 is now available for pre-order at major retailers throughout North America. A deposit may be required for pre-orders. See individual retailers for details. For more information about the game, visit http://mariokart8.nintendo.com/. A new Mario Kart 8 game trailer can be found at Nintendo’s YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/nintendo.

Remember that Wii U features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit http://www.nintendo.com/wiiu.

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