As the release date for Mario Kart 8 approaches, we’ve been getting some small details here and there about changes and new features. Now, Nintendo has shared the last major information regarding this game in a special Nintendo Direct.
The first big detail is the specifics on how anti-gravity sections factor in to gameplay. While we’ve seen the anti-gravity features before, a new feature was shown called spin-boosting. In normal races, bumping into other players or obstacles slow you down. In anti-gravity sections, however, the opposite occurs, giving you a boost of speed.
Mario Kart 8 has also been confirmed to have 30 playable characters. In addition to the 27 previously introduced, the game will be adding Baby Rosalina, Pink Gold Peach, and the ability to play as your Mii.
Two new items were shown off as well. The first is the Crazy Eight, which gives you eight random items at once. The second (and more interesting in my opinion) is the Super Horn. It allows you to attack racers by creating a sound blast around you, and is useful for hitting multiple racers. It can also be used for defense by blocking green, red, and even blue spiny shells.
Next up, we have information on several new online features coming to Mario Kart 8. Up to 12 players can race together in 4 different modes, Worldwide, Regional, Friends, and Tournaments. The game will also support voice and text chat in multiplayer lobbies. With the Tournament mode. players can host their own tournaments, with a variety of different gameplay options as well as the time of day to participate.
Time Trial Ghost Data will also be available worldwide to download, giving you the chance to challenge your friends or even the best racers in the world. This feature also allows for developer Ghost Data and rewards you with Miiverse stamps if you are able to beat them.
The last big online feature is Mario Kart TV. Here you can view, edit, and upload your highlight reels for other players to see. You’ll also be able to catch the most popular reels from all over the world. Players will also be able to leave Miiverse-style comments on other players’ highlight reels. If you have a Google account, Mario Kart TV will allow you to upload your highlight reels to YouTube as well.
On top of this, Nintendo has announced a couple of special new offers for Mario Kart 8. If you buy and register your copy of Mario Kart 8 on Club Nintendo, you will also get a free download code for one of 4 Wii U titles, New Super Mario Bros. U, Pikmin 3, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, or Wii Party U.
The release of the game will also include a Mario Kart 8 Wii U Deluxe Bundle. It contains a Wii U Deluxe console, Mario Kart 8, A WiiMotion Plus WiiMote, and a Wii Wheel accessory, all for $329.99. This bundle also applies to the Club Nintendo offer, so those who have yet to buy a Wii U can also get another free game if they purchase the bundle.
This game is shaping up to be one of the Wii U, best this year. Who knows, maybe Mario Kart 8 could be the system seller that Nintendo needs for the Wii U to become successful. Either way, we’ll have to wait until May 30th to see.