Early this morning, before roosters even gave thought to an approaching sunrise, a huge healthy dose of Mario Kart 8 news infiltrated every square inch of virtual Internet real estate. New items such as the Boomerang Flower and Piranha Plant were introduced, three past fan-favorite characters were revealed, and crazy-looking redesigned classic tracks were previewed for the first time. We’ve summed of key aspects for each main point, along with an additional taste of delightful details that’s bound to send your anticipation into overdrive.
Mario Kart fans are always looking for new ways to the thwart the threat of heel-chasing opponents and maintain the upper hand on the race track. It’s a vicious competition where racers have no friends, and everyone is the enemy. Two Mario Kart 8 items introduced for the first time in the Mario Kart series — the Boomerang Flower and Piranha Plant — give racing fanatics new tools to help keep their racing skills honed.
New Mario Kart 8 Items
Boomerang Flower – Once players grab this item on the track, they become armed with a bad-ass boomerang — capable of being flung both forward and backwards. Carefully hurled boomerangs stun anyone unlucky enough to avoid its destined course. And, with its arching flight path, players can even stun multiple opponents with a single flick of the wrist. Precision becomes priceless as players are able to launch the boomerang a total of three times for each collected Boomerang Flower.
Piranha Plant – The Mario Kart series welcomes the Piranha Plant as a valuable item for racing fans. And, this plant quickly becomes unpleasant and has an appetite for anything in its way — including a Big Foot pizza (we wish!)! Once the item is scooped up from the track, it fastens to the front of the player’s kart. Opponents within range, banana peels scattered throughout the track, and even launched shells by others become the Piranha Plant’s next tasty item on the menu. Players are also rewarded with a momentary boost of speed with each digested snack.
In other Mario Kart 8 news, fans will be happy to know that three characters will be returning to the track for some high-definition, heart-pounding, and gear-grinding action.
Mario Kart 8 Returning Characters
Lakitu, Shy Guy, and Metal Mario are fan-favorites whom all debuted as playable characters in Mario Kart 7. Each have their own unique set of statistics that racers must carefully incorporate into the track strategy. For example, Lakitu and Shy Guy are both light racers, whom belong to the Featherweight class and excel when it comes to off-road racing and acceleration. Metal Mario, on the other hand, tips the scales and belongs to the Heavy class, capitalizing in high-speed.
It’s currently unknown if the trio will feature similar race statistics in Mario Kart 8, but let’s assume they will due to their broad range of characteristics and traits. Also noteworthy about the new announcement of these three characters is that there are now 27 confirmed racers for Mario Kart 8 — the most in any Mario Kart series installment. All seven Koopalings are also playable options in the character lineup.
Mario Kart 8 New Track Info
Mario Kart 8 will feature a total of 32 tracks — 16 new and 16 remixed, re-imaged, and redesigned courses from previous Mario Kart installments. Four newly revealed tracks from past classics include: Moo Moo Meadows (Mario Kart Wii), Toad’s Turnpike (Mario Kart 64), Donut Plains 3 (Super Mario Kart), and Rainbow Road (Mario Kart 64). Toad’s Turnpike — among various other tracks — allows players to take advantage of the game’s anti-gravity feature by racing up and down walls without falling off. Sir Isaac Newton wouldn’t rightly agree with this, however.
Other previously confirmed tracks from past Mario Kart titles are:
- Cheep Cheep Beach (Mario Kart DS)
- Mario Circuit (Mario Kart: Super Circuit)
- Dry Dry Desert (Mario Kart: Double Dash!!)
- Royal Raceway (Mario Kart 64)
- DK Jungle (Mario Kart 7)
- Tick-Tock Clock (Mario Kart DS)
- Piranha Plant Slide (Mario Kart 7)
- Grumble Volcano (Mario Kart Wii)
- Yoshi Valley (Mario Kart 64)
- Sherbet Land (Mario Kart: Double Dash!!)
- Music Park (Mario Kart 7)
Mario Kart 8 Additional Features/Info
- Spin Turbo is a new move that players can take advantage of while tearing the track up in anti-gravity mode. By bumping into other racers or certain course obstacles, players gain a short, sudden jolt of speed; it’s similar to the boost that’s offered when players chomp down competition with the Piranha Plant item, as explained earlier.
- Live Recorded Music will be bouncing off the walls, tracks, and other players for the first time in the Mario Kart series. The live performance of music was also featured in Super Mario 3D World. Nintendo fans can expect to see this kind of audible value added to future Nintendo titles.
- Controller Options with Mario Kart 8 allow fans to take advantage of a wide variety of input options including: the Wii U GamePad, Wii U Pro Controller, Wii Wheel, and Wii Remote and Nunchuk configurations. Additionally, players can choose to use the Wii U GamePad during off-TV gameplay.
- Players will have the option to use a rear-view mirror.
- Players can have only one item in their possession at a time.
- The frame rate features a constant 60 FPS (frames per second).
- The POW Block does not appear in the game.
- “Mario Kart TV” allows players to record short moments of gameplay for Miiverse.
- In two-player mode, the screen is split vertically.
- 4-player local multiplayer mode is an option.
- 12-player online mode is an option.
- Online leaderboards will be available.
- ATVs and motorbikes are kart options.
Are you excited for Mario Kart 8 on Wii U? With all-new items, a long list of character racers, and gravity-defying fun while racing in more than thirty different stages, this is bound to be a Mario Kart experience unlike any others. High definition, Miiverse integration, online leaderboards, recorded highlights — just a handful of the many new features and offerings for the upcoming racing title for Wii U.
Be sure to check out our other Mario Kart 8 news.
Mario Kart 8 release dates:
- Japan – May 29th, 2014
- North America – May 30th, 2014
- Europe – May 30th, 2014
- Australia – May 31st, 2014