Spring 2014 is coming with countless surprises for the Gaming World and I took it upon myself to research all that there is to know about one of those wonders…
Mario Kart 8
I thank whatever divine entity for giving me this to look forward to, especially after experiencing such a RUDE ASS winter that I swear has trained me on how to survive in the next Hunger Games. #JustSayin’
Mario Kart is back and at full throttle! Let’s start, shall we?
As we race towards the finish line, the courses will now be susceptible to anti-gravity! Yes, it is exactly what you’re thinking and more. Get ready to be right side up, upside down, and riding on walls! Oh! Did I forget to mention that while 360-ing through the convoluted courses in your new ATV you’ll be underwater and air gliding as well? Being the first Mario Kart to be in HD (i.e., 60 frames per second) you’ll in for a visual treat on all possible angles. Mario Kart 8 will also be the first in the entire series to debut music recorded by live performers! Fancy!
Continuing on the poppin’ Mario Kart’s cherry train, the game also features a new speed booster turbo. While experiencing anti-gravity you can perform a Speed Turbo which will grant your character a speed boost from bumping into other racers or from certain obstacles.
Welcome to Bumper Kart!
What to do when upside down; your “friend” bumps you into oblivion; and you end up in 10th place?! You RETALIATE! THAT’S WHAT YOU DO! Mario Kart 8 has added to its weapons repertoire the Boomerang Flower and the Piranha Plant. If the item block gods bestow upon you the power of the boomerang, you’ll be able to throw the angular disk forward or backwards towards your enemies knocking over whoever comes in contact with it. Don’t worry if you miss – the boomerang will fly right back to your hands and you’ll have two more chances to strike. On the other hand, you might be granted the multitasking toothy plant. Positioning itself on the front of your kart, Piranha will act as your body guard and speed agent. It will lunge forward to chomp hard on not only your opponents, but also any items that pose a threat like shells or banana peels. Bonus: with each chomp, you get a boost of speed.
As if these two herbal avengers weren’t enough, there are rumors of two other unknown items. In the screen shots below, taken from one of the trailers for Mario Kart 8 after item blocks were hit, you’ll see what it looks like to be a speaker box and the number 8. No information has been relased regarding these items. Are they course specific? Character specific? Some type of bonus? We will soon find out!
Mario Kart 8 also brings a roster of around 30 characters with brand new players to hit the race tracks. Apart from the return of characters like Toadette, Shy Guy, and Waluigi, the spotlight belongs to the Koopalings! For the first time ever in the world of Nintendo, Bowser’s main Koopa gang will be available as playable characters. Meaning Larry, Morton Koopa Jr., Wendy O., Iggy, Roy, Lemmy, and Ludwig will be behind the wheel and ready steal the gold!
How much racing can we expect from this new Mario Kart chapter? How do 32 courses sound? Pretty amazing! Mario Kart 8 will feature 8 Cups (Mushroom, Flower, Star, Special, Shell, Banana, Leaf, and Lighting) hosting 4 courses each. The 32 courses are composed of 16 remakes of previous Mario Kart courses and 16 new courses. If you want a taste of 16 of these featured tracks, GameXplain uploaded a video on their YouTube channel for you to drool over. But the fun doesn’t stop there…
Kosuke Yabuki, Mario Kart 8 director, reported that Mario Kart 8 will feature 2 Rainbow Roads. Nintendo 64’s Rainbow Road underwent a beautiful remake which you can see in this trailer. In addition, we’ll get a brand new Rainbow Road deemed “really spectacular” by Yabuki. By now I am wondering how many times you read the previous sentences and what face you made due to the overwhelming fear of knowing you’ll have to encounter the colorful, demonic, and menacing pathway twice. For your viewing pleasure however, here’s a link to IGN’s video comparing N64’s Rainbow Road and its Mario Kart 8 remake.
What else is there possibly to know? Mario Kart 8 supports 4 local multiplayer and 12 players online. The game includes Mario Kart TV – a feature which will allow you record any races deem worthy of sharing with others to earn you those bragging rights. Item customization (e.g., having a mushroom only race) will be available as well as Battle Mode and Coin Runners game options. Rumors regarding possible custom course creation and Double Dash appearing in Mario Kart 8 were shot down. Nonetheless, Nintendo game designer, Hedeki Konno assured the aforementioned ideas haven’t been discarded for future development of a product which will “satisfy anyone, [himself] included.”
Mario Kart 8 is to be released on May 30th, 2014. Confirmed geographical areas for release include Europe and North America. Nintendo of Europe announced a limited edition collector’s pack which includes a Spiky Blue Shell model with the purchase of the game while North America will get a red game case. Nintendo also announced Mario Kart themed key chains to be available at certain retailers when purchasing the game.
Are you ready for the wonderful chaos of Mario Kart 8?