Mario Kart isn't exactly what gamers would call a revolutionary series. Each game in the franchise knows what it is and doesn't deviate far from that. The last truly innovative Mario Kart was Double Dash on the Gamecube, and it looks like Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U will be following in its footsteps. No, unfortunately the tag team kart racing isn't back, but the game will be introducing a ton of new stuff.
Nintendo unleashed the floodgates this morning with a veritable treasure trove of Mario Kart 8 information including information on new items, new tracks and even new music. The major addition in Mario Kart 8 is what Nintendo is calling the "Spin Boost." When the anti-gravity mode is activated, players can bump into other racers or certain items on the track to get a speed boost. Nintendo says the new feature "fundamentally redefines the way that players compete."
Alongside all the returning items, Mario Kart 8 will also feature two new items - the Piranha Plant and the Boomerang Flower. The Piranha Plant attaches to the front of the player's kart and eats other players, banana peels and incoming turtle shells. Even better, the player will get a small speed boost each time the Piranha Plant eats something. The second item - the Boomerang Flower - can be used to stun racers. It can be used up to three times, can be thrown ahead or behind the player and can even be thrown in an arc to stun multiple racers at once.
As for courses, Mario Kart 8 will continue Mario Kart's tradition of including brand new courses alongside old courses from previous entries in the series. This time around, Nintendo says Mario Kart 8 will feature 16 brand new courses and 16 remixed courses. The remixed courses will remain similar to the tracks they're based on, but will feature new areas where players can use anti-gravity karts.
In what may be the most exciting news, Nintendo says that some tracks in the game will feature live recorded music. It's a first for Mario Kart and continues Nintendo's move towards including more live recorded music in their games. Mario Kart has always had excellent music, and I can't wait to hear what the composers can do this time around with a live band.
Finally, Nintendo says that Mario Kart 8 will support numerous control schemes. As always, the Wii U Gamepad is the default option, but you can also use the Wii U Pro Controller, the Wii Wheel or the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. Unfortunately, there's no support for the Wii Classic Controller.
To top off all the news hitting today, Nintendo also released a new trailer. Check it out:
There's also a new Nintendo Minute out with a more detailed look at some of the new courses in Mario Kart 8:
Mario Kart 8 will be out May 30 exclusively on Wii U.
Image via Nintendo/YouTube