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If you thought yesterday was going to be the only day that Nintendo was gonna release kooky videos, you would be wrong because they just released a surprise Nintendo Direct just for Mario Kart 8. This variety Direct had many funny skits in it, but they did have some valuable information on the hotly anticipated racer.
First and foremost, the game seems to have thirty racers in the game with the additions of “Pink Gold Peach,” which is basically a metal Peach, and Baby Rosalina; because apparently the Mario universe didn’t have a ton of awesome characters that could have been in it instead.
On the item side, Nintendo showed off some of the new weapons we’ll see in Mario Kart 8. Some we’ve seen like the Boomerang Flower and the Piranha Plant, but we finally see the two items hinted in the last Nintendo Direct. First is the Crazy Eight, which, much like the Lucky Seven in Mario Kart 7, spawns eight items for your disposal. The second one was the Super Horn, which creates a sound wave that spins out karts close to you and defends you against incoming items, including the infamous Blue Shell.
The Time Trials’ online leaderboards in Mario Kart Wii were filled with bikes, and in Mario Kart 8, they’ve decided to even things out. Depending on the course, either a bike or kart will be faster. If the course is filled with straightaways, karts can shave about a half-second on the clock with the opposite is true if the course is windy.
For online in Mario Kart 8, we already knew that it supported up to twelve players, but now we know that the game supports voice chat, though the Direct hinted that it’s only in the lobby. You have a few lobbies to choose from too: friends-only, regional, worldwide and tournaments. The last one can be set up by any player for a specific amount of time and anyone who participates will be put on a specific leaderboard for that tourney.
Mario Kart TV is a brand new way to show off your races. You can upload a short video that a race’s highlights that the game will automatically do on Miiverse, but in a surprise announcement, you can also upload full races on YouTube. All of these races can also be viewed in the game’s Mario Kart TV portion of the game.
At the end of the Direct, Reggie Fils-Aime took the stage and announced the business end of the game, meaning why you want to get this game ASAP. In an incredible promotion, if you register Mario Kart 8 on Club Nintendo, you instantly get a free download of one of four full-priced Wii U games: New Super Mario Bros. U, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3 or Wii Party U. This offer expires on July 31st, so you only have two months to take advantage of this two-for-one promo. If you don’t have a Wii U, Nintendo just announced a Mario Kart 8 bundle, which will come with a black 32GB Wii U console, Mario Kart 8, a Mario-themed Wii Remote and a red Wii Wheel. Not bad, since it includes a $40 Wii Remote, a $60 game and the option to download a second one for free.
Mario Kart 8 is out in just one month, and Nintendo has done a great job keeping this game in our radar. I can’t wait to pick this up on May 30th. If you want to watch the Direct, you can do so here.