Give Mario Kart 8 to me now. Give it! Nintendo dropped an airship's worth of announcements for Mario Kart 8 today, including character additions, mechanical features, power-ups, tracks, control schemes and even soundtrack details. It's almost too much to handle for any true Mario Kart fan. I think we can all find solace in the most important announcement of the day, however: Shy Guy is returning as a driver in Mario Kart 8. Praise him!
Really though, as amazing as Shy Guy's (praise him) return is, there's so much awesome news to share. It sounds like Nintendo's finalized all the content they're planning on including with the game, allowing them to share, well, everything! It's just another sign that Mario Kart 8's launch is getting closer and closer. Let's not waste any more time, here's Nintendo's big list of feature additions:
- 32 Courses, including 16 Remixed Retro Courses - Similar to past Mario Kart titles the game will include 16 retro courses and 16 brand new ones. Yes, Mario Kart 8 will feature a ridiculous 32 different tracks for players to experience. Unlike previous Mario Kart releases, however, all tracks are now in glorious HD. Rainbow Road... in HD.
- Nitro Courses:
- Mushroom Cup: Mario Kart Stadium, Water Park, Sweet Sweet Canyon, Thwomp Ruins
- Flower Cup: Mario Circuit, Toad Harbor, Twisted Mansion, Shy Guy Falls
- Star Cup: Sunshine Airport, Selctrodome
- TBA: Bone Dry Dunes, Cloudtop Cruise... and more
- Retro Courses
- Shell Cup: Moo Moo Meadows (Wii), Mario Circuit (GBA), Cheep Cheep Beach (DS), Toad's Turnpike (N64)
- Banana Cup: Dry Dry Desert (GCN), Donut Plains 3 (SNES), Royal Raceway (N64), DK Jungle (3DS)
- Lightning Cup: Tick-Tock Clock (DS), Rainbow Road (N64)
- TBA: Grumble Volcano (Wii), Music Park (3DS), Piranha Plant Slide (3DS)... and more
- 7 remaining unrevealed courses...
- Nitro Courses:
- 3 More Returning Characters: Our previously discussed Shy Guy will be joined by two more returnees in Metal Mario and that jerk Lakitu
- Two New Power-Ups: The Piranha Plant lets players attack competitors via melee attack sure, but it can also devour obstacles like banana peels and so on that may be sitting in the track. Mario Kart 8 also picks up the boomerang flower, which lets players throw out a boomerang in a line, stunning anyone in its way. Plus, it has three uses!
- Spin Boost: Boosting is cool, but how about boosting in anti-gravity areas? Spin Boosting lets players get an additional boost when on walls or upside down by bumping into other players or into certain objects
- Live Recorded Music: Nintendo does music right, and covering certain tracks with live-recorded music is a beautiful and likely significant decision
- Control Scheme: With so many controllers, it only fits that Nintendo allow all of them to be used. Use the Wii U GamePad, the Wii U Pro Controller, the Wii Wheel, and the Wii controller and nunchuck. Also, yes, the game can be played off-screen via the GamePad
Is that enough? Are you happy now, Mario Kart fans? There's not much left for Nintendo to reveal, but I'm sure they've got a few more surprises left up there sleeve. Maybe a few more characters, and definitely at least one more Rainbow Road course to reveal (there's two). Is there anything else we're missing? I don't think my heart can take any more.
Mario Kart 8 is scheduled for release May 30 -- exclusively on the Wii U.