Nintendo released a new trailer for the Wii U installment of the classic Mario Kart series, creatively titled Mario Kart 8. The trailer features new courses, returning characters, and alternative modes of transportation (read: hangliders. Yup. Hangliders). Check out the trailer then come back to hear what I’m most excited about.
Here’s a brief synopsis of what I gathered from the trailer and screen shots.
1.) Hover Technology
Similar to Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Mario and the gang seem to be taking to the skies mid-race. Certain boost pads will launch characters into the air and provide a hang glider to propel the player past the other competitors. It could be a game changer, especially seeing your friends fly over your head into the lead right as you’re about to cross the finish line.
2.) New Weapons
It looks like the classics will be there (red shells, green shells, bananas, lightning), however, we’ll also be seeing an array of new weapons to add to the mid-race arsenal. One featured in the trailer is the piranha plant, which, instead of remaining stationary on the sides of the courses, latches itself to the front of the players car and lunges at opponents, giving the player a speed boost in the process.
3.) More Characters Than We Know What To Do With
Similar to the weapons, all the original characters are going to be there, but we’re also going to get to see returning fan favorites Metal Mario, Lakitu, and Shy Guy. On the new side of things, all seven of the Koopa Kids are going to be playable, meaning I now have seven more characters to not choose (Toad ’til I die).
4.) Rainbow Road Still Looks Mean… But Gorgeous In HD
Rainbow Road was the bane of my N64 gaming existence. But at least now I can gaze wistfully at the stars and bright colors as I fall off the road. I’m excited to see other favorite tracks coming back like Moo Moo Meadows, Donut Plains, and Toad’s Turnpike, which according to Nintendo “allows players to drive up certain walls in anti-gravity mode.”
5.) Live Music
Now there’s no way I would have known this from the trailer, so I had to jump to Nintendo’s press release. Music is a huge staple of any Nintendo game, but especially the Mario Kart series, and there’s just something about live music that transcends the player to that childlike wonder they had while playing Mario Kart 64 for the first time.
Mario Kart is set to come out on the Wii U May 30th.