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Mario Kart 8

Below are even more details regarding Mario Kart 8:

– Gain small bursts of speeds by jumping off ramps
– Water Park: oscillates between underwater sections and an amusement park-themed gauntlet on land
– Mario Kart Stadium: huge event alongside a dizzying set of anti-gravity sections
– Thwomp Ruins: giant rolling stone wheel eventually collapses a special section of walls to reveal a potential shortcut after the first lap
– Cheep Cheep Beach from Mario Kart DS completely skips the anti-gravity flair in favor of tight turns and a fun spread of boost pads and ramps
– Mario Circuit 4’s remake has a fancy, elevated anti-gravity U-turn in one corner of the race
– Toad’s Turnpike from Mario Kart 64 adds anti-gravity walls lined with booster pads and jumps to help speed racers along, but also tosses ramps and pads onto the backs of other large moving vehicles
– Donut Plains 3 returns
– DK Jungle back
– Can toss the Boomerang item up to 3 times

“There was some item customization in Mario Kart 7, in that you could choose to have a mushroom-only race or shell-only race. We’re going to have that plus a little bit more, actually, in Mario Kart 8. I think we’re going to be able to answer that feeling of, ‘I don’t want to race with items.’ Well, OK, then no items. Or, ‘I only want to have bananas.’ Well, OK. I think we’re going to be able to provide a system to answer that desire this time around.” – director Kosuke Yabuki

“We’re going to have some rule customization for folks who want to be able to go in and set that up for themselves. Game balance is a really important element of Mario Kart that we look very, very closely at and place a lot of value on. I think that item balance, from the time we start working on development, a thousand times, maybe even tens of thousands of times, we adjust that balance while we’re playing. At the end, we come up with what we hope or feel is a really good balance. It’s our strong hope that folks would want to play with the items as we have balanced them.” – producer Hideki Konno

“That feature is not random (Blue Shell). It just doesn’t happen. There is a lot of adjustment, and there is a lot of thought and effort put into that system and developing it in a way that actually promotes game balance. So I would hope people would understand that as well.” – producer Hideki Konno

“One of the things we actually hope for is that if you’re just playing on an off day, and you’ve lost a race or two. We hope that you step away going, ‘Oh well, I just didn’t feel it today. My luck wasn’t with me. Whatever the cause, it just wasn’t my day, but I’m going to come back and play again.’ And that’s sort of what we’re aiming for. We want people to feel that way when they step away, that they want to come back.” – producer Hideki Konno

– Konno said the developers’ main priority was creating interesting courses that encourage new and different ways of playing

“One of the things you’ll see with the later courses is antigravity being given to the player as an option, so you’ll be driving on the course, and now the course branches off and you can either continue driving on the ground, or maybe go into the antigravity area to avoid an enemy or pick up an extra block. You might decide you want to take a different route that has a boost that allows you to take off and use your glider. So with the addition of the antigravity feature, we’ve been able to add more variety to the course design, and it fundamentally changes the player’s strategy.” – Konno

– When players collide with each other while in an antigravity zone, they will receive a speed boost
– Yabuki anticipates that many players will use this feature strategically

“One thing that’s always happened in previous Mario Karts is if you’re racing a light character and you bump into a big character like Bowser, you were at a disadvantage. However, with the antigravity section, and again the ability to give a speed boost from actually running into someone, even the lighter characters are able to strategize around using the antigravity sections to either keep the playing field even or to give them an advantage. So it does alter the strategy.” – Yabuki

– Risks usually outweighed the benefits, so players usually didn’t want to collide
– With the antigravity sections of Mario Kart 8, Yabuki believes players will find ways to use collisions to their advantage

“The speed boost you get from colliding with a character while you’re in the antigravity portion of this course alters the paradigm [of risk outweighing benefit]. So we may see some new strategies come out of this — some that maybe even we’re not aware of.” – Yabuki

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

Piranha Plant and Boomerang Flower items join the fray across original and reimagined courses

3rd April 2014 – Nintendo today revealed new information on Mario Kart 8, the latest instalment in the fan-favourite racing series launching exclusively for Wii U on 30th May – in stores and on Nintendo eShop. For the first time in HD, Mario Kart 8 introduces original course designs that highlight the game’s new antigravity feature, which allows players to race upside down or up vertical surfaces. Racers will also enjoy a variety of series-favourite features including the return of 12-player online competitive play*, four player lo cal multiplayer, hang-gliders, underwater racing and motorbikes.

New features include:

Nintendo has lifted a new embargo on Mario Kart 8, and several press previews are now starting to arrive.

– Retro tracks have been given a noticeable upgrade
– 16 returning tracks
– 16 new courses
– Largest selection of playable characters
– Confirmed characters:

Donkey Kong
Koopa Troopa
Baby Mario
Baby Luigi
Baby Peach
Baby Daisy
Larry Koopa
Morton Koopa Jr.
Wendy O. Koopa
Iggy Koopa
Roy Koopa
Lemmy Koopa
Ludwig von Koopa
Metal Mario
Shy Guy

– Retro courses feature anti-gravity sections
– Glider and underwater additions return
– Toad’s Turnpink, Moo Moo Meadows, Mario Circuit are back
– Toad’s Turnpink features ramped lorries that flip you onto new vertical track sides and let you storm past swaths of traffic hazards
– Moo Moo Meadows now has an elegant skybox, dynamic lighting and lush green fields
– GBA Mario Circuit has been altered so that part of track is tilted to a 45 degree angle
– Split screen with up to 4 players
– 30 FPS in split-screen
– At least 2 new weapons
– Piranha Plant item from last year’s Super Mario 3D World included
– The pot will gobble up passers-by
– Mario’s Boomerang Flower power-up is included for the first time as a three-shot weapon with homing abilities, able to pick off anyone in a large radius
– Earn coins from item boxes
– Up to 10 to collect in a race
– Can no longer pick up additional items while holding a weapon behind your kart
– Horn is still present on the GamePad
– Options to toggle between a live view of the main screen, a map of the track layout and a list of the current player rankings
– Edit Highlight Reel option at the end of each race
– Select parameters to automatically generate a video of your playthrough
– Choose the clip length, specific characters for the camera to follow and a focus on key racing moments such as item use or stunt jumps


I’m not generally big on announcements of previews (that sounds odd just to type that!), but we do have a brief update to share about two upcoming Nintendo titles. First, new previews for Mario Golf: World Tour will begin rolling in tomorrow. Coverage for Mario Kart 8 is expected in a big way next week. Expect tons of posts about each!