For the first time ever in any game, all of Bowser’s seven Koopalings are playable characters. Players with a taste for being bad can get ready to challenge gravity on the race track with Iggy, Larry, Lemmy, Ludwig, Morton, Roy and Wendy.
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-favorite features including the return of 12-player online competitive play, four player local multiplayer, hang-gliders, underwater racing and motorbikes.
Two new downloadable content packs will take the world of Mario Kart 8 in directions the franchise has never seen before, while significantly expanding game-play options. The packs, which launch this fall and in spring of 2015, and are available for advance purchase starting Aug. 27 at $7.99 each (or $11.99 for both), deliver a ton of new content, including first-time crossover characters like Link from The Legend of Zelda franchise and both Isabelle and the Villager from the Animal Crossing series.
“More than 1 million Wii U owners in the United States alone are already enjoying the fun of Mario Kart 8,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “Mario Kart 8 already includes the largest number of characters, karts and options of any Mario Kart game to date, and these amazing expansion packs give players even more choices.”
Each pack will contain two new cups, each with four courses, which, in total, increases the number of currently available courses by 50 percent. The DLC packs include classic courses like Wario’s Gold Mine from Mario Kart Wii, as well as new courses, some taking place in the worlds of The Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing. New vehicles will also arrive with each pack, including the Blue Falcon kart representing the F-Zero franchise in the first DLC pack.
Mario Kart 8 owners who purchase both packs starting Aug. 27 will get access to eight new colors of Yoshi and eight new colors of Shy Guy to race with immediately. To purchase the packs in advance, users with a broadband Internet connection can click the new “Shop” icon in the game or visit the Nintendo eShop on Wii U.
The DLC packs are scheduled to include the following:
Pack 1: The Legend of Zelda X Mario Kart 8 (Release Date: November 2014) - $7.99
- 3 Characters: Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, Link
- 4 Vehicles
- 8 Courses
Pack 2: Animal Crossing X Mario Kart 8 (Release Date: May 2015) - $7.99
- 3 Characters: Villager, Isabelle, Dry Bowser
- 4 Vehicles
- 8 Courses
Pack 1 + Pack 2 Bundle - $11.99
- 6 Characters: Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, Link, Villager, Isabelle and Dry Bowser
- 8 Vehicles
- 16 Courses
- As a bonus for purchasing both packs bundled or individually, buyers receive eight new colors for Yoshi and Shy Guy. Those who advance purchase both packs can begin using the Yoshi and Shy Guy characters immediately.
Up to 12 players can race together online in four different multiplayer modes, as long as everyone has a broadband Internet connection. Like to trash-talk your friends while you’re preparing for a race? You’re in luck! Mario Kart 8 lets players chat with one another in the lobby area using the Wii U GamePad microphone or text phrases as they wait for their friends to join. Players also can create public or private tournaments for which they specify the day of the week, the time and the rules. Per tradition, players will be able to race against ghost data from friends or even the top 10 worldwide racers. They can try to beat them or just pick up a few tips and tricks from studying the best. If you beat the development team’s ghosts, you’ll get cool stamps for use in Miiverse posts.
Players can watch their highlight racing reels, rewind them, play them in slow motion or upload them to Miiverse. They can watch the world’s most popular highlight reels and comment on them. But players with Google accounts can also upload their reels directly to their YouTube channels.
Items are what make Mario Kart games so balanced. No matter how skilled racers are, they’re just a blue Spiny Shell away from disaster. A well-timed item can also turn defeat into victory in an instant. The new Super Horn blows away all other items – literally. Sounding the Super Horn issues forth a sonic shock wave that blasts away everything in the vicinity, including other drivers, Red Shells and even blue Spiny Shells. It’s a potent asset, especially for drivers trying to maintain their lead. Mario Kart 8 also introduces the Crazy Eight, a swirl of eight different items that lucky players can use one by one.
Two new playable female characters make their debut appearances in Mario Kart 8. New heavyweight driver Pink Gold Peach glows with a golden light and makes a nice counterpart to Metal Mario. Baby Rosalina shows up for a play date with other Baby characters. As in past Mario Kart games, players can again choose to play as their Mii characters, which rounds out the field of racers to an even 30.
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