One month before the anticipated release of Mario Kart 8, Nintendo has released a new Nintendo Direct video announcing a new free downloadable game, online features, powerful new items and two new characters.
Mario Kart 8 will come be accompanied by a Club Nintendo pin, when if registered with Club Nintendo between May 30th and July 31st players will be eligible to receive a free download code for one of 10 select Wii U titles by August 31st. This includes digital purchases, retail, limited editions and special editions of Mario Kart 8.
Online details about the game including that up to 12 players can race together with four ways of match making against other opponents (Global, Regional, Friends and Rivals Tournaments). Mario Kart 8 also lets players chat in the game lobby with the use of their GamePad microphone as they wait for the lobby to fill up. Players can also create public or private tournaments, which they can specify the specific day, time and rules that can then be raced.
In Mario Kart tradition, Ghost racing returns allowing players to race against ghost data from friends and online against worldwide racers. Players can even race against the Mario Kart development team’s ghost, should they beat them players will receive a unique Miiverse stamp to display their victory.
Racers can now watch Mario Kart TV, an in-game channel, letting them view Highlight Reels from their previous races and tournaments that they’ve taken part in. This feature also includes rewind, fast forward and slow motion to help other racers learn from the best as they view and comment online. Players with Google accounts will be able to upload their reels directly to YouTube or their Miivers from within the Mario Kart TV.
Nintendo has also released some information on new items for players to use during their races. The new Super Horn will literally blow other items and players away from the player with a sonic shock wave. Mario Kart 8 also introduces the new Crazy Eight, a swirl of eight different items that players can use one by one in succession.
Nintendo also announced that two new female racers will be joining the large roster of Mario Kart 8; the new Pink Gold Peach and Baby Rosalina. Pink Gold Peach glows with a golden light as she makes a shiny counterpart to Metal Mario, and Baby Rosalina compliments the other cast of Baby racers. As in previous Mario Kart games, players can choose their own Mii characters to race, bringing the final roster to a total of 30 characters.
Lastly, there’s a new trailer, with all the details on their new promotion offer and all of the new online features.