'Mario Kart 8': Nintendo Direct Explains New Items, Characters and Concepts [Video]

Nintendo has a very loyal fan-base, almost all of whom are looking forward to learning more about Mario Kart 8. The new game in the Mario Kart series will be available to purchase on May 30th and is surrounded by bundle and registration deals. Any of that information can be found out by calling your local game store.

To remind fans of why they should be looking out for Mario Kart 8, Nintendo put out a video explaining the new concepts, characters and items.

The most ingenious new concept of Mario Kart 8 is the anti-gravity racing. The first part of the Nintendo Direct video delves into the question of what exactly that is and how it affects the gameplay of the new Mario Kart game. The narrator mentions that course variety is a huge factor in the game and questions the Mario Kart 8 producer, Hideki Konno about it:

"Throughout the series, players have been racing on a variety of courses, including tracks that take you underwater and through the skies. This made us ask, 'where should we take them next, maybe underground?' So we started brainstorming and eventually we came up with the idea of allowing karts to run along walls and on the ceilings by defying gravity. This time, the power of Wii U allowed us to use more polygons so we were able to create various courses where you can race on all kinds of surfaces."
Don't worry, though, you won't have to deal with dizzying camera angles. Konno went on to say that they were concerned about Mario Kart 8 offering a "comfortable racing experience." Apparently, the race itself might not look all that different with the anti-gravity concept involved until you watch a replay video.

Anti-gravity racing also allowed for the introduction of another boost. In previous Mario Kart games we've had the ability to get boosts not only through items, but by utilizing the perfect start and tricks. Within the next game we'll see something called "spin boosting".

Spin boosting happens when a character is in anti-gravity mode and bumps into another character or an obstacle. The crash will cause the player to spin and they'll get a boost off it.

Konno described the use of spin boosting as strategy, "Normally when racing, avoiding your opponents and any obstacles is the way to go. But in anti-gravity mode collisions like these can help put you in the lead. This offers players a new way to get speed boosts by taking risks. As a strategy it's a good way to get ahead of your opponents, but it also just feels good. And it's fun to bump into something without worrying about it. So I really hope you'll aggressively bump into things during races."

It seems like Konno definitely understands the type of gamers that play Mario Kart.

Another new feature of Mario Kart 8 will be the ability to customize vehicles. Players will be able to manually choose the body, wheels and glider wing of their kart or bike. Some options will include the Circuit Special, Sport Bike, Standard ATV and Prancer.

The information that most fans seem to be looking forward to the most revolves around characters and items that will show up for the first time in Mario Kart 8.

There will be a total of 9 new playable characters. The 7 Koopalings are made up of Larry, Roy, Iggy, Lemmy, Morton, Wendy and Ludwig. Most notably, though, are the last two characters in the list. For the first time in the Mario Kart series, we'll get light-weight Baby Rosalina and heavy-weight Pink Gold Peach. Including the Mii character option, that will bring the number of playable characters to 30.

Finally, there will be four new items in Mario Kart 8. The Super Horn is a useful item in a couple of ways. Offensively, the item emits a shockwave that, when used, can throw nearby opponents off course momentarily. Defensively, the item can be held. In that case, it would protect against all thrown shells, including the dreaded Blue Shell.

The Boomerang Flower is a boomerang that can be thrown at other players. If the throw misses, there's no worry because it will turn around and come back to the player, giving them a second chance to hit the targeted kart. The boomerang will never hit the character that threw it, since that character catches the item upon return. It can be used 3 times.

The Piranha Plant item is attached to the front of the players kart and automatically attacks any opponent that is passed for a limited amount of time. It also has the ability to eat the banana peels off the floor, preventing the player from being affected by them.

Finally, the Crazy Eight is a crazy-powerful item that gives the players 8 items at once, including a variety of shells and a star.

With all the new information released by Nintendo, Mario Kart 8 looks like it's going to be an amazing addition to the Mario Kart series. Are you looking forward to May 30th?