CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that baby Mario characters were not playable since Mario Kart: Double Dash. One reader pointed out that Baby Mario, Luigi, Peach and Daisy were playable in Mario Kart Wii.
In a new Nintendo Direct posted earlier today, Nintendo showcased a revealing new trailer for the eighth installment in the Mario Kart franchise, Mario Kart 8.
The new trailer opens on an airport-themed track “Sunshine Airport,” with Mario and friends utilizing classic power ups and items. Also returning are the coins. Originally introduced in the original Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo, players can collect up to ten coins, which increase the top speed of your kart.
Mario, Luigi, Peach and Daisy are all set to return in baby form. Baby characters were first introduced to the Mario Kart series in Mario Kart: Double Dash for the Gamecube, which was my favorite entry in the series and in my opinion, the most innovative.
New characters are introduced in every Mario Kart game. Most recently, Mario Kart 7 introduced the Wiggler, Honey Queen, Lakitu, and Metal Mario.
From the trailer, it seems like Mario Kart will be most similar to Mario Kart 7, with the ability drive under water and soar through the air. Motorcycles from Mario Kart Wii will also make a return, and new UFO-looking crafts and ATVs make a debut.
The only major change seems to be a few racing mechanics that will allow Mario and company to defy gravity and drive sideways and upside down. Although, this doesn’t seem to play as major a role as Nintendo originally teased.
Mario Kart 8 will be the first Mario Kart game released on the eighth generation gaming console, the Wii U, which also makes it the first HD Mario Kart title. According to a Nintendo Developers Direct earlier this year, Mario Kart 8 will be compatible with the Wii U GamePad, Wii Remote and Nunchuk, Wii U Pro Controller and the Wii Wheel.
Mario Kart 8 will be released in spring of 2014. Check out the new trailer right here:
So what new characters, improvements, tracks or items would you like to see in Mario Kart 8? Leave your thoughts in the comment section.