At the end of next month, one of the Wii U’s most hotly anticipated games will finally be released worldwide. Mario Kart 8, the latest in Nintendo’s iconic racing series will be released in North America and Europe on 30th May, only a day after our moustachioed hero starts his engines in Japan. Recently, a handful of the press had their chance to get a hands-on impression with the title (but not us – how about inviting us next time Nintendo?), which has revealed quite the wealth of information about what many expect will be Nintendo’s spring blockbuster.
First off, with the boring stuff: Mario Kart 8 runs at a resolution of 720p, which is on-par with the Super Mario 3D World and critically acclaimed The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V, so it not being 1080p isn’t that much of a big deal. The big part though, is that during single player and two-player, the game will be able to maintain a frame-rate of 60-frames-per-second, although that has been reported to go down to 30-frames-per-second when the game is played with three or four players. Multiplayer will allow up to four players via local wireless and 12 people online.
Lakitu, Metal Mario and Shy Guy have been confirmed as returning to the roster of playable characters following their debut in Mario Kart 7 (for Lakitu and Metal Mario) and Mario Kart DS (Shyguy) while we have a couple of new item reveals: the Boomerang which can be fired directly forwards three times before disappearing, effectively giving you five chances to strike an enemy and the Piranha Plant, which will chomp up enemies directly in front of you. Bikes from Mario Kart Wii also make a comeback, as does the vehicle customisation of Mario Kart 7. The new anti-gravity mechanic allows players to gain a speed boost by bumping into nearby players.
One of the more interesting features mentioned was the ability to edit your match replays to your tastes, by having the camera follow up to four characters, any kind of actions you would prefer to be featured (such as drifts), the duration of the video (30 seconds, 1 minute of the entire race) and even slowing the video down to watch the action in slow motion, before sharing it with friends.
Nintendo have also released a brand new trailer of the game, to help whet your appetite until it can be satisfied in May: