Watch out for Blue Shells: Mario Kart 8 launching May 30th on the Wii U

Nintendo has released some new information regarding their upcoming racer, Mario Kart 8, due to hit the Wii U May 30th, through retail and the Nintendo eShop. Nintendo’s first HD Mario Kart, Mario Kart 8 will feature a new antigravity feature, and the return of 12-player online competitive play, four player local multiplayer, hang-gliders, underwater racing, and motorbikes.

I'm gonna get motion sickness playing this

Here are a few of the new features being introduced in Mario Kart 8:

Spin Turbo – when players race upside down or on walls (thanks to the antigravity feature), they can get a speed boost by bumping into certain course obstacles or even other racers (so basically smash everything when upside down).

Returning And New Characters – returning characters Metal Mario, Lakitu, and Shy Guy make a return to the series and join a cast of old favorites. All seven of Bowser’s kids make their Mario Kart debut, as well.

New Items – there are now two new powerups: first, the Piranha Plant, which attaches to the front of your kart and chomps down on other racers, banana peels, and shells. Every time it bites forward, you get a small boost of speed. Second, the Boomerang Flower, that stuns players and can be thrown in an arc to hit multiple peeps. The Boomerang can be used three times once acquired, and can be thrown forward or backward (I am going to abuse this one A LOT).

New Courses – 16 new tracks are being introduced, while 16 remixed classics will also be available. Some of the classics returning are Moo Moo Meadows from Mario Kart Wii, Toad’s Turnpike from Mario Kart 64, and Donut Plains from Super Mario Kart. These tracks have been redesigned in HD and even remodeled; Toad’s Turnpike, for example, now allows players to drive up certain walls in antigravity mode.

Live Music – for the first time ever, some courses will feature music recorded by live performers, which hopefully means the Jaws theme will play while sneaking up behind someone in multiplayer with a red shell.

Various Control SchemesMario Kart 8 will support the Wii U GamePad, the Wii U Pro Controller, the Wii Wheel, and Wii Remote and Nunchuk, so there are options for even the most difficult of friends. Mario Kart 8 can also be played off-TV on the GamePad.

Fans of the racing series who are situated in the UK can pre-order a Limited Edition bundle, which comes with Mario Kart 8, a Bullet Bill shirt, Shell keyring, and a Blue Shell Collector’s Item that you can totally throw at your friends. Check out a sweet trailer of the title below that showcases some of the new features. You guys ready to race?!

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