Kart racing fans with a love of mustachioed drivers can go ahead and start revving their engines, as Nintendo has announced that Mario Kart 8 will be speeding onto the Wii U May 30, complete with new items, courses, moves and a couple of other new features that should round out the package nicely.
This being the first Mario Kart game to arrive on Nintendo’s home console, and one of the few big first party games announced for the console in general, chances are pretty slim that if you own a Wii U you’re not already planning on picking this particular game up. There might even be a few rabid, blue turtle shell-chucking gearheads in the audience who have been waiting for this game to release before picking up the console to begin with.
The good news is that the wait is almost over, as Mario Kart 8 will be putting a new spin, quite literally, on the beloved racing franchise. The first new announcement outside of a release date is the “Spin Turbo” move.
“While racing upside down or on walls, players can bump into other racers or certain course obstacles to get a speed boost,” reads the statement from the Big N. “Spin Turbo fundamentally redefines the way that players compete, and makes antigravity racing even more exhilarating.”
After the Koopa Kids were announced as playable characters in Nintendo’s last bit of publicity involving the game, the developer is now stating that players can also expect a few familiar faces to make a return this time around, including Metal Mario, Lakitu and Shy Guy.
Those courses look pretty wild, right? Nintendo explains.
“For the first time in HD, Mario Kart 8 introduces original course designs that highlight the game’s new antigravity feature, which allows players to race upside down or up vertical surfaces,” reads the press release. “Racers will also enjoy a variety of series-favorite features including the return of 12-player online competitive play, four player local multiplayer, hang-gliders, underwater racing and motorbikes.”
While many of the courses are brand new, several will also receive a MK8 remix, including Moo Moo Meadows and Toad’s Turnpike. Two new items will also be introduced to the game, including a Piranha Plant that chomps at players in front of you and temporarily boosts your speed, and a Boomerang Flower, which allows you to stun opponents with a well-placed throw.
Finally, for the first time in series history, select courses will feature music provided by live recording artists, and the return of multiple control schemes means that everyone should be able to steer their carts in whichever way they feel most comfortable.