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For the entirety of 2013 Nintendo was like a giant who slept in a cave while his home town got ravaged by the likes of Sony pillagers and Xbox ruffians. The Big 'N' had subsided from the spotlight, hoping that software support and name brand would carry them through most of 2013, and for the Wii U that just didn't work.
Nintendo's head honcho, Satoru Iwata, has climbed off his throne and strapped on his gauntlets, equipped his greaves, padded on a breastplate and pulled up his flameproof jockstrap, as 2014 will be the year that Nintendo re-enters the console war with a vengeance, and they're doing so starting with Mario Kart 8.
MCV UK managed to get in word with Nintendo's UK brand marketing manager, Roger Langford, who told them that...
“To herald the launch of the most hotly anticipated Wii U title to date we will have marketing activity pre-launch as well as post-launch moving through the summer and into peak season,”
That's what gamers like to hear.
It's nice to know that Nintendo is getting back into the dirty trenches of a war they're known for winning. Though I must concedingly admit that Sony cleaned up good and well during the fifth and sixth generations of gaming with the PlayStation One and PlayStation 2. Even though Nintendo took a clean sweep of seventh-gen gaming, they've entered the eighth-gen early but with a stark lack of support from third-party, tons of hate from the media, and a lack of intestinal fortitude to make them really stand out.
That's all changing.
Previously, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime had mentioned that Nintendo was going to step up their marketing pace throughout 2014, and it's getting quite obvious with the growing and strengthening brand presence of Mario Kart 8.
Meanwhile, Langford went on to pimp Mario Kart 8, the Wii U exclusive, saying...
“For the first time in HD, Mario Kart 8 introduces original course designs that highlight the game’s new anti-gravity feature, which allows players to race upside down or up vertical surfaces. This adds a whole new dimension to the racing.”
The game isn't just about bringing back classic track designs with brand news to play, as indicated in a really awesome promo video, but the game will also sport some brand new customization features, as reported by Nintendo News.
It hasn't been confirmed yet but the game will supposedly feature some pretty detailed customization for the characters and vehicles. There's a brief list of some of what players will be able to modify, change or swap out on various vehicles and characters.
In combination with the new Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundles, the new $10 gas promo and growing exposure of the game and brand, I can't help but think that this is Nintendo's true (and possibly last) war cry to help get the Wii U up out of the dust and kicking and fighting like Sony stole something important from them.
Excellence arrives starting May 30th. You can check out some of the customization details Nintendo News printed with the info below.
Mario Kart 8 Customization Items
· Mario Kart 8 Karts – Standard Kart, Airship, Classical Cat, Bad Wagon, G-Force, Para-Bidybud, Pipe Frame, Princess Coach, Sneaker, Steel Diver, Superstar, Tri-Smash, Turbo One.
· Mario Kart 8 Bikes – Standard Bike, Broad Bean, Burning Bowl, Jet Rider, Mach GP, Maximum, Motor Dozer, Super Comet, Yoshi Bike.
· Mario Kart 8 ATVs – Standard ATV, Bean Rider, Wild Wiggler.
· Mario Kart 8 Tires – Standard Tires, Normal Blue, Ring Tires, Spicy Rings, Roller, Sky Rollers, Monster, Wild Hot, Sponge, Slick, Cyber Slick, Block Tires, Cream Blocks, Metal Tires, Wood Rings, Button Tires, Cushion Tires.
· Mario Kart 8 Gliders – Super Glider, Cloud Balloons, Flower Glider, Koopa Kite, MKTV Parafoil, Parachute, Para-glider, Peach Parasol, Sail Plane, Waddlewing Kite, Wario Glider.