[Update] Nintendo has actually published a preview of sorts for Mario Kart 8 in the form of a Nintendo Minute with Kit and Krysta. It shows an extensive look at a new HD remake of the classic Mario Kart 64 stage “Toad’s Turnpike,” which was notoriously difficult in its original form. The MK8 version will feature anti-gravity sections on the walls that don’t include the traffic that many players have grown to hate so much. Check out the video here.
IGN and Joystiq at least are optimistic about Mario Kart 8 and the new features the game introduces. In his preview article (click here), IGN’s Jose Otero emphasizes the glory of Mario Kart in HD, boldly stating that “Mario Kart 8 is the best looking game on Wii U so far.” The IGN article also has a few videos, one of which reveals GamePad implementation in MK8: 3 tiles on the GamePad will allow the player to switch to a GamePad view of what’s going on on the TV screen, display a map on the touch screen, or switch to motion control for the GamePad controller. The default view on the GamePad simply gives the player a horn to sound at the touch of a button.
In Joystiq’s video preview (click here), as with IGN’s article, a fair amount of time is devoted to explaining how anti-gravity works in Mario Kart 8, not to mention how it changes up the familiar kart racing formula of Mario Kart. Some anti-gravity sections will have the player racing on the walls or ceiling of a course, while other sections maintain normal racing patterns: the real trick with anti-gravity sections is that bumping into certain track elements or other racers gives the player a speed boost.
Mario Kart 8 will, of course, feature 12-player online races. There’s still no word on voice chat or video sharing through Miiverse, however. The game releases May 30. And, provided it plays more like Mario Kart 7 than Mario Kart Wii, I think it will become an immediate favorite of mine. What are your thoughts? What features would you love to hear about, however unlikely or impossible they may be?