Mario Kart 8 Direct Recap: New Characters, Items, Bundle

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

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Mario Kart 8 Direct | oprainfall

Well slap my thighs and call me Charlie. Nintendo have only gone and sneakily released a Direct completely focused on Mario Kart 8. The tongue-in-cheek video shows off a whole bunch of new information regarding the Mushroom Kingdom racer as well as a studio jam session with the musicians behind the Mario Kart 8 soundtrack.

Mario Kart 8 - Anti-Gravity | oprainfall


Nintendo started off by taking some time to explain how anti-gravity will work in the game. It won’t be shown during gameplay because Nintendo wanted racing to be as smooth as possible. However, you will be able to watch yourself going every which way on replay. In addition, spin boosting was explained. With this technique, you can gain a speed boost by bumping into opponents and certain objects.

New Characters

Mario Kart 8 will include 30 different racers, including Miis and two new racers revealed today. Making their Mario Kart — and general — debuts are Baby Rosalina and … err, Pink Gold Peach.

Baby Rosalina - Mario Kart 8 | oprainfall
Pink Gold Peach - Mario Kart 8 | oprainfall

New Items

  • Boomerang Flower: This was teased before but it was explained in more detail today. You get up to three throws and you can hit your opponents either from behind or from the front (in case you miss throwing behind them).
  • Piranha Plant: Also teased before, the plant will attach to the front of your kart and munch on everything in front of you — even items — clearing the path for you.
  • Crazy Eight: Works just like the Lucky 7 item from Mario Kart 7, but now with eight items.
  • Super Horn: A horn that causes a shockwave around you, knocking out any nearby opponents and incoming items — even the Blue Shell.


While they took some time to show off some new designs for the karts, Nintendo also demonstrated how the selection of a kart or bike will effect your time. Taking notes from Mario Kart Wii — when bikes dominated the leader boards — Nintendo has balanced out things a bit more. Bikes should get faster times on courses with tight turns while karts should be faster on courses with many straightaways.

Online Details

  • Tournaments: You can now host your own tournaments, modifying the rules and even specifying the day of the week a tournament can be held.
  • Voice Chat: Mario Kart 8 now enables voice chat in the lobbies before a race.
  • Online Ghosts: You can download ghosts of other players from around the world and race them to try and beat their times. And if you beat the ghosts of developers, you’ll earn a stamp you can use on Miiverse.
  • Mario Kart TV: Watch and edit your replays and even upload them to Miiverse or YouTube.

Nintendo have also revealed that North America will be able to pick up a Mario Kart 8 Wii U Bundle on May 30th. A similar bundle was revealed previously for European gamers.

The bundle will cost you $329.99 and includes:

  • A black 32GB Wii U
  • A copy of Mario Kart 8
  • A red Wii Racing Wheel

Mario Kart 8

As an extra incentive, if you register your copy of Mario Kart 8 on Club Nintendo before July 31st, 2014, you can redeem a digital download copy of one free Wii U game. The ones North American gamers can expect to nab are:

  • New Super Mario Bros. U
  • Pikmin 3
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
  • Wii U Party

Nintendo of Europe revealed their list via press release. They are as follows:

  • Nintendo Land
  • New Super Mario Bros. U
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
  • Pikmin 3
  • The Wonderful 101
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
  • Sonic Lost World
  • Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games
  • Wii Party U

Finally, check out the latest trailer which shows of some new and returning course — including Yoshi’s Valley from Mario Kart 64., Dry Dry Desert from Mario Kart: Double Dash, Music Park/Melody Motorway from Mario Kart 7, and a sneak peak at the new Rainbow Road.

How excited are you for Mario Kart 8 now? Has the bundle offer given you an incentive to pick it up? Let us know in the comments below.

You can watch the full Mario Kart 8 Direct below.

About David Rawlings

David Rawlings, or ‘Rawky’ as we like to call him, joined the Operation Rainfall Campaign at the beginning. He’s British and found solace with us as he was able to understand our pain about Nintendo and their localizing faux pas. He’s a big fan of the letter ‘U’ and refuses to remove them from words, even though we constantly ask him to. He also believes it’s about time Princess Daisy got kidnapped.