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'Mario Kart 8' lining up for May 30 start

tech reviews Updated: May 30, 2014 10:48 IST
Wii U

The famous Italian plumber and his friends are returning for a new set of go-kart races on the Wii U. To be played solo or with up to a dozen friends, "Mario Kart 8" includes nine new characters and 16 original race tracks.

Since the launch of "Mario Kart" for Super Nintendo in 1992, the name of the game remains unchanged: finish first by avoiding the traps set by opponents and collecting advantage-granting items.

In its eighth edition, the game makes things a little more interesting by introducing a few new objects. Spiny Blue Shells hit the car in first place, giving the drivers behind them a boost. The new Super Horn emits a powerful sound that repels other racers and the shells they send your way. Finally, the Crazy 8 is a set of eight items that circle the driver's car and can be used in succession when the driver chooses.

16 new tracks

New drivers are also entering the competition, including Pink Gold Peach, Baby Rosalina and seven of Bowser's soldiers. Meanwhile long-time "Mario Kart" stars Yoshi and Peach will be in the spotlight with two special editions of the Wii Remote Plus, one in green and white and the other in bubble gum pink. Both accessories will be launched at the end of this month, priced at $39.99 in the US.

The new characters, as well as Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Donkey Kong and the rest of the usual cast, will face off on 32 tracks. Half of these circuits are entirely new, and the rest are updated versions of tracks from past editions. Online with a high-speed internet connection, up to twelve players can compete on the same course. In multiplayer mode, up to four players can compete through the same console.

Priced at $59.99, "Mario Kart 8" will be available exclusively for the Wii U, Nintendo's latest home console. A limited edition gale bundle, including a collectible Blue Shell figurine, will also be offered, available exclusively at the Nintendo World Store in New York. Finally, for those in the market for a new console, Nintendo is also marketing the game in a bundle with a black Wii U Deluxe 32GB console for $329.99. Fans can also take home a steering wheel with the "Mario Kart 8" logo for $14.99.

Players who register online before July 31 using the code obtained when purchasing the game will receive a voucher code for a free Wii U game download among a selection of ten titles: "Nintendo Land," "New Super Mario Bros U," "Game & Wario," "Pikmin 3," "The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD," "Sonic Last World," "Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games," "Wii Party U," "The Wonderful 101" and "Monster Hunter Ultimate."