Comic Mischief: Nintendo Direct 30/4/14

Nintendo Direct IwataNintendo might be taking a bit of a left turn. Its last Nintendo Direct, for the upcoming 3DS title Tomodachi Life, was effectively an endorsement of Deviantart’s Iwata/Miyamoto fan-fiction, and earlier today, the company teamed up with Mega64 to reveal its E3 plans via robot Reggie.

Now Nintendo has channelled the spirit of late-night television to reveal more details about the upcoming Mario Kart 8. You can watch Nintendo’s indulgences into infomercials, personal ads and ‘Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!’ at the bottom of this story, but if you want hard Mario Kart facts now, come with me. 

Of course there’s going to be new stuff. Joining the usual array of racers is Bowser’s minions (Larry, Roy, Iggy, Lemmy, Morton, Wendy and Ludwig; remember them all, there will be a test later), Baby Rosalina (…yup) and Pink Gold Peach (doesn’t that colour mix make Orange?). There are also new items, including the Boomerang Flower and Piranha Plants last featured in Super Mario 3D World. There is also a Super Horn — it can destroy blue shells!! 

The video also elaborated on Mario Kart 8’s new features. The previously revealed anti-grav mechanic has the added twist of spin-boost, giving your racer a speed boost if you bump into obstacles and other drivers while in anti-grav mode, potentially shifting the dynamic slightly during these parts of the track.

Mario Kart’s online features have also been expanded for this Wii U edition. Online races will accommodate up to 12 racers, and players will also be able to create and participate in scheduled tournaments complete with custom rulesets (‘No items, Fox only, Final Destination’ is yet to be confirmed). Mario Kart 8 will also introduce Mario Kart TV, where replays and highlights can be viewed, shared and uploaded to YouTube.

But wait there’s more (again, Nintendo leaned hard into the late-night motif)! Anyone who purchases a copy of Mario Kart 8 and registers it before July 31 will be able to get a copy of one of ten Wii U titles: Nintendoland, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, New Super Mario Bros U, Game & Wario, Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Sonic Lost World, Mario and Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and Wii U Party.

The ESRB notice at the start of the video informs us that Mario Kart 8 contains “Comic Mischief”, but it might as well be talking about Nintendo’s recent video output. What we’ve seen is, let’s face it, kinda corny, but its still infinitely more interesting than a two-minute trailer filled with fake Inception music or whatever electro-pop dandy is popular with the youth.

Oh, and Mario Kart 8 looks like it’s going to be a Mario Kart game.

A side note: If you haven’t caught my myriad hints and references, watch the Tomodachi Life video — I can’t guarantee it will make sense, but I can guarantee life will be better having watched it (guarantee void in Tennessee).

[Additional info: Vooks]