'Mario Kart 8' Release: Game Out Tomorrow, Party Tonight At Nintendo World Store [VIDEO]

By Luke Caulfield , Updated May 29, 2014 03:02 PM EDT
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The day that Nintendo fans (and Nintendo itself) were waiting for is almost here. The eighth game in the Mario Kart series is all set to release tomorrow, and help pull the struggling Wii U out of the mud. Here's how Mario Kart 8 will pull it off:

Nintendo Believes Mario Kart 8 Will Only Help the Struggling Wii U

* First and foremost, the series has long since been a staple of Nintendo's and each title has been a hit on whatever platform its released on, be it the SNES, N64, GameCube, and so on and so forth. Early reviews have all declared the game a hit, and there's no reason the think the fans will feel otherwise.

* The characters - While the game doesn't have every last racer to have featured in the series, Mario Kart 8 still boasts one of the biggest rosters in the series yet, with Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Rosalina, their respective infant versions, Yoshi, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Toad, Koopa Troopa, Toadette, Wario, Waluigi, Shy Guy, Metal Mario, Lakitu, and Bowser's kids Larry, Morton, Wendy, Iggy, Roy, Lemmy, and Ludwig as playable racers. Pink Gold Peach, a counter character to Metal Mario, rounds out the roster, bringing the total character count to 30.

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* The courses - In addition to 16 new tracks, there are also 16 old favorites like Toad's Turnpike and Rainbow Road for a total of 32 tracks in all, spread across 8 different cups.

* The multiplayer - Racing and battling against friends has always been a big part of the Mario Kart experience, and this is set to continue. In addition to local multiplayer, up to 12 players can race or battle online, as long as everyone has the game and a broadband Internet connection. Players also can create public or private tournaments for which they specify the day of the week, time, and rules. The Mario Kart TV feature will also let players watch highlight reels, edit, and share them via the Miiverse and YouTube.

* The vehicles - 14 different types of karts, 9 types of bikes, 3 types of atvs, and 11 gliders each with different stats and customizable parts. Not enough? OK then, how about using the vehicles to defy Newtonian law? Anti-gravity racing is a new feature of Mario Kart 8, drastically changing gameplay. When players cruise over a blue anti-gravity strip, drivers defy gravity and can drive on or up walls. While in this mode, players can bump into each other to get a Spin Boost. "Ever since the launch of the original Super Mario Kart game on the Super NES more than 20 years ago, the words 'Mario Kart' have come to represent the gold standard for unpredictable and competitive racing fun," said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. "Mario Kart 8 is an experience only available on Wii U, and the anti-gravity racing makes it unlike anything the series has seen before."

* The items - shells, lightning bolts, banana peels and more have always made driving considerably more hazardous in Mario Kart. This will be the case even more so in Mario Kart 8, as these old favorites are joined by new items like: the long-range Boomerang, Piranha Plant, Crazy Eight, and spiked blue shell defying Super Horn.

This time tomorrow, gamers can grab the game from the Nintendo eShop or their choice of retailer, but it's only at the Nintendo World Store in New York's Time Square that they can get the Limited Edition in North America. The store is holding a launch party at 8 PM EST, TONIGHT, so hustle over if you want to secure yourself a copy. This particular version was originally announced as a European exclusive, and comes with a special figurine of the rage inducing spiked blue shell, guaranteed to seek and destroy whichever racer happened to be in first place.

Last but not least, there will also be a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Set Wii U bundle available, consisting of a 32 GB Wii U Deluxe Set system, GamePad controller, copy of the game, Mario Wii Wheel accessory, and Mario Wii Remote Plus controller for $329.99.

You can check out the game's trailer below.

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