Rosalina, ATVs, and hovering UFOs all make an appearance.
We first heard that the venerable Mario Kart franchise was getting its eighth numbered iteration back at E3. We saw new vehicles, like the hovering UFOs and rugged ATVs, as they soared through various environments using the occasional anti-gravity pad. With the recent Nintendo Direct presentation, Nintendo showed off a brand-new trailer for Mario Kart 8, featuring Rosalina as a playable character.
The trailer starts with Mario and Co. racing through an operational airport, something that's terrorist-like enough to flirt with an M rating here in the west. However, they are soon whisked away to a giant land full with candy and cakes, in a course that will likely be called "Sugar Rush" regardless of the actual name. After that, there are the jungle ruins, complete with deadly pits and rolling obstacles, and a bony desert where you race along the ribcage of giant, dead animals. The trailer tops things off with a floating cloud city, which looks like a happier place to be than Bioshock Infinite's Columbia. There, you see the Star Princess herself, Rosalina, zooming about on a superbike.
As you'd expect, Mario Kart 8 will build off of the 3DS's Mario Kart 7. There's the hang gliding and the coin-collecting, but the new anti-gravity pads and drifting mechanics look intriguing. The ability to pop out a hang glider and drive on the walls reminds me just enough of F-Zero get develop some serious interest here. Expect it to arrive on the Wii U in spring of 2014.