"Mario Kart 8" will launch next month. Courtesy/Nintendo

“Mario Kart 8” is set to launch next month, the first installment in the series since 2011’s “Mario Kart 7” for the 3DS. The long-awaited racer will feature a number of mainstay characters from the “Mario” universe, along with several exclusive in-game features. Before the game reaches shelves, let’s take a look at back at what we know about the game so far.

1. “Mario Kart 8” won’t have a track editor.

Unfortunately, the upcoming game won’t allow players to create their own tracks.

“This is the eighth game in the series and when we work on a Mario Kart title, we work on courses and we create them and then we work on them again, and again, and again, and we revise until we come up with something that we think is going to be fun for everyone to play over and over again. So we have a lot of confidence in our ability to do so, but we understand what a tough challenge it is to create those courses,“ explained Producer Hideki Konno during a roundtable discussion at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco from March 17-21.

“I just don't know that at this point we're able to do that at a level that would satisfy anyone, myself included, or the customer. Someday, if we can come up with a solution and implement in a way that makes everyone happy, or we think will make everyone happy, we'll come back to that issue and maybe re-address it. We're always optimistic and thinking about what we're going to do in the future.”

2. The game will have two Rainbow Road tracks. Rainbow Road has become synonymous with the “Mario Kart” franchise. It started as a brightly-colored, multi-toned rail-less course in 1992’s original “Super Mario Kart” for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. In “Mario Kart 8,” it appears as an ethereal, semi-translucent wonderland of a track, complete with loops and sparkling lights that brighten the path.

During a roundtable discussion with Gamespot in early April, "Mario Kart 8" Director Kosuke Yabuki told gamers the upcoming racer will feature two versions of the classic track. One will be a recreation of the course from Nintendo 64's "Mario Kart," while the other will be a completely new design, one that Yabuki feels will be "really spectacular."

"Rainbow Road of course is a classic course. This time we actually grabbed Rainbow Road N64 version in addition to the current iteration of Rainbow Road," Yabuki told GameSpot. "So we hope you look forward to racing on both of those courses."

"One thing I do want to mention is Rainbow Road, that final course. We really want you to look forward to what we've done to it this time because it's something else," he added.

"Mario Kart 8" will feature two Rainbow Roads. Courtesy/Nintendo

3. The character lineup is awesome. Though Nintendo hasn’t confirmed a finite character roster, we know that users will most likely be able to control Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Daisy, Rosalina, Metal Mario, Yoshi, Toad, Koopa, Shyguy, Lakitu, Toadette, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Baby Peach, Baby Daisy, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Wario, Waluigi, Lemmy, Roy, Iggy, Larry, Wendy, Ludwig and Morton Jr. Earlier this month, Diddy Kong was added to the game’s repertoire via a Reddit leak.

reddit leak
Reddit leak showing characters in "Mario Kart 8." Reddit/user/hmjem

4. The game will have anti-gravity features. Players will have the ability to drive bikes, gliders and underwater vehicles along walls and ceilings. This isn’t new info, but pretty cool nonetheless. When in anti-gravity racing, if a player bumps into another racer, the kart spins and both users receive a boost in speed.

"Mario Kart 8's" anti-gravity racing. Courtesy/Nintendo

5. There will be a Miiverse integration, which will allow players to share their gameplay videos with others, as well as comment on videos and clips posted by players in a new feature called “Mario Kart TV.” It’s also been confirmed that during 2-player mode, the screen will split vertically, instead of featuring a typical horizontal split.

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