"Mario Kart 8" will feature anti-gravity racing. Courtesy/Nintendo

“Mario Kart” is racing into stores at the end of this month, and we couldn’t be more excited. On Wednesday, Nintendo launched a 36-minute trailer that explained the upcoming game and the well-known franchise in detail, revealing more of the title’s features.

“Everyone loves ‘Mario Kart,’” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, in a statement. “It’s a franchise that brings people together for fun at a family gathering, a frenzied race against friends, or just an afternoon break at the office. The numerous new features of 'Mario Kart 8' make this the most ambitious version yet, and one that will have players of all skill levels racing for the checkered flag.”

NeoGAF user PadWarrior recently created a post that gathered all known information regarding “Mario Kart 8,” including a confirmed list of characters, in-game items and racing features. Here’s some more information about the upcoming racer.

1. You’ll be able to customize races.

“There was some item customization in ‘Mario Kart 7,’ in that you could choose to have a mushroom-only race or shell-only race. We’re going to have that plus a little bit more, actually, in Mario Kart 8,” game director Kosuke Yabuki confirmed. “I think we’re going to be able to answer that feeling of, ‘I don’t want to race with items.’ Well, OK then, no items. Or, ‘I only want to have bananas.’ Well, OK. I think we’re going to be able to provide a system to answer that desire this time around.”

2. There will be anti-gravity courses.

“One of the things you’ll see with the later courses is antigravity being given to the player as an option, so you’ll be driving on the course, and now the course branches off and you can either continue driving on the ground, or maybe go into the anti-gravity area to avoid an enemy or pick up an extra block,” said producer Hideki Konno. "You might decide you want to take a different route that has a boost that allows you to take off and use your glider. So with the addition of the anti-gravity feature, we’ve been able to add more variety to the course design, and it fundamentally changes the player’s strategy.”

3. During anti-gravity racing, players will receive an increase in speed when they run into one another.

“One thing that’s always happened in previous Mario Karts is if you’re racing a light character and you bump into a big character like Bowser, you were at a disadvantage,” Yabuki explained. “However, with the antigravity section, and again the ability to give a speed boost from actually running into someone, even the lighter characters are able to strategize around using the antigravity sections to either keep the playing field even or to give them an advantage. So it does alter the strategy.”

4. Confirmed characters are Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Toad, Yoshi, Bowser, Koopa Troopa, Donkey Kong, Wario, Waluigi, Toadette, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Baby Peach, Baby Daisy, Rosalina, Larry Koopa, Morton Koopa, Jr., Wendy Koopa, Iggy Koopa, Ludwig Von Koopa, Metal Mario, Lakitu and Shy Guy.

5. Nintendo has also confirmed that a number of items will exist in the game, including green shells, triple green shells, red shells, triple red shells, bananas, triple bananas, mushrooms, triple mushrooms, golden mushrooms, bloopers, fire flowers, thunder bolts, blue shells, stars, bob-ombs, stars, bullet bills, boomerangs and piranha plants.

“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,“ Konno explained during a roundtable discussion at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco in late March.

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