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'Mario Kart 8' will release tomorrow

Mario and his rivals face off again!
Mario and his rivals face off again!
Photo: Nintendo of America

Mario and friends return in the latest edition of the ever-popular Mario Kart series. In "Mario Kart 8", players will be racing to the finish line with their favorite characters in the Mario franchise. Many features from past games will return, including hang gliding and underwater racing from Mario Kart 7 as well as motorbike racing from Mario Kart Wii. However, this new installment will bring a brand-new feature: players will be racing on all-new tracks designed to accommodate anti-gravity karts that will let racers ride along walls or upside-down. While in this anti-gravity mode, characters can bump into one another for a speed boost.

Along with the classic competitors like Luigi and Bowser, several characters will be making their way to the race track for the first time, including the Koopalings, Pink Gold Peach, and Baby Rosalina. New items will also be added to the roster, such as the Piranha Plant, which attaches itself to the front of the racer's kart and will attack other racers and items, and the Super Horn, which sends a sonic wave at nearby targets, clearing the area of other racers and items - even the dreaded blue Spiny Shell. Other new features further enhance the player experience, with a fresh 60 frames per second and a new ability to record, play back, and even upload races to Miiverse or YouTube.

"Mario Kart 8" will be available in stores and the Nintendo eShop for the Wii U tomorrow with a MSRP of $59.99. The game will also be sold as part of a Wii U Deluxe Set System bundle for MSRP $329.99, which also comes with a 32 GB Wii U Deluxe Set and GamePad controller, a wheel accessory, and Mario Wii Remote Plus controller. Those who register either the physical or digital copy of the game with Club Nintendo before the July 31 deadline will receive a Nintendo eShop download code to get "New Super Mario Bros. U", "Pikmin 3", "The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD", or "Wii Party U" for free.