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New tracks, items, characters revealed for Mario Kart 8

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Nintendo today revealed new information about Mario Kart 8, which is expected to be released on May 30 for the Wii U.

First up, is the revelation of two new items - the Boomerang Flower and Piranha Plant. The Piranha Plant will attach to the front of a kart and bite nearby racers, while also providing a boost of speed after lunging forward. As for the Boomerang Flower, players will be able to launch a Boomerang (three times) to stun opponents both forward and backward, and it's arc can stun multiple opponents. Also, while racing upside down or on walls, players can bump into other racers or certain track obstacles to get a speed boost.

Nintendo also revealed that the music in Mario Kart 8 will be recorded by live performers. In addition, Lakitu, Shy Guy and Metal Mario will all be playable characters and the game will support the GamePad, Pro Controller, the Wii Wheel and the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. Off-TV play will also be supported.

As for courses, the company confirmed remixed versions of Moo Moo Meadows from Mario Kart Wii, Toad's Turnpike from Mario Kart 64, and Donut Plains from Super Mario Kart. The remixed tracks have also been redesigned to take advantage of the new gameplay mechanics, such as driving up walls in anti-gravity mode. There will be a total of 16 new courses and 16 remixed ones.

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