Last year, we wrote an article detailing everything we knew about Mario Kart for the 3DS, based on an extremly short video running at Nintendo's booth. This year, Mario Kart was fully playable on three courses, so we thought we'd update the article with everything we now know.
8 Nintendo characters confirmed: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Toad, Donkey Kong, Bowser, and Koopa Troopa. As fans of the classic SNES title may recognize, this is the exact same roster as the original, with the exception of Donkey Kong replacing Donkey Kong Jr. There are likely to be more in the full game.
Can race as your Mii, which is also an option (as in the Wii version).
Karts can now fly with a hang glider that extends during long jumps, as well as scoot around underwater with the new propeller. These are activated automatically and cannot be manually triggered.
Coins are back! You'll find them scattered around each race course. We don't quite know what they do it, but it's possible your top-speed increases the more you collect (as in the original). Or maybe they'll be used as currency to purchase new upgrades, characters, or tracks.
No stunts. The mechanic which allowed you to perform a stunt during a jump in the Wii version for a speed boost has gone MIA. As a result, some classic tracks have been modified slightly to remove areas that were only useful for performing stunts.
Runs at 60 frames-per-second (same as the DS one), and looks great in motion. Note the reflections in the image below.
Classic tracks have also been modifed to feature more jumps to enable hang gliding, such as in Luigi's Mansion.
Power-slides are now time-based, ala Mario Kart Wii, instead of the usual left
Karts are now customizable! You are able to select between kart body, wheel size, and either the hang glider or propeller accessory.
Three kart bodies were shown: Mario's, Yoshi's Egg Kart, and some standard looking yellow kart.
Three wheel sizes available: Tiny, Normal, and Monster-sized. Smaller wheels are better for paved surfaces, while the larger ones are for the off-road types.
Returning itmes include Mushrooms (single), Triple Mushrooms, Green Shells (single), Red Shells (single), Triple Red Shells, Bombs, and Blooper.
If an opponent uses the Blooper item, he'll ink the 3D screen--an impressive effect that makes it appear closer to you than the racing action behind it.
Triple shells orbit your kart, as made famous in Mario Kart 64.
Red shells can now target enemies in the air, if you fire one while gliding.
At least 6 new tracks have been confirmed (featuring titles we made up): Donkey Kong Jungle, Wuhu Island, Cheep Cheep Beach, Forest, Peach's Castle Grounds, and some windmill level.
As with the past several Mario Karts, numerous racetracks from previous games will be updated for the 3DS version! So far we've confirmed Airship Fortress (DS), Maple Treeway (Wii), Luigi's Mansion (DS),
Retro Studios helping to design some race courses, such as the Donkey Kong Jungle level.
The Donkey Kong jungle is level based on Donkey Kong Country Returns. You'll race by DK's hut, before entering the Golden Temple (containing a Golden Banana), all the while avoiding Tiki enemies and DK barrel obstacles. In the final stretch, you'll drive past some of the totems, though mercifully, they do not collapse in this game.
Enemy wise, cheep Cheeps can be found swimming under the water, and bats still infiltrate the caves.
Support for both SpotPass and StreetPass, though in what capacity remains unknown.
And of course, the game support both local and online multiplayer.
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