Mario Kart 8’s May 30 release date is just a few weeks away, and as we near the finish line for this upcoming racer, Nintendo has been kind enough to drop a few new details about what’s coming to this long-running series. What excites me the most is the Super Horn, a new item that can destroy incoming items--including the dreaded blue shells--by emitting a powerful shock wave around your vehicle. This is a rare, single-use item and is one of two new items announced for the game. The other is an upgraded version of Lucky 7, aptly named Crazy 8, which adds a coin to the item rotation. Nintendo also announced two new characters for Mario Kart 8: Baby Rosalina--you knew that was coming--and Pink Gold Peach, the Princess Peach equivalent to Metal Mario.
When you're not on the racetrack, you can use the game's tournament mode to create public or private online matches that can be set to automatically re-create themselves on a regular basis--such as every Sunday from 4 to 5 p.m. You can also share replays with your friends. The game will automatically save your last 12 races; you can post them in full to the Miiverse or generate a highlights reel that can be posted to either the Miiverse or directly to YouTube.
Last but not least, Nintendo also announced that if you register Mario Kart 8 with Club Nintendo before July 31, you will be able to choose a free download code for either Pikmin 3, New Super Mario Bros. U, Wii Party U, or The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD to add to your collection. If you want an early peek at Mario Kart 8--including some of the new courses--be sure to check out the videos below.