Mario Kart 8 DLC Cups Possibly Leaked; Free DLC August 27th

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It seems like Mario Kart 8 has been getting a lot of great buzz this summer, whether from an insane Luigi internet meme, a wacky free DLC coming out later this month or just a general excitement over how incredibly fantastic the game is.

The buzz isn’t dying out any time soon. Someone on the mkboards did some data mining on the Mario Kart 8 disc and uncovered these images:

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What exactly do they mean? Well the common theory is that these are four entirely new CUPS. Yes, that would suggest an additional 16 courses to the already impressive 32 courses that I enjoy getting humiliated by my friends in every other weekend.  It is somewhat odd that the border of the icons lack the gold plating seen on the in-game icons, but that doesn’t negate the theory completely since the beta build of Mario Kart 8 originally used the same checkered borders.  It also helps that the files themselves are called “ym_CupIconDLC_00_130x130^h.bflim”.

Whether they will see the light of day or not, it’s clear that the intent of these logos was for downloadable content. Though I have another theory of my own…

How about battle courses?

Perhaps Mario Kart 8 only’s true downfall is the lack of any battle-specific courses. Dropping you in a grand prix stage with three balloons just feels lazy. It’s also not a lot of fun to have to circle an entire race course just to find your friends and pummel them with green shells. Come on Obama, help us out! Where’s my freakin’ block fort?  Maybe it’s out there somewhere. The icons themselves – a Yoshi Egg, a Boo, a Shine Sprite and a Blue Spiny Shell, all seem to share a common theme as well don’t they?  Maybe there’s hope yet.  I’m still holding out hope for this image to be validated but that doesn’t mean it will never happen.

In the meantime, the free 3-kart Mercedes-Mario Kart DLC hits on August 27th, the 22-year anniversary of the original Super Nintendo Mario Kart.

…and if you don’t already own Mario Kart 8 or a Wii-U, for the love of Geno, fix that …like, right now.

NOW.

New Zelda game to be open-world à la Skyrim

This year Nintendo’s E3 presence was rather minimal, leaving all major announcements to a 45-minute online ‘Nintendo Direct’.  The Big N took advantage of the small gap of time, showing off a spiritual successor to Yoshi’s Story, a new Xenoblade game, a Super Mario level editor, Bayonetta 2, a Kirby’s Canvas Curse sequel, an original (awesome-looking) IP and announcing two new Smash Bros. characters (Mii and Patulena).

All of this of course paled in comparison to the much-anticipated Zelda reveal.  -which did not disappoint. At all. Series director Eiji Anouma said he felt restricted by breaking the previous 3-D Zelda entries into different hub-worlds or islands and sought to bring back the free-roaming freedom that he felt from the NES and Super Nintendo iterations. As a result, the currently untitled Zelda game will be a completely open-world experience, much like Skyrim.

Little else has been revealed about the game but the brief teaser did reveal a gorgeous “animated fantasy” aesthetic, not unlike Skyward Sword or even Wind Waker.

Take a look at the teaser:

 

Mario Kart 8 kart customization options revealed!

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It has been rumored for the past few weeks but never confirmed until now. Like it’s 3DS little brother, Mario Kart 8 will feature unlockable kart pieces for customizing your vehicle. Judging from a new presentation video, it appears that the overall customization for multiplayer racing is deeper as well, adding a category called “CPU vehicles” to the option menu. I am presuming this means we will be able to dictate what class of vehicles the CPU’s will be using in a multiplayer race but that’s just a guess based on the information revealed so far.

The aforementioned presentation video also gave us our first look at the UI of Mario Kart 8, also giving us a peak at customizable karts, character roster and cup selection screen. The secret characters are still a mystery but if you want to keep everything a surprise you’ll want to avoid looking at the info and screens below.

Here are the kart classes:

  • Mario Kart 8 Karts – Standard Kart, Airship, Classical Cat, Bad Wagon, G-Force, Para-Bidybud, Pipe Frame, Princess Coach, Sneaker, Steel Diver, Superstar, Tri-Smash, Turbo One.
  • Mario Kart 8 Bikes – Standard Bike, Broad Bean, Burning Bowl, Jet Rider, Mach GP, Maximum, Motor Dozer, Super Comet, Yoshi Bike.
  • Mario Kart 8 ATVs – Standard ATV, Bean Rider, Wild Wiggler.
  • Mario Kart 8 Tires – Standard Tires, Normal Blue, Ring Tires, Spicy Rings, Roller, Sky Rollers, Monster, Wild Hot, Sponge, Slick, Cyber Slick, Block Tires, Cream Blocks, Metal Tires, Wood Rings, Button Tires, Cushion Tires.
  • Mario Kart 8 Gliders – Super Glider, Cloud Balloons, Flower Glider, Koopa Kite, MKTV Parafoil, Parachute, Para-glider, Peach Parasol, Sail Plane, Waddlewing Kite, Wario Glider.

You can get a better look at the kart pieces, characters and race selection screen below:

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Greninja joins Super Smash Bros. on Wii U and 3DS

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Along with a solo Charizard (sorry Squirtle and Venusaur fans, I’m upset too), the frog shinobi Greninja has joined the battle! He looks to be a very speed-oriented character, as would be expected with a ninja. Check out that tongue scarf.

Here are some quick reveals, followed by the full video:

  • The 3DS Smash will release this summer but we have to wait for winter to play the console version.
  • You can now customize your move sets
  •  Shiek and Zero Suit Samus are now seperate characters
  • Both of them, as well as most other characters (Sonic!) have been retooled and rebalanced
  • Both Charizard and Lucario can access their Mega Evolution forms.
  • Yoshi is back! He stands upright now and is said to be more powerful.
  • Kirby and Pit have new Final Smash moves.
  • Mega Man’s Final Smash is amazing

  • Villager’s Final Smash has the Nook family building a house on your opponents. Gold.
  • Almost every stage will have a no-nonsense, no-gimmick “Final Destination” version
  • Online play has been split into two modes: For Fun and For Glory
  • For Fun is anything goes while For Glory is no items, no customization and Final Destinations only
  • The 3DS version will feature a 4-player mode that resembles City Trial from Kirby’s Air Ride
  • Dark Samus, Midna and Animal Crossing’s Isabelle are among the new assist tropies

Here is the full Nintendo Direct. It’s got way more information on character changes, items, stages and features:

 

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(SUBSTITUTE JUTSU!)

 

Pikachu is Japan’s official mascot for 2014 World Cup

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After the most adorable huddle ever (seriously, look at that), Nintendo has teamed up with Adidas to make Pikachu the official mascot for Japan at the 2014 World Cup.  Adidas is obviously no stranger to supporting the event though Nintendo’s inclusion might seem odd to those unfamiliar with Nintendo’s recent change in strategy after suffering some losses in 2013.

I would think the tie-in could also potentially bring in a larger child audience, specifically in the United States. It’s also hard not to imagine Nintendo scrambling to quickly put together a tie-in game. Come on…Pokemon Soccer? I’d play that.

It worked for Mega Man right?

…right!?

…maybe not.