In a recent interview with IGN, Hideki Konno, a produce for the Mario Kart series discussed a couple of new inclusions in the latest iteration of the series. In addition to the already known underwater/flight racing capabilities and the deep level of customization there is also some new pieces of information that change the way the game is played.
The first change is the inclusion of a new track, Wuhu Island, which is different in the sense that is has no laps as it is one long stretch until the finish, the first to the end wins. This is the time this has been done in the series. Next is a feature taken from the Wii version–the ability to turn the 3DS to steer using the gyroscopes capabilities and this is enhanced with a ‘cockpit’ view to immerse yourself even deeper.
He also discussed features uniquely 3DS such as SpotPass and StreetPass. Best of all StreetPass for Mario Kary 7 includes ability that should be innate to the system, adding people met on the street to your friends list, so you can play with them online, without them having to add their twitter in their greeting. In addition to that handy feature you also get their saved ghost data so you can compete against those you meet offline. The SpotPass removes the friend adding but keeps the ghost data sharing, making it on a global scale, so as long as you connect to an open wi-fi connection there is a chance you will get random ghost data downloaded to your game to help improve your trial times and giving you some decent competition. Mutiplayer is 8 players for both online and local play.
Finally Two new characters and one new item have been revealed. Metal Mario is now playable years after coming to life in Super Mario 64. Lakitu, once the fellow destined to help you out falls off the track and holding the countdown lights, is now playable in the game. The new item is one that should have been it the series since the beginning, the Fire Flower, which allows you to shoot fireballs at your opponents.
The game seems to be shaping as a fair contender in the series and may prove to be the best yet, it is one 3DS title have been looking for to most since Ocarina of Time was released.