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New Characters, Modes, and Powers Coming to Mario Kart 7

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Mario Kart is still going strong. So strong that Nintendo has decided to add to the Mario Kart Family.

Two new racers are Lakitu and Metal Mario. Lakitu sports a kart fashioned after the cloud he's routinely seen using and Metal Mario will, of course, race in a shiny, silvery metal kart.

Nintendo also plans to add a couple new modes to Mario Kart 7, including the ability to race in first-person using the gyroscope and a tricks system similar to Mario Kart Wii. A new power-up, the fire flower, will allow fire to be thrown to the front and rear of a kart. Hitting another racer will cause them to spin.

Multiplayer is expanding, with support for up to 8 players in online and local multiplayer matches.

Wait, there is more! Mario Kart 7 will also support StreetPass and SpotPass. SpotPass allows players to acquire ghost data from others around the world, allowing them to compete against the best racers across the globe. Likewise, StreetPass will be used to allow players to trade ghost data directly with each other.

Nintendo is breaking from the norm, reiterating that players are be able to customize their karts' frames, tires and gliders. Each option will have an impact on gameplay - heavy tires will allow for better off-road driving while lighter tires will allow for better acceleration when on roads. Don't expect the traditional 3 lap courses either. Certain maps, like Wuhu, will break from the 3 lap mode and will actually be one very long course with multiple obstacles to navigate.

Big changes, indeed. Not only are they big changes, but they are welcomed changes to a franchise that was beginning to get stale.

With all of these announcements comes a fresh, new trailer straight from the Tokyo Game Show. Check it out below:

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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