Nintendo has made a number of announcements regarding Mario Kart 7 for the Nintendo 3DS. It's the latest in a long-running series of Mario Kart games that have graced just about every single Nintendo console since the N64.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, Nintendo says that coin collecting will be making a return to Mario Kart 7. Players grab coins off the track which raise their top speed, up to a maximum of 10 coins.
In addition to coins, Mario Kart 7 sees the introduction of three new items: a leaf that adds a tanooki tail that spins out nearby races; a fire flower that spits out fireballs; and a super item called the Lucky 7, which gives the players seven items at once.
These minor additions will accompany a slew of new, major changes that allow karts to now travel across land, sea, and air. Vehicles can turn into submersibles to travel underwater, or even glide through the air to take shortcuts and detours through the maps.
Karts can additionally be upgraded with a variety of pieces and upgrades that affect how they handle on each terrain. These items can only be unlocked through coin collecting and going through the single player campaign. Unfortunately, these items can only be unlocked in single player mode, and not through multiplayer races. That said, you'll be able to use them online once they're unlocked.
Nintendo's developers say that Mario Kart 7 supports two flavors of multiplayer: online and offline. Players can go head to head with other players through ad-hoc/WiFi, or online, where the company hopes to attract 10 million players.
The multiplayer offers four modes of play, including Grand Prix, Time Trials, Balloon Battle, and Coin Runners.
The game's online mode will come with a virtual rating system similar to Starcraft II's, pitting players of similar skill levels against each other. Players can race against others on their friends list or against complete strangers. Lastly, players can form their own Communities (or clans) to play with regularly.
Mario Kart 7 is scheduled for a December 4 release on the Nintendo 3DS.