Review by bountyhunter85
"A great addition to the family"
Mario Kart is without a doubt the most well loved kart racing franchise. With its host of charming characters, well designed courses and addictive multiplayer it dominates the genre. Mario Kart 7 takes the formula and adds new depths, both visually and with gameplay. It lacks minor polish in a few areas but in general its a well crafted addition to this champion franchise.
Ever played a Mario Kart game? Well if not then the idea is the same as all racing games, high rank. But Mario Kart uses items aswell as technique to get you in top spot. A few items return like the thunderbolt and of course the variety of shells. But there are several new item additions like the Tanooki Tail which allows your kart to grow a tail and slap enemies and the Fire Flower which tests your aim as you shoot Mario's legendary fire balls at your opponents. The items seem to have been slightly tuned to allow more variety, which also means that pesky Spiky Blue Shell that now travels along the ground again knocking any body on its path out of the way before hiting the player in first. Other features new to the series is gliders and underwater areas. Gliders are fun and if controlled correctly can allow the use of some short cuts. Under water sections test your off road abilities as you try to maintain your position. Coins return to the Mario Kart series for the first time since the Mario Kart Super Circuit and add a little bit of strategy. Also making a new appearance is kart customisation which allows you to choose between kart, wheels and glider. We do loose any kind of versus mode here but there is time trial and you can download new ghosts through Spotpass, the game also supports Streetpass. These new features help keep the game fresh and interesting, they could have explored the glider option more by making some of it feel less "on rails" but there is potential for strategy. The under water sections do allow for different routes and its nice to see these areas integrated into the retro tracks aswell. The A.I in this game can be ruthless on higher difficulties and sometimes it could just be down to sheer luck that you get first but that is part of the thrill of the series.
This option supports supports 8 players world wide. Online has a ranking system very similar to Mario Kart Wii, a numbered rank. The game also introduces communities. This new feature allows the player to create a community where they can choose specific items and rules. The players can also obtain points in the community and a rank and the player can create upto 8 communities. Having played quite a few matches online I have noticed minor lag and connection issues but it hasn't really been any more than most other online games. I found the online to be exciting, thrilling and frustrating at times but can honestly say iI am having an awesome time with it.
Graphics And Sound
The graphics are great and when played in 3D the courses really do provide serious depth. I would say its the best looking Mario Kart to date, I love all of the little details on the courses. The sound is equally great with some really memorable music.
Its a great game, it has lots of hits and a few misses but it accomplishes its goal of being a fantastic edition to the series that people will be playing for years to come. It has some great characters, lots of replay value, some of the best courses I have ever seen in Mario Kart and some great new gameplay additions. Buy this game.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/27/12
Game Release: Mario Kart 7 (EU, 12/02/11)
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