Review by retrosticker903
"This game has near-full perfection, it would have been a little better though"
Ah, Mario Kart DS. One brilliant game that's on the Nintendo Dual-Screen hand-held system. I like almost every aspect of this game, and matches the greatness of it's Gamecube counterpart, Double Dash. Well, there would have been some aspects that would be better, but hey, this can be a great game as you take a road trip, play on an airplane, or something like that.
The graphics: 7/10
The graphics are fair enough for this game, especially counting for some of the Retro Cup tracks. Some of the graphics looked somewhat fuzzy, but it wasn't bad to an extent. If Nintendo made better graphics, it would make Mario Kart DS a great 32-bit experience. And to make things slightly better, the Touch Screen Mini-Map was well-detailed. The characters and their karts all looked detailed enough, it would put some shame on their 16-bit counterparts.
The Gameplay: 10/10
This is a great racing game. To keep the fun up, there's two Battle Modes taken by Double Dash: Balloon Battle and Shine Runners. There's 12 characters in the game, and 4 of these can be unlocked. There's 32 Race Courses in this game, and some of them were taken by previous Mario Kart titles, that saying, are Super Mario Kart on the Super NES, Mario Kart 64 on the Nintendo 64, Mario Kart Super Circuit on the Game Boy Advance, and Mario Kart Double Dash on the Gamecube. The fun doesn't stop there, though, there's mission mode as well if you don't think the races were good enough. And the artificial intelligence can get either idiotic or too rough, so be careful of that. The items caused a little disappointment, but they weren't bad enough to destroy my happiness. This game doesn't get fun while playing GP mode on 50cc(due to the slowness), but it starts to get better when you start getting through 100cc and beyond. The items are all from the classics. And, the Touch Screen Map idea was taken from Super Mario Kart (which that the top screen showed the player, and the bottom screen showed the map).
The music: 8/10
Well, I don't have much to say about this, but the music is the best that the DS could handle, although the themes are rich in detail, but eventually, it's going to be old school.
The controls: 10/10
To tell you, the controls are like those in Super Mario Kart, but this game gives a little more better handling. The Control Pad had all the same functions that all the previous games had. The acceleration, brakes and item buttons had changed their positions from Super Mario Kart, and all button-based actions act real fast. To sum it up, the controls are perfect.
No Mario Kart game is complete without multi-player. You can have up to 7 more friends to play with you. There's Download Play, which exclusively featured the download-only character, Shy Guy, but the Download Play mode suffers a lot. The weak point for Download Play is that for VS. Mode, it only has the Mushroom and Shell Cups, and for Balloon Battle and Shine Runners, you only have 3 courses. If you wanted to have a lot of fun playing Multi mode, you should just have your friends buy their own game cards to play multi-card mode, which plays any course available, but that depends on what the host has completed in the GP. For Balloon Battle, you have to knock everyone else's balloon's out, and blow the microphone to refill your balloons, and for Shine Runners, you need the most Shine Sprites under an extent of time. And if you thought you could play GP mode with another person, like the TV-based consoles, you're dead wrong.
The Nintendo Wi-Fi Internet: 6/10
The Wi-Fi Internet Connection could make you play around where you live, or around the world. The upsides of this are that you play with three other people that you probably don't know, and try to prove yourself as a professional by beating the heck out of other players. The downsides are that you need to find a place that supports Wi-Fi, the chances that there might be cheaters, the time it takes to find other players, some of the courses are taken out, there's no Battle Mode, and there's no audio chat, the stupid friend code thing, no people monitoring what's going on, and the list probably doesn't end there. I would have given this an 8 if things worked a lot better.
Rent or Buy?
If you have some doubts about this game, try renting it first. If you think that this game was as good as the previous Mario Karts, buy it. It's up to you on this decision.
I thought this game was almost on the verge of perfection, but it almost had it, had it not been for a few problems. I'd highly recommend this to any Mario Kart fan, or anybody who likes racing games. After a while or two of owning this, it's still one of my favorite Nintendo games, and I'll continue to play it in the next few years to come.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/04/07
Game Release: Mario Kart DS (US, 11/14/05)
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