Review by pikapoo_123

"Quite possibly the greatest mario kart game ever, truely amazing."

Mario Kart DS simply, the best game of the entire series. This is also the first game to utilize Nintendo's free online service for the Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The game is follows standard Mario kart gameplay that you have likely become familiar with, but it expands on it quite a bit with more options and play modes.

Gameplay -10/10

Simply put, the controls on Mario kart DS are flawless. The standard gameplay you have become accustomed too has been taken and refined upon. The game has double the amount of tracks found in the previous games of the series. Mario kart DS features 16 completely original tracks and 16 classic favorites from Super Mario Kart on the Super Nintendo. Mario Kart 64 on the Nintendo 64 Mario Kart Super Circuit from the Gameboy Advance. And more recently, Mario Kart Double Dash on the Nintendo Gamecube.

Not only does the game feature unlockable tracks and characters, but it contains an entirely new mode, Mission Mode. In mission mode, you are given 8 simple levels to complete, like passing through 6 numbered gates in order or collecting 15 coins in a certain amount of time. Once you complete these tasks you have a battle with a boss form previous Mario games.

Your favorite modes from the previous games such as battle mode and time trials return with a bit of polishing. In battle mode you are given the chance to play agents computer players. This makes it easy to pick up and play a quick battle game on block fort or pipe plaza (which also make a return from previous games) instead of searching for a friend that wants to play. Time trains also lets you store 32 ghosts to race agents, and the ability to share friend's ghosts, that way you can see if you are ready to finally defeat your rivals or not.

Graphics -9/10

Mario Kart DS is a joy to look at during gameplay. The game runs at a steady frame rate to matter how many shells or bananas are on screen at once. The 2D character sprites from Mario kart 64 have been replaced with full 3D models. The game also surpasses Mario kart 64 in other characteristics such as polygons on screen and again, the frame rate. Overall the graphics are really fun and enjoyable to look at and add to the experience.

Replayability -10/10 -

There is just so much to do on Mario Kart DS to keep you busy for a long, long time. Once you can manage to get triple star (the highest rank) in all of the grand prix mode, all the missions modes, there are characters you can unlock, time trails to beat, there are just so many things to keep you playing this game after you simply beat it on 150cc.

Online play -8/10

As started earlier, Mario Kart DS is the first game to utilize nintendo's new, free online gaming service, Nintendo WFC. It is fairly simple to set up a wireless router in order for your DS to communicate with it. I was able to get it working with absolutely no configuration required. There are four ways to choose opponents, Friends, Rivals, Regional and Global. You can enter in a 12 digit “friend code” into your DS to add another player to your friend roster. If you select to play agents friends, Nintendo WFC automatically selects opponents for you, as does it for all the other ways to select opponents.

One of the main flaws with this system is that you cannot add players you find in regional, global or rivals to your friends roster. This may sometimes be disappointing knowing that you may never play agents players that were, well, fun to play agents. The system also takes a while to locate and set up a game for you to play.

Once you get past the few flaws, the online play is very solid. There is no lag at all (at least I've never seen one bit of it) The absence of voice chat is a very good thing in my opinion, because it removes the inevitable, crude trash talking during games.

Overall Evaluation – 10/10 (not an average)

Mario Kart DS Is truly a must have for any DS owner. Weather you plan to play online or not, it doesn't matter, there are enough unlockables, challenges and time trials to keep any dedicated gamer busy for a long time.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/21/05


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