Review by SuperMan678
"Fire those shells and drive"
It's an interesting question, but which is the best Mario Kart ever? From the character pairing of Double Dash!!, the classic Mode 7 graphics of Super Mario Kart, to the snaking tricks in Mario Kart 64. But Mario Kart Wii promises to be the answer to that question. Mario Kart is back and better than before!
As usual, 16 new tracks, like Coconut Mall and Mushroom Gorge, join 16 golden oldies from previous Mario Karts. There 4 N64, GameCube and DS tracks and two from the SNES and GBA apiece. The characters are divided into three weight groups: light, medium and heavy. Each character, of which 12 are available at the start, has a mininum of 3 karts and bikes each.
There are a whopping five different control methods: The Wiimote with or without Wii Wheel; The Wiimote and Nunchuk; Classic Controller and GameCube controller. Although I was actually going to yell 'hurray for the oldies' and use a Classic Controller, the truth is I actually prefer the Wheel. It just makes you feel like playing a driving game.
The controls on the Wheel are simple: turn the wheel to steer; hold 2 to accelerate; hold B trigger to powerslide; press A to look behind and the D-Pad fires items. Flicking up the wheel on a jump makes you to a stunt, giving you a nice speed boost when you land. Sweet. Also, when riding a bike, flick the Wheel up on a straight to do a wheelie and get a marginal boost.
The graphics are so stunning, even the SNES look nice and 3D. The courses look absolutely brilliant and so do characters. It nearly rivals Galaxy as far as graphics go.
The tracks are well designed, with speed boosts, jumps and item boxes conviently located in each course. The setting is amazing: for example, Mario Circuit looks like it's in a regular Mushroom Kingdom city and Coconut Mall is set in... guess what, a shopping centre.
While the Wiimote without the Wheel is fiddly, the rest are easy to control. My favourite? Must be the Wheel. The level of control is fantastic, although it takes a while to get used to it.
You can have up to 4 players on one Wii console at a time. Then comes the online play. And what online options! Up to 12 players worldwide can race via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Also you can exchange Friend Codes and race or battle your friends.
This game is the best Mario Kart ever. With its stunning graphics, brilliant controls, inventive tracks and loads of online options, this is a must-buy for any Mario Kart fan.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/14/08, Updated 05/13/08
Game Release: Mario Kart Wii (EU, 04/11/08)
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