Review by Edge578
"Easily one of the best games on the wii."
Mario Kart Wii is the 8th installment of the Mario Kart franchise. The Mario Kart games are a racing series where various characters from the Mario universe dish out in go-kart races. Winning these games involves a combination of skill and luck, because there are items that could make you win or lose the race.
The graphics haven't improved much over the gamecube version. The character models are roughly the same, but the environments and backgrounds are more colorful and detailed. The graphics' quality lacks in comparison to games like Super Smash Bros. or Super Mario Galaxy. The animations on the tricks, however are very good.
Mario Kart Wii has 8 cups, 4 unlockable, with 4 courses each. This game has a nice mix of simple and complex courses. The creative courses were done very well. One course you are driving on a stream that goes into a tube underwater. In another, you are driving through a shopping mall. They did a good job on the courses.
The character selection is great. There are 20 or so characters, with a very wide range of who you can be. They are essentially characters from the Mario universe that the developers chose to be in this game. You can even play as your own Mii. However, there are an over abundance of " baby " characters. There are baby mario, luigi, peach, and daisy. They could have picked different characters, but its not that big of a deal.
Mario Kart Wii is the first game in the series to introduce motorcycles. They work similarly to karts except that you can pull sharper turns and do wheelies. No vehicle has a clear advantage over the other. Another game play element that was added is tricks. When you go off a ramp, if you shake the wheel right when you leave the ramp, you do a trick and get a boost when you land.
Another one of this games features is items. They added 3 new items: the POW block, the mega mushroom, and the lightning cloud. One of this Mario Kart Wii's biggest flaws is how the items can affect your placing in the match. In the higher difficulty levels, how you do in the match is based on luck, not skill. You can be in first place, then be bombarded with items into last place. This is arguably the game's biggest flaw.
This games selling point is the Wii Wheel. It is a plastic shell that you slide your wii remote into that makes the game much more realistic. The wheel makes the game feel like your actually driving the go kart. If you choose not to use the wheel, there are a variety of control options that you can use instead such as the gamecube controller, wii remote and nunchuk, and the classic controller.
The music tracks are good, but they arent the kinda songs that stick in your head. They provide a good environment for the tracks. The whole environment of the track can be changed just by the theme of the song.
They could have done better on the character voices. Every time your character does a trick or gets a power up, he or she makes a noise like " wahooo" or "woah." On stages with a lot of places where you can do tricks, it gets annoying fast. Characters like Donkey Kong's voices aren't consistent throughout the games. In the earlier mario kart games and in other games that he has made appearances in, he has had a deep voice. Now, his voice is high and very annoying.
Overall, I say this is one of the best games available for the wii. If you are familiar with the mario kart series at all, then you ought to give this game a try.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 05/01/08
Game Release: Mario Kart Wii (w/ Racing Wheel) (US, 04/27/08)
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