Review by GodOfWarFanatic

"One of the most addicting games I've ever played."

Ever since I got Mario Kart Wii, about a week after it released, I could not stop playing it. Not being a big fan of racing games, I've always loved the Mario Kart series (Just the SNES, N64, and Wii versions. I haven't played the DS version and the GBA was mediocre). Now the big new addition to this sequel is the appearance of motorcycles, which are technically superior than karts since wheelies makes you go faster if you can hold it. But they are lighter, so heavier karts can shove you around easily. You can also do tricks if you go off ramps which, if you land successfully, will give you a speed boost when you hit the ground.

Graphics- 8/10.

It's a Mario Kart game. It's cartoony, colorful, and not much into detail. It doesn't have to be in most cases. All though I would prefer more detail with sand and possibly the vehicles, but you can tell which is which, so it doesn't matter.

Tracks- 8/10

In this latest installment, they're are 16 retro tracks and 16 new ones, a total of 32. And obviously, there are ones that you will hate and ones that you'll love. They could've done added better retro tracks and more tracks in general. I mean look how many extras Brawl had. But they're are plenty of good, new tracks. Also, I always hated the Rainbow Road in every Mario Kart I've played, but in this version, I love it. It's not tedious like the N64 version and it's more trippy.

Characters- 10/10

There are plenty of characters, all seperated into 3 different classes. Like the lighter class with Toad and Dry Bones, the medium class with Mario and Yoshi, and the heavier class with Bowser and Donkey Kong. Also, once you unlock it, you can play as your own personal Mii, which is what I use. Nothing really bad I can say about character choice.

Vehicles- 9/10

You have many different vehicles with their own advantages and disadvantages, and you can select between a kart or bike. They're seperated into the three different weight classes, so the lights have all the same karts and bikes, and so on. That's the reason why vehicles doesn't get a 10/10, all of the karts (in the said weight class) are identical in every way, except for color in some cases. I have no problem with them having the exact same attributes, but at least have them look different with each character. But with the attribute system, it requires more skill in races and not just who get's the best items to keep him in first place, and there is a different vehicle for everyone. I love the variety.

Grand Prix- 10/10

The GP is the basic campaign, as in all Mario Karts. You have the 50cc, 100cc, 150cc, and the new Mirror Mode with 8 cups, 4 races in each. 50cc requires you to race with just karts, 100cc with bikes, 150cc and Mirror mode with a mixture of both. Mirror Mode is just 150cc, but the tracks are reversed and right and left is switched, also it seems a little more challenging. My only beef is the drastic difficulty changed between the 8 cups, mainly in Mirror Mode. In the first 4 cups (2 Wii-Cups and 2 Retro), it's easy as hell. It's like racing in the 50cc. The next 2 cups get to the 150cc difficulty range and the last 2 cups take it way past that. It took me 3 tries in each of those 2 cups to achieve a star ranking. But that's really a minor flaw and doesn't take any entertainment away, except when you get pissed 'till the point where you're about the throw your steering wheel at your TV and throw your Wii out the window.

Online- 7/10

When the NPC's aren't challenging enough, you can go online. Sometimes you'll get people who can't play worth crap, but some that will give you a true challenge. You can play Worldwide, people from your region, or people from your friends list. But with Worldwide and Regional matches, it can take over two minutes to find people to race with. You also get points, or lose points, for every match you win (1st-4th place), or lose (5th to last place). I really see no point, however, they just show your ranking and that's it. There is also a Mario Kart Channel which you can download and it shows time-trial rankings and tournament rankings, you can race other peoples ghosts, add friends, and compete in the tournaments. Online is still fun though when you get bored of racing A.I. controlled opponents. You can also compete in the balloon battles and this coin thing (Just collect the coins) both off and online.

Gameplay- 10/10

It's the same basic concept as any other Mario Kart. If you liked the originals, you'll love this.

Controls (Steering Wheel-only)- 9/10

The controls are excellent. But I noticed on some tracks, namely Wario's Gold Mine, where the turning is a little weird when going to the "hills." Not really too bad, not bad enough to pay attention to it, but I just find it annoying. On most tracks, however, the steering is picture perfect.

Items- 9/10

Ah-what Mario Kart is known for. The new items are great. The best ones being the Giant Mushroom and Bullet Bill (Which is pretty cheap...until you recieve it). You also got your turtle shells, regular mushrooms, bananas, the spiny shell, and more. They could have had more items though. Also, I can't stand the cloud one, it's like the hot potato of the game, it raises your speed, but if you don't hit somebody else, it'll shrink you after time, as the other lightning bolt would.

Replay Value- 10/10

As you read the title, it's one of the most addicted games I've played without a doubt. I used to think Brawl was addicting-that was until I played Mario Kart, and I'm still not bored of it. Maybe it's online that keeps me going, but either way, I could play this game every day, all day for months and not get bored.

Pros:
-The new addition of bikes
-The unlockable characters and vehicles
-The new tracks
-It's Mario Kart
-The controls work well, I never thought it would
-Wi-Fi compatible
-Use any controller compatible with the Wii
-Being able to play as your Mii

Cons:
-Lack of more items and tracks
-Retro tracks not being tweaked, except being more graphically enhanced.
-The karts not looking different for each character.

Final Rating: 9/10

Mario Kart is extremely good. It's follows the exact same formula that made the originals good, and made it even better. I was obsessed with Mario Kart 64. Having got rid of my N64, I downloaded on the VC, and played it a lot. I soon played Mario Kart Wii for a while, and up until last week, I played Mario Kart 64 again after 2 months of not played it and honestly, I just can't play it anymore. Mario Kart Wii took everything good about Mario Kart, and made it much better.

This game is also perfect at parties, or when you're just chilling with you're friends.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/02/08

Game Release: Mario Kart Wii (US, 04/27/08)


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