Review by Mario463
"Mario Kart just got better."
My goodness this game is great. The large amount of characters (Funky Kong! How awesome is that?) and tracks makes it enjoyable for hours on end. The bringing back of the retro grand prix was also a wonderful idea. The wii wheel was expectedly a bad idea, but you can just play it the way its supposed to be played: with a gamecube or classic controller. Also, the adition of four racers in a race, making it up to 12, makes for amazing, challenging (but in a fun way) and hectic, races. The addition of bikes and the ability to do tricks that help give you extra speed also adds some extra zest to the game. The fact that every character - which there are 24 of - has 12 different vehicles makes for an amazing amount of combinations. Also, the tracks are awesome and many of the retro tracks are great as well. Over all, this is a great game.
Those are the up sides to the game. Now for the complaints:
The unfortunate fact is - and I don't think they thought of this when they added more racers - that they is an ungodly large amount of weapons flying around the track, the vast majority of which are unavoidable. There is a counter in the options that tells you how many times that you have been hit, and mine is already in the 1000s. Yes, I have done many races but this number is still completely ridiculous. I am willing to bet that about 70% of those hits are due to unavoidable attacks, which there are entirely to many of now. Red shells, blue shells, bloopers, lightning, and the new pow blocks are all sent at you every five seconds. Granted, this is a complete exageration but it is still quite ridiculous. Fortunately, a skilled player knows how to block most. A red shell just needs an item trailing behind you as bait. And if you do a trick right as a pow block hits you won't be hurt. Also, pow blocks don't hurt you while in the air. And, honestly, are bloopers really that bad? Also lightning hits everyone but who used it so there is no real harm done by that unless it knock you off (which seems to happen unfortunately often). Blue shells are still buggers, and there is absolutely no way to avoid them. But I like to put on my brakes as I see one coming and take everyone else out with me. I have heard people say that you shouldn't be punished for being in first, but I say how the hell else do expect others to catch back up? All these attacks do make higher difficulties rather annoying, but I say its a good challenge and not at all very frustrating, previous Mario Karts were too easy.
This unusually large amounts of attacks brings rise to another issue: the fact that when you are hit you almost entirely stop. It is very much like Mario Kart 64 in which you (oddly) go flying straight in the air when hit by some objects, except without the flying straight up in the air part...so you just stop really. But my point is that they have done it in past games so people need to stop complaining about it. Although, the addition of racers does make it a little bit more notable that in Mario Kart 64.
An additional issue I have with the game is the online play. But, this is to be expected from Nintendo so I don't hold that against the game. Why they don't give you a form of communication is beyond me, and the friend code this is just such a god-awful idea that I think they were drunk when they came up with the idea.
Just as a little side complaint, the mandatory level with other cars as obstacles track has the cars going on the wrong side of the road. (Just so you know.)
Last, I miss the special items from Double Dash. They should have left them in. How amazing would it have been to have 24 different special attacks? It also would have been cool to have two characters in a kart because they could have the drivers use wii wheels and the attackers use gamecube controllers. That way, they could have had 8 players play at once on 4 screens. But, that isn't too upsetting, I though the two people on a kart thing in Double Dash was never a really excellent idea.
It may seem from my review that there are more cons than pros but that is just because I thought you deserve to more the cons more than pros. It is difficult to write about what makes something fun but not what makes it unfun. I could have gone on all day about why I find it fun but it would be too difficult to explain. So, to avoid the confusion, I will leave it with this. There may be issues, but it is worth every penny it costs. The pros FAR outweigh the cons as this may be the best Mario Kart yet.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/17/08
Game Release: Mario Kart Wii (US, 04/27/08)
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