Review by firestarter18

"Great, But Still Needs Some Tweaks"

As a loyal Mario Kart fan, I was very excited when Mario Kart Wii was first announced. It looked gorgeous, and everyone was excited to try out the new Wii wheel. This game is pretty much what you would expect from a Mario Kart game.

Gameplay
The gameplay is as it always has been. You have a 3 lap race full of speed boosts, tight turns, and crazy item fun as you race to the finish line on one of the 32 tracks available. There is a new trick system that's been implemented that allows the player to get a speed boost from performing a trick during a race. Tricks are very easy to pull off in normal play, although sometimes they may not be the best route to go if you're in a close race. There is also a new addition of bikes to the game, and of course the karts are still there. There are numerous karts and bikes, some of which need to be unlocked through different gameplay modes (as do some characters). Each of the karts and bikes have their own stats (each character has their own special stat boosts as well), and some may not fit into your playing style. It's good to test each one to figure out what works best for you, especially if you play online. The only gripe I have here is the AI in 150cc when it comes to the Grand Prix mode. I'm used to the AI in Mario Kart being quite the cheater (Mario Kart 64 used to seriously infuriate me at how bad it was sometimes), and it's still got the same issue here but not quite as bad in my opinion. As has been mentioned by others, 1st place is very hard to hold on to at times. Expect a barrage of items to come your way, and some rough thrashings when others bump into you (especially if you are using a lightweight character). LEARN THOSE COURSE SHORTCUTS! Every new course has some type of "shortcut", so I would advise you to learn them--you'll need them sometimes, believe me.

Controls
The controls are very well tuned and shouldn't pose anyone a problem I wouldn't imagine. The Wii Wheel is awesome to use, but I still prefer the Wii Controller Pad since I'm used to the layout of it. Controls are very smooth on any control device you have the option to use, and are almost effortless to do once you get the feel for the layout of whatever control device you use. There really aren't any gripes here. In the end, practice makes perfect.

Graphics
Graphics suit the game very well, and are probably what most people expect from a Mario Kart game. The tracks are all decorated nicely and fleshed out, as are the characters and karts/bikes. Some are very nice to admire when you're not actually racing (since obviously you don't really have the time to admire them when you race lol).

Sound
The soundtrack for the game is nice, but nothing that really stands out aside from a few tracks here and there (I personally love Rainbow Road's theme). It's also nice to hear the old themes on the retro tracks from previous games. It's pleasing from a Mario Kart fan's perspective. The voices of the characters are very nice as well, as to be expected. Item sounds are also impressive. Nothing to gripe about here either for the most part.

Replay
Mario Kart Wii has a lot of replay value. It never really gets old, and everyone pretty much knows about Mario Kart (and typically loves to play it as well). Unlocking characters and karts/bikes WILL keep you busy for awhile. I still think some of the characters (like Rosalina and Dry Bowser for example) take tremendous amounts of work to unlock (assuming you don't have a save file of Super Mario Galaxy for Rosalina). Battle mode is fun, but it is a bit of a letdown that you can't do a free for all anymore. Versus or Grand Prix mode is probably where you'll end up spending the most time (especially with friends) unless you play online.

Overall - 8/10
A very solid game with a lot of replay value and online capability. It's fun by yourself, with friends, or online. You've got some options here, which is always a plus. It's got a few flaws as every game does, but that doesn't take away from the fun factor that makes Mario Kart so appealing (and sometimes, addicting). I suggest everyone try it out if you're a Mario fan, and if you own a Wii.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/26/09

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


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