Review by peoplewhoplay

"More than just ground racing"

The 3DS has been around for around 9 or 10 months, then a new installment for the MK series has arrived! The MK series actually began as a SNES spin-off, suddenly changing into a big racing game franchise. Since the game's first release on the SNES, all Nintendo systems have one Mario Kart game, and it always represents the fun of high-speed go-kart racing with item throwing, great music and tricky tracks. Over this years the franchise has developed with more graphics and fun. The series has even appeared as an arcade game! So, what does this 7th installment of the series do?

First, I'm gonna talk about the graphics. The graphics are really great, and it runs at 60fps even with 3D on! The 3D features here are also a big addition to this game, they seem to pop out of the screen when something happens. (Graphics score: 10/10)

Next, I'm gonna talk about how does the single player in this game works. This what makes the game a bit boring because of the lack of VS Mode. The AI of the game comes in variety of difficulties, from easy to the hardest. The only way to race freely in this mode is from Time Trials, which lets you race against time. The huge disappointment of this game is the lack of VS Mode. There's no 'Free Play' in this game, and that's a big shame. If the VS Mode are in this game once more, this game should be better. The Battle Mode here are quite fun to play. You can battle alone against CPU or against teams. Although the huge disappointment of this game is on Single Player mode, it's still fun to play. (Single Player score: 8/10)

Online play? I personally loved the online play of this game. No lags. This what makes me want to keep playing this game online for years. There's the VR (Versus Rating), but no BR (Battle Rating) from MK Wii. You can choose to play worldwide, friends/opponents, and communities. During Worldwide play, you and the other randomly chosen 7 people will be matched into a race. The communities system is another great addition to this game, and it allows you to play against groups of people. Communities can hold more than 160.000 peoples! The new Friends/Opponents system enables you to join friends or recent opponents who are racing online in the game. Your VR starts with 1000, and increase when you win and decrease when you lose/disconnect from the race. You can spectate the race when you're waiting for the next race. Oh, the graphics will run at 60fps with 3D even during online play. It's a fantastic mode to play, and not to be missed by everyone who owned this game. (Online Play score: 10/10)

Local Multiplayer? It's great. You can battle against up to 8 people in a game. It can be also played in Download Play, for 3DS users who doesn't have a copy of this game. You can battle against your friends too. A nice set up to challenge everyone locally. (Local Multiplayer score: 9/10)

Features? There's a bunch of new features to this game. New items appeared, such as the Lucky 7. Some items from MK Wii has been removed. The Spiny Shell (remember?) can now hit every racer that it runs through it. Racing with the gyro controls in the FPS view is one of the biggest addition to this game, but the gyro controls are too sensitive, but you can try it if you're familiar with the Wii controls. Next is the customization of your kart. You can unlock new parts by earning coins. These can either be the kart body, tires, or glider. You can also experiment the combinations of parts you've unlocked, to test whether it fits to the race or not. These should be a new challenge during game play, as the CPU uses the parts you've earned. What more new features do we have here? Mostly noted gliding and underwater racing. The glider allows you to glide along the air when a certain part of the track is reached. You can go up or down, and what's more you can use items even when you're gliding on the air! The underwater racing is my favorite, as it allows you to race underwater. The handling during underwater is lighter, but another big addition to this game. StreetPass enables you to exchange ghost datas with other players you had crossed paths and challenge your created grand prix, and SpotPass downloads the latest ghost data for each track, and you can even challenge them to test your skill against the world and gives community recommendations (list of recommended communities for you). The features gives you more replay value, as it looks. (Features score: 10/10)

Sound? As in previous MK games, the sound is really great, most notably the music. The music in this game really matches to the track you're racing at, and changes when you glide through the air or during the underwater racing. Again, the music in this game has won my ears. (Music score: 9/10)

So the summary? This is a must-buy game. But the lack of VS Mode (as said earlier) has made this game a bit boring, but the online play, local multiplayer, and other modes are a great step forward to this game, and not to be missed.


1. Great online play and replay value
2. Loads of new items and features
3. Use of StreetPass and SpotPass
4. New tracks and old tracks with glider and underwater sections
5. Graphics runs at 60fps even with the 3D on


1. Lack of VS Mode
2. AI/CPU players can get frustrating
3. Gyro controls too sensitive
4. Old items from MK Wii doesn't appear
5. Character rosters aren't that good

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/04/12

Game Release: Mario Kart 7 (US, 12/04/11)

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