Review by supaquacky

"What a Game"

Mario Kart DS came with my DS as a bundle pack deal. As a game, it has missions, grand prix and amazing online features. So, enough waffling, here's the review.

GAMEPLAY - 10/10
The game is big, fun and addictive. In single player there are 32 courses, half old and half new, lots of missions, battles and time trials. I don't know how it compares to other Mario Kart games, having only ever played them at friend's houses before, but it seems plenty enough for me. The grand prix has 3 different classes (50cc, 100cc and 150cc) and if you complete them all, you unlock mirror, 150cc in reverse. There are a load of characters to choose from, from the main ones (Mario, Luigi, Peach) to lesser known ones (Waluigi, Dry Bones, R.O.B.) There is 6 mission levels, plus the secret 7th mission level. However, the part of the game that will keep bringing you back long after you have completed it is the fantastic multi-player. You can play with up to 8 friends, even if only you have the card, and you can play over the internet with up to 4 people. There is more details on multi - player later in the review. All in all, there is enough to keep you going for a few months at least.

OK, maybe the games controls would probably work better with an analogue stick. But, as the DS does not have one, a D-pad will have to do. Although it doesn't use the touch screen much, this is probably a good thing in the long run as it would be too fiddly to use well, unless you have a thumb stylus or something along those lines. The weapons are relatively easy to control and work well. Compared to other racing games I have played on handheld consoles, Mario Kart Ds is up there with the best. All in all, the controls are good for DS's capabilities.

GRAPHICS - 10/10
The game looks really good, for the DS. The courses look clean, and the whole game is in fine 3D. So far it is the best graphics I have encountered on a DS game, apart from maybe Nintendogs. Even the old Gamecube courses do not take much of a drop in quality. The courses are good and look nice and have a decent frame rate. However, whilst the graphics are good, they are nothing compared to some of the PSP game's graphics and are definitely not the selling point of this game.

SOUND - 9/10
Awesome. I really like the music; there are different tracks for each of the 32 races. While they are all reasonably good a few of them (Baby Park and Bowser castle in particular) are absolutely outstanding. Seriously, they are some of the best soundtracks I have ever heard in a game. The only real problem I found with I was that the noises for the crashes and the shells firing off were a bit off and not at the right time. However, overall the sound quality is really good.

In my opinion, Mario Kart DS has an immense multiplayer. You can play against up to seven other people offline, even if only you have the game cartridge, or three people online using Nintendo's WI-FI facility, which whilst sometimes takes a while to load, is definitely worth the wait. Be warned though, if you want to have a chance of beating lots of people, you had better learn a skill called snaking. Some people saying snaking is cheating. Well get this then, why do the in - built staff ghosts snake then, eh? All things considered, it has a fine multiplayer.

It has a good online mode, which basically means its replay value is forever. Not much else I can say about it, really.

OVERALL: 10/10
An amazing game with great online features. One of the best games (so far) for the DS.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/03/08

Game Release: Mario Kart DS (US, 11/14/05)

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