Review by 03J

"The fifth Mario Kart: still worth playing"

Mario Kart DS was released for the Nintendo DS in November of 2005. Mario Kart DS is the fifth Mario Kart game released since the original Mario Kart was released for Super Nintendo.

The gameplay is a little different because of what is available in Mario Kart DS. This game offers ten selectable characters which is nice since the first two Mario Karts only offered eight characters. If that doesn't make things more fun, there are also different vehicles for each character instead of each character having a generic race kart. The game also has more race circuits in Grand Prix mode which is the racing mode. There are eight circuits (with four tracks in each circuit) and four circuits have tracks that are original but the other four circuits are made up of tracks from Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo Gamecube. One track from each Mario Kart of the four systems make up a circuit in the retro circuits. The Grand Prix mode has three difficulties: 50CC, 100CC and 150CC and 50CC really presents no challenge. 100CC is a little difficult since winning the race can come down to the wire on some tracks and I have yet to try the 150CC difficulty. The controls are pretty easy at all times cause A makes you go forward, B makes you go in reverse, X lets you use your powerup and Y changes your radar on the bottom part of the DS and you use the D pad to steer. Now there are more game modes then the grand prix mode.

The next game mode is the Time Trials mode where you race around on one track as fast as you can and try to get the best time but there is no one around to give you opposition.

There is a Versus mode in single player where you choose what race(s) you want to compete in and you can even have a team setting and set the rules as you please.

There is also a Battle mode in single player. There are two types of battle modes in this game. The first one is Balloon Battle where you go against seven computer controlled opponents and try to make them lose their balloons before you lose yours.

Shine Runner is the other Battle Mode where you compete against seven opponents to collect these Stars or whatever but you just race around a track trying to find them. A map with a icon showing you where the shine is would have been greatly appreciated.

There is one last mode called the Mission Mode. With the exception of the bosses in Mission Mode, the objectives in mission mode are pretty easy to pull off right away. There is one mission where you have to do a certain number of turbo boosts while completing a track but the controls are hard and they give you less then a minute. They give you more then enough time on all the other missions but when you have to do the turbo boosts missions, make sure you have the controls down before you attempt those missions.

There is no story since this is a racing game. You pick your favorite character and try to finish first in all the races.

The graphics are wonderful. The tracks that they took from Super Nintendo especially look great being bought over to the DS. One good thing about the graphics are that you don't feel like you're playing outdated tracks on the retro circuits because the graphics are just as good as the original circuits. The sound is also great because the grunts are funny when you fail missions and you can hear what each character says or the noise each character makes clear as a bell. There is nothing bad I can say about the Graphics or Sound.

Between the Mission Mode and the Grand Prix mode alone, there is enough material to keep you occupied for a long time. After that the battle mode is here and then there is a multiplayer mode also. There is a lot of replayability because there is so much more to do then just Grand Prix and a Multiplayer versus mode.

I give this game a 9 out of 10. There aren't any flaws in this game but the turbo boosts mode keeps me from giving this game a perfect score. Any fan of any Mario Kart game should not let this pass.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/20/09

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

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