Review by idiotman7

Reviewed: 11/28/05 | Updated: 01/04/06

The "real deal" of the DS

Mario has grown to new areas lately. With accomplishments in Baseball, Basketball, RPG’s, Soccer, 2D and 3D, and once again in Kart racing. Since its first release on the SNES, Mario Kart has been one of the longest running great series for Mario. Not only did it break new barriers for Mario in general, but for racing too. With the action packed races against the computer or friends, and the battle for victory using items, sneaking, or just using shortcuts, Mario Kart DS is one of the best games to grace handhelds ever.

As in years past, a new Nintendo console, a new Mario Kart game. And once again the fun factors is raised in a definite way, but does the game come up against to the standards that it is set with? One word says it all. DUH! The best racing game on the GBA just got beefed up.

This game flows perfectly on the DS. Everything is pretty much standard. A to go, B to reverse, R to shoot or attack, L to brake, X is to change the map view, the bottom screen, and Y Doesn’t do anything, and the directional pad, well is kind of self explanatory. The bottom screen is used pretty much never, in game. Dozens of new features have been added to the game, such as new attack items, like the oil squid, which squirts oil onto the screen, which makes you not able to see, and the bullet boost, which transforms you into a bullet, and speeds past competitors for a short amount of time.

Another great new feature for the DS is Emblem creator. This is where you can design your own custom car avatar. You can create anything that you can dream of, it just has to fit within the boundaries, but you get a pretty large space, so you shouldn’t have a problem. It’s a great new feature, and you can spend seconds or hours creating the perfect one for you. The one major problem I had with game play was that the change map button was a little difficult to press in the middle of a race.

Don’t feel like racing though? Perfectly fine. Take a breather and play against friends or bots in Battle games. You have two different types to play on, Balloon Battle, and Shine Runners. Balloon battle, is pretty much a giant 8 player battle royal. Using items to steal or destroy your opponent’s balloons, and make them lose. Plus, you can use the mic option, to fill up your balloons by blowing into it. Running the risk of looking psychotic though, I advise using the buttons.

Shine Runners, is a lot like capture the flag, only more hectic. All 8 players must get as many Shine Sprites as they can, before the timer runs out, the ones with the less sprites, are eliminated. The last one standing with the most sprites wins. By hitting opponents, you can make them lose sprites, so you can swoop in and steal them. It’s very fun to play, even though Balloon Battle rocks.

There really isn’t a story to the game. Just pretty much a racing game to see how good you can get. I guess that the addition to past levels, which include such greats from the SNES and Gamecube Mario Karts. And the availability to play balloon battles, which is awesome, and other mini games, but nothing to major in this area. But, it does get an A for bringing back great past levels, and the totally awesome balloon battles, with bots even, so those without friends or those who don’t live near anyone can play with yourself. <.<

A well balanced sound flow pretty much. Average music, if a little plain, but it’s a Mario game, so what more do you expect? The cars and items sound great, and some of the best in game sounds I have heard in a DS game yet. Attacks with the items sound wonderful, such as with the squid attack for example. Seconds after it appears, you can hear the black ink just land on your screen, and make a splattering sound with it. But hey, if you don’t like um, there is always that little dial on the bottom that turns um right down.

Best part of this game hands down, is its graphics. Mario Kart DS looks superb. From the karts, to the background, this game delivers much more than other DS titles out now. The character models look as real as a cartoon video game character can probably get. These graphics really bring out what the DS has to offer, in a big way. The 3d like atmosphere just livens up the screen as you race threw Luigis’ Mansion, or go toe to toe for the finish in Baby Land.

Mario Kart DS is a must have for all DS owners, and gives gamers a sense of accomplishment for just playing it. It’s the first game that uses Wifi, and if your one of the lucky ones to have the chance to play it, then you know how great it is. Buy Mario Kart DS, now. Why ask? This is a great game and gives gamers a feeling of happiness all over. You can play for hours, and never get bored; I should know I played till two in the morning. With multiple challenges, tons of unlockables, and superb graphics, Mario Kart DS is the real deal.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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