Review by ElectrikToilet

"This is a great game, but it has some disappointments."

I will not be making this review too wordy because no one will read it, however, there is a 1,000 word limit so bear with me. Short and sweet is always best, enjoy.
Mario Kart DS is quite possibly the best of the Mario Kart series. With the addition of online play, new characters, and much more, this game shines. However, there are a few things about this game I found to be disappointing that I will discuss. As a side note, the only time you will find yourself using the touch screen is when you are navigating through the menus. You can not use your stylus to steer your kart so stop asking! Thanks

Graphics : 7/10
One of the disappointments of this game was the graphics pale in comparison to tat of Mario Kart Double Dash. The characters are not as detailed and the backrounds are not as beautiful. Regardless, the graphics are good enough to make this game enjoyable and make for good gameplay. Nothing special.

Gameplay : 9/10
This game is very smooth and fun to play. Even online, it has a great frame rate and rarely lags. My favorite thing about this game is how each kart is different and unique. In past games, you had your light-weight karts, middle-weight karts, and heavy-weight karts. Light weight karts were better at off roading, accelerating, and blah blah blah. Compared to this game, the karts hardly differentiated. Now, each kart has a different feel, different traction, different everything! The variety of karts is great and is responsible for this game's awesome gameplay.

Missions : 6/10
Boring! This is the first Mario Kart game to ever have a Mission Mode. This, for me, was another disappointment. Not only are the missions repetative, you do not even get anything for completing all of them! For example. as a mission, you might have to complete 5 mini turbo boosts in one lap. These will help you improve your skills at the game, but are often boring. As I said, even if you complete all of them, you will not receive any reward other than bragging rights so there is not really a reason to complete them. It would have been nice if you would have unlocked a character or something, but noo. No reward = bad score.

Music/Sound : 10/10
Classic! This receives a good rating because this game features classic sounds and music from past Mario Kart games. Who could not love the beeps and boops of the SNES Mario Kart? The sounds are all original, none of them being very different from past Mario Kart games. Characters still do their little woohoos when they shoot someone with a shell or pass someone in a race. What more do you want? Would you really buy a game based on the sound effects?

Online : 8/10
Fun! Racing people online is intense and never gets old. This game definetly has one of the most fun online gaming I have ever seen. However, yet again, there are two disappointments with online play, but even they can not deter from its fun-ness ... yeah. The first is that items affect the racing too greatly. If you are in first place, you get terrible items while the person in fourth is pounding you with blue shells. Thus, the person in fourth becomes first and you become fourth, get it? It does not happen in every race, though it occurs from time to time and can be frustrating. The second is that it is difficult to find three other people to race with. Online allows you to play with three other people in a Grand-Pri style mode, but I usually find myself in a one on one race. I recommend using the Mario Kart DS chat board here, at Gamefaqs, to find people to race with. Without it, finding opponents may prove difficult.

Replay Value : 6/10 OR 10/10
If you are unable to play online, this game's replay value is a 6/10. If you are able to play online, this game's replay value is a 10/10. You can not get sick of racing people online, it's too much fun! But going through the offline, single player mode, more than once is rather boring. Although, even without online play, this game will still take you a long time to complete; you just will not feel like doing it all over again.

In conclusion,
Mario Kart DS is a very fun racing game that will occupy you for a very long time. The graphics are not great, but they are not bad either. The game is still enjoyable even if the graphics are not as good as Mario Kart Double Dash's :'(. As for the music and sound, yeah they are great. But seriously, who really cares? You turn up the volume, play the game, hear the game, enough said. Online play is the best thing about this game and will entertain you for a very long time. There is only one other game, that I will not name, that I have played and found to be more fun than this game. (And I play a lot of games) Even if you do not have online, this game will still take you awhile to complete and be fun.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 01/04/06

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