Review by Oliver Walsh

"An incredibly mediocre installment in the Mario Kart franchise."

This game has a similar premise to the DS version. There are 8 grand prix tournaments, 4 of which are based on tracks from previous games, the rest of which are original. That, in fact, brings me onto my first qualm with this game.

Most of the tracks seem to be rehashes of old tracks, whereas the "retro" tracks, which are actual rehashes, don't seem to fit well, perhaps barring the Mario Kart: Double Dash tracks. The retro tracks are overly wide and have so much unused space, and have no real benefits other than to please the nostalgic desires of some of the perhaps older gamers in the market. However, some of the new Wii tracks are not without merit, even if they are similar to tracks from older games. They are fun, and have a quite interesting appearance, and I found the transition the tracks go through (such as dilapidating bridges, and sand filling up rooms) during the laps to be particularly enticing.

Although, it is hard to appreciate this at times. You see, it's difficult to describe how frustrating this game is without using all caps. The AI is RIDICULOUS. You'll be in first, but no matter what the person in second place will always be breathing down your neck, and if you get hit by so much as a banana, you'll be thrown to second, if you're lucky! Sometimes I feel like the AI has some sort of personal vendetta against me. When you're hit, you'll be hit at least one more time while recovering. While traversing a quite slim bridge, the AI seems to be at its most volatile, as they'll try and physically ram you as much as possible at this point.

That being said, the game can still be fun, albeit difficult. Bouncing along mushrooms and speeding through waters is enjoyable, and the game can be quite exhilarating at times. The Battle mode can be particularly enthralling.

The graphics and sound are pretty bog-standard. There's nothing special about them, as they're basically a mimic of the game's Game Cube counterpart. However, one problem that I didn't expect at all is the boring appearance of the game itself. A lot of the type-faces are very simple and look rushed, and even the menus are uninteresting and bland. The game lacks a general "fun" nature.

To sum up, this game was rather disappointing. If it weren't for the online features (which I sadly lack and therefore cannot comment on), I don't think many hours to would to be put into this game by the people who bought it, or will buy it

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 04/21/08

Game Release: Mario Kart Wii (EU, 04/11/08)

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