Review by DaemonscharmII
Mario Kart Wii: Now with slow-paced action and cheap wins!
It really hurts for me to give any game in the Mario Kart franchise anything lower than a 10, but sadly this game is deserving of it's score. I thought that this being one of the highly anticipated games coming out for Wii, it would have met my expectations but I've learned not to expect anything in games these days. If you are new to the series, I strongly suggest getting either Double Dash for the GCN or Super Circuit and/or MKDS for the DS.
This is a major let down for me. I mean what more can you do with the Mario Kart franchise? Well they should've kept it the same because these games have a much slower pace it seems like and it just seems to drag on. After you get hit with an item, the recovery time is insanely long and is extremely frustrating. I do like how there are 12 racers instead of 8 because items are flying around like crazy, but it's VERY easy to fall back a few places. and can be a challenge to get back in first. And when you fall off, Lakitu takes his sweet sweet time dropping you back off.
There are new features while racing such a the "drift boost" which will happen if you are behind an opponent and not catching any wind you will get a nice speed boost.
There is something good about the racing though and that is the addition of Bikes. Bike racing is the saving grace for this game really. Having to choose from 4 cars and 4 bikes per chacter can be very annoying though. The main difference between carts and Bikes are the acceleration in which the bikes have the upper hand.
The Items and how winning comes cheap
There are a few new items, and no more specials. However, items like the triple shells, triple bananas, and even the golden mushroom are obtainable by anyone. There are now 3 (Red,Green, and now yellow) different shells, 4 including the Blue one. the new items consist of Thunder Cloud, POW block, and big Mushroom. Personally I think the thunder cloud is annoying because you have to bump into someone or you will get struck. The POW Block is pretty useful because it attacks all the characters ahead of you. Lasty the giant Mushroom is very useful because it allows you to become huge and flatten your opponents and not slow down in certain areas.
The reason I say winning comes cheap is because it seems like Blue shells are going around like a new disease, and with the slower pace it's really hard to get back to full speed. Usually you will fall back to like 6 or 8th place. When any character who is in last place the bullet bill can be very annoying because they will move up quite a bit. Earning 1st place is hard, but it can be oh so sweet.
With the Wii, you can't really go wrong with controls. You have the option of the GCN controller, the nun chucks or Nintendo's very own special Steering Wheel for the motion racing (or you can do it w/o the wheel) either way it's really fun. I personally prefer the nun chuck over anything else because I like to be comfortable while playing. The controls are very easy to learn, and if you've played any of the previous games it's pretty much as easy as breathing. A to go, B to shoot. Simple as that.
This is another saving grace for this game. The multiplayer for every MK has been fun, and this one doesn't fall short of it. It's very fun when everyone is good at using a different controller. There is a team race feature which I found to be really fun. It takes the points from the positions and which ever team you're on it adds up. Red always wins BTW. The battles are fun like always.
New levels, old levels
I really liked how they not only had 16 new levels, but 16 old levels from previous Mario Karts including DK Mountain (GCN), Ghost Valley (SNES), Shy Guy Beach (GBA) and many more from the SNES, N64, GBA, DS and GCN. the new levels are very beautiful and have some great obstacles. And of course Rainbow Road is by far the best of them all. But many of the tracks deserve recognition like Wario's Mine and Mushroom Gorge. I don't think there was one let down as far as tracks go.
Single player action!
It offers some okay single player but it can get old after a while. completing all the Grand Prix on 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc can be fun and last for a while. But once you've mastered them and unlocked all the new characters, tracks, and carts/bikes then the only thing to do is invite friends over because this game can and will get stale.
Graphics, music, all that jazz
The Graphics were an improvement over Double Dash, but not too greatly. The music is very good and I actually might consider this one to have the best soundtrack of them all. The character design and level design are phenomenal. Everything visually is pretty. There are some pretty horrid sounds, but for the most part everything audio is pretty.
Conclusion and closing statements
I wouldn't recommend this game if you have no friends. If you have about 2 or 3 good friends then this game is a must have. Like I mentioned earlier, it's not as good as previous MK releases, but it's not that bad. The major let downs were the recovery time, the slower pace, and the unreal spamming of items. Everything else was a success.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Mario Kart Wii (w/ Racing Wheel) (US, 04/27/08)
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