Review by Saint_Noof
I Don't Know Who Came Up With the Wii Wheel, but it's Definitely a Change...
When I heard that there was a Mario Kart Wii, I almost immediately dropped my DS and started counting my money. I couldn't pick it up until about a week after it came out, but I got it nonetheless. I'd like to start with the simple statement that this upgraded frisbee known as the Wii Wheel is an interesting but difficult way to play this new installment.
First, I tried the single-player. Of course, I played a Grand Prix. At first, I was thrilled at the intuitive control scheme of the game, but it didn't take very long for me to start seeing the flaws.
My first problem was the pastelle color schemes. Yes, the tracks are quite imaginitive and fun to look at, but driving is pretty hard when you lose track of the road. I guess this color problem stems from the fact that I have a visual impairment, but I played it through anyway.
My next road block was the obstacles of Moo Moo Meadows. Something about cows in the road just bugs me... This problem would also cover the "rubberband AI" to quote another review, which seems to snap back at you, especially when you're winning. I can't tell you how many times I got first place on Luigi Circuit, then last on Moo Moo Meadows. After about four hours of play, the best I could get was a Bronze Trophy for the Mushroom Cup.
I'd also like to talk a bit about multiplayer. I didn't get to play multiplayer until Sunday night, when my roommate Joshua brought the Wii back, but I was willing to wait. The only problem was that the multiplayer mode leaves a lot to be desired.
First of all, while having bigger battle courses is nice, I'd rather be playing old-school Block Fort than the gargantuan and frustrating Block Plaza. Comments from my roommate are as follows: "Jake, I'm really sorry you coughed up fifty bucks for this. It really does suck." Of course, I wouldn't quote anyone unless I thought the quote was substantive. To tell the truth, the multiplayer mode should have more options, such as eliminating CPU Karts. Also, the game should have featured a few more Retro Courses like Double Deck and Block Fort. Overall, I think I'll just play MKW on my own, and leave multiplayer to MK64.
Now that I'm done pitching a fit, I'd like to review the truly innovative and imaginitive components of the game. While this "rubberband AI" is annoying, I have to admit that it seems more realistic. A real racer can't always win, even on the same track. To be honest, I think this is a blessing in disguise. Also, while the bright colors make my eyes bleed, I can't help but think that, yes, these tracks ARE a lot more interesting than older games. Sure, nothing can compare to the thrill of playing Balloon Battle on a giant DS, but I'd much rather be doing tricks off of giant mushrooms than zooming around on a nondescript touch screen.
In conclusion, I'd have to say that although Mario Kart Wii does have a few touch-ups to recieve, it's overall a good single-player racer. I'd probably recommend it to any basement hermit looking for a good MK thrill.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Mario Kart Wii (w/ Racing Wheel) (US, 04/27/08)
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