Review by Boon_McNougat

"Solid and Worth Your Gold Coins"

The Mario Kart Series has been with us since the Super Nintendo, so many of us have enjoyed at least one of these stand-on-their-own spin-off titles. In my opinion, Double Dash was too much of a step outwards, and it felt a little bogged down and slow. Mariokart DS was ok. I didn't find it great.

In my mind, Mariokart 64 was still where it was at. It had excellent courses, great music and graphics, fairly even graphics and it's the only mariokart to date (in my humble opinion) with an excellent battle mode.

Then along comes Mariokart Wii. It's what Mk Double Dash would be if it stuck to the formula, had online, had more unlockables and was better. It's damn good, and is now my favourite. It races well, the battle mode is decent (not great, not terrible, but very medi-ocre) and is probably the most replayable in the series. Let's get into the categories!

Story - N/A
No need. There's no story. Which is just the way I like it.

Graphics - 6/10
Sure, they look good, but I swear it's identical to Double Dash. Maybe it's got a bit more bloom, but it's the same. They could've made the riders look a little better. The courses themselves are great. And there's nothing to complain about when you look at the weapons, exploding, cracking and zapping players all over the joint. It doesn't look bad at all, it just doesn't look any different from the last console installment, which is sad.

Sound - 7.5/10
I gave the .5 for the reason that I'm not sure if its a 7 or an 8. The sound effects and music are great. So are the karts and screeches. What drags it down is the voicework. My god is it bad. Donkey Kong sounds like a little boy impersonating a gorilla, and a certain character literally sounds like a hissing cat. It's ridiculous. Do we have to hear high pitched versions of voices? No. This is a reason I use Luigi. He doesn't send you a verbal barrage of flaming trash. As I said, everything other than the voice's sounds superb.

Gameplay - 10/10
Excellent. The racing/vs mode is done ALMOST perfectly. One thing ruins it. Blue shells. One blue race, heck, even two a race is fine. Three or more is ridiculous. You'll swear that the game is against you, when you near the lap line, your computer opponents will juice up on red shells, blue shells, lightning bolts and whatever else they can throw at you. This, and the battle mode (the stages are too big and the coin mode is ridiculous) are the only downfalls. You have a whole arsenal of new courses, and classic stages have been redone. The online works perfectly, and I have only experience an extremely small amount of lag. The karts and bikes work a lot better than expected. I thought "Hey, bikes, what a stupid and novel idea". How wrong I was. It's an excellent addition to the series that adds that bit of spice, with the karts and the bikes having their own individual pro's and con's. A 10/10. The pros far outweigh the cons, in the gameplay scene.

Replayability - 7/10
It's a racing game. You get bored. This is natural. However, you'll be playing for a month or two, every day, to try and unlock new vehicles, new courses, new characters and trying to come first in the online rankings and competitions. You will also find yourself popping this game in when friends come over. It's a great multiplayer game. It's a 7/10 for the fact that, once you're done, you're done. You can always play online in a 12-player match, which is VERY fun, and you can do the time trial competitions which Nintendo sets up, but at the end of the day, it's a racing game, which don't hold your attention as well as you'd like. Like with mario kart 64, you will be playing this with your friends, because it's got fun multiplayer.

Overall - 9/10
Gameplay accounts for this score. If it had a great battle mode, and customizable battle mode options, it would've been a true 10/10. Also, if the blue shell didn't make so many appearances each race, there'd be many more happy campers out there.

An excellent game nonetheless, go get it, and hopefully I can leave you in my dust online sometime.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 05/12/08

Game Release: Mario Kart Wii (AU, 04/24/08)

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