Review by Tauquito

"Great but too Similar"

Mario Kart returns to let gamers get some great frustrating racing action to the Wii System. With it's famous variety of crazy courses, random items, and much more characters, along with alot more additions, this game is a must have to the loved franchise. Every new game of Mario Kart has brought more and more from 4 player, 2 players a kart, and online, but in this game the main idea of Mario Kart Wii is the new Wii Wheel.

The Wii Wheel comes with every Mario Kart Wii game, which holds the Wiimote right in the center of the Wheel to create precise controlling.The Wii Wheel is plastic coated with the Wii logo on the back, it might not be used for competitive play but great for casual! It may be hard to use, but use it alot and you'll soon attach to it before you know it! It is very realistic and very subtle. Despite it's great idea if you want to be taken seriously you'll have to leave it, the reason is your hands don't react as fast as a controller/analog stick.

Luckily Mario Kart Wii allows multi controller schemes just like in Brawl. For example: the Nunchuk, Classic Controller, and Gamecube Controller. The Nunchuk works great with easy controls and the idea of the speaker has you almost in the game racing head to head. The Gamecube works just as well and it shows how much better it is to use analog controls then motion controlled. A new addition consists of Tricks where you will perform certain tricks if timed right while jumping in the air and once landing you get a boost of speed just like snaking. This allows shortcuts to appear and a chance at catching your opponent. Snaking/Drifting has been severely hurt, as it takes many seconds to get started, this destroys the purpose of snaking but you can still drift to get a decent lead but not where you can break the game open. The new karts and just added bikes don't have much difference but still do. Bikes can perform wheelies that have you speed up and have somewhat better drifting, Karts are just the same as before but have a better mini-boost. Three new items have been added, Thunderclouds which if not passed on to an opponent which you have to hit them you will get shocked just like a thunderbolt. Big Mushrooms where you become very big and can squish and opponent for a short period of time. And POW Blocks which are almost as annoying as Blue Shells where they spin everyone in front of you unless they are in mid-air.

The same game play is a bit used to but it's just as exciting, frustrating, and more enjoyable then ever. There still is the Grand Prix, Battle Mode, and Time Trials. Grand Prix still has the 8 choices of what levels to pick, Battle Mode is close to identical with new levels, and Time Trial has the same concept with ghosts and all but you can send your Time Trial online and get compared to others by Friends, Regional, and Worldwide. You can also download other people's Time Trials and race theirs as well! The new tracks seem fun and original like a gold mined backround "Wario's Gold Mine" where you ride on rail road like tracks through a variety of ups and downs, others like "Mushroom Gorge" and "Koopa Cape" come to mind, also back again, "Bowser Castle" that is much better and very fun. Like in the DS version retro tracks appear, mainly from the DS, N64, NES, SNES, etc.

Nintendo's online is something that can't compete with XBOX Live with the dreaded Friend Codes, but the variety of choices makes up for much of the hated things Nintendo offered in online. The online has a Point System where you start with 5000 points and the better the place you get the more points you get, and the higher amount of points you have the harder it is to get points. So If you have 7000 points and you get 1st you could get 35 points while someone who got 2nd with 4700 points gets like 89 points. There are also Tournaments you can enter where Nintendo gives you a random level and you race against the computer to get a best time and send it in like Time Trials, it's not quite like Time Trials it's almost like a Grand Prix Time Trial. One last thing is there is a downloadable Mario Kart Channel where if your Mario Kart Disc isn't in your Wii you can check up on Time Trials and Tournaments rankings through the channel.

Even though Mario Kart Wii did many things excellent from the Trick System and the Wii Wheel it still feels quite the same as the others. The controller schemes really just show you don't need the Remote or Wheel but the game is just as fun and enjoyable as before, from your first acceleration of the Wheel to a victory at the end of an online match, Mario Kart deserves a home in your Wii whether you've played it or not.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 05/12/08

Game Release: Mario Kart Wii (w/ Racing Wheel) (US, 04/27/08)

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