Review by minishPM
Mario Kart Wii: Among the finest on the Wii
I consider myself a veteran of the Mario Kart series. I have played each one extensively, and own most of them.
So when Mario Kart made it's way to the Wii with Mario Kart Wii (that title is fitting, isn't it?), I rushed out and bought it launch day. And I've got to say I was pleased.
So, what's new?
A notable feature is that there are now 12 racers per race instead of 8, as all past Mario Karts have had. This creates more items, which isn't necessarily a good thing.
The items do feel a little wild in this one. Blue Shells, which target the racer in first place and send him or her flying into the air, show up often. Other epicly amazing items show up often as well, making the races wild. This both good and bad: Races are sometimes funner caused by the high number of items, but skill is definitely not the only thing you need. Luck is key. Vets of the MK series who are used to skilled racing, will feel like items are too common and powerful. Casual players will probably enjoy it.
FACT: This game is noob friendly.
Another new feature is the Wii's motion sensitivity. The game comes packaged with a Wii Wheel, a small steering wheel that the Wii Remote fits into. You can then use the "Whiil" (heh heh) to drive. How does it work?
I got used to it quickly, but being the vet that I am, I decided to use the Gamecube controller instead.
"What?" says you. Let me explain: This game houses many control schemes including the Wii Wheel, GCN controller, Classic Controller and Wiimote + Nunchuk Combo. Pick your favorite.
Yet another new feature is the inclusion of bikes, along with the classic karts. Bikes play a little differently than karts. For example, you can pop a wheelie using bikes, giving you a speed boost. Karts, however, can get better drift boosts. Stats are relatively different between the two as well.
The gameplay IS pretty frustrating. Getting pummeled by items the minute you take first place is not fun.
The character list is pretty great. 24 characters, including old ones and new. Some choices seemed strange and unneeded to me, like Baby Daisy and Dry Bowser, but overall, it's good. I won't spoil any more inclusions for you.
Introduced in Mario Kart DS, MKWii features both new and retro courses. 16 new, 16 retro, coming from all of the past Mario Kart games. I really feel like they could have made some better choices, but I enjoyed seeing some of my past favorites. Also, seeing GBA and SNES courses in new Wii graphics is great.
...Graphics, you ask? Well, they are pretty good. I've seen better on the Wii, but it still looks great. Some say they're worse than Mario Kart: Double Dash!! for the GCN, but I don't believed that.
You can also visit the Mario Kart channel, where you can watch, download, and race ghosts, check the rankings, enter tournaments, and more. This channel is available in the game, but can also be put on you Wii Menu.
And, last but DEFINITELY not least, Wi-Fi.
It's amazing. After facing the horrendous Wi-Fi that was Super Smash Bros. Brawl, I can safely say that MKWii has the best online I've seen on the Wii. Short connection times, finding a match is quick and easy, and lag is a no show! I've never clunked along the track because of lag, and have only been disconnected twice. You can also play 2 player online! So if a friend is over, instead of playing with CPUs, you can head online and face real people from around the world! Friend matches are also great. After inputting a friend code (ugh), you can play a friend any time they are online. While in the lobby, YOU CAN MESSAGE EACH OTHER! There are only pre-set messages, but they are varied and really add to your match. You can great people, tell them which mode or course you'd like to play, etc. Very, very enjoyable online.
OVERALL SCORE: 9/10
BUY, RENT, PASS?
It's a BUY. MKWii is a great game and a must own for the Wii. Fans will enjoy is classic gameplay, casuals will enjoy it's addicting fun. Go get it!
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Mario Kart Wii (w/ Racing Wheel) (US, 04/27/08)
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