Review by Kirby Freak101

"Mario comes back into the racing world with one of his best games yet!"

Mario Kart Wiiiiiiiiii!!! Ahh, it was so nice finally being able to experience yet another great Mario Kart game! I have played most of the Mario Kart Games all the way back to the SNES. The only one I haven't really played much is the DS version. The GameCube one was the one I got the most out of. This new installment in the Mario Kart series introduced a lot of neat stuff to the series.

One new thing is the bikes. No longer are you limited to karts. You can now ride different types of bikes depending on your character's weight class. The bikes also allows you do to wheelies, to speed you up a bit.

Another new thing that is introduced in this game is the ability to do "tricks" in the air. Depending on the controller type you are using (Wii Wheel, Wiimote + Nunchuck,Classic Controller, or GameCube controller) you can do various movements to do a trick off the ramps in the game, causing you to spin in the air, and land with a large boost.

Graphics: 8/10 - The graphics are pretty great in this game. They are much more detailed than they were in Double Dash. The textures are a lot more detailed, and not as cartoony looking. However, the graphics didn't really push the Wii's graphical processing power to the max which was slightly disappointing. But I felt they were still very nicely detailed out. Most of the retro courses, however, look very beautiful in this game. The N64 and DS stages probably had the best updates. You would think they were real courses made for this game. The GCN courses didn't really get much graphical updates, if any, but they didn't really need any to begin with. The GBA courses also look nice. The SNES courses could have been a little better though, but they still looked great. I was proud with the graphics that Nintendo put into this game for the most part. However, it does seem like they rushed it a bit, and should have spent a little more time detailing the textures out to match the Wii's processing power. So I am giving this department an 8/10!

Sound: 10/10 - I really enjoyed the music and SFX in this game. They really put a lot of care into this department. I felt it was a great improvement over the GCN music. The GCN music wasn't bad, but some of it was a little too childish sounding for my taste. The music in this game, however, sounds really good. Some of my favorites are Maple Treeway, Rainbow Road, Koopa Kape, Dry Dry Ruins, and many others. The SFX were also put in nicely. They all sounded really smooth, and none of them were ear hurting or annoying. The voices are all nicely done I might add, and some are pretty funny. Sure, they can get pretty annoying sometimes, but hey, it wouldn't be a true Mario game without annoying voices! I was really pleased with the sound department in this game, and I give it a 10/10!

Gameplay: 7.5/10 - Here's the most important part of the game, the gameplay itself! For the most part, the gameplay is really great! The gameplay is about the same from the past Mario Kart games. You have your drifting, items, and other stuff to help you to win. One new option in this game is the choice between automatic and manual drifting. No longer do you have to keep worrying about drifting at every turn. You can let the game do it for you! Of course if you're just a big pro that wants to do everything, then feel free to make it manual like the classic games. The game also no longer uses just karts. You now have the option between karts and bikes! They each have their own pros and cons. Karts usually weigh more, and are great for ramming. Bikes on the other hand let you do wheelies which let you speed up on straightways. This game also features lots of great items from shells, bananas, mushrooms, mega mushrooms, invincibility stars, bullet bills etc. This comes the part where I feel the game gets kinda bad. For one thing, the items are really unbalanced. Someone in last place, or next to last place, will usually get items such as bullet bills, or stars, and is able to zip to 1st place. Also, one of the deadliest items in the game is the spiny blue shell. It targets the player in 1st place, and, is for the most part, unavoidable. This is where I feel the game is somewhat flawed. It's as if the game punishes you for being in 1st place. So in others words, the game mainly relies on luck rather than skill to win. I feel the items should be more balanced, and not so crazy as they are in this game. Past Mario Kart games didn't have as many crazy item problems as this game does. Another thing that I hate about this game is that after you get hit by an item, you can get hit immediately by another item. In past games, you were temporarily invincible after you got hit by an item, so you couldn't be hit constantly. However, they decided to get rid of it in this game, which I feel makes it extremely unfair. Overall though, the gameplay in this game was pretty good, despite the flaws, and really fun. So I give this department a solid 7.5

Controls: 9/10 - The controls in this game are very nice! In fact there are three different ways to control this game! The Wii Wheel, supplied with the game, the Wiimote + Nunchuck (my personal favorite), and the Classic Controller/GameCube Controller. The Wii Wheel comes with the game. All it is a piece of plastic in which you place your Wiimote inside of. This control, in my opinion, is the worst of them all. To me it's just harder to keep control, and it's also difficult to do tricks with, however this is just personal preference. The Wiimote + Nunchuck setup, which is my favorite, is another way to control the game. Basically you just control the game with the analog stuck. Also you can pull off tricks by slightly shaking the Wiimote. The last option is a Classic Controller, or the Gamecube controller. If you're used to Double Dash, this setup is similar. Tricks and wheelies are done with the D-Pad, since there's no sensitivity with the 2 controllers. Overall, each of the three will have to come down to personal preference. The first 2 setups you can do without buying anything additional, since the Wii Wheel accessory is supplied with Mario Kart, and I'm sure everyone who owns a Wii has a Wiimore and a Nunchuck. The Classic Controller and GameCube controllers however are sold separately. Overall I give the controls a 9/10. They aren't perfect, but were still implemented very nicely!

Online: 9.5/10 - This is one department that I feel makes this game very very fun! The online play! It will keep you busy for hours and up all night long! It's that addicting! Basically, you can race with 11 other players online with anyone in the World, people in your region, (i.e North America, Europe, etc.) or with friends, in which you can exchange your friend codes (listed on your license). Basically you go on, and everyone picks a stage, and it chooses at random whose stage it will go with for the next race! Also, you get VR Points for winning! Assuming there's 12 people in the race, you may win points for being in the top 6, or lose points in 6-12. The amount of points you can gain varies on certain things such as how many points you already have versus how many points your opponents have. The points system makes it fun, and also makes it challenging to get a good score since you can lose points too if you aren't doing your best! Also, it's not just races! You can play Balloon Battle, and the new Coin Battle, online as well! The online factor of this game, in my opinion, is the best part of the game, and what makes this game worth every penny! The best part is it's free! Nintendo charges nothing to use their online service! Also, this game is one of the most lag free games available from Nintendo on the Wii! So have fun with everyone online! I give this department a 9.5/10!

Replay Value: 9/10 - There's plenty of things in this game to keep you occupied! There are a slew of unlockable characters, some of which are pretty difficult to get. There is also of course, unlockable karts and bikes! The game also has a star ranked system in the Grand Prix mode. Depending on how well you raced you can get up to 3 stars in each cup! So for those of you ambitious people that just HAVE to complete every game you play, you are going to be pretty busy doing everything in this game! I give this department a 9/10!

Overall:9/10 - This is one of the best games on the Wii right now, and one of the funnest next to Brawl! I highly recommend this game. It may have a few flaws here and there, such as the unbalanced items and such, but overall I think you will enjoy this game a lot! I sure have!

Buy or rent? - I would buy this! It's worth every penny!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 05/27/08

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

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