Review by Vyse_skies

"On-line play save a game that falls flat on its cheating face."

I've always preferred the cartoony racers over more serious racers. As a kid I'd buy only cartoonish racers from the likes of Sonic R, Street Racer, Crash Team Racing and of course Mario Kart. As I grew and my mind developed, I found these kind of games lacked what serious racers provided, and that was fun. Against what I now believed, I found Mario Kart Wii at my friend's house and booted it up. It has a wheel after all.

Now on first appearance, Mario Kart Wii just looked like Double Dash without the second racer. In fact, MKW is Double Dash without the second racer. The object- as with all racers- is to place first. Along the 30 or so colourful tracks you can race up against 12 racers; but only 3 or 4 racers really give you any real challenge. Racers vary from across the Mario universe from the main (Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi) to the lame (Dry Bones, Waluigi). Also included to the mix is the awesome Diddy Kong, this was a cool addition. The more race tournaments you win the more characters, karts and tracks/tournaments you'll unlock. It's a decent sized game with a ton of replay value.

Scattered throughout each course are ? boxes stocked to the brim with cheating weapons. It don't matter how good a racer you are because MKW's weapon system really steals and sucks any fun MKW may of had. Many weapons stop your advance such as the Turtle shell, Homing Shell, Storm Cloud, Winged Shell, Pow and the Banana Skin. Sure stop my advance but not by 7 seconds. Now to make things even more frustrating, you are sometimes hit with a second shell straight after the first one. Now if the first hadn't already sent you trailing in last place, the second shell most definitely will. MKW seems to like cheating most just s you are about to cross the finish line as well. Now remember when I said it wasn't about how well you play because the game cheats. Well Nintendo have even made MKW stupidly easy for even the worse of players out there. If you are trailing in last place a ? box is likely to hand you a Bullet. The bullet practically takes you past most of your competition to a more suitable position; somewhere along the lines of 3rd place. Now this game even gives rubbish players a chance to win. MKW is a racing game, but the gimmicks just make it a weak racing game.

So why a 7/10 you ask? Well hook to the internet and you'll get the best parts of MKW. You'll get to race against 12 different racers from around the world. This is extremely fun as you really want to prove to whoever's playing that you're number one. Although this is fun, the cheating weapons still apply. I remember being shot with "THREE" turtle shells on the finish line and I ended coming 7th place; that frustrated me beyond belief. Nevertheless, MKW is fun to play against the masses and I believe that on-line play is a step in the right direction.

Along with racing on-line, you also have battle mode on-line (or off, but it isn't as fun). You have coin battle and balloon battle. Coin has you collecting coins in teams. Balloon has you attacking racers of the other team. On-line coin can be very good especially as you team up with numerous gamers from around the world. Balloon sucks no matter if you are on-line or not because racers move so fast, it can be hard to hit each other.

As for Audio and Visuals. They are cute and do what they are supposed to do. They have taken the GC engine and improved it slightly, producing brighter, more vivid and colourful tracks, albeit quite boring track design. There are a few levels that push the limit like Peach Beach, Bowsers Castle and Moo Moo Meadows, but the variety isn't good enough. Audio feels like a typical Mario game. The Ghost track instantly comes to mind. There is no slow down when a large amount of racers swarm the screen, this is very good and was impressive. MKW as a whole is maybe too cute for its own good and therefore people may get the impression that this title is aimed at a younger audience. Although technically MKW is aimed at a younger audience.

Now MKW is a decent title. It doesn't improve the GC formula and it isn't going to push cartoon racers farther as serious competitors to more serious racers like Project Gotham. MKW provides the gamer with a huge and highly playable title with a ton of modes, multi-player and internet capabilities. The game cheats more often than not though, but if you can get past the fact that the cheat a lot, and the fact that poor racers can even compete against better players due to this, you'll have at least some fun with MKW. At least until a proper racer catches your eye.

Pros and Cons

+ Meaty, there is a lot to do
+ Internet racing is fun
+ Loads of Karts, Tracks and Characters.

- MKW cheats.
- Not really much of an improvement on Double Dash
- The computer cheats
- Bad racers can win races now.

If you like this you'll like

Mario Kart: Double Dash
Crash Team Racing/ Nitro

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 09/08/09

Game Release: Mario Kart Wii (EU, 04/11/08)

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