Review by J-man45

"Nintendo got this one right!"

The Good: 16 awesome brand new tracks, plus 16 courses from past MK games, 3 new items, more playable characters then ever before, fun with friends, best online in any Nintendo game, colorful vibrant graphics, addition of motorbikes, trick system, 12 racers at one time

The Bad: Items can be unbalanced, single player can be punishing at times, you lose hundreds of points in online for an accidental disconnection

Ever since the first Mario Kart on the SNES, the Mario Kart games have been well loved by die hard fans of the series, as well as new comers. With the addition of Mario Kart Wii, the franchise has been taken to a new level of greatness, and the game delivers the best online experience on Wii to date.

Essentially the gameplay is like any other Mario Kart. You pick your character from the Mario world, put them in a kart and race using wacky items and try to beat your opponent by playing as dirty as possible. Mario Kart Wii boasts 32 tracks in all: 16 new courses, and 16 retro courses from past Mario games, going all the way back to the original Super Mario Kart. Of course the karts are still present, but now you have the option to race on motorbikes! By the time you finish the main Grand Prix on the various difficulties, you will have raced on both karts and bikes, and you will find one that you like. Bikes can also perform wheelies to give yourself a speed boost, albeit a small one, but a boost none the less.

Also something new introduced in Mario Kart Wii is a trick system. These tricks, performed when in the air, are done by flicking your Wii Wheel in a certain direction. If you are not using a Wii Wheel and are using a GC controller you can press the D-pad for tricks, and likwise on the Classic controller. When you land after doing a trick you get a little burst of speed. Tricks are a fun thing to do, and are a good strategy too.

The items in the game are all back, with the addition of three new ones. The POW Block, the Lightning Cloud, and the Mega Mushroom. The main purpose of the items is to use them to attack you opponents, and subdue them long enough for you to pass them up and possibly win the race. These are fun most of the time, but when playing in single player on the higher difficulties the items the CPUs get can get completely out of hand. You may find yourself being hit by three blue shells in one race (ex. one each lap). This type of thing can really get annoying, as it can happen quite often.

There are many playable characters in the game. They range from Mario all the way to characters like Dry Bowser, and even your own Mii! These characters are unlocked in single player, and some can be quite hard to get. This adds replay value to the game as you will want to get them all.

There are also numerous karts and bikes to be unlocked, and there are three weight classes: light, medium, and heavy, and there are different karts and bikes in each class. These are also unlocked in single player.

Awesome Super Mario inspired tunes grace the soundtrack of Mario Kart Wii. Including music from Super Mario Galaxy on Rainbow Road! All of the tunes are light and catchy, and are very enjoyable to listen to while racing.

The multiplayer in Mario Kart Wii is probably the best yet. You can race against your friends, or you can battle. In Battle there are two modes, the original Balloon Battle and a new mode called Coin Runners. In Coin Runners, coins are spawned throughout the map, and it is a race against your opponent to get the most. You can make you opponents drop their coins by hitting them with the various items that can be obtained.

But local multiplayer is not the only thing in MKWii. The online in Mario Kart Wii is, for the most part, absolutely fantastic. Play with people from around the world, from Honduras to Japan, and gameplay runs so smoothly! You can choose to either race or battle, and you can play with a maximum of 11 other players. There is a point system as well. You start out with 5000 and depending on whether you win or lose, you will gain or lose these points. The only problem with the point system is if you get disconnected somehow, you can lose up to 300 points! A problem that can easily frustrate any hardcore online player (like me).

There is also the Mario Kart Channel, which holds monthly tournaments and has the top ten Time Trials in the world for each course. You can also race these top time trial ghosts and see if you can best them.

All in all Mario Kart Wii is the best Mario Kart yet in this reviewer's opinion, and it delivers without a doubt the best online experience yet on Wii.

Overall: 9.5

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/07/09

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

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