* Prices may differ from that shown
As soon as Mario Kart 7 came out I knew I would have to go out and buy it being a huge Mario fan. Mario Kart is a game I feel that will never become dated, especially as they seem release a new one with every single Nintendo console brought out, each one with its own unique twist and features.
If you don't know Mario Kart works by picking a character from 8 classics of the Mario Kart world or you can pick your Mii and you complete 8 different Grand Prix cups each featuring 4 races in 3 different difficulties and you are graded on how well you completed the cup. Once you have completed all 3 difficulties you unlock each one in a reverse direction.
Of course with Mario Kart 7 the biggest feature would be the 3D which definitely adds to the game play in certain levels where you drive through some leaves or water and you get water splats on the screen. Another unique feature about Mario Kart 7 is that they have introduced a new system for some of the new levels where the course is in sections rather than laps, this keeps it more interesting as you don't know what's coming up. There are two new items to collect too, one of them being the racoon tail which allows you to hit other players who try to pass you and the other one being the Lucky 7 which gives you 7 items to use, this item is very hard to get and I've only ever received it from a crate when I've been in last place, much the same as the bullet and star. You can also fly and go underwater in this version of Mario Kart, again a greatly received modern twist and which makes this release stand out from its older relatives.
The internet gameplay Is also very good as long as you have good WIFI, it's very quick to connect and within seconds you can be playing with different racers from around the world.
Nintendo have of course kept the favourite features such as the banana skins and the red, green and blue shells and as is a tradition with Mario Kart games there are levels from other platform games which benefit from the new features. One thing I feel that is missing from this version which the normal DS version had is the mission mode which I found fun and challenging, they have kept the old classics of the coin and balloon battles though.
Nintendo's platform star Mario has starred in a number of spin off games since first appearing on the video game scene, but few of those spin-offs have stood the test of time as strongly as Mario Kart. Whilst stuff like Mario in Time and Mario teaches Typing flopped the Mario Kart franchise has been well received by audiences since its inception on the sixteen bit Super Nintendo. These days whenever the big N produce a new system you can bet that a carting game featuring their moustached plumber will come out at some point during the hardware's life cycle. The only real surprise then is that the 3DS Mario Kart has been titled Mario Kart 7. I would have thought that Mario Kart 3D would sound snappier for marketing purposes, especially when you consider that Nintendo have previously omitted the numerical order of their games when naming the Mario Kart titles.
Given that Mario Kart games have been in existence since August 1992, there's a good chance that if you are reading this you have some idea how Mario Kart 7 works. Players get to choose one of eight characters from the Mario universe (or their Mii avatar) and guide them through one of the eight Grand Prix competitions on offer. Each contest is broken up into four tracks were points are earned based on your position after crossing the chequered flag. After all four races are complete the racer with the most points earns a snazzy gold cup. As has been the routine in recent releases, the first four Grand Prix tournaments are made up of original circuits whilst the remaining four are formed from courses that appeared in the last six Mario Kart games. Long time fans of the series may get a nostalgic kick out of driving through the older courses, but I cannot help but wonder if the developers are just recycling tracks as it means less work for them from a design point of view.
Another accusation I could levy at the programmers is that this instalment is severely lacking in original ideas. Most of the new features in Mario Kart 7 don't significantly enhance the gameplay experience. For the first time ever you can drive underwater and also deploy a glider to manipulate your trajectory when launched into the air. This sounds fun until you realise that the scuba driving handles much the same as driving on the surface, aside from a cute propeller appearing from the boot of your Kart. The glider also makes little difference as you only ever spend a few seconds at most when completing laps during a race. The only other notable feature I could mention is that you earn new parts for your Kart by picking up coins. Don't expect a Need for Speed level of vehicle tinkering, but at least you get the option to adjust tyres and chassis to modify your ride's attributes (alter the top speed, acceleration, grip etc.)
In prior Mario Kart games the action is presented from a third person view, where you see the rear of your Kart. Perhaps to enhance the 3D capabilities of the handheld Mario Kart 7 also permits the player to switch to a first person view which shows you the race directly through the driver's eyes. Motion control happy Nintendo also give racers the choice of steering the Kart by tilting the 3DS left and right, making use of the inbuilt gyro sensor. Although these additions are cool to use for a few seconds I did find myself switching back to the default settings because they are less cumbersome to play with. In my opinion using the third person view makes it easier to gauge your position on the road and tilting the handheld also means tilting the screen which is annoying. Give me a traditional thumb stick for movement any day.
DIFFICULTY & POWERUPS
For casual gamers I am pleased to report that conquering the 50cc and 100cc difficulties of the cups isn't too tough. The 150cc version of the Grand Prix races will however pose more of a challenge. To succeed you'll do well to learn each course's short cuts and hope that luck is on your side. For better or worse victory in the Mario Kart games does rely on a degree of good fortune because driving prowess will only get you so far. Thanks to the random power-ups even if you dominate a race, with Stig like reflexes, you can often find yourself being knocked out of first place on the last corner by an unavoidable blue shell. Grrr I hate those things so much.
I'll assume that most readers are familiar with the power-ups on offer so I won't bore you with an in depth description of the arsenal Mario and friends can unleash on their rivals. Needless to say all the old favourites are here including the shells you can hurl at anyone overtaking you, banana peels which make anyone driving over them skid and the star that grants you temporary invincibility for a few seconds. Exclusive to this version of Mario Kart is also the Tanooki leaf and Lucky 7. The leaf gives your character a bushy racoon tail which can be used to swat away projectiles, making a bee line for your exhaust, or any opposing Karts that get too close. Lucky 7 is probably the best ability in the game giving you seven power-ups for the price of one. It's a game changer, but don't expect to get it unless you are struggling because the quality of power-up you acquire is inversely proportional to your current placing during a race.
Although handhelds are normally inferior to consoles in the graphics department I believe Mario Kart 7 might be the best looking Mario Kart game to date. Technically speaking the Wii is the most advanced Nintendo machine on the market right now, but as it lacks a high definition display I feel that the 3D enhancements of Mario Kart 7 surpass the visuals offered by Mario Kart Wii. All the tracks look gorgeous, have a distinct feel to them and chug along at a fair pace with no slow downs. The audio matches what we have come to expect from the Kart franchise so in other words the sonics are excellent. The jolly tunes and sound effects are a joy to listen to so who cares if a plethora of the music tracks are from older games.
At the end of the day Mario Kart 7 is a must have for 3DS owners. It's not a serious driving simulator so even if you aren't big on racers it is easy to become enamoured by the simplistic pick up and play experience if offers. Races can be completed quickly making it an ideal choice to play during a train ride to work or at home when you have a few minutes to kill. Playing against A.I opponents can get tiresome after a while though so to get your money's worth I would recommend taking advantage of the multiplayer modes on offer. Despite the heaps of praise I can bestow on the game I'm only able to award it four stars as it fails to deliver anything new. Fun as it may be I cannot help but feel that the formula is starting to get stale. Fingers crossed that they freshen things up for Mario Kart 8 because it's starting to seem like we are just forking out cash for a graphical improvement of the same game.
Saying Mario Kart games are very good seems a little redundant at this stage. Given how well the titles sell, chances are if you're open to buying video games then you've already played a Mario Kart title. Also, judging by their relative scarcity on the pre-owned shelves, you probably enjoyed it enough to keep it. Still, Mario Kart 7 is in a bit of a different position, launching on a handheld console and very early in the system's lifecycle. Mario Kart 7 has already shift quite a few 3DS consoles and seems to have been a much needed shot in the arm, but does it live up to the high standards of its predecessors?
If you are one of the few people who have never played Mario Kart, the games all follow the same template. Nintendo mascot Mario, all his friends, and a few of his enemies are competing in a Go-Kart tournament. Fair play is left at the door, and players must use an arsenal of Mario themed weapons and traps to secure first place. The game is divided into cups, each cup consists of four tracks touring famous locations from Nintendo games. This means the game is neatly divided into four race segments, which keeps the pace nice and snappy. Four cups present entirely new tracks while another four are popular tracks from previous games.
The handling in Mario Kart 7 is perfectly set up. Nintendo have had a long time to get these controls right, and everything feels perfect here. Differences in acceleration and handling can be achieved through a very simple Kart customisation menu, but picking the standard parts will give you a very traditional Mario Kart experience. It's like settling into a comfy chair, perfectly familiar and welcoming.
So, what's new to this entry in the series? As usual we have a new collection of tracks to enjoy. Most of these are pretty good with the gentler early tracks being a lot more interesting than usual. Later on there's a course which will take you around the Island from WiiFit. Anyone who's ever sweated through the jogging course will see a lot of familiar sights. The selection of Retro tracks seems a little bit off though. Perhaps they've used all the best old tracks by now because I didn't have as much fun with it as I usually do.
Also new is the gliding and submarine sections, much touted in the advertising. I don't know why they spent so much time promoting them though, because these brief moments are totally superfluous. Occasionally a track will drop off into the water or fire your Kart into the air, you will then enter submarine or glider mode automatically. For a very short time, your car will control differently, but as there's no way to really deviate from the course or dramatically shakeup the dynamics of the race in these sections, I really couldn't see the point. Still, they add a little flavour to the track and they don't really detract.
One of the most interesting areas to look is the game's visual performance. A lot of speculation has been thrown around about the 3DS' graphics capabilities, being able to compare Mario Kart 7 to Mario Kart Wii is very revealing. Particularly when we can look at the same tracks side by side. While the Wii is known for being underpowered, it's amazing just how well Mario Kart 7 holds up, with the two games looking very close. The assets on the 3DS looked a little toned down, with character models having a few less polygons and textures a little foggier. But really, not so far toned down. However, I was surprised to see that Mario Kart 7 actually looks better than Mario Kart Wii in some respects. Lighting and shading is all more interesting on the 3DS which is probably the result of a more modern graphics processor. In this case, the 3DS does less than the Wii, but it puts a much better polish on it all.
As for the 3D effect, a lot was said about the 3D stretching off into the distance and really making the courses look deep. Absolutely not my experience. As usual, for me, the 3D effect is visible but never really there, creating separation, but never really depth. It's quite nice at some moments, there are no benefits to turning it off, but it adds nothing to the game.
If you're one of those people who has to have multiplayer, don't worry. Mario Kart 7 has ad-hoc between 3DS consoles and online play. You'll need to put up with the 3DS' silly friend code system to play against people you know online, but that's a chore inflicted by the console and not the game so I can't really knock it. The online multiplayer works pretty well, though you'll have to get ready to lose a lot. As for the ad-hoc, I tried in vain to find another 3DS owner and failed so I have no idea how well that works.
Overall however, Mario Kart 7 is a great game with some caveats. It's easily as good as the series usually is and the new courses are all great fun. The retro courses could be better, but they're not terrible. The games looks nice and plays well, but if you were hoping to get anything new from the gliding or underwater sections then you're setting yourself up for a disappointment.
Probably the main reason that I bought a 3DS, Mario Kart 7 is a great game for all ages. My niece (6) and my dad (57) love it, it is infuriatingly fun and has hours of gameplay. Though quite expensive it is a must have for the 3DS. Mario Kart 7 comes with a few new features which really distinguish it from the previous games.
Glider Shortcuts & Underwater shortcuts - These can take seconds of your lap times, definitely worth it if you enjoy doing time trials. Make sure you are well practiced though because you can really mess up your lap times if you mess the shortcuts up.
Watch out for red/blue shells when gliding, if you get hit in mid-air you will crash and have to be re-spawned. In the heat of a race this takes forever and you usually have to start again from 8th when other characters breeze past you. The best characters for gliding tend to be the lighter ones but they are easily knocked out of the way by the bulkier characters.
Underwater shortcuts tend to have a lot of obstacles like clam shells and fish which are hard to dodge, this is because the steering becomes sluggish so try to power slide when you can.
Un-lockables and Upgrades - Nothing new in the franchise but can be vital depending on the cup you wish to race in. There are two ways to unlock charaters/upgrades 1.You have to win races to unlock characters 2. Collect coins to unlock kart parts. It gets particularly difficult to unlock the new characters on the 150cc races when you seem to get taken out just before winning. Annoying but that's the genius of Mario Kart.
You get a choice of 8 characters when you start with a further 8 to unlock or if you fancy it you can use you Mii character (un-lockable after a few races). Again if you want a quick character go for the lightest but the heavier characters are bulkier and can be just as quick if you learn to use the slip stream.
There is a large selection of karts, buggies even ships to choose from each can be fitted with large or small tyres and a different type of glider each has their own advantages. For example if the cup you are racing in has primarily dirt tracks you will want the big tyres with a sturdy car, if it's a cup with a lot of race tracks go for either the slick or small tyres. Mario Kart 7 is missing one of my favourite features from the Wii version... The bikes! I really felt that they added to the fun especially with the wheelie feature.
Mario Kart 7 combines new tracks with old favourites; there is a place for old SNES, N64, GameCube and Wii tracks with new ones set in your favourite characters worlds like DKs Jungle. Even the Rainbow Road makes a dreaded re-appearance.
Along with new tracks there are new power-ups;
Fire Plant - Shoot fire balls at your opponent
Tanooki tail - Swat away incoming green or red shells
7's - Seven different power ups to use
These replace Mega Mushroom, Thunder Cloud, Pow Box and Fake Item box from the Wii version. I really miss squashing Bowser with Toad using the Mega Mushroom power up. Hmph!
Online/SpotPass & StreetPass - Whilst connected to WiFi you can take on the best online, this is quick and easy to connect and the loading times are not bad. Make sure you have unlocked a few of the upgrades first otherwise you may want to chuck your brand new toy out of the window.
In real life if you can use SpotPass and StreetPass to swap your game data with other players. To do this you need to be in the vicinity of another Mario kart player and the DS will do it automatically for you (if WiFi is enabled). StreetPass focuses on transferring your records whereas SpotPass will let you receive other peoples ghost data which you will be able to race against in time trial mode.
Controls - The 3DS comes with a built in motion sensor which enables you to steer like you would with the steering wheel control on the Wii version. My niece finds this feature particularly fun as she tends to make herself dizzy from all the corners she takes.
I prefer to use the analogue stick which I think is the best new feature on the 3DS, it allows more accurate control when overtaking and is easy to fire shells backwards or forwards. The problem I have is the 3DS is quite awkward to hold when you require your index fingers on the triggers and your thumbs on the controls. My hands tend to ache after a while, probably because I'm pressing to hard!
3D - I was sceptical of 3D at first until my friend let me play around with her 3DS, of course being a impulsive freak I was hooked and had to get one. The 3D really adds to the fun on Mario Kart 7, the image is really crisp and the colours are attractive.
Kids under 7 should not play with the 3D enabled which is a shame but it still looks great in 2D mode. I would advise setting it to 2D mode if you want to save the battery life and also to save your eyes if you plan to play it on a long journey.
When using the motion control it can take time to work out the angle in which you can view the 3D without the screen going blurry, but this is a common problem with all the 3DS games.
Time Trials - Again nothing new to Mario Kart but they deserve a mention. In time trial mode you have to get around the track as fast as you can in three laps, you get three boosts to use and there are also coins to collect for added speed. If you use SpotPass you can race against other people's ghost data, this is a great way to find out peoples shortcuts and see how you fare on the time trial worldwide leader board.
In summary it is a must have for 3DS owners; you just can't beat any Mario game for fun (the sole reason that Nintendo is still about today)! It is missing a couple of my favoured features from the Wii version but it is still a top quality game with hours of playability.
I've played the majority of the games in the Mario Kart series, and I've enjoyed each and every one of them - especially the predecessor to this game, Mario Kart Wii, which was simply fantastic. Mario Kart 7 is no exception, although the omission of some features from Mario Kart Wii has left me a tad disappointed.
Starting with the positive stuff though - the tried and tested Mario Kart formula is still employed here, and as ever it works great. There are 8 cups, each containing 4 tracks, to play through, on the three difficulty modes - 50cc, 100cc, 150cc (with an extra bonus mode unlocked later). 4 of these cups contain entirely new tracks, whilst the other 4 are "retro" cups consisting of classic tracks from previous Mario Kart games. I have to say that I loved the 16 new tracks - they are all very well designed, look great, and loads of fun to blast around. I didn't enjoy the 16 retro courses as much, but that's probably because I've played most of them before. One thing worth mentioning is that the retro courses have been given a bit of an upgrade, incorporating the two new features of this game (underwater racing and gliding, which I'll get to in a moment), which is nice.
But how does the gameplay stack up? Racing in Mario Kart seems to have become steadily more annoying over the course of the series, with things such as rubber banding, and the dreaded blue shell, often turning a lot of races into a game of luck. I'm happy to report however that the racing is much more balanced in Mario Kart 7, and is a lot of fun. There is still annoying items like the blue shell, or the lightning bolt, and karts behind you still do magically become faster on the last lap to catch up, but these effects are nowhere near as profound as in previous games. To make things even better - two new features have been introduced - underwater racing, where your kart becomes a bit more floaty, and gliders, which allow you to fly through the air after big jumps. There are a few new items as well, such as the Lucky 7, which gives you 7 items at random to hurl around, and the Tanooki tail, which allows you to take out opponents if you get close enough to them. Coins have also made a return (last seen in Mario Kart super circuit, I believe), which you can collect during a race to speed up your kart, and to unlock kart customisations - of which there are a lot of them! In other words, there is actually quite a large amount of depth to Mario Kart 7, and it's pleasing to see that Nintendo realise they cannot copy *exactly* the same formula across from game to game, even if it is a good one.
Graphically, the game is very impressive - bright colours, lush scenery, and a silky smooth framerate put it on a par with Mario Kart Wii. The 3D effect works brilliantly - it's nice and subtle, and after a while you treat the effect as if it was always meant to be there. Overall, Mario Kart 7 showcases the 3DS's power very well.
The most disappointing aspect of this game for me, is the online play. First of all, it seems to be a more unreliable service than in Mario Kart Wii - where, for me, finding people and racing within minutes worked flawlessly, without fail, every time. This is not the case for me in MK7. Perhaps my internet connection doesn't like my 3DS for whatever reason, but either way, it's a little frustrating, because when you are connected, racing with others is great fun. The biggest disappointment for me though is the removal of global/friend leaderboards, and sending time trial ghost data to your friends. Seeing how you stacked up against your mates on a track, trying to beat their ghost times and then sending your ghost to them, was one of my favourite features in Mario Kart Wii, and I'm at a loss to explain why they didn't include this here. What's even more annoying is that you can actually send ghost times to your friends..............but it has to be done via StreetPass - in other words, you have to be right beside your friend to exchange this data, which defeats the point of how quick and easy it was to challenge people in the Wii game.
On the bright side, they have brought in some other improvements to online play - your 3DS will download ghost times from random people via SpotPass, and you can face off against many of them in a single "race" of sorts. Another new feature is Communities, which allows you to create a group, with or without specific options such as item restrictions, where people can join and race each other. Each group has its own leaderboard to boot. For me, these features don't make up for the lost ones, but they are nice to have regardless.
Well, I've said quite a bit here, but the bottom line is Mario Kart 7 is a must buy for any 3DS owner. Whilst there is still a few persisting flaws, as well as some odd feature removals, this doesn't take away the pure fun and enjoyment this game offers. Hopefully the next Mario Kart will get that little bit closer to perfection, but for now, buy Mario Kart 7 right now - you won't regret it!
Mario Kart 7 was released on December 2nd 2011.
When I purchased my 3DS the first game I wanted was Mario Kart 7 as I have played Mario Kart on the Wii and on my DS Lite. I really enjoyed the old game and thought it was great fun. The same apply's to Mario Kart 7 its a great game with new levels and new customization.
You still get the 50cc, 100cc and 150cc races but the new levels just add more of them than in the old Mario Kart. You now can go underwater and can fly with a glider on levels which is good fun as you can control the flying and driving.
There are 3 new power ups which are the:
Fire Flower: The Fire Flower will allow players to shoot fireballs at other racers. There is a limited number of fireballs to shoot from each flower.
Tanooki Tail: The Tanooki tail is activated once and can be used continuously for a short period. It can be used to hit other players, and also to destroy certain obstacles in the game's environments for example enemies that walk around the maps.
The Lucky 7: Lucky Seven will provide a player with seven different power-ups. The power ups will spin around the player, much like red shells or green shells, and can be used one at a time. This is the best power up to get!
Just because the age rating is low it doesn't mean its going to be easy beacuse once you get to the 150cc races you are getting a challenge and its great fun to try win against faster computer controlled players.
You can buy this game from anywhere really for about £25-£35 that's a good price for the great game you will be playing.
All the characters are still the same but when you complete a level you get to unlock something to add to your car. I think its a good idea and really works well as you try harder to win to get something new every time.
New power ups are great and you can now drive with the accelerometer inside the 3DS with the 3D on because you are moving the device from side to side the 3D always jumps as you are not looking straight at the middle which is a same because then you cant use it in 3D mode great to use in 2D though.
Online multiplayer is a good laugh and works over Wi-Fi with no lag at all really smooth online game play.
This game is for all ages, its very well put together and its a great improvement from the old one must buy 10/10 once you get racing you cant stop.
A new Nintendo console brings with it a new Mario kart game and so this proves to be the case with the latest Nintendo 3DS console. This is the 7th overall edition in the main series hence the title of the game, Mario Kart 7. It was released at the beginning of December 2011. It keeps many of the same features and game play modes as previous versions with a few new additions in terms of game play.
The game itself
For those new to the game, you choose a character from a roster of Mushroom Kingdom personalities and then you race across a variety of tracks and try to win various races and cups.
There are eight characters to start with (the likes of Mario, Donkey Kong and Princess Peach) and a total of 17 in the game overall. 8 of these are unlockable by winning the 150cc class cups.
There are quite a few different game modes with online play also possible.
Grand Prix-The first of these is grand prix which allows you to win eight different cups by taking part in four races in each. This means there is a total of 32 tracks (some new and some classic ones).You compete as usual against 7 other cpu controlled characters. There are three different race classes as usual with increasing difficulty from 50cc, 100cc and 150cc.Each time you win a cup you unlock other cups and then at the higher class , new playable characters. There is also coin collecting along the way in the races. As you collect more coins you unlock fancy new parts for your kart.
Time trial- Allows you to complete any of the race course in the fastest time possible. The game saves the records and there is a ghost used when trying to beat your previous best times. Via wifi you can also compare records with other players.
Battle mode-Two different battle modes are included which are balloon battle and coin battle. In balloon battle you start with three balloons and you try and pop as many of your opponents balloons as possible to become the winner. After your initial three are popped you respawn and start again until the end. In coin battle you compete to try and get the most coins at the end of the race.
Online play is also pretty good. Each player is assigned a VR rating based on how they've performed in past races. This rating allows the game to match players of a similar skill level together. This helps in allowing everyone to play online at a suitable level and helps to improve individual performance along the way also. There is also the option to challenge friends via wi fi. The new Community feature also allows players to create groups with other Mario Kart players and set up races with customised features .
A new feature of the game is the ability to race both underwater and through the air with gliders and underwater segments throughout the various courses. Before when you went underwater this was usually out of bounds but now you can be fully submerged and continue racing and try to pick up items along the way. Gliding also allows you to go past opponents through the air.
Another new feature is the ability to control the kart by moving the console from side to side as if you are steering. This gyroscopic control feature adds to the appeal of the game. Although I wouldn't use it all the time, it is a pretty fun to try out from time to time. You switch to this way of controlling by pressing up on the d pad and press down on the d pad to switch back to normal controls.
There are also new items available. These include The Fire Flower which allows you to throw fire balls at your opponents, the Tanooki Tail which lets you hit items and nearby players and the Lucky 7 which gives you a set of seven items to use as you want. If you slip on a banana or other item these all go though.
The 3d is of course a new feature and it works well, and the graphics are great almost matching the Wii.
This is a great game with a few new nice little touches to make it more up to date and also more enjoyable. There is also the new way of controlling your kart with the gyroscopic control system. Finally the online play is also pretty good, giving the game longevity and lasting appeal if you have completed the single player options.This game and also with Super Mario Land 3ds has really helped bring the 3ds console to life finally and give it more appeal to would be buyers. It probably should have been there on the release date of the console but it is finally here and is a very good all round game which deserves 5 out 5 dooyoo stars.
Unlike other Mario games,for once this game does not have the good ole Mario plotline of rescuing Princess Peach. I played a version of it on the Wii and it was a big favourite of my sister, so when the 3DS version came out, she was given it as a gift for her birthday.
This game is rated at 3 plus and this is fair as it is a simple game as many of the ones in the Mario theme are, and the controls are simple enough for young children to use without any hassle. It is around £30 still in GAME i have seen, as many of the Mario games are, due to their high popularity, I have never really seen one decrease in price.
The game is pretty simple, you just race around the track trying to beat all the other characters as fast as you can. While this may sound boring, it isn't really as there is so many quirks and added features to the game which makes it more fun than any racing game about.
There are eight characters in total that you begin playing with in their race cars and this include the famous faces of Donkey Kong, Mario, Princess Peach. However, you can get up to 17 characters as they can be unlocked by winning cups, with those like Wiggler and Lakitu.
This game is certain to never get dull with the amount of game modes that are available. You have the Grand Prix which I consider to be the casual gameplay, as you just try and win the cups by taking part in four races. These races have different levels of difficulty ranging from 50cc to 150cc and everytime you win something in this mode you unlock new things through collecting coins.
There is also the time trial in which you basically just try and finish the race as fast as possible. I use this when I feel like a quick play, as they save the scores which means I can try and beat it in just a couple of rounds. Then there is BattleMode - Balloon Battle and Coin Battle - where you either try to burst as many contestants balloons as you can or collect as many coins as you can.
If you enjoy playing as multiplayer, then the choice of online is definitely a bonus for this! Your levels of difficulty gets matched so you don't get someone who is ridiculously good if you are just an average player. Not only is it fun competing against people you haven't competed against before, but there is also the ability to challenge your friends through WiFi.
I think this game looks great in 3D as it definitely adds more depth and detail to the game, and you really feel as if your racecar is gliding along the track, it makes you really immersed in the game! Aside from the obvious addition of this new feature however, they definitely have more added.
The races locations have more differences as you can race underwater and in the air. This adds much more to the game, as it makes it more unique from just the standard racetrack driving. They have also added something that feels a bit like the Wii to me, with the ability to control your car by moving the Nintendo DS. I dont usually use it this much, but it's quite handy if your thumbs get tired.
The graphics in the game are pretty much the same as any other Mario game, being bright and colourful. They really immerse the player into the racetracks and never fail to impress. They are sharply drawn and the developers of the Mario games clearly work hard to make them look effortless.
Overall, I would say that this game is definitely a great 3D game to have in your collection. It has a great combination of graphics, gameplay and new features so I would recommend it to anyone. It has become one of my favourites and you can't beat a great Mario game.
I've been playing Mario Kart games since owning a Super Nintendo over a decade ago and the newest offering from Nintendo is as good and inventive as ever.
The game follows the common set-up, you chose which speed you want to race at and aim to achieve three-stars by winning the four races in each of the eight cups. The more you play the more you unlock, finding new karts (all with different advantages and disadvantages), wheels, gliders (a new addition to the game) and additional characters, you can even play as your custom made mii.
Old courses are reused in this game, from classic Super Nintendo, N64 and wii, and some new ones thrown in, all with unique paths and features. This breaks the monotony of repeating levels, as no two are the same.
New weapons have been brought into this game, a fire flower and raccoon tail that work in the same way they do in the main game, the flower shoots fire and the tail spins to knock opponents out of the way. A 7 weapon has also been added, which gives you seven weapons that spin around you. Opponents can knock into these, and even sometimes steal them from you.
Again you have the multi-player option to play with up to seven other players. If your friends don't own they game, you can still play together but they don't have a choice of character and you only have a small selection of tracks.
The multi-player is also available for Coin Battles, and you can swop ghost data for the Time Trials.