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Having a number of years ago loved the original Mario Kart game I have always hoped for a new version that will live up to what I hoped for in a sequel and thankfully I have found one and unbelievably it is on the DS.
Mario Kart is very much a simple premise in that the best loved characters from the Mario world including such greats as Mario, Yoshi, Princess Peach and Wario taking part in races to compete for cups.
What makes Mario Kart different then? Well there are plenty of answers to this but the main thing I love is the system of missiles you have to trip up your opponents and give yourself the best chance of winning. The missiles are picked up as you drive the laps and are random so that you can''t simply pick the very best one and keep on firing it so you need to hope that your opponents don''t get the better of you in the missiles they collect. This for me is a really fun part of the game as it makes it a real racing game but one with a fun twist that is so well executed that it really does just add to the whole experience.
The controls as you would expect of a Mario game are perfect for what the player needs and so it takes no time to get up to speed with how to play the game and so this is something that anyone would be able to play without having too much difficulty (children may take a little more time to get the hang of it but that is normal for most games).
Overall this is a great game that lives up to all those who have played previous Mario Kart games would hope for and pushes the franchise on even further. The simple controls and easy gameplay add to the game rather than detract from it and with the graphics being amongst the best I have seen on the DS it is a great one for all who own a DS to have (or those who know someone with a DS to get so they can sneak a play).
For those that have never played mario kart before, you are seriously missing out! The Mario Kart series appears to be loved by all that play it and the DS version fits into the Mario Kart collection nicely doing a grand job. The basic premise of Mario Kart is that it is a racing game where you are given a generous supply of power-ups that you can use against other racers or to give yourself boosts. These power-ups form a key part of the Mario Kart experience and make for great combative fun.
It plays very similarly to Mario Kart Double Dash on the Gamecube or even Mario Kart Wii (if you use the classic controller). Handling is excellent and there are a vast array of pickups that are the same as mariokart wii. The difficulty balancing seems spot-on in this version, something that could've potentially been a source of great frustration given that single-player is probably the mode that gets played the most on DS.
By far the best feature of this version is the ability to play with other DS users who are nearby using only the 1 cartridge! I would highly recommend trying this out because Mario Kart is at its most fun by far when playing with friends.
== Mario Kart Game for Nintendo DS ==
Mario Kart is possibly one of those timeless games that everyone is familiar with, and continues to enjoy whatever their age. I first played this at a family get-together on the wii and enjoyed it so much I had to buy it on DS, so here is my review:
== Packaging ==
The game card comes in the standard size DS box with the Nintendo DS logo down the left-hand side. The front features Mario and his kart, on a white background with the title of the game on top. In my opinion, the design is quite boring; they could have incorporated one of the colourful backdrops featured in the game. However, I don't think it would stop children locating it on the shop shelf because Mario is such a well-known character.
Inside the box there is an instruction manual clipped into the left, and the game is on the right. The game-card is easy to take in and out because one side is clear of plastic. There is also another slot above the game... but in all honesty, I have no idea what it is for and have never found a use for it! The small box is easy to store away because of its size (roughly 25 x 18 x 2 cm) and it protects the contents from damage. Overall, pretty standard game packaging!
== Game Play ===
On the welcome screen you have the option of Single Player, Multiplayer, Nintendo WFC (wi-fi connections), Records and Options. For the purpose of this review I will be reviewing the Single Player mode, because I am guessing the other options are self-explanatory.
On the next screen, there are the following options:
Grand Prix - featuring 8 different cups of 4 different tracks. Each race gives you a number of points depending on your position in the race and your total at the end of the four races gives you your final position.
Time Trials - this is a single player mode where the goal is to get the best time on each track.
VS - in single player mode you race against the computer and in multiplayer mode you race against your friends
Battle - features Balloon Battle (you have five balloons that you need to inflate then protect, whilst trying to pop your opponents) and Shine Runners (collecting 'shines' from a map by driving into them or stealing them off your opponents).
Missions - featuring six groups of levels where your performance is rated based in terms of stars or letters.
Once you have picked what type of game you wish to play, you select which character you want and the type of kart to race in. Fans of the Mario series will recognise their favourite characters, which is a great advantage! You can unlock more characters and karts the more you play. On the next screen you can choose to race in 50cc (the easiest), 100cc or 150cc (the hardest) karts.
Obviously, the purpose of the game is to win a race, and you can do this by keeping on the track, manoeuvring around your opponents and picking up boxes. The boxes give you a helping hand. You might receive traps that you use to distract your opponents from the race or boosts to make yourself even faster. The game is very easy to play... you generally only need to use the accelerator and direction buttons. I do not tend to use the brake, although there is one if you are used to using one! You also have to press another button to plant traps in the paths of your opponents, but you can generally do this without taking your finger off the accelerator! I think it would be very easy for children and adults alike to pick up.
The graphics are quite simplified but very colourful, which is very appealing. The characters are very clear, even when they are racing past you. Obviously they are not the most amazing graphics in the videogame business, but I do not think they need to be! The music on the option screens can get repetitive and annoying. I much prefer the game play sounds where you can hear the other characters shouting 'yippee' as they go past you, or subtly cursing you if you trip them up! I do tend to play the game without sound, and game play is just as good.
== Price and Availability ==
This game has been out for quite some time now, and newer versions (including one for the 3DS) of the game have since been released. However, this means that you can pick up Mario Kart quite cheaply now. You can get the game in all good game retailers, but I would suggest looking at eBay, Amazon sellers and play.com. You can expect to pay around £15-20 for this game, which is a bargain!
== Overall Opinion ===
I only have three games on my DS... I'm not an avid videogame player as you can tell! However, this remains, by far, my favourite of the bunch. Anyone who remembers and loved playing Crash Team Racing on Playstation 1 will love this game. Or if you are a fan of Mario in general, you will not be disappointed.
You can never 'complete' the game, which means you can constantly go back to it and try to beat your lap records! Needless to say, I will not be getting rid of my copy any time soon. Thoroughly recommended!
Also published on Ciao under the username Strawberry_123
Mario Kart has been a staple in the average gamer's diet for many years, across different consoles or platforms, but perhaps one of the best versions of the game currently available is this: Mario Kart DS, for, you guessed it, the Nintendo DS.
My friends and I bought our Nintendo DS's when we were about 18 years old, and I am now 22, so they have seen a lot of use, and this game was pretty much the whole reason why we invested in the console!
About Mario Kart DS in General
As you probably could have guessed, Mario Kart is a racing game based on various characters from across the Mario franchise, each with their own specific skills, traits and karts.
When you start the game, you are given the choice of playing single player, multiplayer, searching for opponents on Nintendo WFC, accessing your records or changing the options.
I will tell you more about the modes available for both single and multiplayer games, but I think the most important element to tell you about is the items. What gives this racing game the edge is that although you might not be in a good position in the race in the beginning, you can help yourself climb the positions by using items such as turtle shells, star power, bananas and speed boosts. Some items affect the other players and hold them back, whereas others improve your own performance. This makes the game that much more playable because even if you haven't played it before you can be in with a chance of winning!
Single Player Gameplay
As a single player you can take part in a Grand Prix, where you can compete in the Mushroom, Flower, Star, Special, Shell, Banana, Leaf or Lightening Cup, and you race in four races to complete a Grand Prix.
You also have the option of taking part in a time trial, and you can either race yourself from previous attempts, or you can download your friend's "ghosts" or if you get really good you can access the ghosts of the staff who programmed Mario Kart DS.
The third option for single players is VS, which allows you to play each of the races separately without having to go through a whole Grand Prix, which is good for those who might be a little bit short on time but still fancy a go.There is also the option to play in a battle, which can be one of two:
*Balloon Battle - you have to burst opponents' balloons with items, but if all your inflated balloons burst, you lose. To blow them up to stop yourself losing, you can blow into the DS mic.
*Shine Runners - Collect "shines", either from the map or stealing from other opponents. Those with less shines get booted out over time, and the person with the most wins!
Lastly there are missions, where there are six groups of mini levels to attempt, and you are rated on your performance by letters or stars depending on how well you have done.
The first person to go into the multiplayer option has the chance to host the game, so you press create a group and then everyone else can join it. You can choose how the races will pan out, by choosing the speed of the vehicles, whether or not your have computer players and their level of difficulty, and whether it is the first to win a certain number of races, or if you want to earn points for positions.
Unlocking Further Game Options
You have about 12 characters and a selection of karts to choose from when you first start playing Mario Kart DS, but you can also earn yourself more options by completing the previously mentioned Grand Prixs.If you complete all the 50CC Grand Prixs with gold trophies you can unlock Daisy and Bones. If you complete all the 100CC Grand Prixs with gold trophies you can unlock Waluigi and several new karts. If you complete all the 150CC Grand Prixs with gold trophies you can unlock more karts, and if you complete all the mirror 150CC Grand Prixs you unlock all the remaining karts.
The Nintendo DS was never created to be an amazing hand held console for graphics, so these aren't spectacular, but they are ok for the speed of the game and the gameplay. Myself and my friends due to our age sometimes play this as a drinking game, so the graphics matter even less in this situation! But I doubt it would be something that would bother younger children, and older children will know this is much the same in both the Wii version of the game and the new Nintendo 3DS version.
I have to admit I usually keep the sound turned down when I play as it really gets on my nerves! It is ok for a little while, but the music is the same over and over each time you play a course, and when you play it as much as I do that's a lot of times you're going to hear it!
I prefer to either talk to my friends if we are playing together, or put my own music on to listen to, that way it's a bit more varied!
As I stated at the very beginning of my review the main reason I bought a Nintendo DS was for this game, and I haven't been left disappointed! Although I have bought other games and they have since come and gone, I would never ever consider getting rid of my copy of Mario Kart DS because it gets so much use, and I always go back to it.
It is another great game for bringing people together, though in our case there is often a great deal of aggression when the same people are being hit by items when they were doing well, over and over again!I would say that the best part of this game is the multiplayer - yes it is good that you can play it on your own if there is no one else to play with, but it brings people together if you are all in the same room, or you can also play with people via Nintendo WFC. I haven't managed to do this yet as the security settings on our internet are too strict and I can't connect yet due to the firewalls etc. I do think it is a good feature to have, but I can't tell you how reliable the connection can be.
I bought this pretty much when the DS came out, so I probably paid quite a bit, maybe about £25? But I can't remember exactly - sorry! A few searches reveal that currently the prices online are:
*Amazon - £21.97
*Play.com - £23.99
*Zavvi - £24.95
Also published on Ciao
My nine year old son has owned a DS console for a few years now, with this Mario Kart game being one that has maintained its status as a firm favourite for around two years now. Despite being released back in 2005, this game has remained a popular classic for the DS and, consequently, has maintained a high selling price.
Mario Kart is a fun racing game for the DS console, featuring the classic Mario character, alongside other favourites including Donkey Kong and Luigi. Players can choose to play as various characters and race against others in a series of different styles of race, circuits and tournaments. Additional characters, courses and content can be unlocked during the course of the game, by winning trophies, offering variety and giving the game greater longevity.
As a fun character based racing game, this is a fairly engaging and simple game to get to grips with. The racing car is controlled using the console keys with the stylus not needed at all.
There are several different modes available which all offer more variety and complexity to a straightforward racing game. It is fun collecting missiles along the routes and trying to outwit and outmanoeuvre opponents, as well as dodging those banana skins!
My son tends to play on the Grand Prix mode but there are also Time Trials which give the player the opportunity to constantly improve their speed and performance by trying to beat their own previous time. There are also a series of fairly short 'Mission Mode' mini games which help to offer variety and promote the game's longlasting appeal.
Given the simplicity of controlling the vehicles, this is a game that can readily be enjoyed by even the youngest of players. As a racing game, reading ability isn't an issue here so this is a good choice for non-readers. My four year old son does struggle to master the direction controls with enough co-ordination to come anywhere close to winning a race, but he enjoys the experience of playing nevertheless. Realistically, I would recommend this to children from around five or six upwards, by which age they should be able to control their vehicles well enough not to become too frustrated or bored.
At the upper end of the age limit, this really is a game that has a nostalgic appeal for adults and is also surprisingly addictive. The game does become more challenging as the player works their way through the circuits. There are three different difficulty levels which helps to accommodate younger (or, in my case, less competent) players as well as offering more complexity for seasoned racers.
Mario Kart works very well on a small console with the two screens being utilised very well to give both an overview of the whole track as well as following the progress of your own Kart. The cartoon-like images are bright and fun, making the game appealing to follow. I do find that the split-screen racing can make me feel a little nauseous if I've been playing or watching the game for a while although that's not something that ever seems to affect my son or husband, however long they play.
The main attraction to this game and a real bonus compared to the majority of DS games is that Mario Kart can be played by two players simultaneously, using only the one DS cartridge across different consoles. Linking up the DS consoles for this multiplayer option is very straightforward, making it something that my nine year old can do independently within seconds. This makes the game first choice for taking to Grandma's house where my son is able to compete against his cousin, even though his cousin doesn't have a copy of this game. Mario Kart also gets taken to Kids' Club during school holidays, again as it gives the game much more appeal when it can be used interactively with friends. Apparantly, up to eight different consoles can be connected using just the one game, which could lead to all sorts of chaos!
It is also possible to connect via wi-fi to other players elsewhere but my son gets much more pleasure from competing (or working as part of a team) with somebody who is actually playing in the same room as him. This multiplayer element really does make the game excellent value for money, particularly from a parents' perspective as I don't need to purchase another cartridge in order for my boys to compete against each other on their respective consoles. Dad particularly likes this feature too!
===Value for Money===
This game is still widely available but expect to spend around £20-£25 for a new cartridge which is at the expensive end for older DS games. I feel that even at this price the game offers excellent value for money, given the overall play value and ongoing appeal, particularly with its multiplayer functions.
As a parent, I'm happy to recommend this as a game that has the potential to entertain a young child, without frustrating them, but can also grow with the youngster and offer ongoing challenges and longlasting appeal across the generations. This is pricey for a DS game but is a worthy investment and also has the potential to maintain a high resale price as a second hand game.
Super Mario is probably one of the most iconic characters in video game history and Mario Kart is undoubtedly one of the most enduringly classic games. It is an entertaining, and strangely addictive, character-based racing game which is fun for the whole family. I remember playing Mario Kart on the original 'Super Nintendo Entertainment System' in our student house in the mid-90s in gaming sessions which grew increasingly competitive as the beer flowed. I also have fond memories of playing it on the Nintendo 64 against my then boyfriend (now husband) in our first ever home. We have also owned the versions for the Gameboy Advance, the Wii and the Nintendo DS - and it is the current Nintendo DS version that will be the focus of this particular review.
The Nintendo DS version of Mario Kart, like all previous versions of the game, features the classic Mario characters. These will be instantly recognisable to fans of the Super Mario franchise and include Mario himself, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Koopa Troopa and Toad. These eight characters appeared in the first version of Mario Kart. All the characters have slightly different attributes and racing styles, but most devotees of the Mario Kart series will already have their own favourites. After a brief flirtation with Yoshi in my younger days, I almost always race as Mario these days. You also get a choice of 2 karts for each character.
After selecting your character, you enter a race against 7 other characters. I mostly play in the Grand Prix mode where you have to compete in a series of four races and hopefully accumulate enough points in those races to finish on top of the podium. During the races, you drive into flashing blocks to collect items to help your quest for victory. These include many of the items from the original games - red shells to fire at the character immediately in front of you, green shells to aim at other players (or bounce around at random hoping to hit somebody) , a star to make you invincible, lightening to shrink everyone else and banana skins to trip up the characters behind you. There are also a few newer items such as the one that turns you into a bomb and flies you round the course... I find that you only get the really good items when you are near the back of the race, if you're right out in front you're lucky if you get anything much better than a banana skin!
Visually, Mario Kart works really well on the split screen Nintendo DS as you get a third-person view of your character and their kart on the top screen, and a map showing the track layout / positions of your opponents on the bottom screen. The graphics are very good, they are simple enough not to detract from the gameplay which I think is especially important for younger players, but incorporate all the features you would want from a game of this type.
One of my favourite elements of the Nintendo DS version of Mario Kart is that it features some of the circuits from previous versions of the game. There are four Grand Prix sets which have all new circuits and then a further four which have 'Retro' circuits. Each of the two sets of Grand Prix circuits increase in difficulty - the first two sets (the 'Mushroom Cup' in the new 'Nitro Grand Prix' series and the 'Shell Cup' in the 'Retro Grand Prix' series) are fairly easy, but by the time you get to the last few races it has often become a real challenge to stay on the track. There are 32 different circuits in all, and you can compete on those circuits at 50cc, 100cc and 150cc levels. The faster you go, the more difficult it is to win.
Apart from the Grand Prix mode, the following modes are also available. In '' Vs mode'' , you simply choose one individual track to race against the computer-controlled opponents. ''Time Trial' mode allows you to attempt to set the fastest time for an individual track, which is then saved as 'ghost data' that you can attempt to beat later on by racing against a ghost version of your character. There is also a 'Battle Mode' with two different games - the balloon battle where you have to use items to burst your opponents balloons, and 'Shine Runners' where you have to collect more 'Shines' than anyone else. The final mode is a 'Mission Mode' which uses mini games such as driving through five numbered gates in order to enhance your driving skills - you have to complete each mission to move on to the next. This is a fun mode for younger players as each game doesn't last very long and completing it gives them a sense of achievement.
Mario Kart DS is a fantastic game which provides hours of entertainment. The challenge of progressing through the Grand Prix mode, unlocking different circuits and then trying to win the cup at all three levels, gives the game enduring playability as it does take a reasonable amount of time to complete it, even if you're a far better player than I am. It is a brilliant game for younger gamers too - my five year old adores it and doesn't even get too frustrated when he doesn't win, as he enjoys playing it so much. The retro element of including tracks from the older versions of Mario Kart will appeal to anyone who has grown up with the game, and it also makes a good conversation point with younger players. Overall, I would definitely recommend Mario Kart DS, both to existing fans of the franchise and to anybody who hasn't yet given it a try.
Mario Kart DS is the latest in the series of racers that have graced Nintendo's consoles over the years. There have been massive advances in computing power during that time, which the games have always taken advantage of; yet the core gameplay - the series' main appeal - has remained relatively unchanged. Mario Kart DS is not about to break this winning formula and turns in a fantastic little racer that should form part of any DS owners collection.
As in previous installations, Mario Kart DS sees you taking part in a number of races against other Nintendo characters, aiming to prove you are the best around a series of increasingly tricky courses. Power-ups can help you win the race, by boosting your performance or sabotaging that of your opponent, whilst there are plenty of new characters and courses to be unlocked as a reward for good racing.
The graphics for Mario Kart DS are generally excellent. Characters are detailed and full of personality and if you know your Nintendo game worlds, you will instantly recognise Mario, Donkey Kong, and many others. Even if you're not terribly familiar with the characters, each has genuinely different characteristics, attitudes and abilities, so you feel you are racing against "real" characters, even when playing in single player mode. For once, your character selection really does make a difference to the way you race; smaller characters like Yoshi are nippier, but more easily barged off the track; larger ones like Donkey Kong are a little sluggish off the mark, but great at cornering
There's also a tremendous amount of variety in the graphics, with each track based around popular Nintendo games which make the most of different locations. Some are new but, recognising the growing retro market, Nintendo have recreated some tracks from earlier Mario racing games. Like so much else in the game, this blend of old and new strengthens the game tremendously, giving it instant appeal to returning gamers whilst producing enough new elements to keep them happy.
Impressive track design has always been a mainstay of the Mario racing series. Tracks are varied, both graphically and in terms of their layout. Some are short and fast, others have more bends and take longer to complete. Yet, this is not meant to be a grand prix simulator, so tracks are not packed with chicanes or other tricky features. Instead, they are generally very wide, giving plenty of opportunities for overtaking, which is what the game is really all about. This adds a tremendous sense of competition and rivalry to the game, putting the concentration on racing, rather than realism.
Presentation throughout is of the highest quality and the bright, colourful graphics make the game instantly appealing. Whilst the graphics are necessarily small, they work very well. Tracks are well laid out and delineated and it's easy to see what's coming up, thanks to a map of the track, so that you can choose the best racing line and avoid hazards ahead of you.
Ironically, for a racing game, there isn't a great illusion of speed. Even when travelling flat out, you never feel like you're hurtling along and there's none of that breathless thrill that you get from most racing games. This is partly down to the technical limitations of the DS, but it's also because speed is not really what Mario Kart DS is about; instead, it's about the fun of racing against other people and using the various power-ups to your advantage.
As ever, the game play is perfectly balanced both in terms of fairness and its learning curve. The opening tracks in the 50cc category will offer most gamers no real problems, but they do give you a chance to get used to the controls and the game mechanics. On later tracks, opponents become more aggressive, bumping and barging you out of the way and obstacles and hazards become trickier and more numerous. Throw in the unpredictable nature of power-ups (which rival racers will also use to nobble your chances of winning) and you have a really fun racing title.
The difficulty level is perfectly pitched between fun and frustrating. The computer controlled racers have a genuinely impressive artificial intelligence, always carefully choosing the optimum moment to hit you with a negative power-up. This can lead to howls of frustration when you are just about to win a race only for one of your opponents play a dirty trick. Even then, that frustration is always tinged with fun; there's never any sense that the game is being unfair, only playing an intelligent game and doing exactly what you would do in their shoes. And, of course, you get a feeling of immense satisfaction when the tables are turned and you scupper their chances with a well-chosen power-up!
Even when you complete all the tracks, there's always the challenge of going back and bettering your time. Alternatively, you can choose some of the other game modes, which are equally good fun. Mission gives you a number of challenges to complete, usually against the clock and whilst these are fairly simplistic and easy to do, they are still quite fun. There's a fiendishly addictive "ghost mode" where you can race against the best times set on each track (either your own, or those of other players) and see if you can beat them.
Best of all, there's an excellent two player mode where you can play either online, or with a friend (who doesn't even need to own the game to join in the fun). There's always far more fun to be had battling against another human player (particularly if they are in the same room) and these modes really get your competitive juices flowing and add to the long-term appeal of the game.
The game's controls have been well thought out and use the DS's D-Pad to great effect so that your fingers naturally fall onto the required keys. The controls are very tight and responsive and you will soon find yourself able to drive your way out of some potentially tricky situations.
Mario Kart DS is an unashamedly fun and old-fashioned title. Its bright, colourful graphics provide instant appeal whilst the surprisingly deep and highly addictive game play will see you spend a worrying amount of time attached to your DS. Throw in a perfectly balanced learning curve and difficulty level, plenty of unlockable features, and more fun than you can shake a stick at, and you have one of the DS's standout titles.
Mario Kart is pretty old now, but is still quite expensive to buy. A new copy will cost somewhere around £20, whilst a second hand one can be found for just over a tenner. Forget the cost, though; this is one game that offers hours of fun for the whole family and so represents great value for money. Buy Mario Kart DS and prepare to kiss your spare time goodbye!
© Copyright SWSt 2010
Playing some games on the Nintendo DS are sadly not that great but others are exceptional and this game is one of those which I find exceptional. Mario has been a fantastic game to play on any of the Nintendo consoles and this is one of those which stand out to me.
You play as a wide range of characters and your aim is to win grandprixs. The task sounds simple and to some it might be but sometimes it can be very difficult. You begin by picking a set speed of a race and when you have you pick a grand prix trophy to aim for.
You aim for the trophy by competing in four grand prixs and they are all different to each other. Your aim is to try your best to win the top prize the gold trophy. When you win the trophies you unlock new grand prix trophies to obtain.
When you win more trophies you unlock new players and speeds to play at. You can pick a range of characters such as Mario, Luigi, Princess and more. When you are playing the grand prix races the selection of your kart is essential but so is the tactics you employ to win the main trophies.
You can pick up question mark boxes which have weapons in to assist you and sometimes they can do the opposite. Your tactics is to use whatever force you can in order to win the top prizes.
If you feel this is a good challenge then you are on to a winner however not all the time does this happen. You might find that when the speed of the races increase the tactics of the other players increases to cause you more mayhem.
You can play with friends should you wish which can be really exciting and fun as well. If you want to practice various circuits you can and overall there are many characters to choose from and over 30 karts to have and pick.
You will encounter roads near grass, bridges, ice and more when taking on the grand prixs and the sounds are essential as they can warn you when an enemy has fired at you or someone else.
You can take part in ghost runs which is where you can test various cars against your best scores to see if the speed and handling is better and that is all in the game.
I have found even when I completed the game I couldn't put the game down but I did in the end and I am glad I have managed to play such a fun game. The graphics are exactly very good and I find them find good when it comes to colours such as the green and reds. The game play at times can pause I feel when too much is taking place on the screen but overall it is a very good game to play.
The Mario Kart series has been something of a phenomenon for the Nintendo following, with the original entry hitting the SNES when I was still at the tender age of five, it's fair to say it passed me by. I had a brief fling with it many years later and found it great fun but for myself and many others, Mario Kart 64 was the game that we fell in love with. I think it's fair to say that Mario Kart DS is not only cut from the same cloth but woven in a similar fashion. As such, fans of the Mario Kart series are really going to love this.
Mario Kart is the series credited with turning Nintendo's main franchise into a series of sporty spin-offs. By agreeing to duke it out on the racetrack, Mario along with his friends and foes have forged quite a little gang. One week they're go-karting, the next they'll be enjoying a tennis tournament. While many of these spin-offs have a lot of appeal, Mario Golf is particularly good fun, Mario Kart has always been the real success story.
At it's core, the Mario Kart series is a flexible, bouncy racing game. It offers familiar characters from the Mario series and a selection of colourful environments to race in. A selection of colourful items can be used as weapons in this wacky races style affair. Firing off shells like torpedos, changing into a giant bullet or sending a spooky ghost to steal things from other players, there's always something new happening. Gameplay is solid and highly addictive with all entries in the series being first rate.
This time around the gang consists of Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Toad, Donkey Kong, Bowser and Wario. Each racer is given a different car that is generally styled after them, Yoshi drives around in an egg for example, but you can also choose to use the standard kart. This gives each character a small choice between different strengths and weaknesses on top of their own unique driving styes. It's a varied approach and keeps things interesting. Racing is a strong and positive experience with all characters and you never feel as though you'd picked the dud, all tracks are winnable with any combination of characters or speed class so long as the player is proficient.
Mario Kart is in something of a strange position. It is the fourth game in the series, coming after critically acclaimed first and second titles but a lukewarm reception to Double Dash on the Gamecube. As such, Mario Kart DS seems to be a little more picky about where it draws its inspiration from. It drops the two-man kart feature of Double Dash and returns to a more simplified gameplay. It also takes a lot of cues from Mario Kart 64, with level design evoking the more outlandish feel of those older tracks.
The control system is great here for a lot of reasons. Firstly, Nintendo have taken the very wise decision to leave the stylus out of things. The touchscreen is only used for navigating menus, a real joy as the action in this title really gets too fast to expect touch control to work. Instead they have mapped steering to the D-Pad and other controls to the face and shoulder buttons. It's simple but solid and never disappoints.
Graphically, this game impresses. Mario Kart 64 offered excellent graphics on the Nintendo 64 by creating pre-rendered characters within a 3D environment. It gave the racers a smoother look that was very effective but gave them significantly restricted animations. This allowed the developers to give the race tracks a little more oomph. This time around Nintendo have used the extra power of the DS to create race tracks that are to a slightly higher standard than Mario Kart 64 while providing fully animated, real-time rendered racers. The odd effect is that while the models don't actually look as sophisticated, racing is a much better experience and the tracks and characters fit together more coherently.
There is a wide selection of tracks available in this version with the main tournament consisting of four cups with four tracks each. It also includes the retro tournament, another sixteen tracks taken entirely from earlier Mario Kart games. The new tracks are all excellent designs and totally in keeping with what we've come to expect while the old tracks are absolutely the cream of the crop from the previous three years. My particular favourites are taken from the original SNES release and are lovely to play in 3D.
Mario Kart DS is another must own for DS owners. It offers a huge selection of race tracks as well as wi-fi multiplayer. Repeat playing is encouraged and rewarding and there's always more to do. Offering three different speed classes and many different characters, there's a lot to offer to young and old, experienced and new and Mario fans or newcomers. It's a great game.
I had this game as a bundle when i got my original Nintendo DS. It came in the box and therefore was not to be sold seperately but i don't intend selling it as it is one of the best games on the DS for everyone.
Mario Kart has been on most if not all Nintendo consoles from the Snes days right up until the Wii. It is very popular worldwide and is simply brilliant.
The DS version is great. The grahpics are outstanding and to be fair are probably as good as the Gamecube in my opinion. The top screen is for the actual race/ you racing and the bottom screen is used for the map.
The control's are simple and are east for everyone of all ages.
The game runs the same as all the other Mario Kart games: unlocking cups and speed classes. However this time there is also online mode. This is the first Mario Kart game to go online as the Wii version came out later.
There are 4 DS cups and 4 Classic cups. The classic cups consist of a few courses from previous consoles. You have to unlock the next cup by completing the previous one. Each cups has 4 courses in them and they are all fun and unique.
Another thing is the speed classes. At first you only have 50cc which is quite slow, but once you have completed it you get to unlock 100cc, and then same onto 150cc.
Online mode is the new addition. I think it's great as it means you can't really get bored despite completing the game as when you play online you don't know what's going to happen. There is one major problem however online. It's called 'Snaking'. This is when people playing keep jumping and turbo bossting really quickly from left to right, this may seem fair but in fact it isn't as it means when i see their player on my screen they going ultra-fast and are going like a Snake.
Apart from some 'Snakers', Mario Kart DS is a great online game. It is suitable for all ages, whether your a kid, or even for adults. It uses the full potential of the DS's graphics and is truly great. As i have said in a review before about the Mario Kart Wii version: your console would not be complete without it!
Definately recomend, and you can get it alot cheaper nowadays!
It's very rare that a game is regarded as an essential for a console, but this game is an exception. If you have a Nintendo DS, you need Mario Kart DS.
Mario Kart DS is a simple racing game at heart, but there is so much content and variety that it is only a matter of time before this game becomes an addiction.
On their own, the player can choose to play through a basic grand prix, unlocking new characters and vehicles and gaining trophies and highscores.
Players can also participate in time trials, simple races and challenges such as boss fights from classic mario games.
However, the real meat of this game is in the multiplayer, online and off mulitplayer is easily accessable. Offline, you can link up to up to 3 other friends using only one copy of the game.
Online, is even easier to access; players can compete locally, with friends or worldwide.
Mario Kart DS runs smoothly throughout, and looks brilliant on the DS. The items players can use against each other are perfectly balanced and are gained depending on your current position.
Player can choose from an array of Mario related characters and choose all sorts of vehicles, if that wasn't enough, player can create personal emblems to really leave their mark on the track.
Overall, Mario Kart DS is one of the best portable racers, one of those games that can be played for minutes or hours at a time - the perfect portable game. It is also one of the best ways to experience the DS online capabilities.
The Mario Kart franchise is one that has been around for ages on the Nintendo and seems to be getting improved upon with each new genre of the game. There are no real surprises then, that this game is still retailing around the upper levels of DS games, £25-£30, despite having been round for five years now.
If you've never played the game in one of its many formats, where have you been?!? The game is a karting race between yourself and seven other competitors, who can be controlled by the computer or your friends via the DS wireless link up system. To do this, your friends do not need a copy of the game, just a DS and the game really comes in to its own when you're frantically racing around against a pal!
Along with a choice of different karts and characters (expect the usual friends of other Mario games to pop up) the race is made more competitive by the choice of items that can be collected throughout each race, liberally sprinkled throughout each lap of each course. The items are provided in an unofficial handicap so expect to get the best or most destructive items if you're in last place and you'll soon find yourself finishing on the podium. This can be frustrating if you're an experienced player and you find yourself getting beat by someone playing for the first time, but how else do you think people get addicted to this game?!?
With more play and succesful completion of the 30 odd courses, more characters and karts can be unlocked to improve your gaming options. Fans of earlier incarnations of the game will recognise that some of the courses have been re-created from the N64 version of it.
Whether you want to play this game against friends, or enjoy the highly entertaining solo mission mode, this game has something for everyone. If you've got a DS and you still haven't bought this game, go out and buy it now, you will not be disappointed!
Mario Kart is one of the most recognisable games and most popular games around on any console and is a great franchise. Mario Kart is one of Nintendo's biggest games. This version for me on the Nintendo DS is one of the best to date.
There is of course no real story to Mario Kart and you know what you are going to get with this game if you've played it before on a different console. It's still a race around various tracks and courses against famous Nintendo characters. Mario Kart for the DS relies on using various items to win races. But above all you are still largely reliant on the skill of driving.
The first thing you need to do before starting a race is of course choose your character. You can choose from eight characters. Each of these has their own attributes and strengths and weaknesses. There are also different karts to choose from. You only get the choice of two at the start but as you progress through the game you get to choose more and more and unlock others. To add to the interest and challenge the karts also have their own strengths and weaknesses as is the case with the characters.
There are about 32 different courses to race on and there are some old favourites and new ones too. Some are more challenging and interesting than others in the game but most are pretty fun to race on.
The large selection of the items this time around was one thing that was great about this game. This version features green, red and blue shells you have seen before and also banana peels and mushrooms etc. There is now in addition a bomb and other useful items.
It is not a bit more interesting and exciting in this version to play in single player mode. You can take part in the Mario Kart Grand Prix races and time trials. There is a new mission mode that brings new challenges. You have to perform tasks in an arena format.
This is a great version of the Mario Kart series for the DS and I highly recommend you get this one if you own this console as it's great fun and very entertaining as usual for this game.
Mario Kart DS is a cartoon racing game were you race different characters from the popular mario series of games which include Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Peach, Toad, Donkey Kong, Wario and Bowser among other unlockable characters. The goal is to beat your opponents to the finishing line by using speed and a variety of items you pick up along the way.
There are a number of different games you can play in this game such as a grand prix where you race in either a 50cc, 100cc or 150cc event and get a choose a number of cups to race in which each incorporate four different tracks. Cups include the Mushroom cup, flower cup, shell cup and banana cup along with four different unlockable cups as you progress through the game.
Other game modes include Time trials were you race against your previous times, your friends times or best times around the world. There is also a versus mode were you can play friends over a wi-fi connection. I find this to be the most enjoyable mode and only one of you's need the game to play it. If you all have the game it does unlock various different tracks and characters though.
The other two game modes are battle and Mission Mode. Battle mode has two parts. Balloon battle and shine runners which involve you using items to pop each others balloons (which act as lives) or collect coins as fast as you can. The various missions in the game incorporate a large range of tasks such as collecting items in a time limit to beating bosses.
Like the majority of the mario series of games this one is fantastic. The controls are very easy to use, you get a chance to use all the original characters from the game and the wi-fi multiplayer is very enjoyable. There are a large number of game modes that will keep you playing for hours. The game is fantastic for the price. Well worth buying.
I think that Mario Kart on the DS is one of the best games on the DS, but it is still way behind the Wii version, but that is mainly because the graphics of the DS are on the whole poor.
You use all the buttons on the DS to control your kart, which makes it a lot harder than simply pressing go and stop.
There are a couple of game modes, the main one being Grand Prix which has three classes of race by engine size. However each engine size just races in all the same tracks, so it is exactly the same in each engine class apart from speed. This mode is just racing against other cars controlled by the computer by you can also enter a vs mode where you can play against your friends if they have a DS and are in the room with you. If they have a DS game card it is better because all courses can be played, however you can play using just one game card, but this limits the amount of gameplay you have. It is good that someone else can play against you if they don't have the game though. You can also play against other friends using wireless internet if you are in your own house and they are in theirs. I found this really fun and I often find myself playing against my mates when I am bored.
You can do other fun things on this game, such as paint your kart and play in battle mode or mission mode. Battle mode has two options, to play in a balloon battle or a shine battle. Balloon battles is where you have to burst your opponents balloons without letting them burst yours. I find this more fun that the racing sometimes! The shine battle is similar but you must collect "shines" which are just like stars, they appear all over the place and then the person with the least keeps getting eliminated until there is only one person left. This game can get quite frustrating for me as people can steal shines off you.
Overall I would describe this game as friendly and fun. You can play it alone or with friends (of course providing they own a DS). It is one of the top selling DS games which has meant its price hasn't dropped as much as some other games but you can get a copy for £12.50 on play.com brand new if you buy from one of the sellers on there. However play.com sell it themselves at £24.99 compared to £22.98 on amazon.
Want to show off your skills? Then get excited as Mario Kart DS features both online and wireless multiplayer modes. By using the Wireless DS Single-Card Download Play feature, up to 8 players can link up with just one game card. Alternatively you can battle it out online with three other players either using your existing Wi-Fi broadband; or using one of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Access Points in store or at Nintendo Wi-Fi connection enabled public Wi-Fi hotspots. Never before has it been so easy to pick up a games console and challenge friends from all over the world for free.