Product Type: Nintendo Wii games
Newest Review: ... It varies - at the moment we are trying to unlock a character through coming in first place in all four races in the leaf cup; much ha... more
I just Karted...
Mario Kart (Wii)
Member Name: ryanando
Mario Kart (Wii)
Advantages: New tricks, Bikes and a tonne load of things to do
Disadvantages: The team setting is a bit of a pain
--Glitter On the Mattress---
So, my weekend did not exactly go to plan. For those of you who were unaware, my plan was to stay in, play Mario kart and sleep.
More fun for me, though, I (as was kind of expected) ended up in the pub, making for much fun times and lots of kissing (don't worry, it's the guy I had the failed date with. I'm not just a tart). Then my ex came over to stay the day after. Ok, so maybe I AM a LITTLE bit of a tart monster. Oops. Obviously the sleeping part of the plan went completely out of the window for various reasons I shall leave to your imagination.
As much as I totally skewed off the path of my well laid plan, I managed to skip back onto it for a few merry hours in the form of kicking my ex's ass at Mario kart. Oh the sweet joy. This is what I shall be telling you about today. The Kart, not the ass. Well...maybe the ass too.
---I'm Heading down the Atlanta Highway---
I realise that a few of you deprived beings may not know what Mario Kart is. This makes me sad. Pay attention at the back! Mario Kart is another spin off of the...er...hugely successful....Mario franchise. You will find a version on almost everything that Nintendo have touched, including your grandmother, each getting better as technology advances and graphics get cooler. The idea, you may have guessed, is that you play with a selection of Mario / Nintendo characters (unlocking more as you play) and race the crap out of each other in a Kart. It's no normal race though! You also get to cheat constantly by shooting people with shells, finding short cuts round the tracks and using your rather dubious mushrooms that give you a boost of speed. Wonder where they got that idea from....
---The whole shack shimmy!---
This being the 8th version, they have came up with some shiny new ways to entertain us and bring a new edge to the game. The game costs between £34 and £40 depending on where you go and is played by inserting your Wii remote...into a tiny little Wii Wheel, which comes with the game. If you do wish to have a comfortable gaming experience with more than one person, you may wish to indulge in a few more wheels. You can generally pick them up for about £5 for a cheapie and about £10 for the generally more comfortable, official version. Playing the game without them is just not as easy as you would think. Trust me, I tried it.
---I got me a Kart---
Not only do you get do steer like a...ahem...real...driver... you get to choose your Kart in this version. In previous versions, you are stuck with your generic Kart which goes slower or faster depending on the character. This version you are in control. You have choice between Karts, Bikes, Prams (yes, Prams) and other randomly funked-up things on wheels. As you pick your Kart, you can see its statistics on your screen, so you can choose the fastest one going, or a slow one with brilliant cornering depending on what you prefer to drive. The more you play, the more Karts you can unlock.
You play with your Kart on Manual or Automatic. While playing with your Kart on manual you can make your Kart jump and skid round corners and pick up a pretty little boost from it. When your wheels start burning blue, you get a mini boost. When they start burning red, you get a longer, stronger boost.
If you play on automatic, you don't get any boosts and the computer helps you round the corners a bit more. If you are a decent gamer, go for the manual setting!
While you're running round on bikes, you can also pop a wheelie by pulling your wheel up as if you were doing the wheelie too. You'll go a little faster doing a wheelie, but it becomes harder to turn.
---It's as big as a Whale---
Now that Nintendo have a much more powerful console at their disposal, they have decided to use it. At the beginning of the game you have Four Main categories you can play around with. Single player, Multi-player, Mario Kart WFC and Mario Kart Channel. Under each setting a multitude of things you can do which I will now bore you to death with!
---Mario Kart Channel---
This is a Wii channel where you can view competitions, download "ghost data" (basically how other people have raced on a time trial so you can try and beat their ghost later) and see everyone else's rankings. Best way to depress yourself ever. Everyone is better than you. You suck.
---Mario Kart WFC---
I have only just figured out what WFC means. Way Farking Cool? World Farting Competition? No. Wi-Fi Connection? I'm assuming so! It is where you go if you wish to race people from all over the world. If you have Wi-Fi. Which I do. Yay!
You can choose to race and battle people from your continent, worldwide or friends on the other side of the city who were too lazy to move their ass and come round to play with you. They need a Wii too.
If you do this, you take a vote on what track you want to play and then one is randomly selected, meaning you could end up playing on your favourite track, or the worst.
The Grand Prix, apart from providing much hilarity when drunk people pronounce it the dirty way, is something you may wish to get the hang of. This is where you can unlock a lot of the extra courses, Karts and Characters. It is available under Single Player only. There are three levels of play within the Grand Prix, which basically comes down to Easy, Medium and Hard. To begin with you can only play with Karts on the easy setting, but again, you can unlock it so you can play with bikes too. Which is fun.
There are 8 Cups to play for, each having four tracks. When you play in Grand Prix mode, you choose a cup and race the four tracks. Winning a race gives you 15 points, and less and less for each place after, nil for last place because you are scum and don't deserve points. It's true. The winner is the one with most points. Weird huh?
You start the game with 4 cups available to play, and you will need to win Gold, Silver or Bronze in each Cup before you can start unlocking other tracks. The irritating thing about this is, you can unlock all the tracks on easy but you still need to win Cups on the other settings to unlock the tracks for that difficulty setting. How dare they.
This one does what it says on the tin, letting you try to get the fastest time on the track of your choice. You need to unlock the tracks on Grand Prix mode before they will all become available to play on Time Trial, but you only need to unlock them on one difficulty setting. So relax.
This setting is only available under single player.
Die hard Mario Karters will remember battling others. Personally I hate Battles. I lose ALL the time. I'm a damn good racer but my aim sucks. It would seem you require a little bit of aim for the battles. You can either have a Balloon battle or a Coin battle. Sounds interesting no?
Unlike previous versions, you have to play as a team on battle mode now. Ok well that's a little lie. The manual says there is an option you can select to turn the team battles off. I just can't find it for the life of me. I much preferred the older consoles where you got to play one on one battles with your friend.
Because of this 'Team' thing they have going on, you can choose to play on the same team or against each other. Each team is made up of 5 people (real or computer generated).
The battles are played in rather large stadiums which are full of jumps, hidey holes, weapons and other various things. A couple of the stadiums look similar to that of older versions but there are also some new, incredibly cool stadiums to run around in.
A Balloon battle is quite simple. You have three balloons above your character. When you are inevitably hit with some random object, a balloon will pop and the other team gets a point. The team with the most points wins. The other team gets fruit thrown at them. At least that's how it works in my flat.
A coin battle is where you run round the stadium in your teams trying to pick up as many gold coins as you can. If you get hit, you loose coins. The team with the most coins wins.
After each battle, which lasts about 5 minutes, you get to see your individual scores so you can gloat even further when you beat someone's sorry behind.
Battle Mode is available on Single, Multiplayer and WFC mode.
Vs Mode is similar to Grand Prix in that the winner after four courses will get a Cup, however, you have free reign over what courses you play and can pick and choose from any Cup you want (assuming you've unlocked it!)
---Glitter on the Highway---
In true Nintendo style, they have recycled the hell out of the older games by including some tracks from previous versions. Personally I find this fantastic! Nothing like a little bit of Nostalgia. The old tracks have been spruced up for the Wii, with more up to date graphics and tiny changes that only real geeks will notice (the shape of the bridge at the start of the track on N64 Bowers castle has changed slightly) (really). The new tracks are a visual feast, full of half pipes, jumps, rivers, and crazy obstacles. I creamed a little. Here, have a big list of the Tracks! If I were less lazy, I would give you a full, comprehensive list of tracks, but I am not less lazy. So I will pretend I am doing you a favour. If you like the games, discovering what tracks they have is all part of the fun. You will not be disappointed. Unless you don't like the tracks they have. In which case I suppose you would be disappointed. Oh well. Shame on you!
---Moving around and around---
There are a few more fun things in this version of the game too. If you go over a bump in the track, most of the time you can perform a trick on it. You do tricks by flicking your wheel up, or side to side. When you do a trick, not only does it look cool as hell, you get a speed boost when you land!
Some tracks have audiences, or pictures on the walls. Look closely and you will see the Mii's from your console in them! In one track, your Mii's are also used as an obstacle. My console, having a great sense of humour, kept making my best friend stop my ex in his tracks. Lets just say the two of them do not get on. It made me laugh.
Just as a little hint, if you ARE playing Mario Kart, try going off road to find some short cuts. Go everywhere, explore everything that looks like there may be a way through and over all, keep an eye out for skid marks, its usually a good sign that there's another route...or that you had way too much spice in your curry last night.
The Mii you register under will also appear as statues round the tracks occasionally. It's very snazzy and makes for shouts of glee when you see yourself idolised. All that's missing is a bunch of people worshipping at your feet while you decide who to spare. Ahem.
---Knock a little louder baby---
So that's Mario Kart. It is what I will be doing with my foreseeable future. I must unlock every track, every character, every Kart, every bike! I will not rest until...well...about 4 each morning when I go to bed. I will not stop unless my thumbs fall off. It was nice knowing you. Now I must be off. Not only am I about to Kart to my hearts content, I just farted and it smells quite a bit. Sorry.
Summary: The latest installment of Mario Karting for the masses!