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
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart (Wii)
Member Name: k2705
Mario Kart (Wii)
Advantages: Easy to play, suitable for all ages.
Disadvantages: None for us
I have had my Nintendo Wii for a few years now and most years at Christmas my husband will buy me a Wii game suitable for the whole family to play. One game that he purchased me a few years ago was Mario Kart, I'm not really one for driving games but this wasn't like the more serious driving games and is aimed at the whole family, anyone of any age can play this together and you can spend hours of fun playing.
The Mario Kart game comes in a white plastic case which is rectangle and clips and unclips along the side of it, pretty much the same as most Wii games. The case has a plastic cover going around it with a paper covered slotted inside it, on the front of the cover is the name of the game (Mario Kart Wii) written in silver writing, the majority of the cover is taken up with a large picture of a Wii remote inside a Wii wheel, just in front of this is a picture of Mario and Luigi both holding Wii wheels and acting like they are driving. The only other information on the front of the cover is the age group that this game is suitable from. The back of the cover contains a small amount of information about the game with pictures taken from the game. Inside the case you will find the instruction booklet slotted in the left hand side of the case and on the other side is the game disc, this has the same information as the front of the cover on it but this is all printed in blue and white.
The Mario Kart Wii game is basically a driving game based on different Mario Kart tracks taken from older versions of Mario Kart produced for different Nintendo consoles such Game Cube, N64 and SNES. Basically you can choose which character you wish to be, the vehicle you would like to drive and which track you would like to race on, you can then either race against your friends, the computer or even strangers online, I will describe all this in more detail later. The first time you play Mario Kart you need to set up your driving licence, this registers under your Mii name, once your licence is set up and you begin playing the Wii will automatically save all of your progress, records and achievements onto your licence. You can have more than one persons licence saved on the game at any one time, I currently have four on mine, you just select which licence you require each time you log on to play. Once your licence is set up you are ready to start playing.
Choosing a Character
When starting to play Mario Kart Wii you need to choose a character that you would like to play as, when you first begin playing there are a certain amount of characters already available for you to choose from, however the more you play the game the more characters you will unlock giving you more of a choice. The characters are categorised in three groups including Light, Medium and Heavy, each has their own benefits and disadvantages which include
* Light - These characters are ideal for acceleration and off road driving however are poor when it comes to top speed.
* Medium - The medium characters are average at acceleration, top speed and off road, in the instruction book these are rated 2 out of 3 stars for all 3 sections.
* Heavy - These are said to be poor at acceleration and off road but good at top speed, it just takes them a while to get there.
There is quite a lot of different characters to choose from including
* Baby Mario
* Baby Luigi
* Kooper Trooper
* Donkey Kong
* Dry Bones
* Funky Kong
There may be a few more that I have missed, personally I am always Birdo purely because this character is cute and pink. Once you have selected your character you then go on to choose which type of kart or bike you would like your character to race with.
Choosing a Kart or Bike
Again as with the characters you are given a choice of both bikes and karts to scroll through that you can choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, it is best to choose a kart that is compatible with your character. As you play the game more you will gradually unlock more bikes and karts to choose from, the karts and bikes are all accessed on 7 different stats including speed, weight, acceleration, handling, drift, off road and mini turbo. There is quite a long list of both bikes and karts which come under the categories of small, medium and large, pretty much the same as that of the characters, personally I tend to stick to the same kart when I play however you can swap and change your kart or bike as and when you like depending on what character you are using or what you fancy driving. Once you have made all of your character and vehicle selections you then move on to decide which game mode your require.
Choosing a Game Mode
On Mario Kart Wii there are four game modes to choose from including Grand Prix, Time Trials, VS Race and Battle, some of these modes are aimed at single players, where as other can be played along side others at the same time.
This is a single player game and basically there are a total of 8 different cups which have 4 courses each, when you play a cup you race on all 4 courses against 11 other players which are controlled by the computer, at the end of each race you received points based on where you came in the race, at the end of all 4 courses the person with the most points wins the overall cup.
Again as with Grand Prix the Time Trial races are aimed at single players, in this game mode you race along trying to get the fastest time on the chosen course. There is a ghost on the screen that will follow you around to record your time, however you can select to challenge the ghost and race against them in order to beat the time already set previously on that course.
This game mode can be played as either a single player or a multi player, as a single player you race against the computer, or as a multi player you can race against up to 3 other friends/ family members. Within this section you can either choose a solo race where you race individually to gather the most points or as a team race where you compete in teams to combine your points and gather the most. With the VS Race you can choose any course to race on from any cup, you simply just race that one race and then move on and select another.
There are 2 games in the Battle section, you work in teams of 2 and in the Balloon Battle you work together to pop the most balloons and in the Coin Runners you work together to collect the most amount of coins scattered around the course, the person with the most amount of points/ coins at the end of each game is the winner.
Cups and Course
As I have previous mentioned there are 8 cups that you can play each with 4 courses each, these courses have been taken from other Nintendo Mario Kart games in the past, the different cups and courses include
* MUSHROOM CUP - The courses include Luigi Circuit, Moo Moo Meadows, Mushroom Gorge and Toads Factory.
* FLOWER CUP - The courses include Mario Circuit, Coconut Mall, DK Summit and Warios Gold Mine.
* STAR CUP - The courses include Daisy Circuit, Koopa Cape, Maple Tree Way and Grumble Volcano
* SPECIAL CUP - The courses include Dry Dry Ruins, Moonview Highway, Bowsers Castle and Rainbow Road.
* SHELL CUP - The courses include Peach Beach, Yoshi Falls, Ghost Valley 2 and Mario Raceway.
* BANANA CUP - The courses include Sherbert Land, Shy Guy Beach, Delfino Square and Waluigi Stadium.
* LEAF CUP - The courses include Desert Hills, Bowsers Castle3, Jungle Parkway and Mario Circuit.
* LIGHTENING CUP - These courses include Mario Circuit 3, Peach Gardens, DK Mountain and Bowsers Castle.
The last 4 cups Shell, Banana, Leaf and Lightening all include old courses from different Nintendo consoles whereas the first four Mushroom, Flower, Star and Special Cups are all new courses for the Mario Kart Wii game. When it comes to all of these courses they all vary in difficulty, some cups include both easy and harder courses whereas some of the cups are made up of one or the other.
Personally out of all of these my least favourite is the Special Cup as I find all of these courses quite difficult and tend to avoid these where possible, other than that I do not mind any of the other cups, there are the odd course in the rest which I am not keen on, however it is just the Special Cup where I do not like any of the courses, these are definitely the hardest in my opinion.
When it comes to racing whichever game mode you are in, you simply have to drive your character in their chosen vehicle around the track sticking to the road and avoiding any obstacles put in your way, these could be put there by the computer or by other players.
Whilst driving around obviously the object is to come first each time so you need to do anything you can to move other players out of your way whether than involves pushing them off of the track (easier to do to with smaller characters) or you can use some of the items that are left around the track for you to collect inside shiny cubes. These items include a variety of things which will either give you a speed boost, allow you to squash other players or hinder other players vision and performance. The items can include different mushrooms either red and white which will boost your speed, you either receive one or three of these per cube, you can also collect a golden mushroom which gives you a speed boost for several seconds allowing you to accelerate faster the more times you press the acceleration button.
Other items include a Bullet Bill which transforms you into a Bullet Bill making you automatically follow the course and knocks other players out of the way, you tend to only get this if you are near the back of the group.
You can collect a lightening bolt which when pressed causes all the other players apart from you to spin out of control and shrink which in turn reduces their speed. There is the Mega Mushroom which increases yours and your vehicles size allowing you to increase your speed and run over and flatten other players in your way. There is also the Spiny Shell which will chase the lead player and will blow them up and any other vehicle within a certain radius.
There is a large amount of items that you can choose and it really is luck as to which item you get, you get the items by driving through the shiny cubes positioned on the course, however you need to keep away from the red shiny cubes as these are fake items and will cause your vehicle to spin out of control if you run into them. You can use the items as and when you like, some items are better to use straight away , however some are better to keep hold of and hold behind your kart or bike as they will protect you from items thrown at you by other players. All of the different items are found in all of the courses no matter what cup you are playing or what game mode you are in.
You can also play Mario Kart Wii online, however you do need to have your Wii connected to the internet. Once connected to the internet you can choose to play against other players online, in this section you choose a game mode either in Grand Prix or Battle and each of the random other 11 players you are playing against and yourself will vote for a course, it can be any course you have unlocked from any cup, the computer then chooses one of the course at random and this is the course you race on.
The principle is the same you collect items as you go around to benefit you by either giving you an advantage or by moving other players out of your way in order for you to win the race. You do not have to play against strangers you can play online with more than one player in your household should you wish or if you want to play against a friend or family member who is somewhere else you simply have to register them, create a room section to ensure you are placed in the same race, to do this you just need to follow the on screen instructions.
Me and my husband particularly like playing online as it allows us to play against my parents and his sister even if we are not together and are all at our own houses, this is an excellent way for you to play with others without having to be in the same house.
Price and Availability
Mario Kart Wii is available from a large range of shops including most game shops as well as online, it can even be purchased in supermarkets which have a games section. I have seen this game in my local Tesco and it is being sold for £27.80, however I do know that the price of this varies depending on where you purchase it from and I think it was more expensive when my husband first purchased ours.
I have had my Mario Kart Wii game for a couple of years or so now and we really have had a lot of use out of it. I particularly like this game as whilst it is a driving game it is just a bit of fun and is easy to understand and not overly complicated like some other driving games my husband has got me to play in the past.
Whilst we do not spend a huge amount of time on the Wii we do go through phases where we will spend an hour or so in the evening on it, more so in the winter rather than the summer.
This game is said to be suitable for children aged 3 and upwards, this is definitely a game for the whole family, literally anyone can play this, it is an excellent game to get all of the family involved, we have got this game out to play when we have had family over for Christmas or birthdays and so on and we have had several hours of fun with it.
I particularly like the online feature of the game as it means you can play friends and family without having to be together, it also means that if you are playing alone you can play against real people rather than just playing against the computer.
This game has excellent graphics and whilst some of the courses have been taken from old Mario Kart games they have been brought up to date so that they fit in with the current version. I feel this game is reasonably priced as you will certainly get your moneys worth out of it. This is definitely a game I would highly recommend and one me and my family will enjoy playing for some time.
Summary: Great fun for the whole family