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
Time to have a Wii-ly fun-karting time!
Mario Kart (Wii)
Member Name: tinkerbell18
Mario Kart (Wii)
Advantages: Very addictive; fun graphics; family game
Disadvantages: Very addictive
As I am currently sat here watching the future sister-in-laws play it, it has inspired me to write a review! It also gives me a bit of a break as it is the second day we have sat here and solidly played it in our effort to unlock more characters.
Mario Kart Wii is the sixth instalment in a series of spin-off games from what I consider Nintendo's flagship game - Mario. As the name suggests, it is for the Nintendo Wii console, and is basically a selection of your favourite (or not so favourite) Mario characters battling it out for first place in go-karts and bikes. Sounds pretty simple does it not? Don't be so silly! You race against 11 other characters who are determined to win (who isn't I suppose) and will employ any means possible to get that coveted first place. And I do mean any means; these range from banana skins to slip over, cannons to fire you from last place, and airborne missiles to get rid of the person in first place. There are also the oh so familiar shells that can be fired at your opponents to clear them out of your path. Along the racetrack you have several chances to gain these boosts, in the form of little boxes. However, they take a few seconds to 'refresh', so if someone beats you there, you need to wait until the next chance. This can get really frustrating, especially when you are in last place and waiting for that elusive cannon to move you up the ranks!
There are up to 32 tracks you can unlock, of varying difficulty. There are 4 in each cup - such as the flower, shell, leaf - you get the idea. You start off with four cup challenges (so 16 races), and get to unlock the rest through winning cups, participating in a certain number of races, coming in first place for every race. 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 harder than it sounds. I think the remote control will be going out the window pretty soon! There are motorbikes and cars available; you can race as bikes only, cars only, or mixed. As with the rest of Mario Kart, you can unlock more bikes and cars as you go on, and some are better than others, so be careful when you look at their abilities!
There are four game options, which are as follows:
*Grand Prix - this is where you have the option to win cups. You race against 11 other players on the tracks for the cup you have selected. This is a solo option
*Time Trials - You race against yourself or a 'ghost' which is either a random players best time, or your own best time, on any track of your choice, as many times as you want.
*VS - This is similar to Gran Prix but you have more options when choosing a race; you aren't just limited to the four in the cup race you have selected, and you can customize the race a little more
*Battle - I don't do this too much as it can go on for a bit. You are on teams and the goal is to either collect as many coins as possible, whilst stealing the other teams; or you need to keep your three balloons intact whilst trying to pop the other teams. There are different tracks for this than the main races, which tend to result in you driving in circles. We have it set to best of five games; this is why it can take a very long time!
You can also play with up to 4 players - as long as you have four Wii controllers! Players can take part in Grand Prix type races, either solo, or on teams if you are feeling nice. They can also take part in battles - this is helpful if you have someone round that is a bit of a pro! We spend a lot of the time on team races, perfecting our skills on certain maps. Except Rainbow Road. I will never manage that one. It sounds pretty, but it is in space, with no edges, and lots of twists, turns and jumps. I spend half my life falling off it!
There is also the option to play online if your Wii is connected to the internet. This is very much like the more than one player races you can play without going online, but some people are ruthless! It makes me really wish I was just playing the Grand Prix - there are some people out there who are incredible at Mario Kart. So I'd try this at your peril, but I prefer racing against friends or just the computer. It's slightly less frustrating!
Mario Kart is bright and colourful, and has cartoony graphics. It is really clear, and considering the game is so fast moving there has never been a fault in the graphics, or any lag. It is very eye catching and I just think it is very well done. The scenery around the track is just as good as the track - except for when you end up off the track admiring it all too closely! Tracks have been taken from old Mario Kart games, so it's quite good when you play it with someone who has played previous games - they definitely recognise some of their favourite tracks! There are also nice touches from previous Mario Games that you notice as you go round - especially some familiar faces! The music is very like the graphics - bubbly and fun. Each track has its own music, which speeds up when you are on your final lap. Luckily the music isn't too annoying, otherwise I think we would have gone mad (or been sensible and reached for the mute button!). Sound effects also come out of the controller, to warn you that you're going to get hit, or 'twinkle' sounds when you make an impressive jump!
The game comes with a wheel you can slot your controller into; some people find this easier to use, rather than the controller on its own. However, as only one wheel is included, you may be loath to buy anymore - I managed to get 3 second hand from GameStation for about 50p each, but it does depend on whether there are any available, and whether you want new ones or not. You drive with the controller horizontal, and moving it left and right, rather like how you usually drive a car, so I can see how a wheel is preferable to some people. The number 2 button is used to power your car - if you don't hold this down, you're not going anywhere! The directional pad can be used to fire shells and other weapons backwards or forwards depending on where you want them to go. All in all, quite user friendly controls I feel! Even my dad managed to grasp it and complete a race, and he isn't the best at games!
Overall, I love Mario Kart. We can happily play the game for a few hours, even if we do get a little frustrated when we come third again! It's a game that is fun for all the family - we have managed to drag the younger one out of her room for two days in a row (normally she's in there reading). Like I said before, even the gaming shy people can manage Mario Kart relatively happily - although the initial onslaught of bombs, shells, and shrinking can come as a bit of a surprise. It is a great investment; mine came free with my Wii, but it costs around £29.90 (according to Amazon). These prices probably will vary, especially considering it is a relatively old game now, but it is well worth it in my opinion. And at the end of the review, we still haven't won all the races on the leaf cup, and have now resorted to team racing on Rainbow Road (I'm sitting this one out!). Have fun!
Summary: Get ready for the most exciting race ever
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