Product Type: Nintendo Wii games
Newest Review: ... same time thanks to some clever difficulty balancing. There are 16 standard tracks to choose from and 16 classic tracks to try. There is... more
Member Name: Andy.mack
Mario Kart with Wii Wheel - Wii Remote Not Included (Wii)
Advantages: Great multiplayer and online game, decent graphics
Disadvantages: Single player does become a little tedious
When I was growing up one of my favourite games on the Nintendo 64 was Mario Kart. In fact I used to love all of the Super Mario games but Mario Kart combined my love of Mario with my addiction to driving games. It was a fun game to play with friends as not only was the goal to win the race but also to slow down your opponents as much as possible. So not long after buying myself a Wii, I was delighted to hear that a version of Mario Kart was to be released for Nintendo's new console and not only that but that it would come with a plastic wheel to hold the remote.
An Updated Concept
With the release of a new console it was probably inevitable that a lot of the classic games from the older systems would receive an update. The principles of Mario Kart remain the same with the principle straight forward racing game accompanied by tools and tricks to try and slow down your opponents. The game still features your favourite Mario characters from the main characters Mario and Luigi to Bowser and Donkey Kong. The basics of the game have remained the same as they always were on the original Nintendo consoles.
So What Has Changed?
Well for starters the graphics have been greatly improved and that is no more evident than on the games 32 different race tracks. As well as containing a host of new tracks the game also includes the favourites from the previous Mario Kart games brought up to date with sharper colours and graphics. The tracks all look a lot sharper than they used to with much brighter colours and a lot more detail in the surroundings really enhancing the Mario Kart experience.
There are also a number of new cars and power ups to give you the upper hand over the other racers. It doesn't stop there either as the game now contains a bike if you're bored of using the Karts, the bike is also able to pull off a few stunts. Finally you also have the option of inserting your own Mii into the game to compete against the Mario characters. I've only done this a couple of times, but the Mii migrates into the game well and looks just like any of the other in game characters.
Playing The Game
Just like I've found with previous Mario Kart's this game is fun playing against the computer but it gets a 100 times better when you start playing with friends. I've found that the novelty soon wears off when playing ordinary races against the computer. It is fun for half an hour or so but it soon loses its appeal as each level becomes quite similar as your race against the clock. The real appeal of this game is in its multiplayer aspects.
The game can accommodate 4 players on one Wii or can be played by 12 people over the internet. It makes the races a lot more random than they become against the computer. The majority of the time we play with 4 players on one console as this is far easier. The screen splits in 4 giving each player a section to view and race against each other. Even with the screen splitting the graphics stay very sharp and the game doesn't suffer any lag. This, we have found is the best way to play the game as it makes it the most entertaining racing between the 4 of us and 8 computer controlled cars.
I've often found the problem with the online method of the game that there are those players who are far too good. It's still quite fun but there are, like all online games, too many people playing who are at the highest level and seem to win the races no matter what you do. It is still quite fun but given the level of some of the players, just like with the majority of online games, it is almost impossible to win any races.
There are a couple of methods for controlling the game, the main one is using the nun chuck and Wii remote. There are also a couple of keypads that also work with the game. My preferred method and in fact the only one I've tried with this game is the Wii Wheel.
The wheel, which comes as part of the Mario Kart package is a solid plastic approx. 21cm's in diameter in the shape of a car steering wheel. The remote clips into the centre of the wheel with the trigger lining up with a button on the back, which is used to fire the special weapons. It is very light weight and easy to manoeuvre around. It makes playing the game much more realistic and in fact over the other control options is probably the easiest method to use.
With the way the wheel is made it is very robust and certainly wouldn't break easily. It is really just another of the Wii's gimmicks, but it's one that I feel really adds to the experience of playing Mario Kart Wii.
A Game For Friends
The real appeal of Mario Kart Wii is to play the game with friends. As a standalone game it is good and does hold your attention for a short time, but once you start a competition with a few friends the game takes on a whole new dimension. The single player is good but this is a game that's all about the multiplayer options. The Wii wheel adds another dimension to and makes it really easy to control your car, far easier I'm told than using the standard remote without a wheel. The game and wheel retail for £28.98 on amazon, which is unbelievable for a game that was released in 2008, but I think that shows just how well made the game is. If you're looking for a good party game then this is it, the pack comes with one Wii Wheel and others can be purchased for £6.47.
Age -3 plus
Summary: A very good update of a classic game