Thursday, 5 December 2013

Review No. 66 Mario Kart Wii - Wii (3+)

Strong Points:
Lots of items
Lots of characters including hidden ones
Lots of stages
Time Trial, Grand Prix and Versus are great
Up to 12 players on multiplayer
Bikes and Karts are completely different adding variety
Tricks help you to overtake the competition

Weak Points:
Online servers are weak although the actual gameplay is all right
Characters don't have their own speeds and strengths but have the same as in their class decreasing variety
Not very challenging
Some items are overpowered
Battles aren't the best

In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
Japan: April 10, 2008
Europe: April 11, 2008
Australia: April 24, 2008
USA: April 27, 2008
South Korea: April 30, 2009

Controls: Source:

Wii Wheel:
Wii Wheel: turn to steer, flick up for trick/wheelie (bike only)
2: accelerate
1: brake/reverse
B: drift (manual), item (auto)
A: reverse view
D-Pad: use item
+: pause

Wii Remote & Nunchuk
Analogue Stick: steer/throw items forward or behind
A: accelerate
B: drift (manual), item (auto)
Z: use item
C: reverse view
Wii Remote: flick up for trick/wheelie (bike only)
+: pause

This game is the sixth main series game in the amazing Mario Kart series and certainly lives up to the series formidable reputation. With added mechanics, bikes, online capabilities and loads of new characters and stages as well as a few items thrown in, this game is awesome.

Bikes are the most obvious change to the Mario Kart formula and although they behave around the same as the karts, they do have few notable and quirky differences. Firstly, you can do wheelies which is great fun and while it decreases your steering ability, does increase your speed. Secondly, bikes occupy the entire 100cc while karts occupy the 50cc and both occupy 150cc. Finally, the tricks are slightly different and the basic characteristics of being thinner means you can go through tight corners easier and pass karts.

Like any other Mario Kart game, this one gives you more characters, items and stages (12 new and 12 retro). This is nothing new although you can now have up to 12 characters on the track at once adding even more variety to your games. However, Nintendo seems to have counter-acted this by putting each character into one of three classes - light, medium and heavy - each which have their own selection of bikes and karts meaning there are only three real choices you have and that is what class you want. It doesn't really matter (except for a colour change) which character you choose as none of them have their own car except for the standard kart/bike. I personally think this was a great misstep by Nintendo and hopefully they will change it back to Mario Kart DS formula in the next instalment.

Again, like any other Mario Kart game, the stages aren't particularly difficult and even on Mirror difficulty, you probably won't lose. Also, battles aren't nearly as fun as in the DS version as there is now a time limit on balloon battle, so instead of defeating each player, you now just have to collect balloons in teams. I understand why Nintendo has done this (to make the focus on Multiplayer) but I still don't like it that much.

Finally, while the online is great when you get on it, the servers for Wii are notoriously weak and the leaderboards are pretty much unreachable.

Conclusion: overall this is a great game which could have been so much more if Nintendo would move away from tradition a bit and experiment like with the bikes.

Rating: 93%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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