James Ireland On October - 15 - 2009

Mario Kart has been out awhile now, however we couldn’t help but go back and review it. It’s a game with outstanding quality, value for money and very little negatives to speak about. So without further or do, let’s get straight to the point.

Mario Kart is a kart racer using Nintendo’s franchised catalogue of memorable characters. Mario is the flagship to an enormous plethora of Nintendo based sports games but his name is adorned upon Mario Kart as one of its stalwart in the series, rather than one pulling the cash cow. The DS title is bespoke and fans of the series throughout will be getting some much familiar tracks from the racing series. In the game you’ll come across recreated versions of classic SNES and N64 tracks whilst seeing some new courses coming to the fore. Everything is colourful and vibrant and with tracks set in the snow, desert and up in the clouds it gives you a fine example of the imagination Nintendo went to when designing these courses.

There are 3 classes of GP courses within Mario Kart all with increasing levels of difficulty, your competitors become smarter and your karts become faster. Speaking of karts there are 36 waiting to be unlocked, two of them unlocked upon starting the game up for the first time. To reward you further you’ll progress to a 150cc mirror version GP and also get to use new characters in the game as you progress. Along with the GP there is a time trial mode that allows you to receive and send ghost times over the Nintendo WFC network. Battle mode which brings new and classic battle maps into the fray, these can both be enjoyed offline and online, just don’t let your balloon get popped or it is game over. To throw down even more value for money you have a 6 level mission mode where you attempt to beat set times, defeat course enemies and use varying degrees of skill to complete each task set. Each level is coupled off with an end of level boss where strategy is the key.

In terms of game play and strategy Mario Kart has it in droves, from it’s weapon system which includes squid ink and homing missiles straight through to the ability to snake and draft your way past opponents. The difficulty levels are nicely set, you never feel like you’ve won a race until the last minute in the later GP modes. The vehicle classes are insane. You can drive a digger, an aeroplane and even sexy Cadillac’s when you get to unlock them, sadly though they do not offer any real degree in difference of play.

In terms of online Mario Kart comes is in its own league. You can take on random people online, share friend codes and play them or actually send a stripped down version of the game to a friend locally via Wifi. This is great because the whole idea of portable gaming is to give you the option of choice on how you want to play the game at any given time. The same can be said for the way this game is structured. Mario Kart’s GP’s take around 15minutes each to complete depending on courses bundled within the GP itself, which is great for gaming on the go. Audio wise Mario Kart has all the whistles and rings about it that remind you of its classic roots, sounds are familiar with old tracks keeping its music to its nostalgic state.

If we were to be critical about Mario Kart in any shape or form it would be that the mission mode is pretty boring and generic the whole way through. You’ll only really sit through it just to unlock new cars to drive. All in all Mario Kart DS is a polished experience with a nice dual screen set up, an absolute essential purchase.


One Response

  1. Very insightful blog! Enjoyed reading it and very helpful.

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