* Prices may differ from that shownMore Offers
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!
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.
The latest iteration of Mario-Kart sees quite a big shift towards family gaming, there is something here for everyone. I have seen complete non-gamers able to launch themselves straight into Mario Kart Wii and manage to get along reasonably well with it, which is probably a first for Mario Kart. Nintendo have also managed to ensure that the more serious gamer is still well entertained and challenged at the same time thanks to some clever difficulty balancing.
There are 16 standard tracks to choose from and 16 classic tracks to try. There is also an online multiplayer option for increased longevity. In addition to this, battle mode is still here, with 3 different game types, that still never manage to be as compelling as the original SNES battle mode, but are far better here than in double dash.
The controls are fairly easy to get to grips with when using the wiimote tilt controls, and would be my recommended choice for new users. I wouldn't bother getting the steering wheel though, which is essentially just a hunk of plastic to attach to your wiimote. I personally prefer to play with a classic controller for closer control over drifting, an option for more advanced users.
The inclusion of some old tracks from previous incarnations of Mario Kart is a very welcome addition, although I am a little disappointed at the choice of tracks here given the huge variety that could've been chosen from. However, this is a minor complaint because all of the tracks here do play very well and fit the modernised gameplay well.
Overall, this is a great game that is far better played in groups and caters for a wide range of abilities. A perfect way to spend a Christmas afternoon.
After the fairly disappointing Mario Kart double dash on the gamecube, I wasn't sure what to expect when this was announced but this is a really fun game and has bought the mario kart series up to date with a brilliant outing on the Wii.
The controls are a little bit hard to get used to at the beginning, and you will definitely be in need of a steering wheel attachement for your Wii remote, otherwise it just feels all wrong.
Jumping skid turns are back (which means shortcuts/different paths are available) and they have increased the number of weapons on show. The one player game follows the familiar (winning) formula of three classes of CC (50,100,150) plus mirro mode, and 8 different courses/grand prix.
What they have done really well though with this game is the unlockables. Impress on the track and you are rewarded with a mixture of extra cars and characters - my favourite character has been 'Funky' Kong. You also have the time trial version which also unlocks characters/cars, so even if you are a master of the grand prix circuits, you have a way of testing yourself (even against the creators ghost wii's).
Finally, the fun'est element of this game is the ability to challenge your friends (or enemies) on line and enter tournaments (where you will be made to feel humble - despite proclaiming you are the best driver in the world) - so plenty to keep you going even after completing the main game.
If the Wii was born for one game, surely this is it.
Unless I'm missing some notable hiccups, the Mario series seems to be one of the few franchises - the Zelda games as well, maybe - that have been consistently impressive. In their evolution from NES to next-gen consoles, the games have adapted to the growing technology, expanding to fit every new innovation, and in this latest incarnation of the racing spin-off, Nintendo have well and truly hit perfect.
There's a lot to say about how good the game itself is - and I'll come to that - but the biggest and greatest development here is the use of the Wii wheel, a gimmick that transforms the gameplay.
You could play without the wheel - tilting the Wii remote to steer - but so essential is the wheel add-on that the game comes bundled with it. It's actually nothing complicated; just a plastic shell into which the remote slots, but it makes such a difference, and is incomparable to old-school versions of Mario Kart that utilised the joypad.
The sensitivity is spot-on; you feel like you've got full control of your character's vehicle, but you don't have to worry about sending yourself flying accidentally into a pit every time you turn. It feels pretty realistic, and it's entirely immersive. With the remote snapped into the middle of the wheel, all the other controls are carried out with the buttons; you accelerate and break with 1 and 2, and use power-ups with Z. Practically, this works perfectly, and you're never performing finger-contortions to bend your racer to your will.
Game-wise, Mario Kart Wii follows a number of successful franchise reboots in being both a nostalgic tribute to its origins and a thoroughly modern game in its own right. The format of the game - with single and multi-player races, time trials and the like - is the same as previous editions, while the tracks featured in the game are largely a selection of the best circuits from the game's history (NES, SNES, Gamecube, Gameboy and N64 versions are all represented), with a handful of new tracks.
The older circuits are well reproduced and updated, and while some of the original ones are a little dull, there are some great settings brought back too - the ice-and-penguins perils of the N64 game amongst them. The more recent tracks are gorgeously-rendered, and enormously fun and quirky to play - Grumble Volcano, Maple Treeway and Koopa Cape all look great and reward gamers who make the effort to get to grips with the nooks and crannies of the track.
All the usual characters are represented, with the full cast list unlockable once certain goals have been reached (winning cups, breaking records and whatnot). There isn't a world of difference between one heavy character and another, but the variety of characters and vehicle types will keep you going a fair while. There is substantial longevity in the game - these unlockables aren't all easy to get, and some are a real challenge for competent players. With sixteen tracks to master in a variety of modes, the single-player campaign alone has enough for hours and hours of play.
Naturally, though, this type of game is at its best in multiplayer; what's fun when you're taking on the computer becomes ten times as entertaining when you're up against real people, either in person or online. The online mode enables you to race against gamers from across the world, and is a great feature, but for me, Mario Kart's at its best when played with a group of friends around one TV.
If there's a slight, slight weakness to the game, it's in the power-up system. This is undeniably fun, and makes for some great duels on the track, but it's possibly a bit too influential; you can be a brilliant player, but if you're at the front of the pack, you'll get pounded with all sorts of weapons while only picking up bananas yourself. In turn, those at the pack will get absurdly beneficial power-ups which will have them jump nearly half the course in one go. It's fun, sure - but it means there's perhaps not the perfect balance between skill and luck in the racing. On the upside, this means games with friends are more competitive, even if some players are better than others, so this imbalance isn't all bad.
Overall, you won't play a better game of this genre. It looks great, it's enormously intuitive and fun to pick up and play, and yet there's so much depth to it all that you're more than squeeze your money's worth out. Some games arguably define a console - and this belongs firmly in that category. If you've got a Wii, you really should have this.
I have owned a Nintendo Wii for a few years now and the only game that I enjoy playing on it is Mario kart! to me it feels like the Wii was custom built for this game. I love this game so much and you can have endless fun by yourself, or with 1-3 others! Its a party starter and I would advise you get this game. Mario games are always good, but this tops it. It turns a pretty poor games console into one of the best, the game is that good! Its not about the graphics or the features, its about the enjoyment. You WILL enjoy this. I will now go into more detail on the product and explain why you will enjoy it so much.
You need a Wii remote and a Wii steering wheel (these are not compulsory, but make the game better and easy to use). You can have up to 4 connected and this means in Multi Player games you can play with 3 other people on the split screen. You do not need a nun chuck for this game. Its really nice to just use a steering wheel and adds more excitement to each race.
This games has all of the classic characters you would come to expect, from mario, luigi to peach, bowser and more. They all have different traits and it means you have to be careful about who you pick. One of the best things about this game is the fact that you have to earn more charcters and win trophies to get more. The characters are all created in such detail and its true excitement. They all say there own individual things during races to add a personal touch to each character. I have to say that my favourite character will always be Mario, but its fun to be different people/creatures for a change sometimes. You can also add your own Mii into the game which is different, but I don't do this as it isnt as fun as using the characters provided for the game.
It is a very simple game, You are racing against 12 other characters in different competitions and tracks. There are a total of 30 tracks, you only unlock new ones from winning. There is a constant goal to unlock new things in this game which can get you addicted and happy when you do! It has taken me years to complete the game and have access to everything! I love having everything :) You earn points for each race you win and the winner is the person with the most points at the end. When racing there are 3 options for the speed of the car. You can have 50cc, 100cc and 150cc.
What makes each race exciting is the fact that you never know who is going to win that race! There are special boxes which you collect on your lap, these then give you a weapon to use or an aid to get you closer to the front. The weapons that you can have are as follows - Turtle shell (for firing at opponents), Banana (for making opponents skid and slip), Rain cloud/lightning (makes all the competitors small), mystery box (looks like a weapons box, but is a decoy and makes them crash), pow (spins everyone else round), a large bomb that aims for the person at the front even though you could be in last. All of those mean that you never stay in the lead for long and you are always looking out for attacks.
The aids which you can get on the track are also very useful for helping you catch up or go further into the lead. If you are having a terrible race and are in last, you may recieve a rocket which will launch you near the front and get you back in the race. You may also receive mushrooms which make you go faster. There are also areas which will zoom you forwards! The beauty of the game is that you may be in last, but you will not be there for long. Its a constantly changing race which makes it hard. One race is never easy and sometimes your luck will be in and others in won't be and you will get rather frustrated!
This is where the game is at its best. You can have up to 4 people playing at one time in a Multi player race! Its so much fun and makes all the races amazing. With my mates we tend to play a 10 race championship! this lasts a long time, but also gives time for people to catch up after a few rubbish races. When playing with friends it is more exciting as you can try and get one over on each other and ruin each others races. As there is not a penalty for destroys your opponents it makes it more fun. There is nothing worse than being in the lead on the last lap, then being bombed! This game is great for all ages, my youngest cousin of 5 years old is nearly as good as me and constantly beats me. Its a fun game, even my parents enjoy this.
I got mine for around £25.00 new a long time ago, you can now get it a lot cheaper these days as it is an old game. Second hand stores will have it very cheap so look out for a bargain. Even buying it as new will not set you back too much. You must also buy the steering wheels, at my house I have one of the genuine Wii steering wheels and they 3 cheap ones which were from the pound shop. The Wii ones are the best, but expensive! Look out for some cheap immitation ones as they do a good job. Wii steering wheels are heavy and more solid, they feel very nice to hold too.
you can also play this game online via wifi against other people accross the world. You can play up to 12 players online. This feature is good as you don't play against the computer which means when you win you feel like you have some sort of skill! I love playing online.There is nothing better than playing it with people in the same room as you though!!
This game is so much fun and there are far more things I haven't mentioned such as settings you can change and short cuts on certain tracks! Its the sort of game that you wont get bored of even after completion. Its great when mates are over and passes the time. I don't like my Wii very much, this is the only reason we kept the Wii because we are all addicted to mario kart in my crazy family! I would recommend you buy a Wii just for this. If you have a Wii and haven't got this game then I think your mad. Its brilliant and one of my favourite games of all time. This game gets 5 stars from me, its a classic that I will remember when Im older.
Thanks for reading my review, Hope it persuaded you to give this game a go!!
I was recommended this game a number of times by different people, so in the end, i bought one online for under £20. I've never regretted it. I don't play on it loads, but when i get the urge, i can't stop. I've had this for just over 1 year.
The wheel was with it, but you can still use the remote without the wheel if you don't have one, it works just as well.
There are 24 characters you can use on this, such as Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Toad, Baby Peach, Donkey Kong, Koopa Troopa. Each character have different stats, eg weight, gender and clothing. Their abilities all differ and it is trial and error about who is the best. The type of Kart or bike also depends on how good you race. I like to choose Baby Bowsers baby booster. It is so funny watching it trying to go fast round the track!
As you win more cups, you can unlock more characters, but as yet i havn't managed to do so. This can be tricky
There are different cups you can compete in and they contain different tracks
The types of tracks include, the Grand Prix, Moo Moo Meadows, Toads Factory, i find this one a little tricky, but it just takes practice. You also race along the beach!
Once you have finished one race, you automatically go onto the next track. Whatever rank you finish on from the previous race, you stay the same on the next, such as 3rd place. This gives you more chance to win the competition at the end!
You can either play on your own, or as a team, which is quite a challenge but more fun. Whilst you are racing, there are things to watch out for. You might be struck by lightening, flattened,and your windscreen may be splattered in mud, which actually distracts your vision! Also watch out for the banana skins on the track, otherwise you will spin around. These all affect your poll and you have to work a lot harder to catch up.
There are so many other options to this game, where you can gain many advantages for winning and putting the other players out. You have time trials and even do wheelies. Great fun.
The Mario Kart update game on the Nintendo Wii has been so far one of the best games i have played on the console. The theme of the game is simple really win races and you can have up to 4 players playing the same game if you have 4 wheels and 4 wii remotes that is!
Playing the game is very exciting but not too challenging. It all depends on the way you control your wheel and also your luck matters to. When you race on the tracks at times random things happen. These things such as lightening strikes you or you fall or a cliff. When you are winning a race in the game you can easily lose first spot in the race easily.
8 tracks are given to you at the start of the game and you need to unlock another 8. Characters can be unlocked from the game by going to time trial and doing well. Other modes in the game include Team battle, Ballon battles which are okay to play.
The multi player part of the game though is the best part of the game. You can get bored though of some of the tracks and find them too easy though. The most easiest one i find in the game to be Yoshi Falls as its straight forward really.
In my opinion no other game comes better than Mario Kart on the Wii, its so much fun! I would certainly love if they made a second part to the game! It has to be one of the best games made on the Wii consoles. The only disadvantages I can fault it for is them not having enough modes in the game. Apart from that its a top quality game, worth buying certainly!
Mario Kart is a game I have always played on various consoles from the Nintendo 360, GameCube and now the Wii. It has consistently been lots of fun for people of all ages, which is something I have first-hand experience with seeing as I first played it at around 4 years old with my older brother.
Mario Kart is a racing game developed by Nintendo. It was released on the Wii in 2008 but I only recently got myself a copy of the game as I was pretty late to jump on the Wii console bandwagon. There are a variety of vehicles (both karts and bikes) to choose from which are designed specifically according to each character to suit their look and personality.
Single player is split into 3 classes:
50cc (karts only)
150cc (karts and bikes)
It is possible to play up to 12 player matches as well to go online and play against people all over the world provided you have the internet connected to your Wii console.
As far as the gameplay itself goes, there is nothing to fault. It is sleek, streamlines and easy to maneuver. The basic controls are the 1 and 2 buttons which control acceleration and deceleration. The right and left buttons control weapons and boosts that you are able to propel from your vehicle to hinder your opponents. There's definitely an increase in tactical possibilities: the drift simplification reduces its place as a pro-tool, offering a slight speed boost when used off jumps - means you'll always be on the hunt for ramps and slopes, assessing any advantages out-of-the-way objects might offer. As well as this you can buy a steering wheel called a Wii Wheel which you insert your Wii remote into and turn to steer the kart/bike.
The game modes include:
- Grand Prix, which is where the player (you) races against 11 computer-controlled players on a pre-loaded set of 4 tracks.
- Time Trials, in which the player races alone or against a "ghost" (which is the 'personal best' achieved on that particular track be it from you, another player on the console or an already pre-recorded staff ghost) for the best time.
- Vs, which has the same basic concept as Grand Prix except that you can choose the tracks you race on, the level of difficulty and can customise with other unlocked goods.
- Battle is which consists of 2 different modes, Balloon Battle or Coin Runners. In Battles, the objective is to obtain items that are scattered across the stage and hit the opposing team with them. This is a great addition as it makes a nice change from racing but still retains the basic concept of the game.
Further, a new feature called "Tricks" or "Stunts" is now a part of gameplay. Flicking the Wii Wheel or Wii Remote while on take-off will cause the character to perform stunts in mid-air, allowing the player to obtain a small speed boost upon landing. This is perhaps my favourite trick as it provides a similar boost to the one you get from driving over a speed booster with the addition of a show-boating animation where your character do an aerial trick.
The tracks available include retro ones from previous consoles (ones I enjoyed back then as well as now).
The Wii cups are: Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, Star Cup, and Special Cup. (These are the new courses that haven't appeared on past mario karts).
The Retro Cups are: Shell Cup, Banana Cup, Leaf Cup, and Lightning Cup.
The tracks are cleverly designed and attractive to look at. As with all Mario games, there is an abundance of creativity and interest everywhere including conveyor belts, collapsing tracks, white water rapids or billowing treetop bridges.
Overall, this is an excellent game with loads of variety and lots of fun to be had. People of all ages can enjoy it and it is challenging as much as it is easy to handle and get to grips with. Although it may not be the best of the Mario games (due to a somewhat lacking battle mode that is a little boring compared to the rest of the game) it is certainly not the worst and there is definitely much more than good. A great game with some genuinely great aspects, well worth the money.
Mario karts like you can probably guess is a racing game where you can choose from the popular characters of past Mario games such as Luigi, peach, yoshi and more, you can race on your own against the computer or up to 4 people can play and race against your friends. The aim of the game is to come first in everything by skilled wii driving and also collecting boxes that are located around the tracks which have fire arms inside to attack the other players allowing you to get ahead, in doing all this you can win the gold, silver or bronze cup which will then unlock new characters, tracks, cars and pictures.
You can have up to 4 players on this game to resister as a player you must create a license, this will come up straight away when you start the game and to do this you select your wii mii and then a card will show up and it will have all blank achievements and as you get the gold, silver or bronze cup the squares will turn that colour so you can see what you have achieved. When starting the game you can play in single player, multiplayer, Nintendo wfc and also there is a Mario kart world and this will show all the statistics.
Single player: You can play the Grandprix, time trials, vs race or battle
The Grandprix: Firstly to start playing the Grandprix you have to do a few settings and first off is how fast the speed of the cars go and this is either 50cc 100cc or 150cc being the rubbish driver that I am I chose to drive in 50cc because it meant that I would be slow enough for me to be able to control with ease until I got used to playing then I could change it to go faster. Next you get to choose your Character and then the vehicle which is will use, you only get to choose from 3 vehicles at first but as you win more races you unlock new cars and bikes. The cars to begin with are Standard, Nostalgia and wild wing I always go for Nostalgia because it's the car with the most evened out speed and acceleration etc You also have to choose whether you are going to drive in automatic or manual I always drive in automatic because I struggle driving as it is never mind having to completely control the car as well.
Next is where you will choose which cup you will race on, there are 8 cups altogether but you only start off with 4 cups and as you win those races the other cups will start to unlock the first cups are 1)Shell 2)Mushroom 3)Flower 4)Banana. Each cup has 4 races with 3 laps each as the game goes on the races become harder to win. The tracks themselves in these 4 cups are fairly simply tracks easy to follow and of course there is an on screen map to help guide you. In the first 16 tracks you will face things such as strong wind which will move you around the track, strong moving water which will carry you off the track also there are things to avoid hitting such as giant ducks that chase after you, cows, moles, Gumba's(walking mushrooms with faces) and chain chomps, these are heads on a chain that come out into the track to eat you. Also in these tracks there are canons that will fire you across the track into different areas and go faster strips that will go you a boost to go faster. On one track there is a big hole with big bouncy mushrooms which you have to jump on to bouncy across and also there are boxes located across the tracks all around and this you will receive a weapon, banana or something to help you go faster and these will all help you win the race.
The next 4 cups are harder 5)Star 6)leaf 7)Lightning 8)special. There are things to avoid such as cones, electric, deep sand, deep mud, boulders, bats, gaps missing in the road, lava and fire, wobbly tracks also things such as Gumba's, moles, falling walls and thwampers (giant rocks in the air with faces that crash on top of you, they move around as well) however the water makes you go a lot faster and there are more go faster strips around the tracks, on some levels you have to drive on curvy tree branches making it difficult to stay on and the last track is in space and around the Earth and doesn't have any sides and is very fast even on 50cc so it is very hard to control. All the cups are hard in some way and you can set the boxes to either normal, hard or frantic and if they're on frantic this means that powerful options will always be selected so if you are first expected to get hit quite a lot, The tracks are very fun to play on and each have something quirky about them even if it's a simple pile of leaves when you go through a banana will be thrown out or a little mushroom and these mushrooms will give you a speed boost.
For first place (gold) - 15points
For second place(silver) - 12points
For third place(bronze) - 10points
Vs race: This is verses race, where you will team up with half of the characters and be either blue or red and you will go around the same tracks described above and whichever side gets the most points wins however when you get a weapon or a banana out of a box is won't attack anyone on your team only the opposite side.
Time Trials: This is pretty self explanatory we have all played racing games before but basically you go around the tracks again trying to beat you last racing time, when you beat your own times in 50,100 and 150 cc you can unlock which is the Mirror trials and this is the same tracks but backwards and I believe that this can only be raced with 150cc making it very fast and hard.
Battle: There are two teams, red and blue and you are on separate maps to the tracks and the aim of the game is to either collect the balloons or the coins depending which one you picked to play on. You get these by driving into them and the opposite team will crash into you and this is 'stealing' what you have collected so you need to crash into the other side to steal what you have. There are also boxes on this which they are all included except for the bullet bill box. By firing something at the opposite side this will cause them to drop all their balloons or coins.
Multi player: You can play the Grandprix, vs race or battle
This is all exactly the same only there can be 2-4 players rather than one player, in the grandprix you will fight and compete with your friends as well as all the other characters being controlled by the computer. The VS racing you can either both play on the same side or against each other soon, playing on the same side will ensure a win every time for your team but playing against each other will be very competitive. The battle again you can either play on the same side or on opposite teams (red or blue). You can also play the battle with up to 4 player and again you can be on the same side or against each other.
* Baby peach
* Baby Mario
* Donkey kong
* Koopa troopa
These are the set Characters for the game but as you play the game and win races and cups you will unlock lots of new characters. Me and my sister has a great idea as her name is Marie and my name is Laura, she changed her license name to Marieo and my name to Laurigi and we played as Mario and luigi.
* A - Select
* B - Fire weapons
* 2 - accelerate
* 1 - reverse
* Turn the the controller to move the car
* You can use the D pad to either fire you weapons in front or behind you.
* Bullet bill - this will change you into a bullet and you will speed around the track over taking everyone.
* Banana - you can either get one of these in multiple of 3, you can throw it forward or drop it behind you and this will make other people spin around and slip.
* Green shell - this will explode on impact when hitting someone and will ping around the track it does but beware it can hit you as well.( available in multiple of 3 as well)
* Red shell - This is like a heat seeker and will aim for the person in front or behind depending which way you release it.(available in multiple of 3 as well)
* Pow - this will make everyone spin around on the track and stop.
* Bomb - this is a timed bomb but beware if your close it can get you too.
* Star - this is invincibility.
* Mushroom - This will give you a speed boost(available in multiple of 3 as well)
* Gold mushroom - this will make you go even faster than the normal boost.
* Mega mushroom - this will make you grow 3x the size and you can run over people and go faster.
* Red box - looks the same as a normal box but red and if you go into it you spin around and stop.
* Spiny blue shell - this will target whoever is number one and then strike them making them bounce and stop.
* Cloud - this is lightning and it starts over your head and you need to crash into someone to pass it on to them and it will electrocute them
* Blupper - this is a ghost that will come on the enemies screen and squirt ink on their screen so they cannot see.
There are usually 6-8 boxes across the track in any one place and every couple of seconds if this has been smashed another one will appear in its place, also there are boxes located above ramps and in hidden passage ways which you can find if your looking for them, these aren't on the maps but they are shortcuts so if you are behind this is a great way to catch up and to find hidden boxes as this is what you rely on to win the race. On some races the boxes move around which means of course that you have to swerve around the track to attempt to get one and I swerve and still miss the boxes every time.
The graphics on Mario karts are really good, each car and character is detailed and bright as if the car was real with lights and smoke as well, also while you're driving the car your characters arm's are moving and when you throw something behind you it will look behind them as well to see if it has hit anyone. Skid marks are also shown on the track and boxes smash as if it was glass and shards fly out. The enemies and clear yet simple enough with no glitching as they get you every time! The backgrounds are very well designed and clear not on part of it is out of focused or blurred, all the tree's have faces on them and are bouncing and dancing as you drive past, also the crowd in the tracks are the mii characters of the wii. A lot of the designs are very simple but they are effective.
Music & Sound effects
The music on Mario karts is extremely similar to the 8-bit music they used on the very old games of Mario, the music is the same as that only it is much better quality and easier to hear with no distortion. The music is different to each track. In the Mario tracks it is happy and bouncy where as in the castle it is a spooky slow music so the music does depend on the track. The music will get faster in the last lap making you want to go even faster, The music will go into "chipmunk" mode when you get hit by lightning and you are made small, also the voice and screams of your character will be in "chipmunk" mode as well. There are sound effects for even box, the sound of acceleration, breaking a box, going up some stairs. Also the characters cry when someone over takes them.
The best tip I can give is that when you go up over a ramp, a bump or a hill if you flick your controller, a little twinkling sound will be made and it will go you a speed boost making you go a lot faster for a few seconds. Also on the castle tracks the bricks of the walls if you go into these they will fall off so make sure you don't go into the sides. Avoid deep much, sand and snow as it slows you down trying to get out of it, the light blue water is fine to go in but the deep blue water is deep water and you will drown and be set back on the track making you lose several places.
Overall, playing on 50cc is very easy I only find one race difficult and that is the very last race which is in space, the track is see through with light colours on it, it also has no sides and is very fast as well as go faster stripes across the track that are unavoidable, annoying as it is not winning it is still good fun as I just fall off on every bend. There is a good variation in the tracks and the scenery. Controlling this at first I found really difficult because if you turn the controller too much you can turn too far and go off the track but I did get the hang of it quite fast and it then became very enjoyable even if it was just a leisurely drive by myself. I couldn't control the game at its fastest speed of 150cc but it was still funny to watch my fall off the track all the time. The music does it job right on the last lap when it speeds up it does make you feel even more competitive and want to win even more. I have a bad habit however I am like a typical game player, one who gets annoyed when they can't do something and this game is no exception, when I switch this on and start playing I start to resemble a teenage boy screaming and shouting at the screen because I can't win.
This game is ideal for a lot of people, people who like to play racing games, for the full family to play or for people who used to like the old Mario games but have either lost them, completed them or they just don't work anymore, this is a game for everyone to enjoy and one that you can easily get used to within a couple of races. You can play this with the remote on its own or with the remote in the wii wheel which I find is the most easiest to play with.
I'm gonna put it out there; Mario Kart is the best game ever. When I bought it for the Wii, I had never played it before, but I imagine most people have played it on some other type of Nintendo console. Either way, nothing can beat controlling an on-screen vehicle with actual driving motions. When playing driving games on other consoles I've always been laughed at by boys for turning the remote to steer the vehicle (hideous female stereotype there - but I am awful at driving games).
So Mario Kart Wii is the dream come true. The game came with a great steering wheel but for the best playing experience I'd recommend getting another steering wheel or however many people will be playing - you don't actually need them - it's just a bit of plastic - but it does make game-play a lot more fun and realistic.
The game offers three levels of play and 8 cups - four of which are retro cups with tracks from previous Mario kart games. You can play with up to four players in multiplayer mode and there's also an option to connect your Wii to the internet and play against people all over the world to build up your rating. This particular way of playing is great if you're very familiar with the tracks and can easily beat the computer - it brings a whole new challenge. There's also expert data in time trial mode which is a race against an 'expert's' time.
One of my favourite things about Mario Kart is the unlockables - there are unlockable karts, bikes, characters, cups all for just completing bits of the game well. I played on this game all summer and I've still only unlocked about 80% of the unlockables!
The actual races are three laps of a track and last around 2 or 3 minutes, but all tracks vary. In grand prix mode you play against 11 other characters. There's power up boxes along the tracks which give you offensive or defensive advantages over the other characters, but obviously all the other characters get this too so you need to avoid their attacks!
The game is really suitable for all ages - it's very simple to play, but tricky to get very good. It's great for racing against your friends and you can end up playing for hours. The incentive of the unlockables stop it from getting samey and the online feature is really clever not to mention addictive. 5 out of 5 for this game - it's just the best!
There are some things which transcend themselves from one generation to the next without any diminished credit, unblemished and as though they have been living the dream, as still as good today as they always were. You have bands like U2, shows such as Friends and even comedy acts like Morecambe and Wise. For years this game has been around and yet it shows no signs of wear and tear. Like famous artists or those comedy acts that continue to perform It is still fresh. The game continues to give pleasure to thousands of gamers and those part time players who just simply want a bit of fun. It is a game that is synonymous with Nintendo, its a trademark of theirs and almost every time there is a new console released if this game fails then so would Nintendo.
So why is this game so popular? How come many young children would have been writing it down on their Santa list? Why did it provide us with so much enjoyment being played by my brother, my girlfriend and my girlfriends dad? I hope to answer at least some of these questions in this review.
The first Mario Kart game was released in 1987 and everyone who was in the gaming industry had to play catch up from there. The cheeky characters, fun game play and competition made it an enjoyable game to play. There were other games too like Zelda but this one encapsulated what the consoles was all about. Just have a good time. No blood, no gore just a good family experience.
This Nintendo Maro Kart game on the Wii has really changed much from the original. Looking around the living room at on Christmas day seeing the different age groups of people playing it with smiles on their faces I noticed It had still had the same features. You pick a character, you pick a car you drive it. There are added features such as the battles, the various difficulties in the tracks and the fact you can now use the Nintendo steering wheel to help you around the courses but the principles are still the same.
There is also a bit more skill and tactics involved because you can tailor the car you pick to the course that you are going to be on. So for example you may find yourself on a tight bendy road which may mean you want to pick a car with more handling. Or for example there maybe courses with long straights so you could make the choice of having a Kart with better straight line speed and acceleration. This element adds a little more too the previous versions and means that you can try different karts out. You can also unlock different tracks the more skilled you become. It makes the whole game last longer and prevents any tedium setting in too quickly through the constant game play.
The game up until May this year had sold 28 million copies world wide in fact it sold 300,000 copies just in Japan on its first day of release. You know exactly what you are going to get with this game. I am one of those millions of people I have to say it is my all time favourite. I know there is a call of duty phenomenon on and various other big named titles that attempt to steel the limelight on other consoles but you cannot beat this in my opinion.
I see no reason why this game cannot continue to be the best franchise game ever. We are at 7 so far and I am sure it continue. The quick responsive game play the fact you can pick up added boosters, the circuits are far better and challenging to what I have known before I reckon this can go on and on. My hope will be that many more younger gamers will discover it too and perhaps it can be passed on down the generations like that tradition you have at Christmas. I am unsure as to what we will be doing next year or where we will be spending Christmas Day. One thing is for sure however and that is for now many more young people and adults will be wanting this on their wish list and hoping Santa brings them the gift they want.
It remains the best game I have ever played and the new Wii Mario Kart simply does not disappoint. I cannot recommend it enough. Put away the board games at the next house party and plug this game in. Then sit back and see the happy faces. Enjoy.
Nintendo games are always great for nostalgia. Every Zelda game that comes out, for example, reminds me of how much I loved Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask on the N64, just as every Super Mario game reminds me of Super Mario 64. Mario Kart is another franchise that always brings back memories of sitting playing racing games with friends and families on cold days and weekends. Mario Kart 64 was always the best racing game I had as a child, as its mix of cute characters and humour made it better than your average car game. I also remember enjoying the Gamecube version as being a really good game . I was therefore pretty excited to see how a Wii version would measure up, especially with its use of the Wii remote and the Wii wheel that comes with it.
== Mario Kart Wii ==
Like the other Mario Kart games that came before it, Mario Kart is a racing game that involves popular characters from Mario games racing against each other. The race courses are mainly based on worlds and places found in Mario and Nintendo games and so will be familiar to people who have played a lot of these games. As well as trying to win by driving quickly and getting the best route, characters can also try to take the lead by the use of items, such as shells to fire at players in front of you and invincibility, which makes you impervious to attacks as well as forcing out of your way anyone whom you run into. Characters include classic Mario characters such as Mario, Luigi and my very favourite, Yoshi. There are lots of great levels, including many from previous games (which again is great for the nostalgic amongst us) as well as many things to unlock, which add to the challenge and fun of the game.
This game is really fun and can be enjoyed by both adults and children. I got this game when I was nineteen and had a lot of fun with it, but bairns will probably have an even better time with it than I did! It's best to play as a multiplayer game but it's also a good enough game to be enjoyable when playing on your own. It's not too difficult for children to enjoy but still has enough of a difficulty curve to be fun for adults as well.
== Wii Wheel ==
I wrote a full length review of this item a couple of years ago, which can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/d4on9v8. I will, however, summarise how I feel about this accessory here in this review as well, so you need only go to the more detailed review if you would like more information.
This wheel is included with Mario Kart Wii, although you can buy it separately. It is an accessory which attaches to the Wii remote, which allows you to use the remote like a wheel. While you can still play Mario Kart Wii without the wheel, using it makes the game more fun and makes the feeling of driving more realistic than just using the remote. In Mario Kart, you turn the Wii remote side to side in a driving motion and so if you have the wheel attached you steer as you would in a car. The Wii remote attaches easily and there is a hole in the back for the wrist strap to go to, as well as a plastic button where the B button is in order to make it easy to press this button in game.
I would say that if you want to get Mario Kart it is worth getting the box that comes with this wheel, as it'll make playing the game more fun. It does, however, only come with one wheel, so if you want to play with other people (which you are likely to do) you'll have to buy other wheels or have some people only playing with the remote.
== In Conclusion ==
This is a really enjoyable game and is a great version of Mario Kart. The controls using the Wii remote with the attached wheel are even more fun than they were on previous consoles and the graphics are also improved and to a high standard too. The game with the wheel included now only costs £28.97 on Amazon.co.uk, which I would consider to be a very reasonable price. This could be an ideal Christmas or birthday present for anyone with a Wii, though it would probably be most appropriate for a child or young teenager.
As far as i can remember the best console ever was the N64, come on it was just biblic especially considering I am a massive super mario fan , i remember playing for hours on mario kart and when my N64 broke ( and i moved on with the times in buying the ps1 ps2 and ps3 ) i always rememberd how good the N64 was , i recently bought a Nintendo Wii and with it i bought Mario Kart and its great , very much the same as the N64 version with some new added features ,obviously with the Wii its motion control so actually turning the steering wheel to drive rather than press left and right is really cool and makes it so much more fun, just like the old you have the ability to drive into the daimonds and use ( for lack of a better word ) "bombs " such as green shells, red shells, banana skins,lightning bolts among other things to fire at or trip up your competition.
there are many different ways of playing , grand prix and battle modes are my favorites but there are others to keep you entertained for hours.
grand prix is basicly a four race competition in which you accumulate points depending on your position in that race until after the final race where the points are added and the winner is decided ( i realise that was probably very obvious but anyway )
battle mode is two teams in an area course finding " bombs " and continuesly bombing your enemies until the time runs out and the team with the most points wins
I've been a Nintendo fan, and more specifically a Mario fan, since playing SuperMarioWorld on the SNES aged about seven or eight. My first experience on MarioKart was also on the SNES, but I've played versions of the game on the N64 and the Nintendo DS as well. Hopefully this review will explain why I think the Wii version is the best yet, and why I recommend it wholeheartedly with the full five stars for anyone, no matter how much or how little they enjoy gaming.
There is no storyline as such to this game, there's just a series of different races or other challenges that you undertake in order to win trophies and other accolades.
Overall there are thirty two different race tracks that you can use. At least, that's how many I've discovered so far but I wouldn't be remotely surprised if it turned out there were some more squirreled away somewhere!
There are various different ways to play, including:
Grand Prix - you do four races in a row, earning points for your place in each race, and aim to get a gold, silver or bronze trophy. You can either do this on single player, so your achievements are recorded against your driving licence, or you can do it against other players just for fun.
Time Trial - this is for the real perfectionists who want to shave those all important seconds from their times. You can watch your laps again afterwards, or race against your own ghost to work out what you're doing wrong and where you could improve. You can also use this to perfect a track in secret, then casually suggest to someone that you race against them and completely trash them! You know, if you're feeling sneaky.
Battle Mode - for something a bit different, challenge your friends to a battle! You can choose to be on the same team or opposing teams, and you will either have to collect more coins than the other team or try to protect your team's balloons and stop them from being popped by the other team. This is really nice for a change after you're bored of races.
You start out with ten character that you can play as, but as you achieve different things on the game you'll notice that newer players start to be unlocked.
The controls are almost devastatingly simple. You use button 2 to accelerate, button 1 to brake or reverse, the A button to select menu options and the B button to move back a menu option or deploy an item (which I'll explain in a moment). Meanwhile, you simply turn the Wii remote in the direction in which you want to go, and it's as close to real life as you could really get. The controls are very easy to pick up. You can get wheel accessories, which is a steering wheel shaped holder for your Wii remote. This makes the whole thing even easier for beginners to understand, as it's exactly like real driving. (Er...well, sort of, anyway!)
I think the developers have been really inventive about using the Wii's features to create a better gaming experience and the invention of the wheel accessory is just genius. I do think it adds a whole new dimension to the game which makes it a much more fun, social, appealing game than some of its predecessors. I do think, though, that the image if the Wii in general as compared to other games consoles definitely helps with this.
One of the reasons MarioKart is so good is the sheer number of different things you can do. If you're bored of racing with friends, challenge them to a battle. Once they've gone home, you can race against yourself to practice your timings. If you need some opponents to beat to up your ego, race against the computer characters. It's difficult to get bored of this game.
The thing is, a straight up racing game can very easily get repetitive, and Nintendo know this, so they've done everything they can do to stop this happening. Once you get up in to the higher levels of the Grand Prix (you can race at 50cc, 100cc or 150cc) then it's extremely challenging to win a race. One of the things that makes it so hard is the items that you can pick up by driving through little see through red boxes on your way round the track. These items can make or break the race. In particular, there's one called the bullet, which you only ever get when you're in or close to last place. When you use this item, your character is transformed into a bullet and sped forwards for about ten or fifteen seconds. If all the racers are grouped quite closely together, this could bring you from 12th to maybe 3rd place and put you right back in the game again. On the other hand, if you're in 1st place you'll find yourself under constant assault from items that other racers are using on you. There are green shells, which fire off in any direction, red shells that home in on the person directly in front of you, and blue shells, which home in on the person in 1st place, and thrown them in to the air, bringing them to a stop. I HATE blue shells. There's nothing worse that being near the front of the pack when someone sends a blue shell, and then the person directly behind you picking up three red shells from an item box and deploying them on you one by one. I defy anyone not to shout at the screen as four or five characters shoot past you as you try to get back on your way, many of them tooting their horns or turning in their seats to laugh at you! On the other hand, there's nothing better than when you're stuck in the middle of the pack and you suddenly get a golden mushroom that gives you unlimited boosts for several seconds, or a star to make you temporarily invincible and twice as fast as normal.
Another thing that really spices up the game is the different tracks. There are a very few simple, basic tracks and a lot of them are extremely complex and difficult to master. It's worth having a couple of goes at each track extremely slowly and carefully. It might seem like a waste of time but you'll discover short cuts, hidden item boxes and booster strips that you didn't know existed, and they'll help you enormously in the long run! The tracks vary from shopping centres, where you zip up and down escalators (make sure you get on the right one!) and over fountains, to icy wastelands where a skidding penguin can knock you off course, to island groups where the changing tide could carry you away at any moment. There are also volcanoes, castles, villages, mountains, underwater tubes, and waterfalls. Oh yeah, and also regular race tracks! Some of the tracks are repeated from previous MarioKart games, and updated impressively, but there are plenty of new ones too.
The thing that leaves this game head and shoulders above the others is the detail. It's such a nice touch to see Miis - including ones you have created - urging you on. In one track, in a car park section, your Miis even block your way by reversing cars about the track. If someone's Mii blocks you and stops you from winning, it can be quite hard not to hold it against them! The Wii controller emits sounds which really add to the experience - you can hear hostile items approaching and get warning of characters bearing down on you from behind.
The longevity of this game is just excellent. There are so many tracks to improve your timings on, so many cups to win trophies on, so many people to win against! I find it easy to win Grand Prix contests, especially on lower levels, and get a gold trophy. However, even when you win, you will get a rating of A, B or C. If you do even better than that, you get one, two or three stars, and when you get three stars on every grand Prix on the top level, you get three stars against your name on your driver's licence. I'm still working towards that goal myself!
The graphics in this game are in the typical Nintendo style, cartoony and fun. They're actually deceptively sophisticated though; the details on each track, vehicle and character are extremely impressive, particularly when compared to previous incarnations of the game. Also in previous versions, if you got stuck in a corner somewhere at a funny angle you could sometimes see through the floor, or your back wheel would stick through a wall, making it even harder to get out of your difficult predicament! This isn't the case here - everything is sewn up tightly with brilliant attention to detail.
This is one of the few computer games where the sounds don't make me want to throw the controller out of the window; in actual fact they are used to great effect. Each track has its own musical background, which fits perfectly with the setting. Your character will make noises whenever you deploy an item, or when you overtake someone, or generally do anything it can applaud you for. They seem to like cheering and laughing in the other characters' faces! A really helpful addition is the siren sound that warns you something is homing in on you, and the spinny sort of noise you get when there's a hazard nearby. Also it's extremely heartening when you go past a viewing stand at the side of the racetrack. These are filled with Miis, including the ones you created, and you hear them cheering as you go past! It's very heartening, especially if you're not doing too well!
The beauty of this game is that I think most people could get enjoyment out of it. Even young children (I'd say 5+) could get the hang of this, and enjoy it. They're not necessarily going to do amazingly well, but because there are so many different versions of the game, and because you can play at varying levels of difficulty, they can still join in. The levels allow beginners to join in and enjoy the game from the beginning, and the Wii controls are easy enough to pick up quite quickly. This means it's a great game to play at a party or on a games night. On the other hand, there's plenty to entertain the serious gamer as well, because there are always short cuts to be found on every track and new characters, tracks or vehicles to unlock. Also, if you're aiming to get the top rankings on every track or grand prix, the standards are incredibly high and it takes some serious practice and dedication!
You can probably tell, actually, but I love this game! I think anyone can enjoy it and I get hours and hours of fun out of it. You can get it for about £30 including a steering wheel accessory, but the wheel isn't exactly necessary. I rarely play with one. As with most games, I'd advocate picking it up second hand. I'm giving it five stars and basically refusing to acknowledge any faults with it!
Recommended if: you want a game that suits social situations, family fun nights or late night solo gaming.
Not recommended if: you suffer from serious road rage, or think a Wii is something you need to visit the bathroom for.
Make sure you put your foot down and go go go, in the next instalment in the iconic Mario Kart series. Mario and all of his much loved pals are planning to make a spectacular return in this definitive version of Mario Kart, providing the most action packed racing fun in the series. Mario Kart Wii will come bundled with a new and intuitive accessory ? the Wii Wheel which makes it one of the most accessible Mario Kart games to date and will allow even complete novices to compete on this title. For those more familiar on the Mario Kart series, Nintendo have covered all the bases with this title by offering five different control options: Wii Wheel, Wii Remote turned on side, Wii remote and nunchuck, classic controller and even the the Nintendo Gamecube controller, these variety of control options mean Mario Kart can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of there experience or level. Mario Kart Wii combines all the much-loved features from the series, and much more. Mario Kart Wii will serve up a whole new host of stunning new tracks, characters, weapons, and vehicles. If you are looking for world ranking domination you can take on up to 11 players simultaneously world wide using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service which will offer you the chance to race other players across the globe in a nail-biting contest of speed and skil! If you prefer to keep the rivalry a little closer to home? Try the multiplayer mode, in which up to 4 people will be able to challenge each other in the comfort of their own living room.