Grab your steering wheel and put your foot on the gas! Nintendo has come a long way with Mario Kart which first appeared on the SNES in 1992. Mario Kart Wii brings the classic Mario Kart games and gives them a huge facelift with a gigantic array of new game-play features. One of the biggest features Nintendo has incorporated into Mario Kart Wii is the ability to compete with other players globally, regionally, or with your Wii Friends via internet connection. While Nintendo has brought a great deal of new features you will still feel at ease with the very similar game-play as previous versions.
The first hour I was playing, I felt very at home with it. I was rapidly getting used to the steering wheel which my Wii-mote fit right into. With this, I can actually guide my go-kart along the race track! Just using this steering wheel you all ready feel like you’re having fun. Of course, those of us who have played all the previous versions of Mario Kart will immediately want to jump right into the race track that we all know from previous games. Nintendo was gracious enough to include some previous popular tracks in this latest version. How cool is that?! Alongside the old tracks are new tracks that are catered around other Nintendo games and previous Mario games. (e.g. Super Mario Sunshine.)
The controls are so easy to use and very natural feeling. With your newly purchased game, you receive a plastic steering wheel that your Wii-mote will fit right into. Using this device you can feel like you’re truly steering your vehicle around on the track. While this new concept really does require you to get a feel for, after no time you will be driving like a pro. Essentially you can just use the Wii-mote by itself without the steering wheel, but remember it’s going to feel a lot less comfortable sitting in your hands as just the Wii-mote itself.
Nintendo did a very good job at updating the graphics. There’s a huge facelift with this game and it was needed. The game, of course, has been kept in the same cartoon style. All characters have an updated appearance and are clearer to the eye and are more believable. The interface got a nice glassy finish and is structured more easily for navigation throughout menus. The graphics are not drop dead stunning, but I think they are much better than all previous games. Some effects used in the game do not slow the frame rate down at all either. I’ve noticed Nintendo in other games have mistakenly made their effects bring frame rates down to a noticeable drag. This isn’t the case with Mario Kart Wii.
All of the Mario Kart fans out there are going to hear a lot of recognizable songs and sounds in this version. A lot of the previous games music has been scored to a more modern feel. From what I noticed, every sound effect is from previous versions except with an updated feel to them. Like I have said previously, you will really start to feel at home with this game when you start playing and listening to music and sound effects.
I’m sure you’re wondering what the replay ability is like. Sure, you have your tracks that you can compete on against a computer or friends. Nintendo did pack in a nice feature that, I think, Mario Kart will greatly benefit from. Online play! You can compete with friends on your Wii Friend list or take it a step further and play regionally by your country. If that doesn’t satisfy you, start playing globally! I think this will greatly make the game playable for years to come.
Mario Kart Wii shows you that Nintendo has really been listening to its fans and putting in content that the fans wanted. I would highly suggest getting this game for your home collection. The game play is natural and exciting, music and sound is top notch, graphics are greatly improved, and there’s online competing! I would give this game a 5/5 stars. Now go out and buy it if you haven’t all ready done so! Shame on you for not having it yet!