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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 11:49am 22/04/08 | 36 Comments
It's here. Nintendo's long-running race dynasty, Mario Kart, makes its Wii debut later this week and we've been slogging it out across all the game has to offer to give you the nitty gritty.

Mario Kart has a storied history of either nailing it, or falling ultimately short of perfection, has the Wii version finally given us the kart racing experience we so richly deserve, or has it gone the way of the GameCube Mario Kart and simply bombed?

For our answer to this and more (more in the sense of what the game actually has to offer), jump on in and check out our ridiculously in-depth review. You can also check out screenshots of the game here and watch a gameplay trailer by clicking here.

Mario Kart WiiNintendoWiiReview

Latest Comments
Posted 12:22pm 22/4/08
I dunno about the hate on MKDD, it was better than 64 IMO

I'm in two minds about the items thing; the blue shell really is lame in that it requires the person who has it to do nothing. Lightning was obviously the big 'equalizer' in SMK but you still had to drive well to make the most of it.

On the other hand, getting pwned by random s*** or making massive comebacks has always been in the game. I could sit at the starting line on Rainbow Road SMK , get lapped, and still come 1st in GP mode back in the day. While you had to make the most of your power slides etc to do so, the massive speed advantage you got from being far behind makes a big difference too.

So in that respect, I dont mind too much about the randomness. If I can play someone I'm clearly better than for 20 rounds and win around 15 of them, I'm happy with that.
Posted 12:31pm 22/4/08
IGN gave this a 8.5 - 8.0 for gameplay. It's taking a real hammering. No FFA Battle Mode, all the new features from Double Dash dropped, online play being too laggy to play, AI being completely cheaty and unbeatable (with the balance gone - it's now even as to what items you get, whereas previously last place got better items), too much randomness...

I was considering buying this (and Galaxy) on Thursday, I'm not so sure now.
Posted 12:59pm 22/4/08
Steve you need to add a ) to your screenshots link.
Steve Farrelly
Posted 01:00pm 22/4/08
Get Galaxy Raven and just import or wait for SSBB
Posted 01:11pm 22/4/08
You certainly wont go wrong with galaxy
Posted 01:17pm 22/4/08
No FFA Battle Mode, all the new features from Double Dash dropped, online play being too laggy to play, AI being completely cheaty and unbeatable (with the balance gone - it's now even as to what items you get, whereas previously last place got better items), too much randomness...

Thats why it'd be so beneficial for Nintendo to release patches / updates over the net. Would expand the life of this game so much if we knew there was FFA and more tracks coming eventually. Would rock if they eventually ported all the tracks from previous games to this. Have Nintendo released any updates for any Wii games yet over the net? any scope to do this? I haven't really touched the Wii in a fair while.
Posted 11:00am 08/5/08
As far as I know the only change they have ever made to a game after release was pokemon diamond/pearl. They made a few small changes to the Global trading system to cut back on all the spam trades. So there isnt much hope.

I had little hope for Nintendo's latest Mario Kart and I wasn't even planning on buying it. Now that it has a solid online mode I'm considering purchasing, but all my fears for single player have come true. Cheating AI, stupid weapons, ridicules rubber banding and annoying cutesy theme.
Theyre all back and are worst than MKDD. MKDD was one of the few games that I purchased for the Gamecube and regretted. Thankfully F-Zero GX saved the day, lets hope Sega can do it again.

The saddest thing is how easy it would have been to fix all the problems. Simply include a FFA battle mode, an item editor like brawl, that works with GP mode and tune the AI. The would have been enough to take it from a B to and A title game.
Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart DS were the highlights of this series.

PS: Whats the bet Australia get s*** servers...

last edited by Lynx at 14:10:15 22/Apr/08

last edited by trog at 11:00:25 08/May/08
Posted 03:34pm 22/4/08
i loved mario kart on the snes
loved mario kart on the n64
love it on the wii

controls are great (ditch teh s*** wheel idea immediately, use the nunchuk, controls a dream)

its definately much more difficult than either of the above versions, good, i like a challenge

the new tracks are ok, the old ones are great, its fun to play against mates

i cant wait to give it a go online
Posted 03:59pm 22/4/08
Interesting.... thanks for the review.
I think i'll just stick to GTA4 on the PS3 for now... I was planning on buying MKW as well, but think i'll hold off for now.
Posted 04:22pm 22/4/08
I found DS Kart to be just as bad when it comes to Rubber banding and stupidy like the Blue Shell - Was hoping we'd see the ability to turn off Super Weapons in Wii Kart. As Steve mentioned in his interview, Nintendo seems to favour party (read: Stuff aimed at the casual market) games these days, so I guess it's to be expected :(

Now if only we could get a release of SNES kart on the VC......
Posted 11:44pm 22/4/08
I think reviewers simply aren't allowing enough time to get to know the game. My immediate impressions of it were as a simplified Mario Kart All Stars, that was not quite on the same level of that as Double Dash. But after toying with it for a while I'm finding the skills and a clean racing line that are required to win are just as valid as they were in the previous games.
Even though this version brings with it its own new set of challenges doesn't necessarily mean it is more luck oriented. It simply means you need to take the time to learn how to deal with its new threats to stay in pole position.

I think it's important to point out that most of the new items bring with them their own element of risk to the user, such as the Thunder Cloud that you have to make sure you run in to another player with once it's activated, or the Bullet that speeds you straight through the other players on autopilot but will take you off course if you don't use it at the right time or steer correctly as it is ending.
Then there are other cool new Wii-exclusive gameplay features such as the sounds on the Wii Remote. Having the rapidly approaching sound of a shell or mushroomed player on hand is a really cool and helpful addition.
The fact that you can play a heap of the old, remastered tracks and ride motorbikes with new handling of their own is just icing on the cake.

Honestly the only frustration I've had with it aside from what you would expect from Mario Kart has been online games dropping out consistently. That will no doubt no longer be an issue once other Aussies are on there.
Posted 01:53pm 24/4/08
Okay, so I caved and bought both Mario Kart Wii and Mario Galaxy today. Still have a few hours to go to get through Phaaze in Metroid Prime 3 though.
I figured while they were both on special at JB ($79 and $69 respectively) I might as well pick them up.

Guess then we can test out online multiplayer.
Posted 01:59pm 24/4/08
how good was metroid?!?!!?!?

such a quality game;
Posted 02:42pm 24/4/08
I still haven't finished Metroid. I stopped playing it completely when Galaxy came out :(

I'll stop by JB and grab Mario Kart after work today.
Posted 03:21pm 24/4/08
Spook, I was *really* disappointed in the quality/qantity of metroids in the game. In Prime there were a few different types. In Corruption, there seem to only be Phazon Metroids.
Also, they don't seem anywhere near as scary. The way they attach to your head in Prime... way freakier than in Corruption.

I'll probably give Galaxy a quick go tonight, but will try to pass Corruption before getting too stuck into MKWii and Galaxy.
Posted 03:44pm 24/4/08
I was going to go buy this, but apparently I don't have to. Pretty good review for a game that's only been out a couple hours Steve, that is unless you got Mariokart off Spook's mate there...
Posted 04:42pm 24/4/08
Spook, I was *really* disappointed in the quality/qantity of metroids in the game.

hmmm, i didnt even notice the lack of them;

i just really enjoyed the story, teh gameplay, teh visuals and the fact that i had to work reasonably hard to get the game done

found it extremely rewarding and i only got 84% or so

Posted 02:21pm 25/4/08
Well, I've spent the last two hour or so playing Mario Kart Wii.

- The AI cheats. Seriously, one second it'll fire a red shell at you, there'll be no items, and then it'll hit you with something else.
- The AI cheats. Look at the finish times, you'll see the icons on the map, they'll be a good 10 seconds behind but it'll list them as 3.
- What's this BS that when you get hit you lose your items? That's crap!
- The amount of speed you drop off when you hit a wall or grass
- These karts can't corner for crap. And I use koopa!
- Did I mention the AI f*****g cheats?
- sk8 is getting too good at this already
- 150cc is just BS.

- Online play. So seamless, so much fun.
- Not being forced to use the stupid wheel.
- Releasing it the day before a public holiday means there's tons of people on for online play
- 2 player online play from the same console? Phwoar!
Posted 02:42pm 25/4/08
What's this BS that when you get hit you lose your items? That's crap!

Hasn't it always been that way? At least in the N64 and DS versions I played I thought it was.
Posted 03:08pm 25/4/08
You didn't in the N64 version
sif greazy
Posted 04:04pm 25/4/08
I think on the gamecube if you get hit and you're carrying 3 items of something, you lose 2 so you're only left with 1.
Posted 06:03pm 25/4/08
The item thing I noticed too - The only time you lost items in MK DS was when the blue shell of hatred hits you or the lightning went off, seems everytime you get nailed in MKwii it happens now.

Just like to add in too - The wheel sucks!
Posted 06:28pm 25/4/08
Posted 06:53pm 25/4/08
you just havent played it enough raven

get more skillz
Posted 07:05pm 25/4/08
Curious, am I the only one here using a GCN controller to play?

Also, what does the gold steering wheel mean that I've seen on some peoples icons in online play?
Posted 07:07pm 25/4/08
i use the wiiremote and nunchuk and it works flawlessly
feels just like teh n64 control method that i used to use

havent played it online yet, i need to perfect my game offline
just about finished on mirror class, then ill start on ghosts
Posted 07:08pm 25/4/08
The item thing I noticed too - The only time you lost items in MK DS was when the blue shell of hatred hits you or the lightning went off, seems everytime you get nailed in MKwii it happens now.

The DS version you also loose any items you're holding on the back of your cart if you get by anything at all.

btw, I've only used the wheel so far but only played for an hour or so, it's ok but not that impressed, I was reading recently (can't remember if it was here or somewhere else) that you can only do stunts with the wheel, has anyone found not being able to do stunts a disadvantage? especially when you get to 150cc etc.
Posted 07:12pm 25/4/08
yes, you need to be able to do stunts;

no you dont have to use the wheel, which is majorly gimicky and prevents you from powersliding;

with the wiiremote, you flick up to stunt

i think you can even stunt on the gc controller, but using the dpad;

to be competitive, you need to be powersliding at all times and stunting over jumps
Posted 07:22pm 25/4/08
who says you cant powerslide with the wheel, ive only used the wheel so far and have been powersliding all over the place.

Pretty sure im gonna change to classic controler though.
Posted 07:23pm 25/4/08
with powersliding on manual?
how do you hop with the wheel?
Posted 07:24pm 25/4/08
press and hold the b button on the back, then drift away.
Posted 07:26pm 25/4/08
I can powerslide with the wheel, just nowhere near as easy as I can on the DS. Might try out the GC controller, I found Rainbow Road damn near impossible with the wheel.
Posted 07:28pm 25/4/08
I agree, the wheel is s***. I use the Wiimote+nunchuk too, works fine for me. I'll give the Wavebird a go at some point, just to see if it's easier, but I don't see it giving much of an advantage over the Wiimote+nunchuk config.
Posted 07:45pm 25/4/08
I loved how with the wheel you can hop, then turn the wheel in the direction you want to go and it flicks you the entirely opposite way. Wavebird s**** all over it.

Golden wheel in online means the person has used the wheel for x amount of races/time..
Posted 09:39pm 25/4/08
Pft, I've given up on Vs mode in MKWii. The items are way too unbalanced in this one, no fun at all. And in online mode, people just want to attack whoever's close - letting the guy who's in 1st get further and further away.

Battle mode on the other hand has become another story. My ranking keeps climbing and climbing :)
Posted 10:23am 29/4/08
Classic Controller s**** all over the wheel, used it for an hour last night and where I was getting A's & B's for finishing cups with the wheel, was getting 2 stars with the classic controller. Managed to do Rainbow Road with the controller and beat all the others karts by over half a lap whereas the wheel I was struggling to stay in the top ten. Wheel is definitely something you need to practice with but to be honest, can't be f***ed.

Not sure how I'm going to get 3 stars on these cups when I get hit by everything under the sun. This game seems to dish out about as many blue shells as the DS but much more in the way of lightening bolts and other s*** you can't avoid.

btw, does anyone know if it's possible to change the button config on the classic controller in this game? the options in the option menu seem to only cover GCN rumble and wifi stuff.
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