The latest addition to the long running series finally appears on the Wii with so many new changes that makes the old series seem new again.
GAMEPLAY - 5/5 In MK Wii it makes full use of the Wii's innovative controls by using the remotes tilt-sensitive motions as a steering wheel by using the attachment, also included in the package. Personally I've found this control method the best way to play this game, giving it a more arcade-like feel to it. If that's not for you though, you can use either the remote and nunckuck combo, the Classic controller or an old Gamecube contoller instead. As well as the single player Grand Prix andd Time Trial modes you can play the usual 2-4 player split screen races and battles and you can also take the game online using Nintendo Wi-Fi to battle players around the World, either by yourself or with a friend in the new 2 player online mode. Other new features include 12 racers on the screen at once, as opposed to the usual 8 that it has always been and for the first time in the series there are now motorbikes as well as cars to choose from. As well as the 16 new tracks (8 of which are un-lockable) there are 16 classic tracks from the previous MK games on the SNES, N64, GBA, Gamecube and DS.
GRAPHICS - 5/5 Some of the best I've seen on the Wii so far. Very colourful and very sharp. The classic tracks that were previously in mock-3D on the SNES and GBA have also been converted very nicely.
SOUND - 5/5 Brilliant, catchy tunes at the high quaility that you'd expect from Nintendo. I can't get them out of my head!
LASTABILITY - 5/5 Loads of modes of play and tonnes to unlock, including 4 new cups- 16 new tracks, new characters and being able to play as your Mii. Online play adds endless fun with your friends (using the Friends Codes) or playing people from all over the World, where upto 12 players can compete against each other in one race. There's 16 tracks and 12 characters to start with, so plenty to keep you busy when you first start playing. Having 12 racers on the screen at once also seems a little harder than on the previous games, so lots of practice will be needed if you want to get the gold in all of the cups.
OVERALL - 5/5 This has always been one of the best and most fun racing game series on any console and the Wii version takes everything that has been good from the previous games, made it so much better and added even more excellent new features into the mix. The new control method using the Wii steering wheel is also very fun to use and works really well. I highly recommend this to anyone who owns a Wii and think that this game really shines when playing on multi-player. This is defintiely the most fun game that I've played on the Wii so far. Buy it!Read more ›
I had been waiting for this game since I first played Mario Kart games for the N64, to have the chance to use a steering wheel on Nintendo courses against my friends. I got this game on the day it came out and played it all weekend on multiplayer and have to say that I have not been dissappionted. Not completely anyway...
The steering is brilliant, easy to use and the most accessible of all Mario Kart titles to date as there is very little to remember and learn regarding the controls, you push up or down to use weapons and keep hold of 2 and steer. Thats it! There is a large number of karts for each character, all unique with levels of handling, speed, stregnth etc and three types of bike for each player too. There are new items to use and you can even play as your own mii when you have unlocked that ability. there are courses to unlock just like the DS version of Mario Kart and also new characters such as Mr. Boo.
The 16 new courses are brilliant and take a while to master which is a good thing as it makes it more exciting and races are also much closer due to the weapons being distributed in favour of those nearer the back but that is a good thing as even races against the computer are competitive. There are 16 retro tracks too, but to me this is one of a few minor issues that stop this game from being a perfect 5 star.
The 16 retro tracks are a bit of a rip off to be honest. The banana cup for example uses 3 DS tracks, some which the DS used as its own retro tracks. These tracks have been updated graphically, but this takes away what would be retro charm, replacing it with what looks like poor rushed tracks.
It is also an expensive game to fully appreciate. you need two wheels to get the minimum enjoyment, one generously a free gift with the game, extra official wheels for £8, expensive for a bit of plastic. to use this you need another wii remote, they cast £30. Thats just for two players so it could actually cost around £120 extra to play 4 players unless your friends bring their own wii remote and wheels. This depends on circumstances outside what is actually a fine game though, and the wii remote costs are understandable taking the advanced tecnologies into consideration.
This is a brilliant game, that was so close to being perfect and its flaws are circumstantial and to be honest i really am nitpicking! It is one of the greatest multiplayer experiences i have ever had, including Halo, Call of Duty and WWE games and deserves to be shared and enjoyed amongst friends and family of all ages, I do believe anybody would love playing this game and can not reccommend it highly enough.
Well here we are... it's finally arrived! Pre-Ordered a few months ago and arrived on the release date. As a start, I would just like to say thank-you to Amazon for the quick service!
But let's get started, i'm sure many of you are wondering what the games like after months of speculation. You'll receive the game and the Wii Wheel in a nice compact box, giving it the extra touch. The Wii Wheel is a no-brainer attach to the remote - it slides in smoothly like gel, feels like excellent quality, and is well made. I should note at this point that this Nintendo Wheel is the best i've handled. I've held others and they were no where near as good quality - if you're getting extras for multi players, go official!
After inserting the game disc and a quick Wii Update off the net, you're ready to go! Upon first going to the main menu, you create a License that accompanies your own Mii, containing all your stats. This License is then shared across the world as necessary. After taking a few seconds to do this, your next job is to get the Mario Kart Channel onto your Wii, again taking a minute. I should briefly explain for those that have the internet that the Mario Kart Channel is just a place for sharing stats and ghosts, and is not a nessecity. It is however a very competitive area when you can easily see all the different players Mii's on the map, and be able to instantly challenge their ghost! At the bottom of the map is a time-line of all the best times you've raced on that particular course - each time you race any track, the time and ghost are recorded (On Time Challenge mode).
You'll be wanting to start a game soon, and so the new snazzy menu's comes to the Characters screen. It's good to see a whole new range of characters, and all handle 'very' differently, which is good if you want a challenge. For example, play as Toad and you accelerate quick, but play as Koopa (I know, who would have thought?) and the steering handles more responsively... Play as the unlockable King Boo and the steering is very responsive, though play as Boswer and its the same old story - heavy! You get the idea anyway...
You go on to choose 50cc (Easier Mode), 100cc or 150cc (More Challenging) as always, but then you have the option of choosing from 3 different types of vehicle... the classic Kart, a motorbike, or a more... well.. old fashioned looking Cathrem (to those un-familiar, it's an old racing car). Again, they all handle differently, and offer a new challenge. I'd also like to remind readers that, just like the characters, the unlockables also applies to the vehicles - whereas you may start off with having 6 different vehicles for one character, another may only have 2, thus requiring you to work hard to unlock more items. Such extra vehicles include Off Roaders - the first unlockable!
So what about gameplay? I'm going to be concise - it does take getting used to with the wheel. It's a whole new way of playing - the wheel may feel awkward because you're not used to it. Rest assured after even half and hour, you'll get the hand of how responsive it is. This leads me onto the only head-turner with game.. responsiveness. When you hold the wheel in front of you, you're allowed to turn it about 2/3 centimeteres either left or right before you even get any sideway's movement. This is what takes getting used to, as we are all on doubt used to the analogue stick - turning of the old days! Once you get a feel for how responsive each player is, you'll relax alot more and stop holding it stiffly!
I would just like to say at this point that you should take no notice of the melotomous negative reviewers that fail to use the wheel properly. You MUST hold the wheel at around an '80 Degree Angle' to achieve the best response. Holding it below 45 (i.e can't be bothered mode) will get you no-where. This is just a simple fact, and even in the instruction book diagrams shows the figure holding it at a similar angle.
The courses are without a doubt eye-candy in every way. Indeed, their is a general mix of the new and old (32 Courses all together! Incredible...), and once I played for the first time, it was all too familiar to play on some old style courses, specially those lovely 'blocky' style SNES ones. However, I feel Mario Kart Wii's best feature is the brand new courses. They remind me of Super Mario Galaxy in that they've pushed the Wii's physic's and texture capabilities to the max. The the lighting and shadow effects are second to none, and as I said, are on par with S.M.G. In many courses, so many off-the-track events happen, large characters walk across the screen, and you can be sent flying hundreds of feet into the air, and land smoothly back down again, with no graphical problems, mainly thanks to the Wii's Hollywood ATi GPU (that if the Wii hater's did their research on, is 4 times more powerful than that of the GameCube). Zoom through portals and you feel like you're travelling at warp speed! The frame-rate (60 FPS) remains crisp and fast, complimenting the incredible speeds that you can get up to on some tracks. Perhaps the best feeling is navigating your Kart around high-up scenes, which feels amazing. Their is one lovely track set up high in an Autumn style theme, with lots of trees and leafs, and one section sends you hurtling from a tree trunk onto the next section, with stunning smooth effects. It just looks and feels incredible, and considering I don't own the Wii Component Cable, it can only look better too!
I'll also briefly talk about the new range of items - rather than just the standard shells and a handful of other "common" items (the ones you get time and time and time again...) their is now a range of items that inflict varying amounts of damage to the others players racing, in different ways. For example, you can obtain a 'Squid' that blows a gunky liquid all over your screen, blinding your vision! You can even get 'Pow' blocks which knock all the players upside down, and knock away their items. My favourite however is the ingenious Bullet Bill - a huge version of the original Nintendo character that you hurtle as through a large portion of the track. And remember, their are now 12 racers in a race, making up for the wildest Mario Kart yet!
Again on the gameplay side of things, another great feature is a... umm.. radar effect that sounds through your Wii Remote as an on coming item is behind you that you can't see. For example, Red Shells, Bullet Bills etc. This is a nice idea - a little ironic in that though its supposed to warn you, you can do little to shake off a homing red shell, but all the same it gives you an early warning and can help you to tactically avoid many compromising issues. Particularly when you're just at the finish line...
But what about the multi-player business? I can honestly say it's been the feature i've used most so far, simply because of the fun aspect, and knowing you're not up against a CPU. Once selected from the main menu, your Wii connects to the server where a globe is shown. You have the choice of playing either against Wii Friends, any Wii user across the world, or 1-4 players on your own Wii against others across the world. I'd just like to point out here some clever marketing by Nintendo... they stated you can play "up to" 11 other drivers at the same time. This doesn't mean that you'll be competing against 11 other people every time - it's the luck of the draw. If not enough people make up the numbers, then that amount the server found at that time just play. Most of the time, I race with 9 other drivers, and the least i've played against is 2! (another eye-opening experience)
You then have the choice of who you're playing as and what circuit you want to use. This part I like - you can either 'vote' for a circuit, or just choose random... neat fair touch!
The game play is without any lag time - fantastic and all expected in the year 2008. I really admire this - Nintendo, since they opened their Wi-Fi service, have kept it simple and easy to use. How you finish the race has an effect on your overall 'Points' status, just like in Wii Sports, though it starts off at 5000. Finish in top half of your driver list (i.e you finish 4th out of 10 racers) and you GAIN points. Finish in the bottom half (i.e 5th out of 8 racers) and you points go down. Points are based on the quality of your driving and the position you finished.
You can't help but just laugh and grin when you're playing against others across the world - its an amazing feeling, and a feature that if people don't have the Wii for their internet, are sorely missing (is their any reason not to?). I feel this is the games strongest link and adds a whole new dimension that Nintendo have made simple and easy to use. Even if you have the Wii Connect24 mode on, the console automatically downloads the latest rankings and ghost data! How about that...
I hope I've summed up everything you need to know. Mario Kart Wii is, surprisingly, a very in depth game that offers the biggest challenge yet - for the first time, the CPU changes difficulty depending on whether you're playing 50cc, 100cc or 150cc. Getting an A rank on all 8 of the different cups, on all 3 of the different classes is by no means a quick task! And I have every confidence that this offers many good times ahead...
- Online gaming is just perfect in everyway! - The Graphics are beautiful - The new range of items are balanced perfectly and make the game even funner - Mario Kart Wii Channel offers a superbly competitive 'Ghost time' challenge! - Theirs a real drive (excuse the pun) to keep playing on single player with lots of unlockables, unlike the early versions
- It does take some getting used to - don't be put off - Some may feel that the 12 racers in a race can make it feel too open, or alternatively, too hard when your stuck in 11th place all the time...
Overall: 95% - Among the likes of Endless Ocean, Resident Evil 4, Super Mario Galaxy, and 'hopefully' Wii Fit, the new instalment of Mario Kart has once again offered a completely new dimension to the Wii. With the competitive but fun online mode, and the massive variety of characters, tracks, and vehicles (with many to unlock) this is a game that simple "cannot" be missed. Admittedly, I have already seen the response by many old hats who defy this game for no being like the original Super Nintendo version. But hell, this is 2008, and things have to move on. I defy any Wii owner to pick up the box for this game and put it back on the shelve!Read more ›