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Mario Kart Wii (Wii)

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84
Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Lawnmower Man (149)
Written on  :  May 17, 2009
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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Summary

Ridding on Victory Lane

The Good

Mario Kart has always been about delivering top notch racing thrills while combining fun for all ages, and this title fires on all cylinders to bring you some of the best racing on the Nintendo Wii.

One of the best features of the game is the return of 16 classic stages from the previous Mario Kart in a "Retro Cup Series". Stages from the Nintendo DS, the SNES, Game Cube, and the Nintendo 64 return in their own Cup Series along with 16 new tracks for a whopping total of 32 tracks to race on.

The game now includes a much needed variant to the Mario Kart series: The ability race on Motorcycles. While they perform the same as the Karts, these Motorcycles are capable of doing wheelies to get speed boosts, while the Karts can power drift for speed boosts. These balances between the bikes and carts make the game fun for anyone to play and ensure no one is getting the short end of the stick with a handicapped vehicle.

Nintendo also finally got into the 21st Century by finally bringing online play to Mario Kart. Players can choose to just race against friends, around their region (North America for example), and from around the world. This helps to keep Mario Kart challenging and ensures you will never run out of worthy opponents to challenge.

The Bad

For all it does right, Mario Kart kind of takes a few missteps in its transition to the Wii. Unlike the previous title Double Dash, where players got to use two racers per kart, players can only use individual racers this time around. While this adds more racers to the track, at the same token it removes a unique element from the previous Mario Kart title that made it such a great game to play.

The Mario Kart Wheel accessory is also not quiet as good as it could have been. While it makes sense to have the accessory on the Wii, in the end it becomes a nuisance and ends up being a handicap rather than an enhancement on the experience. Since the Wheel is not connected to a base or anything, the game has a hard time trying to recognizing when you are trying to drive straight. Also due to this problem (and the fact that you instinctively place your hand right where the remote sensor goes), making a turn in this title is extremely difficult with the Wheel, and former Game Cube owners will be reaching for their controllers (a much less frustrating alternative than the Wheel).

The Bottom Line

Mario Kart Wii, like any good racing title, is fast, addicting, and most importantly, fun. The game limits its renovations to adding some much needed elements to the genre while keeping the basics solid, and in turn, strikes a very strong chord with racing and Nintendo crowd. While the game maybe lacking in the control department with an obtuse peripheral, the rest of the game manages to stick to its guns and deliver one heck of a solid game the whole family can enjoy. In Short, Mario Kart Wii is a clean sweep and a sure fire winner.