Mario Kart Wii - Nintendo Wii

This is the REAL review, rather than my joke review before I even play games a week or so ago, where I dismissed the game and gave it a measly 2/10 score! The good news is that this game WILL get higher than 2/10.

So Nintendo have brought out their latest version of their 16 year old "Kart" franchise. My views on this series have been mixed. The original 1992 version on the SNES was absolutely perfect, flawless in every possible way. Then came the huge disappointment of Mario Kart 64 on Nintendo's N64, followed by the marginally better, but still flimsy Mario Kart Super Circuit on the GBA. We all thought Double Dash may be the game to re-ignite the passion of the series, but simply, it didn't. It was average.

However, the Nintendo DS version was actually rather splendid. It still fell someway short of the original (link here to that review) but it was still a solid, fun racer with great multiplayer link up and online wifi play.

So Mario Kart DS gave us Mario Kart fanatics high expectations for its Wii edit. Motion controls with the steering wheel sounds awesome, doesn't it?? Well in IS pretty awesome as it happens. The steering wheel, which is fundamentally a bit of plastic, houses the Wiimote and is nice and comfy to hold and light. Controls are hugely responsive and within about half an hour of play, it becomes natural.

Nintendo have given users the option to use a gamecube pad or nunchuck....but frankly, its pointless, and makes Mario Kart Wii essentially Mario Kart Double Dash 2. If you buy this game, USE THE WHEEL. It makes this game stand out from Mario Kart DD....otherwise, its effectively the same thing.

Ok, so lets pick out the faults. Well, graphically, its what we nothing incredible. In truth, its not really a step in front of Mario Kart Double Dash. Same with the track design, its essentially the same thing....big wide tracks, nothing too taxing. What is hugely frustrating though is its one-player mode. As with most Mario Karts, you are penalised for being GOOD and leading the race. Your race will constantly be disrupted by red shells, blue shells, lightning strikes etc etc. So in the end, you resent leading the race, as the flow of racing is always ruined by these.

Ultimately, where all the Mario Karts went wrong compared to the original SNES version, is the track design, and that feeling of really putting in the fastest laps to win. You want to lead the race in SMK, and you want to lap the backmarkers. In the Wii version, that never happens as the tracks are just too long, and all 12 racers are too bunched together.....that and the fact you only get 3 laps instead of SMKs 5 laps. Super Mario Kart was a raw, kart racers game. This isn't, and is a bit chaotic.

To sum this up though. Mario Kart Wii IS a pretty fun title, and just what the Wii needs. It is ESSENTIAL that you use the wheel otherwise you're just buying an old Gamecube free games. What also of course makes this great, is the online modes. Playing against friends online is a real hoot, and what ultimately saves this game from being really average. Buy it, play it online, use the wheel, and don't worry too much about the fact that its not much as a 1 player game. Oh, and buy Super Mario Kart on the VC when its FINALLY issue