Mario Kart 7 3DS
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Released on 02-Dec-2011
Skidding on to the Nintendo 3DS comes Mario Kart 7.
Pick your favourite Mushroom Kingdom character and aim for the chequered flag in the latest addition to the popular Mario Kart family.
With new tricks under the hood Mario Kart 7, for the first time, gives you the opportunity to customise your karts to give you the edge in a race and gliding karts!
Mario Kart 7 will have racers careening through courses inspired by loved Nintendo such as Donkey Kong Country and Wii Sports own Wuhu Island.
Mario Kart 7 races onto your 3DS with these features:
- Different accessories to give you the edge in a race, will can choose big tyres for the off-road advantage or small tyres for the city courses?
- New abilities for your karts such as the new glider ability that lets you glide over short cuts after you’ve caught some big air. But that’s not the only new ability in Mario Kart 7…
- Choose to race as your Mii or a Mushroom Kingdom character. But who would you rather see on that podium your Mii or Mario?
- SpotPass and StreetPass features. How can you pass this up?
- Battle it out online via wifi or face off against your friends in Mario Kart 7 multiplayer action. You may lose friends but the glory is worth it!
Downloadable copy of Mario Kart 7 Ultimate Available
Please Note: Mario Kart 7 for Nintendo 3DS is 5117 Blocks (638 MB). Check that you have enough space on your SD Card to download and install this title, if you need more storage space click here for our range of fully compatible SD Cards and how to download.
The new handheld remake of the classic Nintendo 64 title - released in Europe as Lylat Wars - sees Fox McCloud and his team of anthropomorphic hotshot pilots take to the skies to liberate the Lylat System from the clutches of the evil Andross.
For its Nintendo 3DS debut, the acclaimed on-rails space shooter has received a complete visual overhaul, boasting stunning graphics and 3D effects, as well as a new gyroscope-based control option.
It also introduces a refurbished multiplayer mode that up to four players can enjoy using only one game card, allowing them to compete in fast-paced aerial dogfights.
This mode also utilises the Nintendo 3DS' inner camera, meaning players will be able to see the faces and reactions of their competitors as they blast them out of the sky.
To celebrate one million 3DS sales in Europe, the gaming giant will be releasing a metallic red version of the next-generation portable console on September 30th 2011.
This will be followed in November by the introduction of a system update that adds 3D video recording functionality, allowing users to create their own short 3D movies that can be viewed without any special glasses.
Meanwhile, fans of the console's in-built StreetPass challenges will find that a range of new content is also set to be added.
Nintendo 3DS has experienced a boost in popularity in recent months, thanks to the recent price cut and the launch of top titles such as Star Fox 3D.
It seems like only a few weeks since we were slurping up news from Gamescom in Cologne (probably because it was only a few weeks ago) but now all eyes are on Japan, as the Tokyo Games Show bursts into life.
First up is the news that the 3DS port of Monster Hunter Tri - with its second stick add-on - will be followed by official sequel Monster Hunter 4, which will be a Nintendo exclusive. Given that the series has driven the PSP to incredible success in Japan, that's quite a coup for Team Mario.
Also confirmed are pre-Christmas European release dates for Super Mario 3D Land (November 18th) and Mario Kart 7 (December 2nd). The lack of Mario on the 3DS has been a sore point since its Easter launch, so fans will surely be pleased with that. December 2nd will also see the European launch of Pokemon Rumble Blast, the first 3DS title for another classic Nintendo series.
Back in the driving seat
As the latest entry in one of Nintendo's most successful series, Mario Kart 7 is undoubtedly one of the most hotly anticipated 3DS games to date. Looks and performance-wise, the colourful racer does more than enough to leave Mario Kart Wii's efforts in the dust, while the courses offer the perfect mixture of challenge and accessibility to please veterans and newcomers alike.
The Circle Pad driving controls make handling nice and accurate while the game runs amazingly smoothly, chugging along at 60 frames per second in both 2D and 3D modes, making it one of the slickest Mario Kart experiences to date.
Old and new
Mario Kart 7 features the regular bunch of Nintendo mascots as drivers, including Mario, Luigi, Yoshi and Peach, plus some new additions to the series such as Metal Mario from the Super Mario 64 game, Lakitu, the spectacled cloud-riding Koopa and Honey Queen from the Mario Galaxy games.
Weapons and items also feature a blend of the familiar and new, from speed boosting mushrooms, red homing shells and slippery banana skins to the Fire Flower, which allows players to throw blazing balls of fire at other drivers, and the Super Leaf, which gives your driver's kart a bushy tail to knock opponents and items out of the way.
There are 32 tracks, 16 brand new and 16 classic courses from previous Mario Kart games given a fresh lick of paint. They vary from the wacky in nature to more traditional raceways, but all are infused with elements of Nintendo's charming game worlds, from beachy tropical paradises to banana-crammed Donkey Kong inspired tracks.
A number of courses introduce airborne and underwater sections, which add a glider and propeller to your kart respectively. The fun glider sections allow you to soar over big gaps in the raceway and attempt to pull of short-cuts in the sky before landing back on the tarmac, but the underwater sections don't feel like they add much to the experience beyond slowing down karts a little and providing some scenic variety.
Beneath the game's refreshingly crisp look and impressive performance level is the excellent karting experience fans have come to know and love. Mario Kart is about power-sliding round corners and gaining a speed boost, following the perfect racing line along fantastically designed tracks, and blasting opponents off the finish line to steal last minute victories.
Easy to learn but difficult to master, Mario Kart 7 has the lot, both online and offline, and we're in little doubt it'll be one of the best Nintendo games to enjoy this Christmas.
Mario Kart 7 revs into stores this week
Nintendo 3DS owners will be starting their engines this week with the launch of the eagerly awaited Mario Kart 7.
The latest instalment in the multimillion-selling series is the most fully-featured outing yet, with new kart customisation options, 32 different tracks, brand new characters and items, and robust online modes all promised.
Taking control of the likes of Mario, Peach, Lakitu, Wiggler and Daisy, players can tailor their vehicles with different wheel sizes, alternate chassis designs and special attachments, allowing karts to glide through the air or travel underwater.
Mario Kart 7 also ups the ante in multiplayer mode, allowing gamers to wirelessly race over the internet, create communities and special rules or swap profiles and ghost data with those they meet via StreetPass. A special Mario Kart 7 Wheel attachment for the 3DS is sold separately.
This follows the release of the acclaimed Super Mario 3D Land earlier this month, while fans can also look forward to Nintendo 3DS versions of Paper Mario, Mario Tennis and Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games next year.
Mario Kart 7 Review
Easy to learn, hard to master
While the 3DS has played home to some quality games since its March release, the launch of Super Mario 3D Land last month and now Mario Kart 7 mean Nintendo latest portable console has truly arrived. Like Mario Kart for DS, the newest edition in the fan favourite racing series is arguably its host platform best game, offering near endless hours of fun for casual players and more dedicated ones alike. With basic accelerate, brake, fire and jump buttons, it is easy enough that anyone can pick it up and play, but it will take plenty of practice to become a true kart master. Mario Kart 7 is therefore as deep an experience as you want to make it.
The game is split into eight cups, each featuring four circuits based on environments and characters from Nintendo Mushroom Kingdom. Half of the courses are brand new, while the others are remastered versions of ones from older Mario Kart games. Fantastic looking and expertly designed with multiple routes and shortcuts, itl take months to hone the perfect racing lines and discover all of the trackssecrets.
A few circuits dispense with the seriestraditional three lap structure, instead offering long A to B dashes without repetition, while almost all feature new underwater and hang-gliding sections, adding true verticality to the Mario Kart mix for the first time. Thankfully, rather than feeling gimmicky, these sections are perfectly implemented so as not to upset a tried-and-tested formula that rewards racing skill while simultaneously managing to produce a degree of unpredictability that gives every player a chance of earning a decent result.
Lucky Number Seven
While youl find a host of familiar weapons and items in Mario Kart 7, including shells to launch at your opponents, speed boosting mushrooms and slippery banana skins to lay on the track, there are a few noteworthy additions too. The rare Lucky 7 power-up gives you seven items to use whenever you wish, the Fire Flower allows you to shoot projectiles either in front or behind, while the Super Leaf gives your kart a bushy tail capable of knocking opponents and items out of the way. Races tend to be action-packed without feeling too chaotic largely thanks to excellent weapon balancing that gives players appropriate power-ups depending on their position in the field.
While single player Grand Prix events, Time Trials, and the balloon popping and coin collecting mini-games of Battle Mode are all a joy to play in their own right, most of Mario Kart 7 enduring fun is to be found in multiplayer. Available in local or wi-fi flavours, adding seven other humans to the mix makes things really come alive. There a basic ranking system which awards or detracts points based on your performances, and there simply nothing quite like beating your friends and holding the high score.
Boasting fantastic production values, near perfectly tuned gameplay and excellent track design, Mario Kart 7 has the lot, both online and offline. Easy to learn but difficult to master, and full of fan-service yet equally attractive to those with zero gaming experience, not only is it one of the best Nintendo games to enjoy this Christmas, but it likely to keep players busy for years to come.
+ Feels, looks and sounds great.
+ Excellent online racing.
+ One of the best 3DS games yet.
- We will always want more tracks.
- New weapons could be more inventive.
- We had to wait so long for it.
Review by: Tom hell ShooterIvan
Version Tested: 3DS
Review Published: 07.12.11
Mario Kart 7 3DS: Review
It hard to imagine now that when the original Mario Kart was released in 1991 it was the first Mario game to leap from the platforming genre. Before then Nintendo titular, mustachioed mascot had featured in a variety of games in various guises. But each had been threaded together by a common theme: platforms, and the plumber had limited his transport to a diminutive dinosaur.
In pressing Mario into the driving seat of car, Nintendo started the engines on true franchising, demonstrating that its hero was fit for more than just leaping through the Mushroom Kingdom on a mission to rescue a princess. In fact, he was just at home sending her into a spin-out courtesy of a well-placed banana peel.
Twenty years and seven entries later and few things have changed in the Mario Kart template. Grand Prix races in 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc difficulties are available from the moment you click the cartridge into the slot, with the full gamut of 32 tracks (split between 16 new offerings and 16 cherry-picked from previous entries to the series) unlocking as you win medals in each cup.
The classic tracks have been fully revamped to take advantage of those new features that Mario Kart 7 does introduce, principally the special blue ramps that cause your kart to deploy a glider or parachute attachment, before floating back down to earth.
Once airborne you have the chance to either push forward on the 3DS analogue stuck (losing height while gaining speed), or pull back in order to fly above your competitors at the cost of top speed. Revisiting classic tracks with this new feature gives them a fresh spin - not that those original fantastic designs needed much freshening up in the first place.
Another new addition to the template is the opportunity to customize your kart in basic ways by selecting the chassis, wheels and glider attachment for your character. Each selection comes with positives and drawbacks, asking that you state your preference for speed or acceleration through your choice of wheel and so on.
In a rare callback to Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 7 sees the return of the gold coin. These are scattered around each track, ready for collection, and the coins you have in your possession at the end of each race are added to your bank. While there no shop to speak of, collected coins are used to unlock new kart parts at regular intervals, although the fact that you can only carry ten coins per race prevents you from unlocking all of the options too soon into proceedings.
Coins also have a strategic element on the track, as the top speed of your kart is slightly increased depending on how many coins you have in your possession. It adds a risk/ reward dynamic as you decide whether to eschew the racing line in favour of collecting an extra coin or two.
The introduction of a handful of new items to use in battle the likes of a Tanooki tail which can be used to swipe at nearby opponents joining classics such as the heat-seeking red shells and Bullet Bill speed ups - is welcome, as too are the new shortcuts that litter each track.
Finding these is only half the challenge as you'll frequently need to exhibit no small amount of skill in order to take advantage of them using, for example, a blue ramp to launch yourself towards a cave opening in the side of a cliff face. The track design is consistently excellent across the game, and testament to the quality of Nintendo EAD team over the years.
Less worthy of praise is the new first person mode (activated by pressing up on the d-pad), which takes control away from the stick and requires you to tilt the entire machine left and right to steer. A cast-iron gimmick, it of little use. Meanwhile the excellent 3D adds real value to the game and is helped by the fact that you're driving into the screen, where having a sense of true depth is useful.
Sadly there are few single-player extras to entertain once the main Cups have been bested, and the 7 unlockable characters attained. The Mario Kart DS mission mode is sorely missed, with full focus being placed upon the multiplayer component for longevity.
This is as robust as you would expect, and the game is routinely at its best when played with other humans. Up to eight players can take part, either locally or online, and you can share your game with others if you only have one cartridge between you.
The additions may be conservative but Mario Kart 7 is worthy of the name, its taut, impressive racing enjoyable in solitary play, and positively mesmerizing when played with others in the same room. The pure racing is the best it been in years - the package only let down by a lack of meaningful extras for the single player.
+ Excellent track design
+ Tight, responsive controls
+ New items
+Lack of meaningful additions
+Weaker shooting sections
GAME rounds up a selection of the best portable titles to keep youngsters entertained and out of trouble.
Spooky puzzlingThe latest chapter in the popular puzzle adventure franchise, Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call (DSi, DS Lite) features a prequel storyline that invites players to help the top-hatted professor solve his very first case, the eerie mystery behind the Misthallery spectre. With more brain-teasing treats than any previous series instalment, all of which are suitable for players of all skill levels and intertwine with the story in clever ways, youl need to explore and investigate environments, interview residents and solve the puzzles that confront you to crack the case.
Magical adventuresBased on the last three Harry Potter books and final four films, Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7 (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS, DSi, DS Lite, PSP, PC) allows players of all ages to immerse themselves in their favourite characters and environments as they discover new adventures in the Muggle and wizarding worlds. Blending family friendly action gameplay, puzzle-solving and exploration with the distinctive brand of LEGO humour and charm, players will encounter new faces, challenges and magic that equip them with the tools necessary to challenge a host of foes.
Monstrous petsCombining adoptable pet monsters with safe social networking, games, stories, missions and educational puzzles, Moshi Monsters is a social online world for kids aged 6-12 that has become a phenomenon with over 50 million registered users worldwide. The first video game in the series, Moshi Monsters: Moshing Zoo (DSi, DS Lite) offers fans a fresh take on the Moshi universe with new locations to explore in search of rare pets, plus a variety of mini-games, puzzles and awards to win that should make it perfect for keeping the little one's busy for hours.
A new dimension in gamingOffering 2D and 3D gaming without the need for special glasses, Nintendo 3DS Console Metallic Red with Mario Kart 7 ushers in a new era of handheld play. Boasting touch screen, analogue and motion controls, the ability to take 3D pictures and videos, plus full support for DS Lite and DSi games, it delivers the excitement of the new alongside cherished older features. Mario Kart 7 also mixes old and new to great effect, with 16 fresh courses and 16 classic ones, new airborne and underwater sections to compliment the on-track action, and kart customisation options to deliver one of the slickest racing games to date.
Platforming evolvedMixing the best of Mario games from yesteryear with new ideas and technology, Super Mario Land 3D (3DS) is must-play title for newcomers and series veterans alike. It allows players to run, jump, hover and glide through a series of magical worlds, collecting coins, bumping question blocks and stomping on enemies in the first Mario platforming environment displayed in true 3D. The next evolution in Mario gameplay, players will experience an exhilarating new sense of depth, distance and speed as they navigate environmental challenges to reach the finish line and explore fantastical levels in search of fresh items, power-ups and hidden secrets.
2011 has been a fantastic year for gaming most recognisable face, Nintendo Mario, and 2012 looks set to be another. From platforming to kart racing, tennis, Olympic sports, role playing and party games, the portly yet agile plumber is clearly a highly versatile character who can do it all. Here, GAME takes a look back at a couple of the best Mario games from this year, in case you missed them, and looks ahead to some of 2012 undoubted highlights.
3DS hasn exactly been lacking in quality games in its first year on the market, but the arrival of Super Mario Land 3D (3DS) in November and the launch of Mario Kart 7 earlier this month have really made the portable console a must own system. Mixing the best elements of older Mario games with new ideas and technology, the former is perhaps best described as a blend of the more straightforward, accessible 2D Super Mario Bros. games for Wii and DS and Wii more challenging 3D Super Mario Galaxy titles. Its magical worlds are essentially made up of left to right dashes through obstacle courses, which see players running, jumping, hovering and gliding to master the environments with the aim of reaching a flagpole at the end of each level. With simple, intuitive controls, it instantly accessible and there always a clear path to completing each stage, usually littered with coins to collect, question blocks to bump and enemies to stomp. But Mario can also wander around a little in the game 3D environments, and only explorers and the most skilled players will locate all of the secret areas, items and unlockables ingeniously hidden away in the expertly designed levels.
Mario Kart 7 is another must-play title for newcomers and series veterans alike, mixing old and new to great effect too. It offers 16 new courses and 16 classic ones from older MK games for players to compete on, all based on environments and characters from Nintendo Mushroom Kingdom. The best showcase of the console's 3D screen yet, theye absolutely gorgeous to look at and just as well designed, featuring exciting new airborne and underwater sections to compliment the on-track action. With basic accelerate, brake, fire and jump buttons, the game easy enough that anyone can pick it up and play instantly, but itl take months of practice to master the multi-route tracks, learn all of the shortcuts and become an online karting king.
Looking ahead to 2012, Mario will be joined by a host of Nintendo stablemates as well as characters from Square Enix popular Dragon Quest series in January release Boom Street (Wii). A Monopoly-style board game that challenges players to play the real estate and stock markets to win,here are 27 characters to choose from 13 from Mario games, 13 from Dragon Quest and your Mii and over 15 boards based on memorable areas from each series, with different shapes and layouts providing loads of replay value. Players race around the board trying to accumulate wealth and hit a target value while buying, selling and trading property to see who can be the first to cash out, and with both beginner and advanced settings, it could be the perfect game to get the family huddled round the telly on those cold winter nights.
Mario Tennis (3DS) also looks set to be a smash hit next year. If previous games in the series are anything to go by, itl do its best to nail the balance between realism and zany, fast-paced tennis action starring all of your favourite Mushroom Kingdom characters, as well as a few surprise ones. Wee expecting a mixture of tactical tennis gameplay, special moves and plenty of mini-games that should make a great title for Mario and sports fans alike.
Mario and friends, including Sega favourites like Sonic the Hedgehog, will keep things physical in Mario & Sonic At The London 2012 Olympics on the Nintendo 3DS, which launches in February 2012. Players will go for gold in over 50 Olympic events that make full use of the handheld different control methods, serving up a wide variety of ways to play. Competing for the top of the podium alone or in head-to-head games with friends, players will frantically slide the Circle Pad round and round to row, tilt the system to keep their balance on the beam, and blow into the microphone to keep breathing at the right time while swimming.
Also in 2012, players will see the moustachioed, genre-hopping plumber embark on an exciting new role playing adventure in Paper Mario also on the Nintendo 3DS. It will feature frantic, turn-based battles set in a colourful and varied 3D world that takes in weapons, locations and items from Mario past and present,. It will also require clever strategic use of a range of ability-giving stickers, which can be used to carry out attacks on enemies or to fill in missing parts of the levels.
Nintendo 3DS owners will be able to enjoy online gaming while they wait in some of the UK's biggest airports, thanks to a new connectivity deal between Nintendo and Boingo Wireless.
Thanks to the new arrangement, 3DS users can connect seamlessly and automatically to wireless hotspots at London's Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, as well as Southampton, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
It means players will be able to enjoy titles such as Mario Kart 7 online or receive new content to their systems via the SpotPass data transmission feature.
They can also visit their favourite internet sites using the console's in-built browser, or check out the Nintendo eShop to purchase new downloadable games and applications.
Nintendo's Dawn Paine said: "Boingo is an excellent partner for Nintendo 3DS owners in the United Kingdom due to an extensive airport Wi-Fi network."
The 3DS features some of the most robust online services seen on a Nintendo console, allowing players to download classic Mario and Zelda titles, receive new features such as 3D video recording and instant messaging, or download playable demos of hot new titles.
As well as already announced titles such as Luigi's Mansion 2, Mario Tennis and Paper Mario for the 3D-enabled handheld, Nintendo big cheese Satoru Iwata revealed that another Mario game is planned for release sometime between March and early 2013. This game will be a "totally new side-scrolling action Super Mario in 2D" and is described as a "key title" in Nintendo's 3DS strategy.
The news followed another rousing sales announcement for the 3DS, as Nintendo confirmed it is now the company's fastest selling console of all time, across the world. Over eleven million of the things have been sold in Europe, Japan and the US.
The Nintendo Network is set to debut later this year and will greatly expand the online functionality of the two consoles, allowing gamers to purchase downloadable content for Nintendo titles or even buy digital copies of full games.
Fans of the recent 3DS title Mario Kart 7 will be pleased to learn that its popular Communities feature - which lets users set their own multiplayer rules and invite others to join their group - will be an integral part of Nintendo Network.
Meanwhile, the Wii U will introduce a personal account system for the first time on a Nintendo console, meaning multiple users will be able to create different profiles on the same system.
The news will help to further bolster the popularity of Nintendo 3DS, which has sold more than 15 million units since its March 2011 launch.
Meanwhile, Wii U - which features a revolutionary tablet-style touchscreen controller - is set to be released across the world before the end of 2012.
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