Mario Kart DS DSi and DS Lite
DSi and DS Lite
Av. User Rating
Av. User Rating
Released on 25/11/2005
Time to race...no wires attached. The acclaimed Mario Kart series has gone wireless, letting players race and battle with up to eight karts at once, regardless of whether everyone has a game card.
An all-star cast that includes Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Wario, Bowser and Toad will round out a truly all-star line-up of more than 30 courses drawn from every Mario Kart game. That's right – players will tour courses from Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Mario Kart: Double Dash, not to mention brand-new tracks and arenas.
With all the crazy items and frantic speed players have come to expect, this game is a Mario Kart fan's dream. The game has a new dimension of fun, since players can battle others around the world by connecting to Nintendo's new wireless gaming service, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, via Wi-Fi.
The best wireless wheeled plumber fun money can buy.
Two words. Just two little words. It's hard to imagine, but a mere two tiny words uttered in room packed with the right people can bring about the most heated of debates. See for yourself. Try walking into a room full of gamers, mentioning Mario Kart, and witness an ensuing argument of almighty proportions.
The SNES original? The two home console sequels? Or perhaps the first game's adaptation on GBA, Super Circuit? Heck, was Double Dash even a good game at all? Opinion seems divided. Whatever your view on the best ever Mario Kart game, though (and we all know it's the N64 version) one thing is an absolute, undeniable and irrevocable certainty that we'd stake our golden mushrooms on...
Every man and his moustache should love Mario Kart DS.
As the progenitor of cutesy kart based racers, the Mario Kart brand is an understandably huge deal for DS owners. And Nintendo have delivered on the expectation in a fashion fitting for Santa himself. Unlike the marmite gameplay of GameCube Double Dash, Mario Kart DS should appeal to the broadest base of fans the series has seen in some time.
At its heart, Mario Kart DS is a Greatest Hits compilation of past MK titles, with an added bonus boost of some handy new content. Most notable is the handling, which sits perfectly between the N64's hopping and the drift control that made the SNES original such a delight to play. This will come as a relief to gamers that favoured the old-style handling, and shunned Double Dash for falling to far from the first game's fundamental feel.
A Greatest Hits compilation of past MK titles, with an added bonus boost of some handy new Content.
That isn't to say however, that the DS release lacks the content introduced in Double Dash. Indeed, the main Grand Prix mode is made up of eight cups encompassing 32 tracks, of which 16 are classic circuits from Mario Kart games gone by. The other 16 meanwhile are all-new affairs that retain the quality we've come to expect from the shortcut-laden series, making for a stellar selection to race around.
Another new addition for DS Mario Kart is the inventive Mission Mode that adds an element to the game along the lines of Crazy Taxi's Crazy Box mode. There are 54 challenges, ranging from collecting coins while racing to navigating circuits in reverse and even bashing bosses off a set arena. While complimenting the Grand Prix option, those delving into Missions will find it also augments their basic driving skills by emphasising strategic use of the game's intrinsic power-ups and boost ability, making the mode essential to anyone wanting to access the game's unlockable content.
And there certainly is a lot of it. New karts and characters are revealed as progress is made in cups on each of the three speed settings. Following the natural learning curve of the series, the higher the speed class goes, the harder the challenge becomes and the greater also the rewards. So, while the initial play at 50cc on the Mushroom Cup may yield little challenge and the odd fresh face here and there, later success at 150cc will bring with it access to the speediest of rides and the most convoluted of the game's courses to master.
Of course, multiplayer is the best reason to master the courses on any MK game. Seeing a friend's reaction to a well timed green shell has always been the defining moment of any given Mario Kart, and that's made even sweeter on DS by game sharing that allows eight players wireless multiplayer linkup off just a single cartridge.
The true selling point of Mario Kart DS however is its wireless online play. With Nintendo's much-vaunted 7,500 wireless hotspots dotted throughout the country (most notably in branches of McDonald's) it offers the premier online experience on any handheld to date. Or at least it would if it worked as intended. Alas, for all of its ambition - and it is a truly wonderful title to have in any machine's online portfolio - the online option proves to also offer the game's biggest flaw.
The biggest reason for Nintendo's dual screen machine moving into must-have territory.
Unfortunately, Wi Fi connection does seem to be more than a little hit and miss, and most won't access the online function first time. Finding friends online is also more complicated than it should be; relying on a Friend Code system that echoes Nintendo's family friendly values but also gets in the way of an easy access experience. Despite these flaws however, the act of racing online itself is a truly unique and fun experience, and the biggest reason for Nintendo's dual screen machine moving into must-have territory.
It really is hard not to recommend Mario Kart DS to any self respecting DS owner. A truly picky player may cite the Battle Mode's weak multiplayer maps, and an especially large handed individual will take an obvious dislike to the miniature buttoned control setup that uses A to accelerate and the awkward shoulder buttons to drift and fire weapons. Yet Mario Kart veterans will delight in the new tactics afforded by the bottom screen's overhead map that displays anything in their karts near vicinity, and gives prompt warning of opponent overtaking manoeuvres, or of potentially hazardous damage-dealing power-ups to be avoided.
As handheld gaming goes, there are few franchises as suitable as Mario Kart, and even less that produce a portable release with content and gameplay pitched so close to perfection. Mario Kart DS is nothing short of the DS's killer app: a game that races so far ahead of the field that only past games in the series deserve to be seen on the same stretch of road. Many will claim it to be the best Mario Kart so far, others will delight in it for the peerless portable title that it is and settle their arguments on the track. Whatever the opinion, all will agree that Mario Kart DS is a must-have handheld title, and one of the finest releases of 2005. And we agree too.
We'll see you online.
- 16 Classic Tracks, 16 all-new ones, vintage Mario Kart gameplay.
- Mission and Battle Modes add to the experience.
- Linkup and Online Wi Fi Multiplayer that's a joy to behold.
- Getting online can be overly complicated.
- A few weak courses, particularly in Battle Mode.
- Controls are likely to annoy bigger-handed gamers.
Review by: Mark Scott
Review Published: 15.12.05
It looks like Namco Bandai taking a leaf out of Nintendo book with its forthcoming 3DS version of Ridge Racer. According to an interview with the localisation producer Ryo Totoyama over at Nintendo World Report (thanks for the spot, VG247), the game been built with a broader audience in mind, in order to appeal to kids who grew up with Mario Kart.
"We've realised that some people have had trouble controlling the car," said Totoyama. "Drifting itself is hard enough sometimes it's really hard to enter the drifting state, because you've got to release the gas pedal momentarily to enter the drift, and then you've got to counter-steer to control the car. We've realised that, so we've introduced this easy one-button drift feature. It really works similar to Mario Kart, so young audiences, young players are familiar with how Mario Kart works, so it helps lower the barrier, expanding the game to a wider audience who have been intimidated by the controls."
There no date announced for this one just yet, but wel keep you posted. The 3DS, meanwhile, hits shelves on 25th March.
The news came from Mario's daddy, Shigeru Miyamoto, speaking on Iwata Asks - thanks, Eurogamer. The legendary designer announced, "In the interests of adopting new technology for the Super Mario Bros. tradition, I am now making a new Super Mario Bros. game for the Nintendo 3DS system."
He didn't offer any further details, but he did expand on a comment of Mario co-creator Takashi Tezuka's, suggesting that Mario must always be family friendly. "I think Tezuka-san is exactly right about making something that families can enjoy together," he said, "but I also think it's important to always use the most advanced technology for Mario in order to create something no one has ever seen before. Of course, it's important to make sure people still say things like "Falling down the holes is the most fun!" but something new is necessary for other aspects of the games, and it's those new elements that make a Super Mario Bros. game what it is."
With no news of a date, this is one we're probably going to have to wait for - but it will be worth it.
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.
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.
Mario Kart DS Review (15/12/2005)
The best wireless wheeled plumber fun money can buy.
Two words. Just two little words. It's hard to imagine, but a mere tw…
It looks like Namco Bandai taking a leaf out of Nintendo book with its forthcoming 3DS version of Ridge Racer.…
It's obvious, but it's still good to hear: Nintendo's already working on a Super Mario game for the 3DS. Phew!…Mario Kart 7 revs into stores this week (29/11/2011)
Nintendo 3DS owners will be starting their engines this week with the launch of the eagerly awaited Mario Kart 7.…What has Mario got planned in 2012? (21/12/2011)
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 game…
As a valued customer we now offer you the facility to sign up to email price alerts. Please enter the price you want to be, or below, and if drops to that level we will let you know...
NewOut of stock
- Only £25.99
Free UK Delivery
- Only £12.99
Free UK Delivery
Earn 208 reward points
Please note: prices in GAME Stores may differ.
You have chosen to add this product to your Wish List, but which version would you prefer to add?