Mario Kart Wii with Official Wii Wheel Wii
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Released on 11/04/2008
It's the Wii debut of the greatest arcade racing game series ever - Mario Kart will hit Wii soon!
With more racers than ever before, WiFi racing against opponents across the globe, and new characters, stunts and weapons it's looking brilliant, and that's before you take into account the Wii Steering Wheel attachment that comes in the box and the addition of motorbikes to the vehicle line-up!
Ladies, Gentlemen, Gorillas, Dinosaurs, Plumbers, Mushrooms, Ghosts, Lizards and Turtles...Start Your Engines!
Included, the official Nintendo Mario Kart Wii Wheel!
I Kart Believe It!
We’ve all got our favourite versions of Mario Kart. Most favour the SNES original. Personally I’ve always like the N64 version. Whatever your favourite Mario Kart game, Mario Kart Wii will not disappoint.
Mario Kart Wii is the Mario Kart with something for everyone. It’s even more pick up and play thanks to the motion-sensing control and the genius decision to include the Wii Steering Wheel. It’s only a piece of plastic – but it makes playing Mario Kart Wii all the more involving, and will be an enormous grin-inducing novelty for the largely non-gamer Wii audience.
Those more hardcore Mario Kart players however will probably want to opt for either the Classic or GameCube controller, or alternatively the Wiimote and Nunchuk setup, both of which allow for more precision steering.
The skill in Mario Kart Wii comes with chaining together drifts into Mario Kart Wii’s other boost mechanics.
Whichever you choose, controlling Mario Kart Wii is simple, but mastering it is altogether trickier. That’s mostly because of the new boost system. Gone are the days of waggling the analogue stick. That wouldn’t have worked with the Wii Wheel. Instead, holding your drift will give you the blue flame, and letting go grants a speed boost. A prolonged drift begets a red flame and a stronger acceleration. An auto drift option eliminates the boosts, but serious players will go with manual drift control.
To veterans, that may seem a little less skilful than past Mario Karts. And in a way it is. The skill in Mario Kart Wii comes with chaining together drifts into Mario Kart Wii’s other boost mechanics.
Mario Kart Wii is the fastest Mario Kart ever. Boost pads are more liberally spread, and jumps can now be tricked off – which is as simple as wiggling the Wii Remote or wheel – to get a speed boost. Motorbikes, a new inclusion for Mario Kart Wii, can wheelie with an upwards flick of the Wiimote, which grants another speed boost at the expense of manoeuvrability.
String this all together skilfully and you’ll be wheelying into drifts, drifting into boost pads, boosting into stretches, drift-boosting into jumps, tricking in the air and boosting as you land. And that’s not even factoring in boosts from various Mushroom power-ups. The Wii Wheel may make Mario Kart Wii the most accessible in the series, but it’s also the deepest.
Apart from that, Mario Kart Wii is vintage Mario Kart. Literally, in the case of half of its tracks, which are reprisals of old Mario Kart courses. All have been brought up to Wii visual standards, which may not be a big jump for the GameCube tracks, but makes a big difference on the 16 GBA, DS and SNES courses. Nonetheless, the 16 Wii-exclusive courses are by far and away busier and more involving.
The Wii Wheel may make Mario Kart Wii the most accessible in the series, but it’s also the deepest.
In structure, Mario Kart Wii’s Grand Prix presents eight cups, four from the get-go, to play at 50cc, 100cc and 150cc classes. 50cc is Karts only, and 100cc is exclusive to bikes, which makes for a steep difficulty curve. But by the time you’ve hit 150cc you’ll be a Mario Kart Wii expert and able to reap the full benefits of both vehicles types, power-ups and its boosting bonkersness.
Mario Kart Wii expands the racing field from eight to twelve racers for online play, which works as well as, if not better than, any other online Wii title thus far, with support for two-player same-system play. Purists can still enjoy frantic four-player same-screen karting insanity in both race and Battle modes, too.
Sadly, Battle Mode is now purely team-based, but the ten arenas on offer – again, half new, half retro – provide a great selection. Additionally, the Mario Kart Wii Channel option allows you to track high scores and view online leaderboards, extending the usefulness of Time Trial modes and giving Mario Kart Wii a distinct community feel.
Like its forebears, Mario Kart Wii embodies Nintendo’s fun for all ethos. It adapts for the system to be widely playable, while giving hardcore Nintendo fanatics a further level of challenge, and brings it all online for up to twelve players to enjoy. GT5 Prologue may have only recently arrived, but for many this will be the year’s must-have racer, and arguably the best Mario Kart yet.
- The Wii Wheel will be great for novice gamers, while vetrans will enjoy adjusting to the new drift mechanics.
- Stringing drifts, boosts, power ups, tricks and wheelies together gives Mario Kart Wii plenty of depth.
- Fantastic online play with two players on one system. Still wonderful four-player splitscreen gaming offline, too.
- Visually it's a mixed bag. New tracks look grand, old tracks a bit bland.
- Battle Mode is now team-based only.
- Perhaps still a tad too weapon focused for SNES Mario Kart lovers.
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 Wii Review (17/04/2008)
I Kart Believe It!
We’ve all got our favourite versions of Mario Kart. Most favour the SNES orig…
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…
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