Game: "Mario Kart Wii"
Published by: Nintendo
Review: Alright, now THIS is the Mario Kart I've been waiting for all these years. Finally, a Mario Kart game with online play. Ok, granted the Mario Kart DS game had online play too, but I generally like playing long online games on a screen that's larger than my head. And speaking of the online play, it's fan-friggin-tastic. I've been playing a lot o' games with my friends back on the East Coast over the past few days and I was really surprised at just how flawless the game was online. There's simply no discernible lag while you're playing online against friends (up to 12 at once) and you'd think you were playing a local game it moves so smoothly. Definitely a nice surprise since Nintendo has been lagging (no pun intended) on getting their shit together when it comes to online gaming.
Now, I have to say that Mario Kart DS was my absolute favorite game in the series when it came out. I really didn't think they'd be able to improve on the game, but it seems as though they have. I'm sure you've all heard about how it comes with the Wii Wheel, right? I was surprised to discover that the wheel isn't gimmicky at all and I actually prefer it over the standard controllers. It just seems to have the perfect amount of control and feels completely natural after you've played the game for a lil' while.
In addition to the wheel, there are now motorcycles in the game and they're a blast to use... especially when drifting around a corner or popping a wheelie for a speed boost. There's a nice variety of tracks in the game too, 16 new ones and 16 remakes of levels from all of the previous Mario Kart installments. And yes, Rainbow Road is still like some twisted Technicolor hell, but it's a fun hell to drive on (or in many cases, fall off of).
For those not wanting the standard race, the battle modes are just as enjoyable as ever with all the balloon popping goodness you'd come to expect from Mario Kart, but I really dig the new "Coin Runner" game. In this particular battle mode, whoever has collected more coins when the 3-minute timer expires wins, but during the game you can shoot your opponent and knock the coins out of his kart. Good times.
As usual, there are plenty of unlockable characters and karts/motorbikes in the game, and I'm personally looking forward to using Drybones again. The one thing the game is missing is an unlockable R.O.B. character like they had on the DS version. I'd gladly trade in "Funky Kong" or "Rosalina" for my favorite classic NES robotic operating buddy. But that's just a minor complaint in an otherwise stellar game. If you own a Wii, this had damn well better be in your collection.
Oh, and in case any of you want to know, my Mario Kart Wii online friend code is:
I'll do my best to add any friend codes that you guys post in this thread!
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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