Mario Kart Wii

by Laura Wilson on 5/30/2008 11:00 AM EST


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  • Aloonatic - Saturday, August 09, 2008 - link

    The problem that Nintendo have always had with Mario Kart is that they got it right first time. Like that bolognaise you make when you realise you have no bought in sauce, which ends up being the best you have ever tasted you know that it is doomed never to be repeated.

    On the SNES it was mostly about the racing, the control of your kart at high speeds, with the occasional item that may help you out, may not.

    Now, it seems that the the racing has been completely replaced by random chance and all at a snail's pace, even in the 150cc cups.

    You can be finishing 1st, 1st, 1st, then 12th???? in a cup. Why? because of constant attacks that are so unlikely and random as to be frankly mind boggling.

    The blue shell, seriously, what's the point?

    The wii wheel? OK, until you get an itch and then you are buggered, there's no chance of a quick scratch without you finding your self well off the track.

    Such a great disappointment.

    I guess if I was 12 again I might have the time an inclination to take on this game but I really can't be bothered. What's the point? Your hard work will just be undone by a series of unlikely events.
  • Athlex - Monday, June 02, 2008 - link

    While I agree that the raincloud is a an iffy item, it's worth mentioning that while you have the raincloud, your kart accelerates faster and can drive off-road better which makes for a [slightly] easier handoff. Reply
  • mkfan - Monday, June 02, 2008 - link

    The update to the "review" was a little weak. I get that you didn't figure out where the options were, but it's right there in the manual. Granted, the first time I opened the manual was to make sure it was in there, but the fact remains that if you're writing a review for a reputable site, you should maybe RTFM before slamming your subject for not having something that it does. Also, if you're going to do updates, it might help to mention the update somewhere near the information that's updated. Quite frankly, I expected a little more professionalism out of a review from AnandTech. Reply
  • MrBlastman - Monday, June 02, 2008 - link

    This is very bad news for us Mario Kart purists who enjoyed the ability to hop around at our leisure.

    To not include this is rediculous. I don't know if I'll be buying this version after all. I thought Nintendo learned from the sorry excuse of the gamecube version and the inability to jump.

    You could jump in the original, you could jump in the N64 version. You couldn't jump in the GC version and it failed. Weather it is important to do or not, it detracts from the fun such as shell evasion etc.

    I don't want to have to find a ramp to jump. I want to hop around all day like an idiot if I want to. :)
  • DerekWilson - Tuesday, June 03, 2008 - link

    as noted by one of the other posters, you can jump.

    it's labeled in the article as well -- it's the drift button. drift, as with other mario kart games, is started via a jump.

    also, the ability to jump is labeled in the images in the article as well ... only the author called it "hop" instead of "jump" ...
  • jordanclock - Monday, June 02, 2008 - link

    You can jump. Just quickly raise the controller a bit. And it's probably a shoulder button for the Classic and GC controllers.

    And I believe you meant "whether" instead of "weather."
  • Scalarscience - Monday, June 02, 2008 - link

    As the above poster stated, you can jump with the wheel, but I found that after the initial fun from the novelty factor of the wheel wore off, the nunchuck+wii controller was the best way to drive, at least for me. When you do that the 'Z' button replaces the 'B' button as your item usage button, the 'B' button becomes jump/slide (for the boost) and steering with the analog stick on the nunchuck is FAR easier than the wheel's method, plus doing tricks off of a ramp and pulling wheelies with the bikes is a lot more reliable when you don't have to use the motion sensing to steer.

    It took me a day or two of playing in first player mode to really get all of that sorted out. My wife (I really bought the game because she loves it) wanted to just go online most of the time so it took a bit longer to get the details of gameplay down than it would have if I had gamed solely on my own time. Now that I've got a mode of playing I enjoy the game is definately as fun as the n64 and SuperNES version (my 2 favorites).

    The shells and being repeatedly bombarded by items definately are annoying, I agree, but the game is fun nonetheless. Since the wii downloaded an update for it immediately upon inserting the disc the first time, I do wonder if we'll be getting more updates (not to mention that it would be nice to see additional downloadable content, more tracks!)
  • 9nails - Sunday, June 01, 2008 - link

    One of the downsides to the game, at least for me, is that there isn't an option to restart the race. (Keep all current settings and just go back to the race beginning.) Sometimes we just want to start over, but have to select tracks, characters, and karts all over again.

    In Grand Prix mode, it becomes quite frustrating to try and unlock all the characters and karts with these power-up items mercilessly destroying you. I've been blown-up by Blue (Winged) Shells seconds before the finish line with a near perfect 4-track record too many times now. Sometimes I've been blown-up by Blue Shells, landed in my own Banana's that were flung off of me by the explosion, and then finally spun off the track - going from 1st to last (12th) in one comedic chain-of-events-attack! It takes me at least 1 full lap to get back to 1st place again. These power-up items are really annoying me! I wish there was a mode to turn them off in Grand Prix or at least a defensible action to reverse the effects of all items. I know that a well timed jump can prevent the "Pow" attack or a well placed Banana can prevent Red and Green Shells from hitting me, so some counter-attack is present. But other special attacks offer no means of prevention - which is especially true if you're not carrying an item to counter-effect the attack.

    There also is some "return to track" issues if you go off course. Sometimes I'm placed WELL behind the position where I left the track. Just one bump knocking you off track can cost you 8+ positions before your back up to speed. That's devastating if you're trying to unlock all the items and this happens on the last race. Sometimes the computer returns me a few feet in front of a gap and I have little choice but it fall into the gap as I didn't have enough speed to jump over and clear the gap.
  • jordanclock - Monday, June 02, 2008 - link

    You make a good point of just how ruthless this game can be. I'm bothered that after all these years, all Nintendo can do to make the computer "competitive" is to rubber band them to the extreme. I've been ahead by very large margins before only to have three or four computer players come shooting up at once to overtake me. It's simply ridiculous that they can't simply give the AI the ability to drive properly instead of, essentially, cheat.

    There is almost no margin of error in this game when competing against the AI. And then there are the very common blue shells, to which there are no defense.
  • Rob94hawk - Saturday, May 31, 2008 - link

    My son found a way for me and him to be the same player. That's when you see a graphical glitch. For example when you select Toad and player 1 puts him on a bike and player 2 puts him in a kart toad has his head rammed into the bike. And then sometimes he will have no vehicle at all and is just there alone levitating. Funny stuff. Reply
  • SonicIce - Saturday, May 31, 2008 - link

    taking pics of the screen... anadtech has not evolved to the point of capturing the video output? come on, even a 10 dollar capture card can receive s-video :) Reply
  • crimson117 - Friday, May 30, 2008 - link


    I actually wasn't sure I could write this review without using the phrase "cluster f***,"

    Wouldn't it be "kluster f***"?
  • Cygni - Friday, May 30, 2008 - link


    I agree though, i rented this game to try and decide if it was worth picking up... and it just wasnt for me. And im a HUGE Mario Kart fanatic. It just seemed rushed or something, with little (but ridiculously important) menus crammed in weird places. Im going to rent it again in a few weeks, when ive beaten GTAIV, and give it another shot.
  • wchall01 - Friday, May 30, 2008 - link

    "If you want to play battle mode with only two people, too bad. Want to play with four? Too bad! Your only option is to be on one of two teams and play with twelve players"

    I was very frustrated the first time I encountered this issue. But there is a "Rules" button in the upper right hand corner on the menu screen before you click "Battle" or "Coin Runner". Simple select "None" for CPU and you can battle with just 2-4 of your friends.

    The same options apply on the local multiplayer racing menu.
  • Laura Wilson - Friday, May 30, 2008 - link

    Thanks for pointing out the error, we have updated the article. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Friday, May 30, 2008 - link

    WOW ....

    I had no idea about this -- way confirms the ergonomics / UI issues pointed out though.

    I'll let Laura know about this and ask her to update the article.

    thanks for pointing it out -- you've just made me a lot happier with the game :-)
  • Bremen7000 - Friday, May 30, 2008 - link

    s/loose/lose/ Reply
  • SniperDaws - Friday, May 30, 2008 - link

    This is by far the best Mario kart yet, and is unique because of the wheel.

    But 2 player Wifi is pointless because the 2nd player is a guest so doesnt really feel as part of the game.

    But thats all that ruins it for me so far.
  • DerekWilson - Friday, May 30, 2008 - link

    i know i'm lame, but i love the n64 version ...

    to me n64 and GC are tied for best mario kart.

    the DS version is good, but the Wii version is really a better DS version that doesn't quite live up to the n64 or GC. with a wheel.

    seriously guys, if you want to compete for near the top in tournaments and time trials, you'll want to look into not using the wheel (where the tournament allows it).
  • Locutus465 - Friday, May 30, 2008 - link

    You'd have to use kluster f*** :D

    In all seriousness, I love this version of the game... Yeah, it has it's issues but it easly owns the GC version (which I also own). I love using the Wii wheel though I'm still not quite as good at manual power sliding as I need to be, and since I play mario with medium karts power sliding is essential to staying on course (I'm sure it is to varying degrees for all characters).

    As an added testiment, and I'm sure many on these bords will be shocked... In my appartment I bought this and rented GTA4 at the same time... Mario Kart got serious play time, GTA4 sat around my apparment until it was time to return it (basically).
  • Megadeth - Friday, May 30, 2008 - link

    I've actually gotten so used to the wheel that now I play better with the wheel than I do with my Gamecube controller. I even have more fun with the wheel as well. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Friday, May 30, 2008 - link

    so, for me, the gc controller is gimped with the different layout -- the nunchuck is sooo much better than either the wheel (for accuracy of control) or the gamecube controller (for button layout and wheelies/tricks/recovery).

    by the way ... if anyone wants to play me my friend code is: 4038-6412-5268

    i'll show you just how much better the nunchuck (plus funky kong w/ spear) really is.
  • DrPettitt - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Derrick last fall I OWNED you with a wheel & you said you were going to "work on your cornering a bit". Never heard from you regarding our rematch. lol

    Tell me, you still touting your spearchuck gimmick after I smoked you by several seconds boy?


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