Mario Kart Wii (April '08)

Perch1019

Registered User
Oct 4, 2004
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#1
One of the games that I spent countless hours playing in college with friends and the reason for that horrid GPA sophomore year. It has been confirmed that they will be using online play for up to 12 people complete with online rankings and ghost races against high scores. The graphics are nothing spectacular but I dont see any other point for this game other then the multiplayer. They could have put the N64 one out again with that feature and I would think it was awesome.

http://www.gamespot.com/wii/driving/mariokart/news.html?sid=6186170&tag=topslot;title;1&om_act=convert&om_clk=topslot

It's been nearly five years since Nintendo unleashed Mario Kart Double Dash on the GameCube and, if you can believe it, roughly 16 years since the kart racing series first kicked off on the Super Nintendo. The popular series has, like the traditional Mario platformers, become a staple of all Nintendo's platforms. So, in that regard, the announcement of Mario Kart Wii is hardly surprising. However, the big question mark for fans has been what, if anything, is going to be done to advance the gameplay and how is the game is going to take advantage of the Wii. Nintendo recently had us over to their Bay Area offices to get a look at a work-in-progress version of the game that's looking like it will remain true to the spirit of the beloved series.

If you haven't been keeping up on Mario Kart Wii here's where we last left off: the game was announced at last year's E3 during Nintendo's press conference. News of a wheel peripheral and online support hit the right notes for fans, and supplemental info released in the ensuing months has revealed the addition of bikes to the mix. Our recent meeting with Nintendo reps gave us a good overview and some hands-on time with the promising game, promises to introduce some new features without messing with the existing formula too much.

Before we dive into the specifics we'll call out the game's controls--one of the things we've been most curious about since the game was announced. It appears that Mario Kart Wii is in the same "kitchen sink" category of control schemes that the upcoming Super Smash Brothers Brawl is. You'll be able to choose from a whopping five control schemes, one of which makes use of the included wheel peripheral. You'll be able to use the wheel (which holds the Wii Remote sideways), simply hold the Wii Remote sideways without the wheel, use the Remote in conjuction with the Nunchuk, plug in a GameCube controller, or, lastly, use a classic controller.

We tried both the wheel and GC controller during our demo and found the wheel to be fine, with a bit of adjustment, although we're pretty big fans of the GC controller given the hours we spent with Double Dash. For those curious about the wheel, it's really just a piece of white molded plastic that's made to hold the Remote. You'll find a clear window on the side of the wheel that goes over where the infrared output on the Remote is, so you can use it to point on menus, a button on the back of the wheel on the left side lets you hit the B button on the back of the Remote, and an oval hole on the right side across from the button lets you pop out the Remote by pushing up through it. While it's not strictly necessary, the wheel does have a nice feel to it, and it's more ergonomically pleasing than the wheel released with Ubisoft's racers in 2006.

As for the actual game, we'll drop some quick stats on you before going over its different modes. Mario Kart Wii features a total of 32 courses to race on, evenly divided between 16 brand new courses and 16 classic courses taken from previous Mario Kart games. You'll find a total of eight cups in the game, four initially selectable and four to unlock. We got to see four of the eight cups, two classic and two original. The two original cups were the mushroom and flower cups. The mushroom cup courses were Luigi Circuit, Moo Moo Meadows, Mushroom Gorge and Toad's Factory. The flower cup was made up of Mario Circuit, Coconut Mall, DK Summit, and Wario's Gold Mine. The two classic cup competitions, banana and shell, were comprised of tracks from previous games. Banana featured Sherbert Land from the Nintendo 64, Shy Guy Beach from the Game Boy Advance, Delfino Square from the DS, and Waluigi Stadium from the GameCube. Shell included Peach beach from the GameCube, Yoshi Falls from the DS, the dreaded Ghost Valley from the Super Nintendo, and Mario Raceway from the Nintendo 64.

You'll initially have a total of 12 characters to choose from, broken down into 3 different classes. The light class is made up of Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Baby Peach, and Baby Koopa. The medium class is made up of Mario, Luigi, Peach and Yoshi. The heavy class is made up of Wario, Donkey Kong, Waluigi and Bowser. As you progress you'll unlock more racers, courses, vehicles and, most importantly, support to use your Miis. Each racer will have three different vehicles to choose from in the kart and bike categories. Each vehicle will have an automatic or manual setting. Before anyone freaks out and thinks the game is going in some new realistic direction, don't. The setting refers to the game's powersliding controls. Automatic lets you automatically powerslide around corners while manual lets you do it yourself. The downside to automatic is that you won't be able to be daring and gain speed boosts while manual lets you tempt fate and charge up your boosts by drawing them out.

On Mario Kart Wii's main menu screen you'll find the same assortment of modes from the previous games along with some interesting online additions to the mix. There are four basic game modes with a slew of variations under each. The single player game obviously focuses on you participating in 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc races. The new wrinkle here is that you'll be required to use a kart in 50cc races, a bike in 100cc races, and be able to choose your own set of wheels for the 150cc races. You'll find the usual grand prix, time trial, vs., and battle variants for you to play online or offline. The multiplayer mode lets you play with up to four players in splitscreen offline. When you're online in the Nintendo-WiFi-Connection-powered multiplayer mode you'll be able to race with 11 other players for a total of 12 online. A nice feature of the online mode is the option to have 2 people play online from the same Wii for some proper team-based action.

The final gameplay-focused mode was the Mario Kart Channel, which is basically a hub for sharing information and testing your skills. You'll find leaderboards that let you check on how you stack up next to your friends, as well as ghost data from other players that you can download and compete against. You'll be able to check out worldwide player rankings for each course, along with those players' Mii designs and controller configuration preferences. Lastly you'll find a tournament option, which is essentially a challenge mode featuring various missions for you to complete and which will ultimately offer new downloadable challenges courtesy of the WiiConnect24 feature. Outside of the game modes you'll find a license settings option that lets you check out all manner of tracked stats on your performance. Besides the single-player game we got a peek at the battle mode options which included balloon battle and coin runner games.

Based on the time that we spent with Mario Kart Wii, the karts' handling feels familiar while the bikes are quite different and will take some getting used to. One interesting perk when using the Wii controllers is that audio cues can be heard coming out of the Wii Remote speaker, allowing you to dodge incoming shells and the like. In terms of actual gameplay, Mario Kart Wii loses the co-pilot system seen in Double Dash and adds some excitement. You'll be able to perform wheelies on your motorcycle and pick up a few new power-ups. During our matches we caught a glimpse of some of the new pick-ups, which included a giant mushroom, a pow block, and a lightning cloud.

We tried Yoshi for some of our races and got a handle on the game's comfortable control scheme. When using the wheel you'll use the 2 button for gas and use 1 for braking and reversing. Hitting up on the D pad lets you throw an item forward while pushing down throws it behind you. Hitting left of right will let your character hold on to the item to help you deal with incoming projectiles. We like the game's handling with the wheel, although we found ourselves overcompensating initially. When using a bike we could perform a wheelie by a quick upward motion on the wheel and get both tires back on the ground by motioning down. As we've mentioned, powersliding is back and works well as does drafting. New to the series is a trick system that you can check out using any ramp in the game. When you're airborne, if you quickly make an upward motion your racer will do something acrobatic and yield a speed boost when you land.

The classic courses that we raced on felt right and looked sharp, especially those that were originally designed for handheld systems. The new courses were a bit more adventurous and featured some wicked challenges. For example, the Coconut Mall course is set in a shopping mall and features a down elevator you can get hung up on if you're not careful which will cost you precious lap time. Wario's Gold Mine features a devilishly fast run down a length of mine cart track that is guaranteed to cause you to fly off the side of it at least once. And DK Summit is a snow-covered run through Donkey Kong's hood with snow traps and half-pipes to negotiate.

Mario Kart Wii's visuals have a typically cartoony look about them with characters and tracks that don't appear to work the Wii hardware too hard. As a result, everything has a very polished and clean look to it with only a few noticeable jaggies here and there. It's nice to see the facelift given to the classic levels, although the brand new levels really promise to take the gameplay to a new level.

The audio in Mario kart Wii seems to be taking the same approach as its visuals, and offers up the usual array of voice samples, sound effects, and music tracks. We heard the familiar cries from the usual suspects, with some new baby variations for the newcomers. The music tracks balance new content and nostalgia to match the in game split of classic and original tracks. Our first impressions of some of the new tracks are that there isn't anything too catchy in the mix but we'll withhold judgment until we spend more time with the game.

So far Mario Kart Wii looks like it's got all its bases covered and then some. The overall racing experience has the solid gameplay that has given the series its longevity. The addition of bikes and new racers helps freshen things up some. The online features are welcome additions that should ensure the game remains in heavy rotation in people's Wiis for a good long while. All told we were pleased by what we saw of Mario Kart Wii. We're anxious to spend some quality time with the various game modes and online features to see how they all pan out. Look for more on the game in the coming months. Mario Kart Wii is slated to ship later this year.
 

badcellphoneguy

Kansas City...Kansas City here they come!
Jul 18, 2005
2,954
0
261
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#2
Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamone move this thread into the right forum. Linger Longer.
 

FAZ8218

Good eeeeeeeevening.
Wackbag Staff
Feb 10, 2006
11,603
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443
Oceanside, NY
#4
One of the games that I spent countless hours playing in college with friends and the reason for that horrid GPA sophomore year...
x2!!!!!!!!!

Can't wait for this one. This may actually tear me away from my 360 for a few minutes.
 

Pigdango

Silence, you mortal Fuck!
Donator
Jun 22, 2004
75,709
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#5
I downloaded Mario Kart 64 onto my Wii and it is now the only game I will play on that piece of garbage until they release Goldeneye. I can't imagine how they could make a decent racing game where you have to use the Wiimote. What are they going to make a Wii foot mote? Ech
 

Perch1019

Registered User
Oct 4, 2004
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White Plains, NY
#6
I downloaded Mario Kart 64 onto my Wii and it is now the only game I will play on that piece of garbage until they release Goldeneye. I can't imagine how they could make a decent racing game where you have to use the Wiimote. What are they going to make a Wii foot mote? Ech
There is a steering wheel in which you will insert the WiiMote.
 

blee

Will Drink Today
Dec 9, 2004
8,698
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western ny
#8
I really hope they didn't put the snaking feature in it or I will throw it against a wall and stomp the shit out of it just like I did with my Mario Kart DS game. I am happy to hear that 2 players can go online with one console.
 

buya97

Official Virus Spreader of Little Falls, NJ
Nov 25, 2004
599
1
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#11
Count me in! With this and Brawl, I think my 360 will be taking a rest for a lil bit
 

Perch1019

Registered User
Oct 4, 2004
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White Plains, NY
#12
Count me in! With this and Brawl, I think my 360 will be taking a rest for a lil bit
Im hoping Ill make it through my first prestige in CoD by the time Brawl comes out. With those 2 games, my PS3 is going to get a lot of dust on it waiting for GTA.
 

blee

Will Drink Today
Dec 9, 2004
8,698
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western ny
#14
gonna try to get this game tonight. I had it in my hands yesterday but the manager would not sell it to me.
 

LZMF1

Semi-Eviscerated
Jul 7, 2005
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Morris Plains, NJ
#15
i'll be picking it up tonight. i think it comes with the steering wheel that you put the wiimote into. i already have one but it'll be nice to have 2.
 

Perch1019

Registered User
Oct 4, 2004
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White Plains, NY
#16
I went to best buy today and got to play it for a little while. Lots of fun. Graphics are pretty solid too. Using the wheel to drive is also very nice. Pretty easy controls
 

blee

Will Drink Today
Dec 9, 2004
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western ny
#17
Got it this morning at 6am. Pretty fun. I like using the wheel, very easy to use. My code is 1032-1619-9898. Only raced twice online and it was fast to get a match going and there wasn't any lag.
 

Perch1019

Registered User
Oct 4, 2004
5,484
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608
White Plains, NY
#18
The online has been great so far. no problems whatsoever. I went on, got a game right away and then as the races went on, more people joined and we hit 12 by the 3rd one. I did some of the ghost racing which was cool too.
 

blee

Will Drink Today
Dec 9, 2004
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western ny
#20
added you lzmf1. I was kicking some major ass online and almost broke 7000 but then some girl with a gold wheel shut me down.
 

LZMF1

Semi-Eviscerated
Jul 7, 2005
4,703
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Morris Plains, NJ
#21
i'll add you in a few. the wife has me doing all sorts of shit today. i wanted to go fishing and play some mario cart but she had other plans for me.
 

blee

Will Drink Today
Dec 9, 2004
8,698
356
651
western ny
#23
Will add you Perch, once the wife is done watching tv.
I have played the hell out of this game today. The only problem I have is the course selection. I have played Luigi Circuit at least 40 times today(kicked ass everytime). I have only played it using the wheel.
 

ginaf20697

Registered User
Jul 26, 2005
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#24
Mine is 1118-0630-4967. You can win lots of races against me!