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3.8
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Mario Kart Wii is the sixth installment of the Mario Kart series of racing games, and the sequel to Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

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Pros

Includes a Wii Wheel accessory with the game

8 agree

Excellent visuals, graphics, and overall presentation

8 agree

Return to more traditional gameplay found in SNES version

6 agree

Fun and solid driving physics

6 agree

Team modes can be fun

5 agree

Fantastic online play - best Wii online experience to date

4 agree

Reminiscent of the N64 version

1 agrees
  • Only 3 words are allowed.
Cons

Battle mode does not have a last man standing option like N64

3 agree

Full range of maneuvers are accessed only with the Wiimote + Nunchuck control scheme

2 agree

No two-player grand prix mode

2 agree

Poor battle mode

2 agree

Rubberband mechanics are very frustrating

1 agrees

12 players is very hectic

1 agrees

Poor selection of original SNES levels to re-use

1 agrees
  • Only 3 words are allowed.
Edit

 

Mario Kart Wii is the sixth installment of the Mario Kart series of racing games, and the sequel to Mario Kart: Double Dash!! for the GameCube. All copies of Mario Kart Wii will ship with a Wii Wheel accessory that houses a Wiimote for a more intuitive way to steer your kart. Mario Kart Wii was released on April 11th, 2008 in Europe and was released in North America on April 27th, 2008 for $50.

Mario Kart Wii tracks

There are 32 tracks in total broken down into 8 cups, four of which feature new tracks (Mushroom, Flower, Star, Special), and four of which are comprised of tracks from previous Mario Kart games (Shell, Banana, Leaf, Lightning). Each circuit can be played in one of three speed classes: 50cc, 100cc, or 150cc.

This 2-hour video demonstrates each of the tracks:

New tracks:

Mushroom Cup:

  • Luigi Circuit
  • Moo Moo Meadows
  • Mushroom Gorge
  • Toad's Factory

Flower Cup:

  • Mario Circuit
  • Coconut Mall
  • DK's Snowboard Cross
  • Wario's Gold Mine

Star Cup:

  • Daisy Circuit
  • Koopa Cape
  • Maple Treeway
  • Grumble Volcano

Special Cup:

  • Dry Dry Ruins
  • Moonview Highway
  • Bowser's Castle
  • Rainbow Road

Retro Tracks:

Shell Cup:

  • GCN Peach Beach
  • DS Yoshi Falls
  • SNES Ghost Valley 2
  • N64 Mario Raceway

Banana Cup:

  • N64 Sherbet Land
  • GBA Shy Guy Beach
  • DS Delfino Square
  • GCN Waluigi Stadium

Leaf Cup:

  • DS Desert Hills
  • GBA Bowser Castle 3
  • N64 DK's Jungle Parkway
  • GCN Mario Circuit

Lightning Cup:

  • SNES Mario Circuit 3
  • DS Peach Gardens
  • GCN DK Mountain
  • N64 Bowser's Castle
     
Post Review
Gt-d
07/08/2008 03:40

Gotta echo Omar's opinion - the super powered weapons are an annoying game mechanic.

I've got a lot of much more serious racing game experience under my belt, so I found that when playing with the wiimote + nunchuck I did get way in front most of the time and won easily, unless i got pushed way back early on.

The steering wheel is novel, but thats about it - its not a good way to play the game.

Atleast these are my impressions having gotten to play for an hour or two twice now..,. (friends "wanted to play another game" - because I won pretty much every race against him easily - and that was with the gamecube controller.)

Omar
07/08/2008 12:35

Just like Special K I was a huge SMK fan and used to play it all the time with my friends. All the later installments turned me off with the more complicated mechanics and zaniness so I was looking forward to MKWii since it was a return to the purer SNES MK.

Well... in some ways it did, but not everything should have been translated over. The biggest gripe for me, and it's been a staple of the series since the first one, the "rubberband" AI. What this means is that the first place guy will get no weapons, while the last place guy will get the ULTRA WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION that will take everyone out and launch them into first.

In previous games you'd have: "OH CRAP LIGHTENING" but you'd still be able to keep your lead if you're good.

Now you have "OH CRAP BLUE SHELL!" "POW" "SQUID INK"

The weapons are more powerful. You have MORE people shooting them at you, AND the AI is packed closer together. What ends up happening is when you're in first, on the last lap you get rocked by 8 attacks at once and then everybody passes you and you're in last.

It's stupid.

Fine, maybe you can say that I suck, but I'm actually "pretty good". If you're AWESOME then you can get so far ahead that the attacks aren't much of an issue, but most people aren't that good, so for people like me it's just not that fun. It's not even a matter of luck, since you'll ALWAYS get rocked if you're in the lead on the last lap.

The rubberband mechanics wouldn't be so bad if I could just play races with JUST my friends, but you HAVE to play with the computer (12 people on the track in total) so it's just pandemonium, and not in a good way.

I also have to say, that even though I own the Wii I actually find it difficult to go back to Xbox-level graphics after playing 360 so much. Graphics do matter to me, and while Wii Sports I actually considered to look pretty good, MKWii looks quite bad. And it really stands out.

Special K
07/06/2008 06:03

I just got this game, and I am loving it. I haven't even ventured into the online play OR multiplayer OR trying the various controller styles yet. The use of the Wii Wheel and WiiMote is both easy and fun to use. Drifting and countersteering has never been so much fun. As a true fan of the original SNES version, Mario Kart Wii definately is a contender for best Mario Kart to date. And I'm sure once I have a chance to try out some multiplayer and the various controller styles, it will definately have an even stronger case. BUT nothing will ever compare to the hours and hours of endless fun I had (and will continue to have) with the SNES version, which was the first game I got for SNES (and would wake up before school to play...). What is taking them so long to release this on the virtual console????

meNNis
07/02/2008 12:24

So... on a 46" multiplayer should be good then? ;)

Howlsthunder
04/30/2008 05:50

(*Note: the only Mariokart games I have played are N64 and DS)
I just got this game yesterday. My first impression is good! A bit more play-time will be needed to get a good feel for it. At first I was wary because I am so used to my DS version and the differences between the karts there. So far the differences between the characters/karts don't seem to be as steep as in the DS version: they do divide up everyone based on weight, from light to heavy, which is nice, so its easier to find a kart for your playing style, but now there are more "shades of gray" between weights.

The motorcycle option is a lot of fun. They're really squirrley and are great for drifting and add a lot to the gameplay, in my opinion. Not too sure on any benefits or detriments to bikes versus karts yet.

The Wiiwheel makes using the Wiimote alone much easier but is not a very precise way to steer. It *works* but I think diehard fans of the series will much prefer the Nunchuk option. Also note that the item use/drag button for the Wiimote-only option is the D-pad. It is VERY hard to drag items with it without throwing them - major negative point there.

Graphically, the game is great, some of the new courses are jaw-droping (Maple Treeway!) - single player appearing the best, of course. 3+ players suffers from too much detail crammed into a tiny space. We have a 26" tv and it still felt too small, even when sitting close. I remember playing MarioKart 64 on a much smaller tv with much less visibility problems.

I am being a bit picky because I know the quality Nintendo is capable of putting out. I am just a bit bummed about the multiplayer being so hard to decipher with more than 2 players, but so far I am loving the game and look forward to unlocking everything, finding fun short/long cuts, and trying out the much-hyped online play. :D

Omar
04/14/2008 11:35

I find it somewhat ridiculous that the game ships with the plastic Wiiwheel accessory, and yet the game is designed so that the best way to play it is with the Wiimote + Nunchuck. And I don't mean "best" subjectively, I mean best as in certain moves that give you a speed boost can't be done with any other control scheme giving the Wiimote + Nunchuck scheme an unfair advantage.

Gt-d
04/14/2008 10:53

Really? I thought the N64 version was also quite playable. I'm skeptical about the wiimote-driving wheel. I remember other controlers that tried to do that for racing games and it just wasn't a good way of controlling them unless you got a really expensive fixed wheel.

Erik
04/12/2008 11:50

I have yet to play a Mario Kart that comes even close to the SNES version. The gameplay was almost perfect in that version. It would be pretty sweet if Mario Kart Wii delivers (as early UK reviews have suggested) in matching the the SNES experience matched with next-gen graphics, control, and online play.

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