Mario Kart DS Review

During the holidays, I decided to pick a present for myself. My reasoning was this: who else would better know what I wanted besides me? The logic is impeccable, if not rather self serving. So I went to my local mega “big box” retail store and picked out a MarioKart DS bundle. The special bundle includes the MarioKart DS racing game and a “hot rod red” special edition Nintendo DS handheld game console. Ironically enough, I posted a write-up on this bundle on GamerNode a little while ago. As Obi-Wan Kenobi once said, “The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded.” Oh, well.

Anyway, I opened the package, slipped the ever-so-thin game cartridge in the slot, turned on the DS, and fired up the game. MarioKart DS is a very well-produced video game. The graphics are great, there are lots of different race courses, the music is amusing with the familiar MarioKart styled tunes, but above all, the game is fun to play.

MarioKart DS offers five different game modes: Grand Prix, Time Trials, Versus, Battle, and Missions. The main game, Grand Prix, has eight trophy or “Cup” events in which you race against the characters in Mario,s world. MarioKart has the familiar course power-ups, which allow racers to gain attributes or to hinder the other racers on the track. You have your choice of racing characters and racing karts to choose from. My particular character favorites are Luigi and Yoshi.

Gameplay is straightforward as you compete for the top position in each race. The DS offers three views of the racing action. The top screen displays the normal racing view, and the bottom offers the overhead and close-up views. The overhead camera is useful for locating the opponents behind you in order to drop obstacles and banana peels in the path of your opponents. The different tracks all have a particular look and style and are very well done. In the “Mushroom Cup” races, for instance, you can race on sandy beaches, haunted mansion grounds, through waterfalls and on a high speed race track. Each track environment is beautifully detailed and rendered.

The wifi feature of MarioKart DS enables gamers to play against each other through a wireless connection. Nintendo is offering free wifi in many McDonalds, locations, so you,ll be able have some multi-player fun when you locate one of these sites.

Battle mode offers two games. One is “Balloon Battle” in which racers try to deflate balloons attached to each other,s vehicles and “Shine Runners” where the players race to collect shine sprites. Time trial mode has a “ghost feature” where the best time has a “ghost” car running the track for you to race against. Mission mode has goals that a gamer must meet in order to go to the next level.

As far as racing games go, I,d say MarioKart DS is a whimsical and welcome change in the racing genre. It has humor, it has action, and it has game appeal. People who want a light hearted racing game will love MarioKart DS. The more hardened racing fan may think it is too simple, but MarioKart DS makes up for this with its entertaining game play and different game modes.

If you are looking for a nice racing game that has lots of action and smooth graphics, MarioKart DS would be an excellent choice.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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