Pro Tip: Mario Kart Wii

It has been heralded as the Pro Tip of the century. After being hampered with problems, frustration and even the threat of Mario Kart retirement, I bring you this weeks Pro Tip.

I love Mario Kart. I have loved every version of Mario Kart since its debut on the Super Nintendo. While most racing games that focus on weapons and not actual racing don’t hold my attention, the cartoony nature and classic weapons kept me coming back.

So when Mario Kart was announced for the Wii I was instantly excited. I even bought into the free wheel that was going to be included in the box. How great would it be to use an actual racing wheel with Mario Kart while tossing red shells and sliding around turns?! I’ll tell you. Not great at all.

Pro Tip: Use the Wiimote and nunchuk

Mario Kart Wii was released on Sunday and my roommates and I have played every night since. We are all seasoned racers, having played since the early 90’s. We know this game, we know how it’s supposed to play, and we know when things are going horribly wrong.

Day one had us testing out the wheel and holding the controller sideways. While great in theory, it is actually quite terrible in practice. The accelerometers (motion sensing things) cannot accurately control turns; it’s either not enough, or too much. It was at this point that the threat of Mario Kart retirement was brought to the table. We swapped Wiimotes for GameCube controllers thinking the feel of the buttons and analog stick would greatly improve our experience.

We were right. Suddenly we were yelling about the abundance of blue shells and screaming when lightning hit us as we were going over a pit of lava, instead of screaming about the controls. Things were right in the world. And the GameCube controller was great… until I picked up the Wiimote and nunchuk.

The analog stick on the nunchuk is great, same as the GC controller, sliding, weapons all the same. The difference lies in the tricks. You can do tricks as you go across jumps to get an extra speed boost. These boosts become just as important as sparks in 150cc and racing online. If you don’t use them you’re not going to do too well.

The GameCube controller has you taking your thumb off the analog stick and pressing the d-pad to perform tricks. That’s dangerous in Mario Kart. You don’t know when you’re going to have to evade a banana peel or rogue green shell. With the Wiimote + nunchuk combo you just shake the Wiimote, keeping your thumb where its supposed to be. It’s super easy, super effective and has quickly become our favorite way to play.

[Creighton DeSimone]


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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