Now that I am 30…

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Possibly the best games franchise ever…

Posted by iwata33 on Friday 11 April 2008

Mario Kart Wii came out today in Europe and after running to the shop to pick it up, playing it for 2 or 3 hours and then kicking some butt online, I started to think back 15 years to when I first played Super Mario Kart on the SNES. Yes thats right 15 years ago, I was a small 15 year old lad back then, I didn’t have a SNES, no I was firmly in the Mega Drive (Genesis in the U.S.) camp, but my friend did have one. Also back then there wasn’t any sort of specialist games shops at least not in Britain, so the best you could do was ‘Dixons’ or ‘Curries’ or in our case ‘Debenhems’. I remember it was a Saturday morning, we were browsing through the small games section and my friend picked up a blue box. As has become the case with me and really big surprise games, I had heard of this new racer but didn’t think it would really be that good (I also said the same about ‘Goldeneye’, ‘Call of Duty 4’ and ‘World of Warcraft’, as you can see I’m not great as spotting a sure-fire hit). So my friend bought it because he had heard that it was suppose to be very good, not only in one player but also two player, and again back then there wasn’t a great deal of multi-player games out there, you had to grab them when they came along. We took it back to his house and began to play. As many of you might remember this game had quite a steep learning curve, it was the sort of game that took a while to become good at but once you did it was incredibly rewarding. My friend got very good at it and still sees it as the very best Mario Kart game there is. (I would have agreed with him up until a couple of years ago). I could never complete the special cup though, it was just way too hard.

With the release of the N64 I became a nintendophile through and through. I have have bought every Mario Kart game on the day of release (the only one missing from the picture above is the GBA version and that is the only one I haven’t kept over the years). Mario Kart 64 wasn’t well received at the time but I really liked it, some of those courses are still classics and being able to play 4 players made it one of the first true party games. Mario Kart on the GBA was great and harked back to the SNES days even giving us some of the old tracks to play again. Double Dash tried to combine the new look of 64 version with the old racing style of the SNES and did it with some degree of success and Mario Kart DS really perfected what all the other versions had tried to do and with the added online play it made this game one of the essential buys for the new system.

So how does the new Mario Kart Wii live up to this history, well Nintendo does not have a habit of disappointing its fans (unless you speak to some of the fans who played Mario Kart 64 back in the day, and with Star Fox 64 (See Infendo Radio) ‘Do a barrel role’, oh and by the way Scott Slippy is one of my heroes). Well in this case they have done it again, this is about as much fun playing a game as you can get whilst holding a big plastic ring, in other words, a lot of fun. First of all you have the normal amount of new tracks, four cups, four tracks per cup so 16 new tracks. Then you have another 16 tracks that have been hand picked from all the other games and well you know the rest, hopefully from reading one of the 101 other reviews out there, and if you haven’t then pop over to one of them and check it out for a more professional review. All I want to say is that Nintendo are really doing a good job of pleasing lots of different demographics, I would consider myself a serious gamer (not to happy with the word ‘Hardcore’) and I have found it to be immensely fun, deep, challenging and addictive but equally my girlfriend will pick it up, have a bash and have fun with it and she is about as casual as you can be with games. The online options are really well thought out and I can’t wait until they activate the online challenges that the game promises on its online screen. And to top it all off the Wii Wheel works really well its responsive and fun and as a result I have just played the last three hours using nothing but the wheel. I never thought I it would be that good.

Suffice to say Nintendo have honored the proud tradition of the Mario Kart series and given us, it’s fans, what I think I consider to be the best in the series so far, man I can’t wait for SSBB.

If anyone would like to meet me online for a leisurly drive (with Shells!!) then here is my friend code


Go get this fantastic game and happy driving



One Response to “Possibly the best games franchise ever…”

  1. Very useful information 🙂 I see there are realy good tips. I am going to use some of them

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