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Mario Kart Wii Review

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Last night, I went out and bought Mario Kart Wii ... Below is my fairly short review on it ... This is an honest review, not a paid fake review that most publications and websites provide.

As a disclaimer I am a huge fan of SNES and Gamecube versions. The N64 and DS versions felt rush, and had some bugs that should of been caught before release. With that said ...

The Good ...

1. It comes in a pretty box ...

2. The graphics look slightly better then the previous versions.

3. Bullet Motorcycles rule!

4. The GUI interfaces look prettier ...

The Bad ...

1. The lack of many new courses is astounding. Most of the courses were remakes of previous versions. Some made better, most not. At least the ghost track is back, but in a bad way. This shows the creativity for course building has died in Nintendo. Reusing old courses is not always a good thing.

2. Nintendo jipped players big time by severely limiting the number of driver licenses to 4. This is unheard of as most families and friends have more then 4 people ... way more. This makes this game for statistics keeping worthless. And statistics is bragging rights both offline and online. This means only the same 4 players can play, ever. One exception, if you want to be a guest, but that's just a hack. Talking about dropping the ball ...

3. Missing the most popular battle type in the history of Mario Kart. The one where you drive around the course, picking up ? blocks and shooting the opposing team. This was last seen in the SNES version ... Hello? Anybody at Nintendo play this series?

4. The wheel is a gimmick, cheaply made, and the designer forgot to try out the prototype before release to production. One of the major thing, is that the wheel was designed backwards. It is not hard, and not expensive to cut holes in the center for buttons to have the wheel face the correct way ... Don't even talk to me about the over-priced wheel. $15 for a $2 plastic wheel? Right ...

5. Motion detection is not correct. There are times where you turn left, and the car turns right .. wtf?

The Ugly ...

1. Online play does not exist. The channel and match making was offline last night. Therefore there was no way to test online play in any shape or form. This effectively limits the game to ... 75% complete ...

2. The AI programmer need to be fired and barred from AI coding for life. You know how some people hate cheaters? Well, this game is full of them, all AI. The Rubber Band effect is a known cheat, which is why most gamers stay away from games that use that cheating AI algorythem.

Verdict ...

I have to keep reminding myself that this is one of Nintendo's major cash cows. They will do anything to shave off a few bucks to make mundo money, and the shavings show, in a big way.

I remember back when Mario Kart could be played by kids. Come to think of it, that was the Gamecube version. The Wii version totally throws away that ability and makes this game a Teenager/Adult only game. How unfortunate. It's just not easy enough for kids to play, where kids being under 10. Luckily, I still have the GC version.

With half of the game inaccessable (multiplayer), and another portion unusable (driver licenses), Nintendo should have left the game in testing for a while longer.

With all this said and done, this game can be played, in a limited fashion, making this the Windows ME/Vista of Nintendo, a huge flop. But the numbers don't lie, there are tons of sheep (like myself) who bought this game. No matter how hard I try to find something good in this game, it all comes back to the huge blunders Nintendo made in this game.

Sorry Nintendo, better test the game next time!

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I would just like to point out that the N64 version of the game had a Battle Mode. I didn't waste as many hours on that one as I did on the SNES but it still had it :)

I'm saddened that they still have the rubber band AI, I guess they must have their reasons...

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