[Game Review] Mario Kart Wii


mario-kart-wii-boxMany of us (young people) have probably played a version of Mario Kart at some point in our lives, on N64, Game Cube, or another Nintendo product. The game was just one of those that was simple and fun and could be played as multi-player easily and effectively engage a group of people.

The Wii takes that to another level.


The reason the Wii is ahead in this generation’s console wars is simple. Innovation. It was able to provide consumers with something different than a PS3 or an XBox 360. It was able to not only provide a new, fun gaming experience, but it was able to do it cheaper than either of those consoles was willing to do. Believe me. I took a class on Video Games in college. It showed that people are willing to game casually and to sacrifice unbelievable gameplay or graphics in favor of something unique.

And Mario Kart Wii takes the “unique” to a whole different level. By adding the steering wheels to the Wii Remote, you are able to simulate actually driving, rather than just toggling a joystick (ha) and pressing a couple of buttons. You actually steer the control and it drives your selected character (I’m pretty bad ass as Donkey Kong myself). It provides the gamer with a sensation that takes a little adjustment, but once you do, the game is phenomenally entertaining.

mariokartwiigameplay11Some of the tracks are pulled from other Nintendo games, and that gives the gamer a feeling of comfortability (is that a word?) with the courses. The courses are adjusted slightly for the new console, and having not played the Game Cube version, some of the recycled tracks were still fresh to me. But believe me, re-using some of the tracks you may be familiar with isn’t a big deal at all. When you play the game, what you’re wanting is the ability to steer the wheel, and it’s completely worth it.

The game has a way of frustrating you at times, but in all fairness, it should do that. If it were too simple to defeat, and you could just coast to the finish line in 1st place each race, it probably wouldn’t have much replay value.  But each race is guaranteed to be unique, and that makes the game stay entertaining. You can run in 1st place for an entire race, and at the end, some bitch (I’m looking at you, Baby Peach) is going to shell you right before the finish line and take the Checkered Flag ahead of you. You get frustrated, yes, but you also keep playing.

And there’s nothing better than a vendetta against a Baby Peach in a stroller.

mariokartwiigameplay2Graphics are colorful and fun, but it’s the Wii. Like I said earlier, you probably didn’t buy it for the graphics anyway.

Sound affects are simple, and if you’ve played a version of the game before, you know what to expect. Each character has their stock sound effects, and each track has it’s sound.

If you want to play the Rainbow Road track, prepare to be frustrated. That thing is fun as hell, but you’re going to end up in the atmosphere probably a couple of times until you adjust to the controls and the track.

The game is fun, and that’s all it needed to be. If you want epic gameplay, check out something else. If you want to have some friends (of the non-gamer nerd variety) over to play a little, THIS is a great game to pick up.

And trust me, you haven’t lived until one of your friends has passed out drunk with a Wii wheel in his hands.

Final Words:

Mario Kart Wii is as fun to play as it is simple in its premise. Don’t ever believe that a video game has to have some deep, winding storyline to be entertaining, because this is about as fun as it gets.

This game is fun, subtly intense, and it provides the gamer with such a unique experience I recommend playing it at least once just for the joy of the steering wheel. Whoever over at Nintendo came up with the concept for the Wii, and that games could use a steering wheel or a baseball bat or golf club is a marketer’s best friend, and a freaking GENIUS to boot. He made them MILLIONS.

Score: 8.6/10 (Great)

Gameplay: 10/10 (Steering wheel = genius)
8.0/10 (Bright and shiny!)
7.5/10 (Simple yet effective)
Entertainment Value: 9.0/10 (Simple premise executed masterfully makes for nearly unlimited fun)
Baby Peach: 0/10 (SICK BURN, BITCH!)

5 thoughts on “[Game Review] Mario Kart Wii

  1. Great game, but the best is still the orignal. I love kicken it old school!

  2. Mario Kart Wii took away all of the skill and made everything rely completely on luck.

    MarioKart Double Dash is still my absolute favorite thanks to that, despite all the good MKW is just a luck of the draw type game.

  3. I agree with tallboy on this one.

    Nintendo has this problem lately of trying to make every game appeal to everyone with a large focus on non-gamers. This was one of the results.

    It’s really frustrating because any unskilled player can beat you in the blink of an eye like you said, Andrew. This makes playing online the most frustrating experience ever. Everything is based on luck and your position in the race. The game tilts way too much in favor of people towards the back of the race, giving the unskilled players the advantage.

    I think Mario Kart DS is the series’ strong point. Or it was until everyone figured out how to snake. At least the Wii rendition fixed that.

  4. I always found the luck to be a strong point of the game. Sure, a lot of the “Mystery Boxes” skew toward the people in the back, but depending on what they get and when, it only affects the race short term. Sure, if someone got the Bullet and went from 12th to 1st and crossed the finish line in the lead, that would be ridiculous. But I haven’t had that experience. Sure, it’s a little random, but it works for the most part. There are boxes that are rarely gotten by leaders of the race, and it’s to keep the pack fairly clustered. It gives the game an “Anything can happen” feel, and just for friends playing, it succeeds.

    Like I said, I think the game is just a good group game. Individually, it lacks alot, but with people who don’t game all the time or aren’t familiar with controls, it’s simple and easy to pick up fairly quickly. It makes the game competitive. It isn’t like a first-person shooter where knowing everything about the game puts you in a distinct advantage. It’s pretty fair across the board.

    I think Nintendo would disagree with you, Zac. Focusing on non-gamers has been incredibly lucrative for them. For those of us who have played a lot of games, sure, sometimes we want more. But the Wii sold a lot of units to Senior Citizens, and middle-aged women, and families, because it provided a unique group gaming experience. It was something Sony and Microsoft completely overlooked in their quest for Gaming Domination, and they got taken to school by an innovator who actually took a peak at the larger market of non-gamers, and said, “Hey, lets try to get them. We already have loyal gamers who will buy our newest system, lets appeal to someone and get them to buy their FIRST system.”

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