Mario Kart Wii: Bitches Don’t Know About My Spinners

When I look back at my childhood, playing Mario Kart on SNES and N64 is one of the first things that come to my mind. Many hours through my life I’ve been playing this great game franchise, they are all very nostalgic to me, and I’m not alone, many others feel the same.

But more importantly, a brand new one JUST came out for the Nintendo Wii! Going by clever moniker of “Mario Kart Wii.” This game was simply one of the most anticipated games of the year, and shocking to some, it took a different approach than the GameCube’s well-received Double Dash!! formula.

So how did this one hold up and what makes it new? Just click the jump and find out!

Honestly, I didn’t follow this game very much through its production and launch, hell I only learned about it having a release date of late April about a week ago. My first impressions while learning about this game were about how the new ‘gamer wheel’ (think “racing wheel”) would work AND the general feel of the game with the system, this is the Wii after all.

I’m really surprised. First of all, the mechanics work great and I haven’t had any problems with the control scheme. I haven’t been thinking I want to go one way when I really want to go the other. Excite Truck for the Wii had these problems, so luckily Mario Kart managed to attach a great, controller-friendly curve.

With this game you instantly are accustomed to the feel of the controls. The second part about it that I freakin’ love is how goddam smooth the damn wheel is! Here are a few lists of things that it compares to in my smoothness chart™.

  1. An Asian women’s face
  2. Mountain Goats
  3. Cristina Scabbia’s hands

SO, when you combine the great controls with the soft touch of the wheel, it equals :D

Now if you don’t want to use the new SOFT AND SMOOTH WHEEL (WHY?!), you can use a GameCube controller or the Wii’s many other, typical alternative controller methods. I don’t know why the hell you would want to, but whatever.

Another great perk of the game is that all the Mario franchise characters have a massive array of what combinations you can set for them in the game. The game has a lot of karts and they range from regular karts to buggies to dirt bikes. All of them have their own look and style which adds key-variation to the game; Personally, I love popping wheelies with Wario and his motorcycle.

The usual characters are back in the game, as expected. A full list of all the characters in the game, as well as other unlockables in the game is at the bottom of this article.

The single/multiplayer options gives you 4 saving blocks where you can load up your Mii’s onto the game. Along with this, a memory screen flashes where you can see all 4 blocks, with this you are able to look at your progress for each individual save-block, which will be helpful when you are trying to upgrade to 1337hood and be da best in all of Grand Prix races in the game. Nothing major, but helpful.

Along with the usual race modes, you also have your Time Trials, versus and battle modes like usual pickings. All of them will add to the grand-longitivity of the game. The non-online multiplayer only holds 4 players at the max, but really anything over that would just get confusing due to the screen splitting.

There are 4 Grand Prix right off the bat when you load it up, and 4 others that you have to unlock (not including the mirror modes). All of the courses in the game that I’ve played so far are really fun. There are some old maps from previous incarnations of the game, and some new maps that are pretty neat and creative that will definitely bring a lot of entertaining, new ways to play.

The online mode is epic. You can take up to 2 players and do battle or versus mode with other players that are worldwide, regional or you can narrow down the search field to just people on your friends list. One of the best features is the ability to bring your Mii face and name onto the Internets and show the world your Mii-creations.

This gives me a lot of replay value alone because I want to keep playing and see who I’m up against! Here are some names I’ve already ran into, no joke:

  1. Der Fuhrer
  2. Orphanmakr
  3. Chuck Norris

That’s right. A Nazi, Wilt Chamberlain and a legend! Who knows who else you will run into? If you see Dr. House racing around as Wario… it’s me and I’mma gunna win.

Nintendo also made a new channel where you can look at stats for each of your characters, watch/download ‘ghost’ playbacks of races and compare your scores to people on your friends list, region and worldwide. All you have to do is select the ‘Mario Kart Channel’ and download it in the menu of the game. Once you have it, you won’t need to have the disc in the system to look at all this information. It’s a great tool to add dynamics and lasting appeal of the game. For example, you can even watch the record holder’s races to confirm them as legit.

Among everything else, if you have a Wii and liked Mario Kart in the past, I’d get it. I’m not disapointed with it and it’s a refreshing feeling to actually have something to play on the system. The single player is great and the multiplayer wishes have been answered, and while Wii’s online modes are not the best, the fact it is here will add many hours to the life and enjoyment of the game, so you really can’t go wrong if you are a fan of the series.

One thing that COULD have made the online better would be having voice chat. I say COULD because really, when I go onto Xbox Live, I just mute everyone because they are annoying as hell. It would probably be worse on the Wii. On the bright side though, I would be able to talk shit and yell at people confidently through the wonders of electricity and anonymity … but shit, as Gene Okerlund would say, “fuck it.”

Mario Kart Wii is not the best game in the series, as it has its flaws. The biggest problem being clearly noticeable, in that it’s aimed at a more family-friendly crowd of players. I don’t want to say that it has been “dumbed down,” but the gap between skill levels has been lowered compared to previous games in the series, so talent doesn’t always shine through over luck. Another complaint is that the game just isn’t that deep in terms of content, and isn’t a clear jump ahead from earlier games in the series. It just doesn’t “feel” next-gen and you’d have a hard time believing that this game wasn’t a mid-GameCube release title. I could see this being a disappointing game to some people due to these flaws mentioned, but based on the enjoyment gotten from it, I’m not underwhelmed.

But still, it’s a great addition to a favorite franchise of mine and I can’t complain about it much beyond what I’ve already said; I’d give it a respectable 8.5/10.

List of characters:

  • Mario
  • Baby Mario
  • Luigi
  • Yoshi
  • Toad
  • Peach
  • Baby Peach
  • Koopa Troopa
  • Wario
  • Waluigi
  • Donkey Kong
  • Browser

The game has a ton of unlockables, so, here is a list of what is out there to be unlocked, as posted by “hey_suburbia” from NintendoWii.net:

Unlockable Characters:
King Boo – Win 50cc Star Cup
Diddy Kong – Win all 50cc Cups
Baby Daisy – Attain at least 1 Star Rank for all 50cc Wii Grand Prix Cups
Mii (Outfit A) – Win 100cc Special Cup
Mii (Outfit B) – Unlock 32 Expert Staff Ghost Data in Time Trials
Mii (Outfit C) – Get 15,000 points in VS mode
Dry Bones – Win 100cc Leaf Cup
Bowser Jr. – Attain at least 1 Star Rank for all 100cc Retro Grand Prix Cups
Daisy – Win 150cc Special Cup
Dry Bowser – Attain at least 1 Star Rank for all 150cc Wii Grand Prix Cups
Funky Kong – Unlock 4 Expert Staff Ghost Data in Time Trials
Baby Luigi – Unlock 8 Expert Staff Ghost Data in Time Trials
Birdo – Play Time Trials on 16 different courses/Get 250 wins online
Toadette – Play Time Trials on all 32 different courses
Rosalina – With a Super Mario Galaxy save, win a series of Grand Prix cups/Without Galaxy save, Attain at least 1 Star Rank for all Mirror Grand Prix Cup

Unlockable Karts:
Cheep Charger (small kart) – Attain at least 1 Star Rank for all 50cc Retro Grand Prix Cups
Blue Falcon (small kart) – Win Mirror Lightning Cup
Rally Romper (small kart) – Unlock 1 Expert Staff Ghost Data in Time Trials

Turbo Blooper (medium kart) – Win 50cc Leaf Cup
Royal Racer (medium kart) – Win 150cc Leaf Cup
B-Dasher (medium kart) – Unlock 24 Expert Staff Ghost data

Piranha Prowler (large kart) – Win 50cc Special Cup
Dragonetti (large kart) – Win 150cc Lightning Cup
Aero Glider (large kart) – Win all 150cc Retro Grand Prix Cups

Unlockable Bikes:
Quacker (small bike) – Win 150cc Star Cup
Bubble Bike (small bike) – Win Mirror Leaf Cup
Magikruiser (small bike) – Play Time Trials on 8 different courses

Rapide (medium bike) – Win 100cc Lightning Cup
Nitrocycle (medium bike) – Attain at least 1 Star Rank for all 100cc Wii Grand Prix Cups
Dolphin Dasher (medium bike) – Win Mirror Star Cup

Twinkle Star (large bike) – Win 100cc Star Cup
Phantom (large bike) – Win Mirror Special Cup
Torpedo (large bike) – Unlock 12 Expert Staff Ghost Data in Time Trials

Misc Unlockables:
Picture option to send to Wii Message Board – Complete all 8 Cups in a class
Karts & Bikes (50cc) – Earn trophies in all 50cc Grand Prix Cups
Karts & Bikes (100cc) – Earn trophies in all 100cc Grand Prix Cups
Mirror Class – Win all 150cc Cups
Alternate Title Screen – Win all Cups

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