The lights are on
Mario Kart has been going on for a long time now. Since the SNES we've seen a Mario Kart on every Nintendo system, although this is probably the best one since Double Dash!!
If you don't know what Mario Kart is, it's a racing game where you play as Mario and co. and race around a variety of courses while drifting and using items to get ahead of your opponents. The formula is still the same but it is still fun. It allows you to play with super experience players while also giving your little brother a chance to get something higher that 8th. Items are still based on luck and your current place, but they're more balanced out then in Mario Kart Wii. The Tokoni tail and fire flower are welcome addition, however the best item is the lucky 7 which gives you 7 items at once.
Getting first place isn't just about luck though, you'll still need to have some sort of skill if you want to actually win some races. The drifting mechanic is re-done this time. The harder you drift the faster you'll get a powerslide. You'll also have to have a kart combination that suits you as well. That's right, Mario Kart now has kart customization. you'll be making your own kart from the frames, the tires, and your glider. Swapping out parts will affect some stat in some way, shape, or form, and finding the right combo for you is key, especially online.
Another new addition to Mario Kart 7 is the addition of gliders and propellers. This mean you can race just about everywhere, land, sea, or air. In almost each level you'll find some way to use your glider or propeller even in retro tracks. How they're used makes them feel less like a gimmick and more essential, especially the more you play it. Using a glider can help you pull ahead and even take some shortcuts. Coins also make a return in this Mario Kart too. unlike in Super Cicurt, you won't need them to maintain your speed, however they do increase your top speed and will allow you to unlock new kart parts. There's a lot to collect so you'll want to make sure you collect them whenever you see them.
One of the biggest parts to Mario Kart is multiplayer, and 7 is no exception. Both local and online is supported and they're excellent. Online has made the biggest improvement, by adding a new communities mode which allows you to create a group and share it with your friends. You can customize it by allowing or restricting certain items and deciding the CC. Although the feature is nice there's not a lot of customization. I would've preferred an item customization similar to Smash Bros. where you can turn certain items on and off. There also could have been an actual chat room in pre game lobbies instead of choosing from a set of phrases. Online is still good however. the game always run 60fps even with 3D on.
Conclusion: Mario Kart is still the Kart racer you know and love (or hate). If you didn't like a Mario Kart before, it's doubtful you'll like the newest entry. For those of us who do like it, you'll find another reason why you love it. This arguably the best Mario Kart with improved controls, kart customization, and a well balanced character and item selection. Although the Communities online section could use some more work, it's still a nice addition and I know I can sink plenty of time into it with out getting bored
Thanks for reading my first review! If you have any questions on the review score, please leave a comment or check my profile page
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