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Mario Kart!

The highly awaited sequel to the popular Mario Kart 64 has arrived at last, but will this Next-Gen version of the classic live up to the MK legacy?

First Impressions: Whenever possible, we try to give our loyal website viewers the most video footage and most in depth unbiased reviews imaginable. Part of that development is our "initial impressions" where we offer up our first impressions of the title that we are playing.

This gives our website visitors more of clear understanding of what to first expect out of the game when they initially pop it into their consoles.

If you scroll to the bottom of the page in the Rent vs. Buy section of the review and do not see the "final impressions" assessment then it's safe to say that you are reading our initial impression of the game. Once the final impression is up, there will be no further video or review done to that particular title.

Final Impressions: The final impression is just that, our completed breakdown and overall thoughts on the game based off of our entire game playing time.

You can locate the final impressions assessment in the "Rent vs. Buy" section of the review (always located at the very end of all of our reviews). Here you will be able to read our final thoughts on the title and also see any potential grade changes that were made to the game as well (higher or lower). Should a grading change occur, it will be clearly noted with the previous grade, the new grade, and why the change occurred.

Although this approach is more time consuming and requires many more man hours, our entire goal has always been to provide the best and completely unbiased reviews possible and we feel that the inclusion of the Initial Impressions and Final Impressions sections will give you a better view of what to expect from a new game.

All that we ask in return is for you to continue to support Krakrabbit.com by visiting the site and letting others know about our cause. Together we can supply our fellow gamers with the most impartial information so they can make an informed decision on whether to buy or rent this particular title.

Many Sets Of Wheels: MK Wii ships with its very own special steering wheel peripheral -- the Wii Wheel -- and supports four different controller configurations that parallel those found in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Old-school karters will prefer to use GameCube controller over the other options, but surprisingly, the Remote and Nunchuck combo works almost as well.

Snapping a single Wiimote into the Wii Wheel allows gamers to experience a more "Wii-fied" tilt-style of control, while the final option of using the Classic Controller is the most forgettable of all. The Classic Controller just doesn't feel good when you're racing on the tracks, and is best suited to be just for the Wii classic games.

Core Racing: The core gameplay still hasn't changed all that much from the exhilarating days of the original Super Mario Kart. Whether offline or on, racers choose a favorite Mario universe character, a vehicle and a few courses to race on and try to beat down the opposition through skillful driving and the heavy use of those classic power-ups every knows.

Upon starting the game players will be asked to create a license. If you wanted, you can attach a Mii to this license to immediately add a nice level of personality to the overall experience. It will also keep track of your progression through the game's single-player Grand Prix mode.

Speed Racer: The offline content is split up into Grand Prix, Time Trials, and the VS. Mode. Our favorite MK staple remains the Grand Prix, which sees you battle your way through 50cc, 100cc and 150cc cups (and others) in the traditional manner of racing and winning. 50cc is ridiculously easy, and players won't hit any kind of a challenge until at least the 150cc cup.

Time Trials are pretty much self-explanatory, and the VS. Mode pits you against either 11 CPU racers or you can select to divide the racers into two teams; red and blue. The team with the most points (wins) at the end achieves victory.

Multi-Karts: Nintendo's WFC online mode is what makes Mario Kart Wii such a great standout experience. Getting online and finding a match is perfectly seamless, and when connected, the gameplay is flawless. There were very few occasions where noticeable lag or disconnects ruined our online race, but this is one of Nintendo's first attempts at online racing, so these small quibbles are acceptable.

You can opt to race solo or with a guest in split-screen mode (the frame-rate does take quite a nig hit here) against worldwide, regional or just guys off your friend list. It's awesome to dive into an international game and see up to 11 other Miis from Asia, America, or even Europe join the starting grid.

Racing Rosters: The character roster is fine for the most part, but maybe we've been spoiled by Super Smash Bros. Brawl's epic lineup, because some of the unlockable characters in MK Wii seem a little on the weak side. On a more positive note, the addition of motorbikes is very much welcomed

Bikes are able to pull wheelies giving a much-needed mini turbo boost and this plays an important role in gaining ground among the kart led pack. On the other hand, bikes can only achieve one level of mini-turbo when powersliding, where as the karts can attain two levels of boost for a longer, faster burst, so it comes down to a personal preference as to which kind of racer-mobile to choose.

Powerful...Power: Depending on which controller you choose to race with, the game's driving mechanics are very solid and easily learned. You'll soon be plowing your way to victory, as MK Wii is an extremely newbie-friendly game.

The vast choice of power-ups make the races alot more interesting, but sometimes it can feel as though race outcomes are left to chance a little too much. Leading the race in pole position for two laps on a three-lap race isn't any guarantee of victory as one leader-homing blue shell can wreck your dreams in a matter of seconds.

Rent vs. Buy: Overall, Mario Kart Wii is a pretty good game that most everybody will enjoy. The small quibbles such as the sometimes-choppy online races and the slim roster don't injure the experience at all. I would recommend this game to new karters as well as racing vets.

Report Card

Overall, Mario Kart Wii is a pretty good game that most everybody will enjoy. The small quibbles such as the sometimes-choppy online races and the slim roster don't injure the experience at all. I would recommend this game to new karters as well as racing vets. (Krakrabbit.com)

B-


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