Last week I had the possibility to try the (almost) new Mario Kart 7 on the 3DS.
The gameplay is nothing new really. The fast paced action from earlier Mario Kart games is still there and you still can’t really tell the outcome of a race until the last few seconds (damn you, turtle shells). In addition to the old mechanics of offensive and defensive weapons, Nintendo added the ability to modify your kart and tune it. You can unlock different bodyparts, wheels and ‘wings’, all which change Speed, Acceleration, Weigth, Handling and Off-Road ability of your kart. I had enormous fun, driving in a locomotive with red monster truck wheels. This new feature is really nice and increases the fun, while playing the game alone and unlocking new parts all the time.
One major feature of the new Mario Kart is the addition of under-water driving and flying – most courses give you the oportunity to choose the way you like and in many cases you can try to find shortcuts through the air (that’s where the ‘wings’ come into play) or through water, where you can now drive through.
- Game Modes
You can play four different game modes in Single Player mode on your 3DS. The first one is the already known Grand Prix mode, where you can choose from eigth cups, each having 4 separate courses you need to race. You get 10 points for the win of one race, 8 for second etc. – if you win the cup, you’re awarded with a rating from zero up to three stars, which show your rating. There are three difficulties: 50cc (easy), 100cc (average) and 150cc (challenging). Choosing from 8 different Nintendo Characters or your Mii, then tuning your kart – you get into action pretty fast.
Time Trials gives you the opportunity to race against your ghostracer (best time) or any other ghost time you can download easily through Nintendos system.
Balloon Battle lets you play a ‘deathmatch’ or ‘team deathmatch’ type of game. Everyone starts with 3 balloons stripped to his kart and when you are hit by a turtle shell or any other weapon, you lose one of those balloons and the opponent gets a point.
Coin Battle is the gamemode, where the player having the most coins left at the end of the race wins. There are multiple rounds, like in Grand Prix.
There are two types of Multiplayer play. Either you match up with your local friends and start a local multiplayer match, or you take on players from around the planet on the internet.
The great thing about local multiplayer: You only need one game and your friends (up to a total of 7) can play with you, as long as they’re connected to you. They just simply need to download the client and you’re ready to go.
In online multiplayer you can choose to play Worldwide with the options to either race normal races (see Grand Prix) or battle in the arenas (Ballon or Coin Battle). Both times you will get random opponents from the Nintendo network. Player you encountered during online play are saved in your Streetpass profile and you can choose to play against them yet again through the Friends/Opponents option. You can also choose to visit various Groups and Communities within the Nintendo Network. Multiplayer also features stats and a ranking system, where you can compare yourself to your mates.
I must admit, I am impress at the quality of graphics Nintendo shows on his 3DS system. I am usually a PC gamer and only rarely use the 3DS. The graphics on the screen are bright, clear and up to modern standards – the 3D mode offers a great quality improvement. Graphics are not what makes this game great, but they’re really good for a portable system.
Mario Kart 7 surprised me a bit – in a really positive way. I knew absolutely nothing of this game before I first played it. I didn’t knew about flying, swimming or tuning options, nor did I know you could play it locally with your friends with a single game. Multiplayer action was lag-free and felt awesome playing with people from Japan, France, New Zealand and Canada in the same match. Some weapons do feel a bit too strong, but since they’re available to anyone, you can argue it’s okay – even though I lost the occasional game, getting hit by a red turtle shell, a shrink lighting bolt and overrun by a enormous rocket in the last round, 10meters before the finish line. Mario Kart 7 feels awesome and I can totally recommend it to anyone with a 3DS system. I only drop 0.5 points of the maximum rating because you can’t see how many coins you already collected (or at least I haven’t found where), and you unlock kart parts and upgrades through the collection of coins. I also drop another 0.5 points, because I can’t find how to unlock the use of the sensors in the 3ds for control of my kart – somehow there is no option for it, but it should be possible.
If you want to add feedback, how I can improve my postings and/or want to add something to this topic, feel free to comment. 🙂