Itchy Thumbs

Completing games then reviewing them

Mario Kart DS

Posted by D on January 16, 2007

I love Mario Kart. Since the day my school mate bought a SNES and we could lay our grubby
little paws on a SNES controller I’ve been it’s slavish minion (even if the SNES mode 7 horizon pixels
eventually give you a headache). You can imgaine my dissappointment when I played the N64 version. A fine multiplayer game but a pale shadow of the original. But now we’ve ascended to Mario Kart DS. I’m not sure they can do better.

You get 32 tracks! You get classic tracks from previous versions (even the more powerful GameCube) You get 2 multiplayer modes. You get online play. You get single player challenges. What more could you want?

Well you could want some other things. I would have quite liked Koopa Beach 1 included instead of Koopa Beach 2 as the classic koopa Beach track from the SNES version. Also, I hate blue shells. I’ve always thought they spoil the balance of the game. When you’re the better player and you’re out in the lead you’re there for a reason. This extremem level of arbitary handicapping is mindblowingly fucking annoying to say the least. Couldn’t the computer just race better? That you can no longer jump over shells and blue shells come from above anyway merely compounds their soul crushing inevitability. And speaking of jumping over shells. I’ve always though it was a shame that you can no longer hop over incoming shells. It was a true sign of PvP mastery that marked da playaz from the hataz (as the kids of the street say). And what did happen to feathers? Also in online play if would be nice to record the friend code of random people that the game had paired you up that you enjoyed racing with. It’s quite dull that you can only consistently play people who’s friends codes you’ve already acquired in real life . Perhaps one might trade such valuable codes via the medium of paper. Is this an internet enabled device or what?

But these are minor quibbles.

Other than the shear amount of game to play one thing that they’ve got right is the difficulty curve where the SNES version was real hard later editions were just too easy. There was little point playing the one player game other than to familiarise yourself with the tracks. Here they’ve really got it right. It’s really challenging and not just completing it. Getting those exceptional 3 star ratings will take you forever, maybe you’ll never do it.

I’m not sure if this is actually perfect but it’s pretty close

9/10

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