I’m pretty sure everyone here can remember the first time they played a Mario Kart game, or at least have a Mario Kart memory. The Mario Kart formula is tried and true, but admittedly it had room for improvement. That’s why Nintendo and Retro Studios decided to take the game we love…and add in gliders.
No one can deny that the decision to add in gliders is strange. Thankfully, it worked out great and made the experience all the more enjoyable. Certain areas of the track will have blue arrow ramps that cause your racer to whip out a glider and fly around for a bit, adding a new level of competition to the game. Now, you can really mess with people by hitting them with shells from a glider or even while they glide. My favorite thing to do while using the gliders, however, is drop bombs on people with them like a bomber jet.
Not only were the gliders added in this new take on Mario Kart, but also some underwater sections. As you drive along, if you happen to wind up underwater or reach one of the new underwater segments of the tracks, your kart will gain a propeller on the back and you’ll drive underwater. It’s not too different from regular driving, but it at least mixes things up a little. I sort of wish they would have done more with the underwater segments, like even made your kart more like a submarine, but it works fine how it is so I guess its okay.
The tracks themselves are phenomenal. The retro courses are remade masterfully and the new tracks are amazing. I honestly think the new tracks are some of my favorite ones to date. They give you a grand mix of old and new style of Mario Kart with some very strange levels.
The customization of your kart has been taken about as far as possible in a kart racer. You can now choose which wheels you use, what body and even what glider you have. You start out with a pretty limited selection, but as you collect coins during races, you unlock tons of more parts. I eventually had a kart that looked like a bumblebee, with sponges for tires and a giant flower as my glider.
Mario Kart 7 features both local multiplayer via download play and online over WiFi. The local is, of course, great and the online portion is wonderful when it works correctly. There is a quick match choice and there is also Communities which you can join. Communities are open to everyone and you race against others in the community to try to reach the #1 spot. Another great feature is that you can join into lobbies and races that friends on your friends list are in.
Mario Kart 7 takes a formula we know and love and adds onto it. Thankfully, the additions are completely welcome and just make the game that more exciting and enjoyable. The only real problem I have with the game is that the online is kind of picky and in some cases its virtually impossible to play online at all. This is somewhat redeemed, though, since download play allows you to play with people you meet at, say, GameStop while you’re waiting or killing time. If you own a 3DS and love Mario Kart, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of this stellar game.
- Same great formula you know and love
- The new glider sections are great
- Customization is fantastic
- Download play
- Online is somewhat picky
- Underwater sections didn’t feel like much attention was given to them
- If you dislike Mario Kart, stay far away