Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mario Kart 7 (3DS)

Console: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Racing
Release Date: December 4, 2011
Reviewed: Feb. 2/12

Mario Kart 7 is the seventh instalment in the Mario Kart series. This time it is coming to the handheld, the Nintendo 3DS. May I add that it is a fantastic addition to the series. Mario Kart 7 plays like all other Mario Kart games ever released. There are a couple of new additions to the game like parachutes or para sales. These are only activated when driving over a rainbow colored (<----Canadian) boost arrows. When driven over you sore in the air and your parachute is activated and you take the race into the skies for a few seconds anyway. There are other great features added to the game to keep the interest level high. You can use the built in gyro controls within the 3DS system to steer in Mario Kart 7. While your racing in some of the courses you will notice that there are coins scattered everywhere throughout the entire track. You can only get 10 coins per track but these coins to provide a use for the game. When a certain amount of coins are collected you unlock extra vehicle parts to customize your kart. Each unlockable part provides some sort of stat to your vehicle such as speed, handling, weight or even drifting. There are some pretty awesome unlockables like the mushroom wheels. That is not all you can unlock though. In addition to unlocking vehicle parts you can also unlock additional characters, up to eight to be exact. Some of these characters include Metal Mario, and Wario. The other characters are up to you to find out ;). As usual there are 16 new maps added to the game and 16 old maps from previous mario kart games added to the game as well. I was pretty happy to be able to race on Koopa Beach again. With the old maps added they didn't just port over the old maps over they actually added boosts or updated some of there areas on the map. They even added some shortcuts. 

Once you have received all of the trophies in the game and unlocked all of the characters they brought the famous and flawless multiplayer back. With this multiplayer they added features like creating or joining community groups and racing with people in the group. Overall the online experience in Mario Kart 7 is as fun as it's always been with the previous Mario Kart games. There are only a couple of things that annoy me in Mario Kart 7. When your racing on 150cc or Mirror Mode the computers are constantly using Blue Shells which just urks you especially when your right in front of the finish like and you lose due to the shell. Another thing is the shortcut people like to take when your racing with them online in the map Maka Wuhu. You can take a shortcut on this map which skips over half of the course. One other thing is the overall music quality in the game isn't all that impressive compared to the other Mario Kart games. One of the maps "Neo Bowser City" takes a msuci from past games and combines them into one.

The graphics in Mario Kart 7 are great. The game really uses the power of the 3DS to make the game lively and colorful. The graphics are roughly the same as compared to the Wii version but much better than the DS version by far. Of coarse you have your occasional 2D background environments but most of it is all in 3D and looks fantastic. The 3D is something I would not recommend. With the 3D you will be moving your head a lot with the game due to the racing, especially if your using the gyro controls. It will end up giving you a huge headache and hurting your eyes. It's nice to have on once in awhile just to see the 3D but it is not recommended that you keep it on for long especially when your racing. Overall the graphics are great.

The Audio in Mario Kart 7 overall is well done. There are some courses where the music just makes no sense and drives you crazy because of the annoyance but overall the music experience is pretty good. One level I mentions above earlier "Neo Bowser City" takes some music from previous games like "Toad's Turnpike" from the N64 version and combines them into one for "Neo Bowser City". The other maps are retro maps so they have the original music from the previous Mario Kart Games. Overall excellent audio.

Mario Kart 7 is a fantastic addition to the Mario Kart series. As always there is lots to do. Mario Kart 7 will keep you occupied with it's time trials and multiplayer for awhile. I highly recommend this game to anyone, especially the Mario Kart fans. Other then some small minor issues like the shortcut glitch in Maku Wuhu or the endless blue shells of death it is a great experience for anyone. The 3D is not recommended for this game while racing but it is nice to turn on once in awhile to just look at the 3D. 

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