Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
Fun and challenging for the kiddos
on May 15, 2016
I had my doubts about Mario Kart DS in the early stages of its development. Mario Kart: Double Dash (Gamecube) was never one of my favorite games, and I was hoping that Nintendo would stick to the roots with their DS edition of the high-selling, fan-favorite racing game. With Mario Kart DS, they've done just that.
It seems that the developers took everything great from Super Mario Kart (SNES), Mario Kart 64 (N64), Mario Kart Super Circuit (GBA), and Mario Kart: Double Dash (GC) and put all of those elements into a single Mario Kart game. When you consider how wonderful all of these games have been and how much fun they still are today, that's quite an achievement. Mario Kart DS features some of the same gameplay modes that fans have seen for years: Grand Prix, Time Trial, and Battle. They're the same as always, with three ranks of difficulty in Grand Prix and several different battle modes in Battle.
Nintendo didn't stop with the classic game modes. In fact, they added another interesting mode called "Challenge" in which you pick up certain numbers of coins or do a set number of power slides in a lap under a certain amount of time. These challenges can be excruciatingly difficult but they make you a much more weathered Mario Kart player and therefore are a great addition to the game. Also, Multiplayer has come in the form of Nintendo's first WiFi-enabled online multiplayer DS game. The races in WiFi multiplayer are relatively simple but it's a great addition to the game nonetheless.
On the track itself, the controls are easy but don't utilize the DS very much--driving is done with the directional pad, acceleration and braking are done with the A and B buttons, power sliding is done with the R trigger, and item usage comes from the L trigger. This simple system goes alongside several classic items and three new ones. The Bullet Bill thrusts you forward knocking anyone in your path off of the track. The Bob-Omb explodes, causing anything in its blast radius to spin out and slow down considerably. Last of all, the Blooper spits ink on every other racer's screen, making steering very difficult due to limited visibility.
Visually Mario Kart DS stands out as one of the best-looking Nintendo DS games to date. It faithfully recreates some of the classic 3D tracks from Mario Kart 64 and Double Dash (like the ghost house level from MK64 and Luigi's Circuit from MKDD) while also bringing SNES and GBA tracks to life in 3D. Of course, there have also been sixteen new tracks added to the mix, making a grand total of 32 different tracks that all look unique but beautifully show off the wacky Nintendo universe. The music from all of the classic tracks return as well (even the GBA tracks) and the new beats are as catchy as the old ones. Sound bytes, like the different celebrations and yelps of pain when a character is hit with a shell, sound just like they always have.
Mario Kart DS is the essential Nintendo DS game. If you've almost given up on the DS, than you clearly haven't played Mario Kart DS and for that reason you're missing out. MKDS is being sold for $35, and if you see it how I do, that's $1.09 per race track and you could easily get more than a few dozen hours of enjoyment out of this before you want to play something else. Is Mario Kart DS worth it? I'd say so.