Random Pirate Comics: The Blog

Blog of Jonah (aka spambot) of RandomPirateComics.com

Monday, November 21, 2005

Mario Kart DS

I had been looking forward to Mario Kart DS for awhile. Actually, the timing was great, since this game coming out motivated me to get a DS in the first place. Well, that and the knowledge that they are re-making Secret of Mana for it…but I digress.

Right off the bat I can tell you that if you are a fan of the old Mario Kart games, you will love it, and if you weren’t, well, it’s more of the same. New tracts, a good variety of classic tracts, and the ability to choose which car your character is in have made this my favorite Mario Kart yet. The controls are solid, and power slides work better than ever. They’ve worked out some of the balance Issues with the items, which makes a few new strategies. Where in previous versions dragging a banana or shell behind you would pretty much block any projectiles, now you have to drop them right before you get hit or they won’t help you at all. My one qualm with the items is the same as it’s been with all of them. It’s not truly random when you get an item box. If you are in first you can only hope for bananas, fake boxes and occasionally a green shell.

The game also introduces Nintendo’s audience to online play through the marvels of Wifi. You have your nickname and you can draw your own decal, but beyond that there isn’t really interaction between you and those you race. You connect to the network, which Nintendo has made incredibly easy to do, and search for people to race against. When you’re searching for people outside your friend’s list, it just randomly matches you up with up to 3 other people who also happen to be searching for a game at the time. There are no “rooms” like in most online games where you can meet your buddies and you can’t talk or type to people.
The plus side to this, of course, is that obnoxious morons can’t type or talk to you, so other than if someone has used their decal to draw a very small obscene picture, online play is thankfully idiot free. Well, I’m sure they are there, they just can’t do the old “U suXX0r n00b!!!!!!!!!!11!!1 1m t3h gr4t3st pl4y4r 3v4r!!!!1!!”

I think I’m beginning to like Nintendo’s family friendly approach.



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