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Mario Kart DS review
Mario Kart DS Review

The good:

Wi-fi battle mode!

Many unlock-ables!

lot's of modes to play!

The bad:

Wi-fi hackers! grr...

Can get boring after awile.


Well, to start there are lots of unlockables. You start with 8 standard characters: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Yoshi, Toad, and Wario! These characters can be used in every mode. There is a total of 12 characters though. The unlockable characters are Daisy, Dry Bones, Waluigi and R.O.B. Each character has a different weight class. The light-weights are Dry Bones, Peach, Waluigi, and Luigi. The medium-weights are Mario, Yoshi, Toad, and Daisy. Finally, the heavy-weights are Bowser, R.O.B., Donkey Kong, and Wario. Depending on a character's weight, it will take longer to accelerate to the karts top-speed. So, choosing your character can affect your chance of winning or beating a computer or friend.

"Mario Kart" wouldn't be "Mario Kart" without the karts/cars for your characters to race in. In this game, ther are 36 of them. Each character starts out with 2 karts: a standard car and an exclusive car only for them to a certain degree. When fulfilling a certain requirement each character will be able to access 3 karts: the standard car and 2 exclusive cars. When fulfilling another requirement, each character will be able to access all 36 karts. Like characters, karts have weight and other stats, such as speed, acceleration, drift and a few others. Speed is, well, speed. The fastest car is the ROB BLS; Egg1 coming in second. Drift can be deceiving to some, I thought it meant how good it was to use the car to drift. It isn't, it's how much it drifts. Use Daisy's "Light Dancer" and you'll know what I mean. It is by far the worst car to use for snaking or power sliding. Acceleration is how much of a boost you get from a power slide turbo boost. The dry bomber has the best acceleration in the game, therefore I recommend it. Finally weight is how much the car weighs, and it is a true enemy, it can take some of the speed away from a car, so altogether, try to avoid cars that weigh a lot. So, the best cars has to do with how much you practice with them, but I recommend the ROB BLS, the Egg1, and the Dry Bomber when going for speed.

The Grand Prix is the main part of the game; it's racing! There are 8 cups - 4 for "Retro Cup" courses from the previous games and the "Nitro Cup" courses, which have new courses. More cups are unlocked by getting a gold trophy on the cup before it. This will keep you busy when you start to try to unlock things. There are 3 different modes to select from in the beginning, 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc. Each are a different engines class. They'll be talked about more soon.

Engine Classes are how fast you and the CPUs drive. The 3 standard engine classes are 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc. The last class, "Mirror Mode" is unlocked by completing all 150cc cups. Mirror mode is the same as 150cc, except everything is mirrored, so when you would normally turn left, you will now turn right. As hard as it may be in the beginning, there is a reward for finishing all the cups in "Mirror Mode".

Battle mode is, well, when you fight CPUs or your friends in 2 different modes, "Balloon Battle" and "Shine Runners". Balloon Battle is when you use items to pop other people's balloons. When all of your balloons are destroyed you are eliminated. In multi-player you turn invisible and just drop fake item boxes everywhere, but when by yourself the game just chooses a random winner. Shine Runners is basically the same, only you run around picking up shine symbols, and when hit by an item you lose a shine and it goes somewhere else on the course. Every minute, the people with the least shines are eliminated. Both battle game modes are fun and need practice to master. I personally like Balloon Battle the most, but Shine Runners is fun.

Time trials is when you try to beat a course as fast as you can. When you have beat one fast enough you will unlock a "staff ghost". Ghosts are copies of your best time, in the staff ghosts case, it's a ghost from one of the producers in the games staff. Staff ghosts need practice to beat; skill is a must to beat them. Try to beat all of the staff ghosts. Let me just tell you that there is no reward for beating a staff ghost. This will take up some of your time. Even I have yet to beat all of the staff ghosts.

Missions are a new addition to the Mario Kart series. There are six sets of missions to start, in order to unlock the next, you must beat the one before it. You are ranked on missions, so try your best. After doing certain missions, you will unlock a boss stage. Boss stages are fun and are very creative. Try to get at least a star ranking on all missions - there might be a surprise if you do. Missions are one of my favorite additions to the game because they are fun and easy to enjoy.

Finally, there is a mode known as Wi-fi, which is exactly like multi-player, except you can only race in this mode. To use Wi-fi mode, you need a "Nintendo Wifi Adapter". This connects to your USB port in your computer and let's you play with people around the world. You can also play with friends by saving something to your DS called a friend-code. A friend code looks like this: 4444-4444-4444. Wifi will keep you busy if you have done everything else.

Well, altogether, this game is great! I recommend this game to anyone, whether you like Mario games or not. Thank you for reading the review, and I hope it helps you decide whether you want to get it or not.

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