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Mario Kart DS review
Mario Kart DS- Shred some Rubber!

The good:

Online play via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
8 Different Grand Prix Cups
32 Playable Racing Levels
6 Balloon Battle + Shine Runners stages
50cc, 100cc, 150cc, and 150cc Mirror mode


Pick up Mario Kart DS and be prepared to shred some rubber! Mario Kart DS is the best Mario Kart for a Nintendo portable system.

Most of Nintendo's All-Stars, such as our favorite plumber, made it back into the Mario Kart series for at least one more race! Race as Princess Peach down your favorite courses from the past or your new favorite courses. Take part in different events, such as Battle Mode or Shine Runners. They also introduced a brand new Mission mode, where you have to complete certain events in a set amount of time.
Game Modes:
Grand Prix:
This serves as the basic mode of the game. You can play in 50cc, 100cc, 150cc, and once you unlock it, 150cc Mirror mode. Choose your favorite kart + driver, and then select the cup. There are four races in each cup. Try for a first place in every race!

Time Trials:
Race against the time and try to get the best possible time. If you're good enough you may even be able to race against Nintendo's records. You can also send the "Ghost" of your time trials to friends, and you can also receive their "Ghosts".

When you're not doing Time Trials or Grand Prix, this is the main hub for racing. Here you can choose your kart + driver and race against computer opponents, on either a team or a free-for-all.

Battle mode has both Balloon Battle and Shine Runners. These are like the mini-games of Mario Kart DS.

Balloon Battle-
Burst your opponents' balloons with items! If all of your currently inflated balloons get burst you will lose! Blow into the microphone, or hold select, to inflate balloons.

Use different weapons against your opponents, and try to be the last remaining karter.

Shine Runners-
Collect more Shine Sprites than all the other racers! Stealing your opponents' Shines will add them to your total amount. Those with less Shines get removed from the game in a certain amount of time.

This is like a race mode, but there is no certain destination. Try and get the highest amount of Shines to win!

[both Balloon Battle and Shine Runners can be played in teams]

Complete missions in a certain amount of time. They may range from driving through numbered gates in a specific order to shooting 5 Monte Moles with Koopa Shells.

Additional Modes:
Download Play-

Your friends (or yourself) may download the game from another person with a copy of Mario Kart DS. The people receiving the download have only a choice of one character- Shy Guy. The person (people) who actually own the game have a choice of every character + kart that they have.

You can take part in all kinds of modes, such as Shine Runners, Balloon Battle, and normal VS races.

[note: In races, you only have access to courses in Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, Shell Cup, and Banana Cup.]

I'm not going to go in-depth with the Wi-Fi in this game. You can race with people worldwide that you don't know, can add people to a friends + rivals roster and can race with them too, in private matches.


Directional Pad:

Left + Right- Move in that direction.
Up + Down- No specific control.

"L" + "R":
Left (L): Shoots items.
Right (R): Power slide

Star- Makes you invincible to all weaponry, and increases your movement speed.
Green Shell-
Fires a shell in a straight line that is capable of bouncing off of walls.
Red Shell-
Fires a shell that seeks after the person in front of you. If you're in the lead, it will chase after the person in last place.
Blue Shell-
Chases after the person in lead place. NEVER use this while in first place!
(note: There are times when you will get 3 Red/Green shells at one time)
Sets up a banana on the road. If an opponent, or yourself, hits it, it will cause you to swerve out of control.
(note: They are times when you will have three Bananas at one time)
Shrinks all other players other than yourself. This halts their movement speed, and you can also run over them.
Turns you invisible, and steals other players' items.
Bullet Bill-
Turns your kart into a controllable Bullet Bill that can ram into other drivers.

Overall Review:
It never gets repetitive due to the amount of items and such. There's 32 tracks, and tons of different modes, such as Shine Runners.
Graphics: 7.5
The graphics in Mario Kart DS are rather basic and simplistic. They could have done a better job on it, but regardless, it's still a great game.
Overall Score: 8.0
Had to give this game a minimum of 8.0. It never gets repetitive, and the Wi-Fi is fun. Hosting a Mario Kart DS download party is pretty rad, too. There's just so much to do in this game, and so little time.

If you're looking for a Mario Kart game on a portable system, Mario Kart DS is the best way to go! There are also console games, too, such as Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and the newly released Mario Kart Wii. My choice would still be to buy Mario Kart DS.

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