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Are you going to buy an Xbox One X This Holiday Season?

Hope to Receive it as a Gift

Game Profile
GENRE: Racing
PLAYERS:   1-8
November 14, 2005
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 7

Super Mario Kart

Mario Kart Wii

Mario Kart 64

More in this Series
 Written by Dave Hulick  on May 25, 2005

First Impressions: Power-sliding it's way to a wireless hot spot near you.

Four-player Mario Kart 64 easily ranks as one of my favorite multiplayer games ever. Even though it was plagued with slowdown and was hard to see on anything smaller than a 21" TV, the innovative battle mode and naturally fun race mode made the hours I spent "socializing" with my friends go flying by. It's no surprise that Nintendo is working on a DS version of Mario Kart, aptly named Mario Kart DS, and it's even less of a surprise that it's going to feature 4-player online multiplayer. Yet, surprise or no surprise, this game is going to be like the second-coming of a messiah for many.

Mario Kart DS isn't going to revolutionize gaming with innovative use of the dual screens, and it isn't going to make anybody abandon the controller with it's use of the touch screen. Even still, MKDS hopes to convince many DS owners to make the jump to Wi-Fi Internet gaming and clear the way for a whole slew of DS online titles. Just like Mario Kart 64 was the main reason many shelled out the dough for four N64 controllers, MKDS is looking to justify the purchase of a wireless router for your home and DS. Unfortunately, wireless routers and wireless cards aren't very cheap at all, and it's going to take one hell of an addicting game to push many people into paying upwards of $150 for wireless Internet.

Truthfully, Mario Kart DS looks stunning thus far. Running at a silky smooth 60 fps and featuring fully 3D karts and tracks, MKDS already looks leaps and bounds better than it's N64 based predecessor. At this point, the top screen will be the main view, where all of the Karting action takes place. The bottom screen is going to be used primarily as a map display to help players keep track of their opponents. You can choose between two overviews of the map here. One being a close up of the track with more detail, and the other being a zoomed out view of the entire track.

Nintendo is playing on the safe-side when it comes to gameplay here. The game will feature the R-based power-sliding from the SNES and N64 games, which is a welcome addition for many old fans. In addition to new tracks, it's also going to feature every track from Mario Kart 64, similar to how the GBA Mario Kart featured every track from the original SNES game. This will hopefully add some single-player replay value for players not online, and will most certainly add to the fun being had in the multiplayer realm. As far as controls go, there's no word on whether or not the touch screen will be utilized at all. Touching obviously isn't essential to the Mario Kart core gameplay, but could add a neat gimmick to a new multiplayer mode.

Final Thoughts
Nintendo is making their first true push for online gameplay, and I'm glad to see that they are doing so with an incredible line-up. Along with Animal Crossing and (hopefully) Metroid Prime: Hunters, Mario Kart DS is going to make Wi-Fi play very fun, provided the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection proves itself to be smooth and reliable. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to power-slide my way to multiplayer glory once more.

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