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Mario Kart Wii

Platform(s): Wii
Genre: Racing
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: April 27, 2008 (US), April 11, 2008 (EU)

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10. 'Mario Kart Wii' (Wii)

by Rainier on Jan. 19, 2008 @ 1:30 a.m. PST

Mario and his beloved pals make a spectacular return in Mario Kart Wii, providing the most action-packed, adrenaline-filled racing fun ever seen in the series. Players have to master a host of 16 new tracks in addition to 16 classic tracks from previous Mario Kart games.

Alicia Ashby: There is virtually nothing known about Mario Kart Wii at this point, and virtually nothing intelligent I can write about it. Basically, we know it shall be some recognizable form of Mario Kart with online multiplayer. Isn't that enough? I mean, really, who wants more out of a Wii Mario Kart than that, and perhaps some slightly improved graphics? The only way Nintendo can screw this up is by trying to add in some asinine and unnecessary Nunchuk controls. No, just let us play the game classic style, Nintendo, or even with the GameCube controller. We'll make our own fun if you just give us karts, power-ups and tracks.

Tom Baker: Mario's next karting escapade on the Wii is sure to have gamers flocking back to relive the simple joys of the Mario Kart series. The introduction of the Wiimote is sure to bring an entirely new gameplay experience while preserving the mainstay of the "pick up and play" game design. The addition of online multiplayer will see gamers all over the world smashing their TV sets in anger before trying to put them back together to play just one more round.

Mark Buckingham: When has a Mario Kart game not been huge for a Nintendo console? I can't see this being any exception, and given how hollow I felt Double Dash was, even when compared to the Mario Kart DS, I wouldn't mind a return to form with one person per kart and more fun and insanity on the tracks. The potential of online play, combined with the series' solid pedigree, may finally get another worthwhile racer on the Wii beyond Excite Truck.

Chris "Atom" DeAngelus: Everyone loves Mario Kart. The combination of go-karts, crazy tracks and bizarre items is something that can appeal to any gamer, no matter one's age. Mario Kart Wii is simply another game in the franchise, and that alone should be enough to get gamers' hearts pounding. Yet, as one knows from Nintendo, they're always out to mix things up, and Mario Kart Wii includes one of the biggest additions yet: motorcycles. Even better, Mario Kart Wii will become the first Mario Kart console offering to include online play, allowing up to 12 gamers to either race or battle over Wi-Fi connections. Of course, if you're like me, you were sold at "Mario Kart."

Keith Durocher: The Mario Kart franchise is my all-time favorite racing series, above and beyond even TrackMania. It seems like every time Nintendo releases a new Mario Kart, they just polish it more and more. This time, they've added MarioBikes! That's it, that's all it takes to make my most anticipated list. I guess I'm easier to please than I may have previously thought.

Geson Hatchett: Mario Kart Wii is going to sell by the bucketloads no matter what I think of it. Still, I suppose it's a plus that I can't wait for it. MK's always been a solid, and if anyone can get Wiimote steering absolutely right, it's Nintendo themselves. Throw in some motorcycle action and online play, and we're all set, then, aren't we? (You know what'd make a great unlockable? Sonic. Just running around on his own two legs, no hoverboards or anything. Hey, I can dream, can't I?)

Brad Hilderbrand: I don't think there's anyone with a Wii who isn't anticipating this game. The Mario Kart franchise seems to live a charmed life, and every time a new title is released, it's adored by both critics and gamers alike. There's a cherry on this particular sundae as well, since the game will be packaged with the new Wii Wheel. Personally, I am happy to see the game return to the single-driver mechanic, as the "teammate" aspect of Double Dash never quite felt right to me. Also, the idea of bumping, sliding and "shelling" your friends online makes this a game all racing fans and Mario nuts are eagerly anticipating.

Tim McDonald: Thus far, it seems that Nintendo are the only ones able to design the Wii controls with any degree of grace. While we wait for other developers to pick up on the promise of the technology, I suppose we can just look at Nintendo's past Wii stable with a large degree of awe at the sheer quality on display, and then look ahead to Super Smash Brothers Brawl and Mario Kart Wii and smile because we'll have things to play until everyone else figures it out. Mario Kart is one of the most consistently strong series we've ever been gifted with; even the weakest entries are superb fun, and with this sort of pedigree, Mario Kart Wii should be amazing. There aren't many details, but the trailer looks awfully nice, doesn't it? And come on. It's Mario Kart, for goodness' sake.

Ramin Ostad: Who doesn't love Mario Kart? Whether it's on the SNES, N64, GameCube or DS, everyone has played it and loved it. I'd be surprised if this streak didn't continue with Mario Kart Wii. While the motion controls may become an issue — I pray there will be either GameCube or Classic controller support — it's still Mario and his friends and enemies racing each other on karts. The addition of motorcycles is also a nice touch, but what's really huge is the online multiplayer that will let you play against people all over the world. Combine that with the automated state of euphoria that Mario Kart brings, and I'm sold.

Matthew Szlapka: The original Mario Kart was a hit for the Super NES, and with the recent successes for the Wii, I expect nothing less from this game. The driving experience can come alive with the Wii Wheel, yet another example of the console setting precedents for interactive innovations. The game also comes with the promise of new items and characters, as well as online functionality to leave competitors in the digital dust.

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