Mario Kart DS - DS/DSi

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Mario Kart DS (DS/DSi)
Viewed: 2.5D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Racing: Karting
Media: Cartridge Arcade origin:No
Developer: Nintendo Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (JP/GB)
Released: 2005 (JP)
25 Nov 2005 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: Wireless DS multi-card play


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Get this: it’s been thirteen years since the first Mario Kart was released on the Super Nintendo. Thirteen years since racing games were changed forever by Nintendo’s masterpiece, which enshrined drifting and weaponry as staples of the genre. An extremely rich game, it had so much to offer: racing friends two player through a cup, facing off in a battle arena, or even shaving of the split seconds in time trials (as Donkey Kong Jr., naturally).

Since those heady days of cultural leadership, Nintendo has seen fit to bless us with an update every generation. But that classic status that the original enjoyed has proved elusive. Many felt that the N64 version lacked the purity of the original, and plenty of them preferred Rare’s Diddy Kong Racing. N64 owners would have to wait until F-Zero X for the racer that defined the machine. Double Dash on the GameCube seemed gimmicky. If any new version captured the imagination, it was that which differed least from the original: the GBA version, which in fact contained the SNES tracks as an unlockable bonus.

Every version, though, has been eagerly anticipated, a situation magnified by Nintendo’s tradition of surrounding the release in a healthy dollop of hype. That hype seems more than justified in this particular case, as Mario Kart comes to the Nintendo DS. Not content with simply adapting the N64 version, Nintendo has gone the whole hog and delivered an all-new version with four new cups, plus four additional cups comprising classic tracks from Mario Kart history. Tracks are fully 3D and so are the karts themselves, with all your favourite characters returning to join in the fun.

The best bit though, is the multiplayer mode. The game is the showcase debut for the DS’s much-touted online abilities. Sitting in a Wi-Fi hot spots or using your own broadband connection via a Nintendo dongle, you’ll be able to play against real opponents anywhere – a first for handhelds. And the game also makes use of the DS’s short range wireless capabilities, supporting races involving up to eight people, even if some don’t have their own copy. It’s great to see Mario Kart breaking new ground, and needless to say this game is going to be a necessary purchase for anyone wishing to put their DS through its paces.


Mario Kart DS - DS/DSi Wallpaper

Mario Kart DS - DS/DSi Wallpaper

Mario Kart DS - DS/DSi Wallpaper

Mario Kart DS - DS/DSi Wallpaper