Mario Kart 7 is the seventh entry to the Mario Kart series, or rather ninth if you count the two arcade versions. Throughout the years, Mario Kart games has evolved, thus giving fans of the series something to adore and fall in love with. Following the success of Mario Kart on the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii, a new title is finally upon us on the Nintendo 3DS, offering us 3D visuals and some new add-ons that adds something unique to Mario Kart 7.
Are the new additions to Mario Kart 7 enough to make the 3DS owners purchase this game? Let’s take a look on what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review for Mario Kart 7.
Impressive 3D Visuals
The 3D visuals in Mario Kart 7 is exemplary. For those who played the Wii version of Mario Kart, then you can expect the same visuals on the Nintendo 3DS but then add the 3D effects and slightly better character models and environments. Through the plethora of tracks in the game, there are some tracks that truly stand out when viewed in 3D. If you play the handheld on its max 3D settings, you will be pleased to know that the game looks wonderful and expect no eye-strains either.
New and Classic Tracks
Fans of the Mario Kart games can expect retro tracks. In Mario Kart 7, there are a total of 32 playable tracks with 16 retro courses and 16 new ones. As always, the new retro tracks are accessible through the old Cups such as the Shell, Banana, Leaf and Lightning Cups. For the new tracks, they can be found by playing through the Mushroom, Flower, Star and Special Cups.
Some of the fan-favorite retro tracks that players can expect are the Luigi’s Mansion that first debuted on the Nintendo DS and the Mario Circuit 2 from the SNES version. While they are classic, Nintendo did a great job remaking it for the 3DS, allowing it to have improved visuals especially in 3D.
Lots of Unlockables
As with every other Mario Kart game, players can expect unlockables that they can unlock as they play through the game. By simply finishing each of the CCs; 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc, parts to improve your karts will be unlocked, where sometimes there will be new characters too such as Rosalina and the Honey Queen from Super Mario Galaxy. For players who are a big fan of the Mario Kart games, you can expect to spend hours of playing through the different cups and CCs as there are over 20 unlockable things that varies from kart parts to secret characters.
Another addition in Mario Kart 7 is the three brand new items. To celebrate the release of Super Mario 3D Land the appearance of the Tanookie Suit, one of the new items to expect in Mario Kart 7 is the Super Leaf, where it will add a Tanookie Tail at the player’s kart, allowing you to use it to whip other racers. The Fire Flower will also make an appearance where players can shoot fire to other players, and last, the Lucky 7 item where all of the available power up items will be on the screen and will randomly pick one.
Along with the Grand Prix mode in single-player option, there are other modes that players can play as well such as the Balloon Battle, where the objective is to pop the opponent’s balloon and the Coin Runners, where the player is to grab as many coins as they can. These two new modes adds more replayability to the game as it gives the player something unique to play aside from the Grand Prix mode.
Mario Kart 7 truly shines in the online multiplayer mode. While playing with the AI is rather boring and may be a bit cheesy as the difficulty isn’t that hard, you can jump into playing with other people all around the world and show off your skills and karts as you race through with other players. Similar to the interface of the Wii version of Mario Kart, players can play with random people on the server or simply with your friends, in which you would need to have your Friend codes entered on your 3DS. However, if you like to find a specific group of people to play with, there is a Community section in the online multiplayer where you can join in, or you can create your own group. Think of the Community section as a user-created room.
Similar to Mario Kart Wii, there’s a Mario Kart Channel implemented in the game where you can customize your profile for other players to see. In the profile, you can change your Mii, edit the message for everyone, customize your kart or simply create your own Grand Prix. Also, if you have your Street Pass enabled, whenever you pass someone with the Mario Kart data, their names will appear on the Mario Kart channel and you can battle it out with a Ghost opponent.
Single-Player is still shallow
Playing through almost all of Mario Kart games, Mario Kart 7 lacks something in the single-player portion of the game. While racing with the A.I. and other players are all fun, especially with friends, players will still find the game somewhat the same and repetitive. It would be for the best if Nintendo implement something to the Single-player portion that makes it stands out from the rest of Mario Kart games. What about add some story to it to make it somehow engaging like with Crash Team Racing?
Despite the shallow single-player, Mario Kart 7 still proves to be the best kart-racer on the market. While the additions to the game aren’t that big, Nintendo still manages to make Mario Kart 7 something that fans of the series should purchase. The online multiplayer is where Mario Kart 7 stands out and for those who are looking for a fun yet engaging kart-racing multiplayer, Mario Kart 7 has it all.
[Editor’s Note: Mario Kart 7 was reviewed on the Nintendo 3DS. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Mario Kart 7 Review,