Drive, dive, and glide to victory with Mario Kart 7 for the Nintendo 3DS, perhaps the best (handheld) Mario Kart game ever! I’m hedging when I say “handheld,” but when you play with friends or people from around the world, I still prefer to play any Mario Kart game using your TV as the screen, with multiple controllers. Still, Mario Kart 3DS is an extremely cool and fun game that is easily one of the year’s best games for the Nintendo 3DS. Also, players can choose to race as one of their favorite Mushroom Kingdom characters or even as their Mii character.
What are the tracks like? There are 16 classic tracks from past games, and 16 new tracks, for a total of 32 altogether. The racing is similar to past games, and you still collect power ups and coins. There are various differences, though, like you can drive underwater sometimes and also fly a hang glider. In the Single Player mode, you can race on the various Grand Prix tracks on three different circuits. There are three other modes, and time trials you can participate in. The tracks are beautifully translated to 3D, and three’s a wide variety of settings you get to race in.
Also, you can customize your Mario Kart with parts you can unlock and buy with coins you collect. You can choose whatever car body you’d like, tires, etc. The sizes of the tires you select are an important factor in how well you do under various circumstances as you race. For instance, giant tires help a kart drive off-road, while smaller tires work best on city courses.Up to eight people can play when you choose the Multiplayer mode using a single Mario Kart 7 Game Card, if each player has a Nintendo 3DS system. The player with the Game Card just needs to tap Create a Room. Then, the other players select Download Play from their Home Menus. If your friends are not around, but you want to play other people, you just have to tap Local Multiplayer on the Main Menu, and then tap the room you’d like to join.
Besides the usual types of weapons you can collect and use against the other racers, like lightning bolts, banana peels, and fire balls, you can now use the Tanooki Tail, as well. On big jumps, your Mario Kart can deploy a wing to let it glide over a track shortcut. If you drive under water, a propeller pops out to help your Mario Kart accelerate across the sea floor.
In the Multiplayer option, among other things, you can use something called “Street Pass” to swap information with other players. There’s also a Community Mode that allows you to join groups and race against them. This is easy to do, and you can join the action and fun of racing against people from around the world fairly quickly. If you are too late to join up for a race, you can watch the action as others race. The online experience adds a lot to the replay value of the game, and makes each race unique.
One of the many fun things about this game is discovering either on your own or by looking online for the numerous cheats, shortcuts, tips, and tricks included. I won’t go into very many of them, but I’ll mention a few here that I think are especially cool.
As far as shortcuts, if you stop right before the first tunnel when you drive on the Maka Wuhu track, you’ll see an opening on the right just where the fence ends and the tunnel begins. Then, just drive backwards until you are completely turned around and then drive off the edge, landing right splat into the lake. This will result in Lakitu dropping you off just before the third checkpoint. Doing this will put you at least 20 seconds ahead of everyone else. Two other shortcuts are on the N64 Kalimari Desert course. Just keep your eyes on the right side of the course. Both shortcuts can be found there, and both of them are ramps.
You can collect Gold Parts that are unlockable. For the Gold Glider, you must StreetPass 100 peeople or collect 10,000 coins. To earn yourself Golden Wheels, you must beat every cup and Mirror Mode on on all speeds and receive at least 1 star on each cup.
The way to unlock the character Daisy, you must get 1st place (over all) in the 150CC Mushroom Cup. For Wario, get 1st place (over all) in the 150CC Flower Cup. To unlock Rosalina – Get 1st place (over all) in the 150CC Star Cup, and to unlock Metal Mario, you must get 1st place (over all) in the 150CC Special Cup.
Mario Kart 7 for the Nintendo 3DS is an awesome game that will be sure to light up the eyes of kids and teens (and some parents, like myself, who really love great video games) at any time of the year, and I’m sure it will be under many Christmas trees this holiday season. It’s a game with a lot of replay value, and bang for your buck. I highly recommend it to anyone who has a Nintendo 3DS system!