Games: Mario Kart DS (Nintendo DS)
I used to imagine firing jerk-seeking rockets at overly antagonistic
In my dreams they would carom off the highway in a fiery ball of fire.
Now, thanks to Mario Kart DS, Iíve replaced those rockets with red
turtle shells, and the fiery ball of fire with a comical spin-out
accompanied by a frowny faced Yoshi or Luigi. My road rage has morphed
from near-homicidal to a more family-friendly but no less entertaining
After an astonishing but often-awkward GameCube appearance in Mario
Kart: Double Dash the gang returns in their fourth and possibly best
Kart-racing title to date. With more than 30 courses, all your favorite
weapons and many of the seriesí best drivers Mario Kart DS doesnít skimp
on the playability.
The handheld DS provides new opportunities for the venerable racer. Its
dual screens can show both in front and behind or layout the map without
cluttering the windshield; a decision so useful, itís a wonder that they
bothered to make this game for anything other than the DS.
One of the biggest draws for Kart fans is the DSí WiFi capability.
Unfortunately Mario Kart DS doesnít fare so well in that arena. WiFi
matches are limited to 4 racers, and 12 of the gameís courses are
unavailable due to lag issues. On top of that there is no global in-game
ranking, and players are automatically matched by the DS, making it
unnecessarily difficult to play your friends. On the other hand, with
the wire link, up to eight players can go head-to-head in classic kart
But, the multiplayer, which IS good even accounting for the WiFi
awkwardness, isnít the end all and be all of this superb title. Many of
the best tracks, tactics and tweaks from previous incarnations have made
it into the mix here. And, new wrinkles like the ability to reinflate
your battle-mode balloons by physically blowing on the DS still make my
Mario Kart DS is an essential addition to the growing library of simply
wondrous game experiences for Nintendoís quirky little hand-held that