To me, Mario is like gold. When you see his face on a game, there is a 99.9% chance that the game will be fun and innovative. He is one of the most beloved characters in videogame history. When I was in LA a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of going hands-on with Mario Kart DS for the Nintendo DS system. This was a game I have been dying to play for the double screened gaming system for a very long time. I finally had my chance to do just that. In the very large and cool-as-hell Nintendo booth, I played against 3 other players in Mario Kart DS. One player was on a TV screen in front of us playing from Nintendo HQ. That person was none other then the voice of Mario himself, Charles Martinet. I started out in 1st place for the first lap, but someone ended up owning my parse with a shell and I ended up in 3rd. Either way, Mario Kart DS was a great experience not only in what this system can do in terms of power and looks. But also the fact that we were all playing on Nintendo’s WIFI Internet connection.
Image source rocket league boosting
Everything ran smooth, and it felt like everybody was in the same room playing. If this is what is to come from Nintendo’s WIFI service, I truly cannot wait!
The track we played on was a basic Mario Kart track. It was basically a full circle track with no bells and whistles like most of the other tracks have in Mario Kart games. The finished product will have about 30 tracks with some from the past few Mario Kart games for the SNES, N64 and GameCube. Everything ran at a smooth 60 fps and it felt like I was playing the GameCube version in the palm of my hands. The graphics are some of the best I have seen on the DS. Bright and colorful character designs as well as the tracks. Everything just looked awesome. And I just sat there in awe of the game, not realizing what I was playing until I sat in my bed in the hotel that night. I thought to myself :Damn, I just played Mario Kart DS! Let’s just put it this way, it earned my vote for Portable Game of the Show.
The tracks still have those special rainbow boxes that you can run into and collect various power-ups and special items.
I kept getting those special speed mushrooms that will give your kart a nice speed boost. But even those were not enough to save me from the humiliation of going from Hero to Zero. The sounds and music are pure Mario Kart. Very poppy Mario-esque music along with the many great voice samples from all of the cool Nintendo characters. I also found that the feel of the DS during the game was also very comfortable. Everything felt just… good! Controls are your basic Mario Kart greatness. Everything just seemed too perfect, but it does help when you are playing against the man who has voiced Mario, Luigi and Wario. I was buttered up, and I was loving every minute of it! Charles Martinet would break out in voices during the race, making everybody laugh and lose concentration. Thats fine though, I’d rather have come in 3rd and played against a legend then come in first and not play against him at all.
So my thoughts on Mario Kart DS? Lets put it this way my Nintendo loving friends (and Nintendo enemies, I know you are out there! Curse you all!) Mario Kart will be worth the wait. You will be able to see greatness in the next coming months when Nintendo releases this title to the masses that slowly and eagerly await it. I was impressed with the few minutes I had with it, and I even look down on my desk at the Mario Kart DS stylus that I got for playing it. How I miss you Mario Kart DS. But fear not… I will be playing you before too long on my Nintendo DS. Yes my friends.. it will be worth the wait.…