Mario Kart 7 - Playing With Friends, Both New and Old

We sit down with a few others and take Mario Kart 7 online.

The release of Mario Kart 7 is only weeks away, and one of its upcoming features is the ability to create online communities and tailor your karting enjoyment. While we were told about this inclusion we didn't get to see it action until now. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with a few people at Nintendo and a couple of other journalists to see just what we'll be able to do online with other fans of the series.

Welcome to Mario Kart 7 Online!

For starters, Mario Kart 7's online gameplay will feature everything you'd expect the game to include. There are Grand Prix race battles, and this time around, we got the chance to race around the game's Rainbow Road course. Expected spoiler alert: It's pretty freaking crazy. Our online experience had seven of us racing the Grand Prix and the performance didn't show any signs of slowdown. In fact, with a few of us in the same room, the sound of frustration was quickly heard when we unleashed a red shell on another player. While online will allow up to eight players to participate in a race, if you don't manage to have a race with seven other players, the rest of the field will be filled with AI racers.

We also had the opportunity to play around with two other online match types. Balloon Battles make its regular return, and this match type was as frantic and crazy as we expected. When playing online, you will play four races, and your combined total of the four matches will determine the overall winner. To keep everyone in the game, you're not eliminated entirely, even if you lose all three of your balloons. You'll incur a small penalty if you've collected other people's balloons, but you'll be able to restart with a fresh set and try to rack up as many of them before the timer runs out.

Balloon Battles return.

The other match type we played was Coin Runners. Similar to Balloon Battles, your goal is to collect as many coins scattered throughout each level and try to knock off your opponents to steal their coins. These matches were quite intense because there are only a limited number of coins available, so the necessity to collect as many as possible early on is important. Thankfully, on the maps we played, there were a few out-of-the-way spots with some coins, so if you can find those, they can really help you win the round.

For those wondering, there are six battle courses available. The three classic courses are Battle Course One from Super Circuit; Big Donut from Mario Kart 64; and Palm Shore from Mario Kart DS. The three new courses are Honeybee Hive, Sherbet Rink, and Wuhu Town.

We wouldn't have been able to play these specific match types if it weren't for Mario Kart 7's new online communities feature. This is exactly what you'd expect a community to be: the ability to create a group/room online that has people play a specific match type. As long as you've raced at least once online, you have the ability to create a community and share it with others. Creating rooms is extremely simple. You begin by selecting an icon for the group, name it, and then set up the parameters for your matches. Communities can be created with any of the features and fine-tuned to a great degree. Want to only have banana pick-ups? You'll be able to do so.

The options to create your communities are pretty wide open, but once you've decided on everything, those restrictions are set in stone. You won't be able to modify them afterward, but fret not: You're not restricted to the number of communities you can create.

Be careful, Mario is angry!

In addition to not being restricted with the number you create, the number you join will be limitless. When the game is launched, there will be featured communities that Nintendo will showcase on regular basis, and when you use StreetPass, you'll be able to share your online community's ID so that others can join. While sharing a community will require a unique code, this is different from your 3DS friends code, so you won't have to worry about having people on both lists. If for any reason you wish to disband your community, you'll be able to do so as long as no one is using it at that time.

One of the reasons the Mario Kart series is loved by many is the fact that it does such a fantastic job with multiplayer, and this sentiment feels true here. Mario Kart 7 is shaping up quite nicely, and for fans of the series, its December 4 release on the Nintendo 3DS is fast approaching. Expect our full review shortly.

Written By

Former GameSpot Associate Editor, current Content Manager for EA SPORTS.

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Discussion

47 comments
Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@Crystal_Command It's over 9 thousand!?!

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

Someone just thumbed everyone's comments down...

ad0234
ad0234

This game is going to be so awesome. Though the 3 retro battle courses aren't the best they could have picked. Still, looks so awesome.

Flint247
Flint247

I hope new courses can be added to this game.

Flint247
Flint247

I was kind of hoping the online races were like Mario Kart Wii, where you play one race and choose to continue or quit. Mario Kart DS's online races felt a little long and there were disconnectors. Fortunately, Mario Kart 7 has AI's to replace those people who quit. Other than that, I am so ready for this game. :D December 4th, here I come!

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

@Crystal_Command Want to share friend codes for the 3DS? I plan on getting MK7 as well :)

Crystal_Command
Crystal_Command

0_o I cant wait, as soon as i unlock some stuff i want (pipe frame, courses) im going straight online. Not only that but with these communities i can turn off items entirely and have a race of pure skill rather than the cheap spiny at the end trick. P.s: I have 9000+ rating on MKWii so be warned!

cboyuno
cboyuno

not mario kart without balloon battles!

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

Excitement.....building! Mario Kart is unique in that it's the only game whose case I once literally through across the room,yet I still loved it enough to play it with my bro until we beat it 100%. No matter how enraged I get at it,I can always come back. P.S.,I haven't chucked a game in a LONG time now,so I don't fear that I will hurl my 3DS into space.It's too valuable.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

Definitely playing the classic kart. Haven't seen it since MKSC.

raphaelcoelho15
raphaelcoelho15

baloon battles! Why they didn't keep that?. I mean, The best battles was in N64 and GC's Double Dash bob-omb battles.

game-ster23
game-ster23

Looking forward this title very much.

KiD_ReMiX
KiD_ReMiX

I'm going to live and breathe this game when it comes out. I'm already making sure my schedule is cleared the day I pick it up =D

sonicyoshi
sonicyoshi

They picked the classic stages I never liked to play on...

DreadfulGlory
DreadfulGlory

@GriffinBalls, Oh stupid stupid me. Well, looks like I won't be playing this. -smh

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

@megakick Nintendo already made a Mario Kart Wii and they plan on making one for the WiiU.

megakick
megakick

so I guess Nintendo didn't bother to make a wii version. I am not a fan of portable cosoles.

bababoss
bababoss

this game is a clasic it is one of the neatest cant wait to play this game bababossg@yahoo.com

DarkWolfx12
DarkWolfx12

We want Mario Kart in 1080p with multiplayer console, too difficult?

GriffinBalls
GriffinBalls

@DreadfulGlory Dude, its coming out for the 3DS, not the wii, lolol

DreadfulGlory
DreadfulGlory

Finally. Something to make me plug in my Wii again.

nightshift2032
nightshift2032

My Name Is Jon and I have 15 3ds games looking to play on line with friends my friend code is 2793-0595-4185 hit me up if you wana play i will be buying Mario Kart 7 on the 4th it is already bought and paid.

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Sounds great, pity I sold my 3DS oh wait couldn't use the damn thing with the 3D on so what's the point :(

GunBladeHero
GunBladeHero

@pokemonblackftw Too bad I'm sure 1 person giving up on buying a 3DS will make Nintendo cry and beg for your purchase as the 3DS is not selling well. Oh wait, it sold more than a few million units and it's already surpassing the DS's first year sales. Oh well. :)

3xc315i0r
3xc315i0r

I am a mario card fan since the beggining, but my all time favorite mario kart stays the N64 edition, although this one has great potential too - because of the 8 player multiplayer.

RPG_Fan_I_Am
RPG_Fan_I_Am

Big Donut? Blocks was way more fun though....

pH347m3
pH347m3

Big Donut? Seriously?

nintendo-naut
nintendo-naut

@ABEzilla116BS. You can't tell when they're coming, and the only time you can just "not care" is if you're *ridiculously* far ahead. I used to play MKWii, and I was *good* at it. I eventually quit because I can't tell you *how* many races I lost because I was in 1st on the last lap and got spinied. Spiny-shells are overpowered plain and simple. They need to switch back to the old, balanced format where the shell is grounded and attacks *all* players. That actually *helps* the person in 12th who used it. The newer airborne spiny doesn't even do any good for the user. It just helps like the top six racers. That doesn't even make sense. But if hotdiddykong is right, and I can play online without spiny shells then sure--Definitely.

PsychoJinjo
PsychoJinjo

man i cannot wait for this game its killing me!

brok
brok

Why do they always pick the most boring courses from previous games to include? Big Donut was pathetic!

mariostar0001
mariostar0001

Versus sounds great, but it looks like Mario Kart DS will be where I stick for battle mode. I prefer it when you're eliminated when all balloons are gone, I never cared for Coin Runners in Mario Kart Wii, and I don't like any of those classic battle courses (Palm Shore was easily my least favorite in MKDS, though that's likely because I always chose Bowser). For the rest, love the sound of it, and I look forward to playing this, someday.

rushiosan
rushiosan

I'm tired of Mario Kart since Mario Kart DS -.-

robbob8888
robbob8888

Yesssss. I cannot wait for this.

soulless4now
soulless4now

Rainbow Road...so many memories...of falling off that course. lol

AxMxH
AxMxH

Zelda GOTY ! ROAR ! ... ops wrong thread, MARIO FTW

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

@nintendo-naut The online community lets you set up your own races, with your choice of players and which items you want On and Off, so there's the answer to your problems.

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

Nintendo's Finally Stepping it up with online, Mario Kart 7 being freakin Awesome with it! Mario Kart 7 is fusing the awesome parts of DS (online)and Wii(certain options and unique characters), making it the best one yet!

ShadowofSonic
ShadowofSonic

@ABEzilla116 The portable Mario Karts are a bit better, because you can see what items people get on the bottom screen, then act fast. 3DS freind code?

ShadowofSonic
ShadowofSonic

@ABEzilla116 Same here! But I use Koopa Troopa.

trugs26
trugs26

Man I could imagine Rainbow Road being intense, imagine the flying parts of that thing!

Shadowmax889
Shadowmax889

nice to hear that Nintendo is doing the online platform good

nintendo-naut
nintendo-naut

Spiny shells haven't been removed. So unless they've developed a reasonable counter, or a way to turn them off online completely, I won't be buying. I refuse to be cheated out of one more race.