After a year on being the 3DS MarioKart 7 is still just as fun as ever.
It's nothing ground breaking, but still very pleasing to look at, although considering that the 3DS is more powerful than the Wii, I would've like to see the visuals look at least better than MarioKart Wii. The stages are well designed and the 3D effect works okay but due to the nature of the game, I wouldn't recommend it as it can distract you from the race if the 3D effect starts to get messed up.
Typical MarioKart fare, which is very much a good thing, the music is upbeat and adds to the overall enjoyment of the game.
MarioKart 7 introduces a glider and propeller as part of your karts, which allows for more variety when racing, in the retro tracks, what used to be a place where you'd fall off the track into water is now part of the racing track thanks to the propeller. Both are very easy to use and if used wisely, can easily tip the race in your favor. The controls handle exactly the same way as MarioKart Wii, with drift boosts only being possible the longer (or sharper) you drift instead of the way MarioKart DS and Double Dash did it, making techniques like snaking more difficult. The game also utilizes motion controls, putting you in a first person perspective while using it and although I don't prefer it, it works extremely well and can still allow you to play very effectively with it.
The tracks are varied and introduces a few that are one huge track that you only race through once. Tricks are still present and the items are still very much the same as MarioKart Wii, except the Giant Mushroom has been removed and replaced with the Tanooki Tail (a good defensive item) along with the introduction of the Lucky 7 which spawns a Banana, a Green Shell, a Red Shell, a Mushroom, a Star, a Blooper, and a Bob-omb. (which I actually never cared for since other racers can simply steal the star away from you or activate the bob-omb before you can use it). Oh and the Blue Shell now hits all racers in front of you provided they're in its line of flight, a very welcome addition.
Online play works very well also, with hardly any lag and a system that finds other racers easily.
The biggest disappointment is the lack of a challenge mode that MarioKart DS had, and for me personally, anything that adds to the overall value of the game in a meaningful way is always welcomed, and since challenge modes usually do serve to improve your overall driving skills, not having it is certainly a missed opportunity, especially with the introduction of the glider and propeller which would've made for some interesting challenges.
The characters are also a bit of a let down, while MarioKart Wii had a pretty nice line up of characters, this one seems bit more stripped down, with (in my opinion) the only interesting addition being Lakitu.
Regardless of the omission of the challenges, the game itself is still very addicting, I spent over 20 hours simply trying to get myself to a triple star rank (which I was successful in doing), online play keeps you coming back for more (although I do recommend for less skilled players to do online when people in Japan are sleeping, haha).
MarioKart 7 is still very much a worthy entry in the MarioKart franchise and I look forward to seeing what Nintendo has in store for the Wii U.