Released in 2005, Mario Kart DS is the fifth game (sixth if you count the Mario Kart Arcade which released earlier that year) which made its way to the Nintendo DS. I played this game around July of 2009. This was also my first Mario Kart title that I had played
Mario Kart DS is your typical Mario Kart game; race in courses to get 1st place and all that, but there are some new additions to the game. This includes customizing your own emblem, the inclusion of retro cups and the all-new Mission Mode.
Mario Kart DS goes from the initial four cups of games prior, to eight cups. As mentioned earlier, these are the Retro Cups, which takes a select course from the four previous mainline Mario Kart games and adds them to MKDS. This would be an idea which becomes a staple in later MK games but would provide extra twists due to those games having specific gameplay changes that expand the Mario Kart formula. The line-up for this game includes Frappe Snowland (MK64), Choco Island (SMK) and Baby Park (MKDD). These are a pretty good line-up of courses, not expecting it to be much since this was just introduced to the series (not counting the playable SNES courses in MK Super Circuit.
Next, is possibly the BEST part of this game; Mission mode. Mission mode has you go through various challenges as a random character i.e. collecting coins or killing enemies, culminating with a boss level at the end. There are 6 worlds, with one hidden world after certain requirements are met. All of the bosses are pretty much ripped out of SM64DS, which came out months prior to MKDS, with the exception of Bowser as he is a playable character.
Then there is other stuff, like the now-defunct wi-fi connection, which allowed players to go online and race other people. Sadly, I did not get to play this mode, as I didn't have the means to do so. As stated earlier, you can customize your own emblem to use in the game. A feature which sadly doesn't return in later installments. Same can be said for Mission mode too, though apparently, MKWii at one point was meant to have these missions included.
Mario Kart DS will remain one of my all-time favourite Mario Kart titles, for the fact that it brings new and unique things to the table. I may not have played online, but I did get a kick out of single and local multiplayer with friends and family!