Mario Kart Wii is quite similar to the DS version in the sense that you have the usual tournaments which feature brand new tracks plus some other tournaments which feature a nostalgic trip through previous Mario Kart tracks. Some of the tracks are a strange choice. You have Mario Circuit from the Gamecube which was a great track, but one of the new tracks is a simplistic version of it. Also from the Gamecube is DK Mountain which is similar to a new track which features a slalom ski slope. As far as the roster is concerned Rosalina from the Mario Galaxy series is included, as well as Baby Peach, and finally your own Mii character. There are standard old-school karts to drive as well as weird and wonderful karts like the ones in the Mario Kart DS and Double Dash. Also available are Bikes which was a bit of a shock, given that they aren't karts but add an interesting and new touch. Bikes can't power-slide and boost as effectively as karts, but you can pull wheelies on straights which give you a speed boost, as does pulling tricks off ramps. Whilst pulling a wheelie, you have lack of steering and can also be slowed down when hit as your racer is thrown off balance. Also the amount of karts per race has increased from 8 to 12 and everyone seems more closely bunched together which makes for a crazier race. This makes the races more frantic and a couple of seconds means the difference between 1st and 8th but sadly this happens more down to luck rather than skill. The amount of weapons targeting the leader or all racers is high; be it POW Blocks, Lightening or Leader Shells, then the standard weapons of green shells, red shells and bananas. There sure are plenty of items to be hit with, and since there are more karts on the road, this has increased the quantity of weapons flying round by a high amount. Even though it was a good idea to increase the amount of karts on paper; it has ruined the balance of weapons and I believe the chances of items like leader shells should have been lowered significantly. Mario Kart still provided the usual fun in both single player and multi-player, but you will often find yourself shouting at the TV in frustration, and wonder how Nintendo can justify putting yourself (a seasoned Mario Kart veteran) in 8th place despite power-sliding and boosting round the corners and firing perfectly timed weapons at your rivals.
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