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Mario Kart Wii


SwordBreaker
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So from the minimal information I've read it seems that offline battle mode sucks, online racing is pretty good, but the items suck. Hmm...I haven't played the game yet, which means I shouldn't judge, but from the point I'm at now it doesn't like this new MK's a must-have :-(. Gosh darn it, and it could have had so much potential too. Oh well, might as well wait for an online F-Zero w/30+ racers at one time. Hopefully they'll manage to get that right :-/.

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Oh well, might as well wait for an online F-Zero w/30+ racers at one time. Hopefully they'll manage to get that right :-/.

Amen brother. I'd be happy with an expanded version of GX with Mario Kart's lag-free online. More tracks, more custom parts for car-making, and good online. Nintendo has my $50.

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On that lag free thing, the last couple of days i have encounterd more and more lag. This is probably due to the fact that more pople have started playing it.

I'm positive that this wil get fixed in the coming weeks if it becomes unbearable, but for now it's still good.

BTW, i really miss having a headphone for games like this. I was racing against a French guy today called "Naruto". I wanted to shout "believe it" everytime i i knocked him down, but alas.

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I've had the game for two days now. Works well with the freeloader. No problems even if you have the latest update (3.2). It's important to note that you'll be experiencing problems if you're an NTSC user with an SDTV. Nothing exactly game-breaking, but you'll feel the game running a little slower and choppier. You even get a "warning" message in the beginning if your TV/SDTV output is not optimal with PAL. Keep in mind that this is a universal problem with most consoles/games, not just MK Wii. PAL/NTSC conflicts is common. If you have an HDTV with component cables for your Wii, then you're in the clear.

Let's get right to it. First off, the course designs are EXCELLENT. I've enjoyed all those new courses and the classic picks are mostly on the decent side. Hell, even the battle courses have incredible designs.

Power Sliding is performed differently this time around in order to eliminate "snaking". You basically don't need to tilt the stick left and right to power up your slide. It does that on its own now. All you need to do is to hold the "R" button for a set amount of time and the sparks turn blue. However, there's a level 2 power slide this time (red sparks); you just need to keep the sliding longer. It's a bit simpler to perform yet more strategic to execute. Weapon handling is MK64-style with Double Dash's "physics", which is sweet. However, all the special Double Dash weapons are not present here, which is very unfortunate. New weapons are creative, but there's no "Boo". Finally, the new elements in the game, Bike and Jump Mechanics, are integrated well. Bike physics are different than Kart ones. Jumps are well-implemented in new and old courses.

Now, for the control types. So far, I've tried GameCube and Wii Wheel. GameCube is of course very familiar for those who've played Double Dash extensively. Aside from a few different/additional button placements, it's mostly the same. As for the Wii Wheel, it's exactly like reviews say; it has a very steep learning curve, but it's fun and accessible once you get used to it. Button placement is a bit awkward, especially with assigning weapons on the control pad. Some karts/bikes are not Wii Wheel friendly if you know what I mean.

I'm surprised that "Mission Mode" from the DS installment is not present in MK Wii. That's a HUGE negative here. I'm pretty sure that the developers said that they were working on that mode for the Wii installment and even released screenshots showing some objectives. Also, like I bitched about a million times before, Battle Mode sucks. The courses are incredibly well-designed and some old course make a very welcome return (Sky Scraper and SNES Battle Course 3 FTW), but the mode itself has been reduced to a team-based affair with an annoying time limit. Not as fun as free-for-all. Don't even bother with "Coin Runners". "Shine Thief" from Double Dash would've worked much better here.

Wi-Fi is surprisingly lag-free. Seriously. I've played a lot of matches (based on area, didn't try worldwide yet) and I have not experienced any lag whatsoever. There's just the small problem of players jumping from place to place, just like what was happening in MK DS but less frequent here. Overall, a more refined effort than the DS installment.

I'm a bit dissapointed with the karts/bikes you can choose from. MK DS had a variety of exclusive and especially-designed karts for specific characters. Doesn't work like that in MK Wii. Each weight class has a set amount of karts and bikes; they do not differ with the characters of the same weight class. Although stats are slightly modified depending on the character you choose, it still doesn't make your character pick unique, as it did in MK DS and MK Double Dash.

Graphically, it's a step up above Double Dash in terms of special effects and course designs and textures. Character designs are outdated and horrible, even looking worse than Double Dash...yet kart/bike designs are nice. Musically, the soundtrack is A LOT better than Double Dash's annoying music and more akin to MK DS. Lots of different sounds and genres are experimented with, including some celtic influences.

There is something that the Mario Kart series has never gotten completely right...the A.I. CPUs are not exactly good here. Additionally, we all hate the fact that being first place means you're practically going to get bashed with everything including the kitchen sink at some point in the race. Imagine being first place for two laps only to get hit by multiple red and spiny shells in addition to the occasional POW and lightning. The series has never fixed this balance problem and Mario Kart Wii is no different. It's ironic to note that when you're on the giving end of all this weapon bashing punishment, you'll find it satisfying. Imagine zipping from 12th to 1st place thanks to some awesome weapons. So, yeah...it's a yin/yang kind of thing, but I sometimes wish it could be better balanced somehow.

Overall, this game seems to be a solid installment in the series. It has gotten a lot of things right but it's not perfect by any means. Despite the contraverisal nature of Double Dash, you can't argue that it tried something completely different from the formula and I find it to be the only evolutionary game in the franchise in terms of complexity. MK DS was colossal for a handheld game which is why I can easily forgive its "back to basics" approach. Aside from the Wii Wheel controls and improved online interface, MK Wii doesn't feel evolutionary despite being a worthy successor.

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I'm curious...I know the online portion of the game sets you up with people around your same skill level but how does that work if two people are on the same console? How does it decide? I take it the skill level is decided on the Mii name you play with so if two people are on the same console there is a skill level for each?

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From my experiences with playing the game online I can't say I've really noticed equally-matched players being put together, but if that's the case it would only set you up with people matched to whoever's save file you're playing with. Unfortunately, while you can have four save files in the game tied to four different Miis, even if the second player chooses a Mii with a save file they will still appear as 'Guest' online and won't have a ranking. This seems a bit stupid but I suppose they put it in to avoid the problem you described about two players of different skill.

Hope that helps!

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The only time I've noticed that the game matches up players with roughly equal skill is when I get disconnected after beating everyone by a third to a half of a lap a few times in a row.

Then again, there aren't many people with 8200+ race rating I can go against. I hardly see any 6000+, the rubber banding of the ranking system works pretty well.

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I've had this game for almost 2 weeks now so I figured I should throw in my opinion of it. Unfortunately, while I really enjoyed it at first, I am now incapable of playing online for more than about 10 minutes before I start swearing profusely at the TV. It's been said countless times already but this version of Mario Kart has possibly the worst rubber-banding ever and I frankly can't stand it, it just seems as if Nintendo is determined to let good players lose by giving bad players as many ridiculously broken items as possible.

I'm sure some of you are reading this thinking I'm just a sore loser and yeah, you're quite right, but it's simply not fun to be punished for being good at something and this is precisely what Mario Kart Wii excels at. Sure, some items are extremely irritating like the bullet and the star (which is given to bad players about ten times per lap) but the blue shell is frankly broken. The whole point of the item should be to make it slightly more challenging for the first player to win; to this end the game should take into account how far the first player is from the second player and factor this in when choosing when and if to give a player the blue shell. However, MK Wii has no problem with giving any player the blue shell at absolutely any time during a race, which has led to me several times being barely first on the final lap, getting hit by a blue shell about 5 seconds from the finish line, and literally having no way of stopping six or so players from over-taking me. I can't do anything about it, it's not fair, and most importantly it's just not any fun.

With the above said I'm finding the offline multiplayer to be really good fun and with four players the item problems mentioned above really don't pose much of a problem. Online also becomes a million times better when you actually play against a friend and not just against randomers, as again the item problems aren't nearly as persistent. The bottom line is, if you know other people with the game or have housemates who'll want to play it then it's a great purchase. If, however, you're going to be spending most of your time online by yourself or playing 150cc, I really can't recommend the game. The Mario Kart series has always been about multiplayer and this is possibly the most obvious example of that, so if you're going it alone you're going to get extremely pissed off.

In other news, it's good to finally see Americans online, the Worldwide online option has been a little bit lacking over the last week and a half.

EDIT: I was re-reading SwordBreaker's thoughts on the game and I've got to say I can't really agree about the whole ying-yang thing. There have been SO MANY TIMES that I have been forced into last/second from last place and have only got mushrooms and other fairly useless stuff, and when I've finally over-taken a few people I get hit by a bullet or someone with a star. To be honest I've probably just been extremely unlucky but it seems totally random whether or not you'll get a great item when you're doing badly. Bah humbug!

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You're not a sore loser. It's how I feel too. For some reason Nintendo has something against people that are good at their games. Look what they did to Brawl. They made it so beginners can have the same level of playing field against an expert. For some reason they think this makes it so every one is having fun. Well, to me it's not fun when you're getting robbed of the victory that should be rightfully yours. It's definitely not fun when you're about to win, and the game is basically like "screw you" for doing well in the race. In 5 seconds you get hit by a blue shell, a red shell, and a lightning bolt.

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I'm primarily a Mario Kart DD and DS player; however, I feel that I should say a couple things in defense of blue shells. Normally, the game actually favors anyone who breaks away from the pack: namely, the person in first and perhaps the second and third place person as well. Weapons typically only hit the person in front of you, or the two people in front of you. In an eight-player match, this means that positions 7-4 are hell due to weapons provided to the people behind you. If you can break away from the pack, 1-3 positions are heaven. If a break-away happens, the blue shell is the only weapon that really rectifies this. The trick to winning, is not to get in first place at the start and hope you stay there. It is either to hang back in 2nd or 3rd for the person in first to get hit by a blue, sabotage all the shortcuts so only you can use them, or work your way into first with a powerful item up your sleeve. The last one being easiest in double-dash due to having two riders. If you're dusting your foes, ask yourself whether it is because you're that much better than them, or they're killing each other in the rear.

Though I admit, sometimes luck murders the best player, makes a marionette from the bones and a dress from the skin. I swear that I haven't obsessively been watching horror movies lately.

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I'm glad you guys seem to share my problems with the game, I was worried everyone else was finding it easy to ignore some of the things I had issues with.

Oh and Hector, I totally agree with you as your strategies work well, but I guess my real problem is the need to use them. I just fundamentally think that any game, whether it be on a console or otherwise, should reward the person who takes the lead and stays ahead of everyone else. Equally, it baffles me that Nintendo have included such extreme methods of destroying the winning players and yet have included an online system which is supposed to put equally-skilled players together. If this system actually worked (which it doesn't, really) then there'd be absolutely no need for all the game-breaking items as it would be a proper test of which players are better than others. Still, the strategies you said aren't too hard to put into practise and certainly help stop me going crazy :P

One final thing to Bigfoot - the point you made about getting hit by three things in a row is extremely well-observed and possibly the biggest cause of me shouting incomprehensible words at the TV. Seriously, the game becomes almost farcicle when you get nailed with a blue shell as you are almost immediately surrounded by 5 other players who proceed to fire red and green shells right up your arse, and then someone runs you over with the big mushroom. Joy!

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You're not a sore loser. It's how I feel too. For some reason Nintendo has something against people that are good at their games. Look what they did to Brawl. They made it so beginners can have the same level of playing field against an expert. For some reason they think this makes it so every one is having fun. Well, to me it's not fun when you're getting robbed of the victory that should be rightfully yours. It's definitely not fun when you're about to win, and the game is basically like "screw you" for doing well in the race. In 5 seconds you get hit by a blue shell, a red shell, and a lightning bolt.

That's what rules are for. In Brawl, you can just turn off the overpowered items. You can also modify the weapons in this game too to make it more balanced for more serious races. Personally, I love the addition of the overpowered stuff because it makes the game a lot more accessible. It always sucks playing with more inexperienced players and winning all the time. It makes both parties want to do something else.

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Personally, I love the addition of the overpowered stuff because it makes the game a lot more accessible. It always sucks playing with more inexperienced players and winning all the time. It makes both parties want to do something else.

QFE. For all those complaining about rubber-banding:

If you find so much enjoyment in coming first all the time, then just stick to the 1P Grand Prix and beat up the computers. If you only want to come first, what difference does it make if you play against a computer or a real person? In fact, the reason I play Wi-Fi is after getting bored beating the comps in 1P.

As a previous post stated, you feel like crap after getting hit 3 times in a row by shells and other such things, but it feels so good when you are on the giving end. Just think, every red shell you throw has to hit someone. In Wi-Fi you only notice it more because everyone is a human player.

And blue shells, well they are a bitch and are unaviodable, but if you're smart they have a decent blast radius that can hit surrounding players. Obviously if you're so far in front, then they won't make a difference. But say, you're only a little in front of second place, then if you place yourself properly and say brake, you might get them as well. Playing against human opponents involves more strategy than programmed computers.

The way I see it, someone has to fill those places between first and twelfth, and sometimes you can't always be on top, no matter how good you think you are. A first to last place makes you feel like hurling your wheel, but a come from behind just feels that much sweeter.

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QFE. For all those complaining about rubber-banding:

If you find so much enjoyment in coming first all the time, then just stick to the 1P Grand Prix and beat up the computers.

Yeah, try coming in first place every race when playing 150cc. You can't really try, you just have to hope.

Besides, I wasn't saying that I want to come in first all the time.

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Sure, weapons rubber-band. Always have. There has never beem a Mario Kart game where weapons or cheating AI didn't put the player in first at a disadvantage.

Even with the excessive items, however, the best player usually wins. I don't see much to complain about. If you want to measure skill alone, play multiplayer without items. It's an option in this game.

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