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If you read my Mario Kart 8 review, then you know I had played every single Mario Kart game… except 7. Well, I finally picked it up, and I can safely say it is a worthwhile addition to the franchise. I remember Mario Kart DS fondly, and I haven’t played a handheld Mario Kart game in many years. So how is this game? Is it the best of all time?
Mario Kart is actually a fairly simple concept when you think about it. Nintendo takes characters from the Mario universe, and then places them in karts to race each other in Mario-themed tracks. What makes the game shine is the items, fantastic track design, charm, and all around polish that only Nintendo can do.
Mario Kart 7 features all of your favorite characters from the Mario universe. You won’t find Star Fox or Sonic anywhere, but you can play as Toad, Bowser, Donkey Kong, and many more. You are able to customize your kart as well. You can choose the body, tires, and hang gliding sail. All of them have aesthetic differences, but they each have statistical differences as well. Nothing is overpowered and that is always a bonus. It is simply best to toy with the customization options and see what fits your play style the best.
There are thirty-two tracks once again. Sixteen are new and sixteen are remastered from previous games. Many of the remastered tracks look better than ever but also add new twists that weren’t in previous games. As you may have noticed, most of the Mario Kart games have their own unique addition to the tried and true formula.
For Mario Kart 7, this is racing underwater. As it turns out, nothing is actually that much different about being underwater. Your car will drive on only two wheels if you turn too quickly but besides that and the aquatic theme, the driving seems to remain the same. This was a tad disappointing, since they could have done something more with the concept, however it is cool nonetheless.
Online play works flawlessly. You can race up to seven other racers or even battle them. I found this to be quite challenging, personally. Racing real people is always a different experience from the predictable CPU racers. Though getting hit right before the finish line still frustrates me to no end. Although to be fair, I have done it to others and it is the luck of Mario Kart. Here’s to hoping that one day they add a competitive mode with no items.
On a side note, I would get hand cramps from playing extended time on my 3DS XL. Mario Kart is better on consoles, however Mario Kart 7 holds up on the 3DS as well.
Remember Mario Kart: Double Dash? Mario Kart 7 looks almost as good. Obviously the handheld is not as powerful and has a smaller screen, but it is still a pretty game to look at. I have seen better games graphically on the 3DS and yet that doesn’t matter as much with these aesthetics.
The sound effects and music are on par with what you would expect from a Mario Kart game. Mario games always seem to have great tunes that get stuck in your head. How Nintendo games always do this just amazes me. Anyways, nothing was mindblowing, however nothing was bad either.
If you have never played Mario Kart before and want to try it out, I can easily recommend Mario Kart 7. If you are already a fan of the series, then it is highly likely you already own the game. If Mario Kart has never been your thing then this game will not change your mind.
The Bottom Line
A solid, but not spectacular addition to the Mario Kart series.