Friday, May 30, 2014

Mario Kart Memories, pt. 7 - Mario Kart 7 (3DS)

This is part seven of a feature on the history of Mario Kart. Today we talk about the latest portable title, Mario Kart 7 for Nintendo 3DS.

Mario Kart 7 adds a lot of new features to the Mario Kart series. The most notable is the addition of hang-gliders and propellers. If you fly off of certain jumps or cliffs, a hang glider pops out and you glide your way to the next spot of the track. If you go under (certain spots of) water, the propeller appears at the back your kart until you reach dry land. This feature persists in Mario Kart 8.

Like the SNES and GBA Mario Kart games, Mario Kart 7 has coins littered around the track. Each time you pick up a coin, you get a tiny speed boost. You can hold ten coins at a time. The more coins you have, the faster your kart is.

You also have the ability to customize your kart from various parts. You can pick a body, tires, and a glider. Each part has different stats, so collect as many parts as you can to build the best car. You can collect parts by playing online and by collecting coins. My personal favorite: Zucchini body, Thin tires, Swooper glider. Classic.

Mario Kart 7 also has what I consider the best selection of Retro Tracks in the series. Koopa Beach (N64), Waluigi Pinball (NDS), Mushroom Gorge (Wii), Mario Circuit 2 (SNES)... they're all here. This is also the first game in the series in which a Retro Rainbow Road track is included (SNES, in this case). I can't wait to see how the N64 Rainbow Road is in Mario Kart 8!

First Played: Mario Kart 7 was released shortly before Christmas 2011. I received it as a gift from my lovely wife, and I played it almost non-stop for weeks. The tracks are so good, and the gameplay is so solid! Even now, I go back to it every once in a while to play some classic tracks or to go up against some Streetpass ghosts. It's a fine game, indeed.

The 3D effect really adds to the gameplay, too. Seeing Wuhu Island in the background as you drive up the volcano, or seeing stars twinkle in distance on Rainbow Road is really cool. Obviously, the game is playable without, but I can't get enough of it. I wish all games were in 3D.

This game was released around the time that some idiots said the 3DS was struggling, despite it selling better than original DS at the same point in time, and with there already being a wealth of excellent games. This game put the last nail in the haters' coffins. I kind of wish they were really in coffins. That'd be hilarious. They probably wouldn't be laughing now. Right? Cause they'd be dead.

Best Track: Music Park - Mario Kart 7 has a lot of dynamic, exciting tracks, but Music Park transcends the rest. This track is awesome. You drive on and around giant instruments. For example, many of the corners are giant pianos or xylophones that make piano and xylophone sounds as you drive on them. The sounds they make even go along with the background music. There are giant speakers, giant drums, giant saxophones, even giant hopping music notes that pop you up in the air when they hit the ground near you. There are also big piranha plants that bob their heads to the music (and try to bite you if you pass too close). It's just an all-around really fun track. I'm certain this one will be available as a retro track in a future Mario Kart title.

Best New ItemLucky 7 - Never has there been an item like the Lucky 7. If you are lucky enough to get it (and you have to be very lucky) you get seven items that circle around your kart. You can use each item in turn as you wish. It's so insanely awesome. Shells, bombs, bananas, Blooper, even Starmen. It's an exciting feeling when you get one (although, if you did get one, you're likely in last place, so... there's that). Regardless, this item (or series of items) throws any preconceived notions about items out the window by giving you seven freaking items at once. Man, I love Mario Kart!

(Mario Kart 7 is available on the Nintendo eShop and in stores everywhere. It is playable on Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 2DS.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I never knew how awesome this game was! I wish there were more hours in the day, I'd love to play it sometime. What a nice wife to get you such a great game ;)