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Mario Kart 7 Hands On Preview

Updated impressions of one of this year's most anticipated 3DS titles: Mario Kart 7.

One thing resonated with the bunch of us “comic con goers” when it came to Mario Kart 7; the game is incredibly smooth and incredibly fun. There really isn’t much to say about it other than the fact that it aims to yet again provide an insanely addictive handheld driving experience. As stated in my E3 preview, players at the beginning are allowed to pick a driver, customize car parts from wheels to body and glider type, then the race begins. While it's currently unknown what most of these car parts do, it’s safe to say that they will have some type of effect on either the speed or weight of the kart.

Though an early build, the game feels polished and fine-tuned. Veterans of the Mario Kart franchise will be right at home. Though it’s a bit disappointing that manual boosting and “snaking” from Mario Kart DS are removed, the game still provides drifting similar to Mario Kart Wii, where the boost is determined by how long you drift, rather than moving the control stick left to right. Nonetheless, it still works fine. Not to mention the graphics look incredible and the 3D complements it well. It never feels forced and even on the maximum setting it doesn’t strain the eyes, even in heated and speedy moments. Come December, it’s safe to say most 3DS owners will be picking this one up.

Mario Kart 7 is slated for release on December 4th. This holiday is indeed going to be very kind to Mario, and all of his fans, no doubt.



Nick DiMola Director

10/26/2011 at 12:12 PM

No snaking is a huge problem for me. MKDS truly succeeded thanks to the snaking techniques you were forced to employ to properly compete. It wasn't for everyone, but it added an entirely new facet to the game once you had already mastered it with basic techniques.

I really wish Nintendo would've gone for a tiered approach where snaking could be disallowed in online matches by default, but enabled if you so pleased when setting up a match. Probably wouldn't be super easy to do, but it would go a long way to accommodating all players.

Jon Lewis Staff Writer

10/26/2011 at 07:14 PM

Yeah, i agree. Imma miss the old mkds snaking

Kathrine Theidy Staff Alumnus

10/26/2011 at 08:30 PM

Personally, I find the old powerslide mechanic to be the reason why Mario Kart Wii is the only good Mario Kart game. Snaking doesn't really take skill, all it takes is the tolerance to waggle an analogue stick or D-pad back and forth, and races are decided by whoever can do that the fastest. That isn't interesting, it's just tedious. Mario Kart Wii and 7's system actually requires finding a good racing line as opposed to swerving back and forth like a drunk driver.

Nick DiMola Director

10/26/2011 at 09:57 PM

I hate to say it, but that's definitely not the case. At face value, it does seem that way, but snaking forces you to plan your path doubly so. You need to have a full understanding of how moving in such a manner will affect your course, and you have to hit everything with perfect accuracy.

After competing in a national tournament, I can promise you that all snakers aren't created equal. I managed to place second, but the guy who beat me, whooped me. We were both snaking, he had just figured out the best ways to utilize the paths and the terrain, while maximizing boosts to win by a large margin.

Sorry for the rant, snaking just gets way too much undue hate.

Kathrine Theidy Staff Alumnus

11/02/2011 at 10:47 PM

The best way to utilize paths and maximizing boosts... that still exists in Mario Kart Wii. The timed mini-turbo just means that you have to approach the tracks entirely differently to make the most of them. In some cases, I feel that longtime Mario Kart fans never gave the new system a chance, writing it off before trying to learn it and see how it works. Since it requires tight racing lines, I actually feel it takes more skill than snaking; with snaking, you can still gain speed even through poor snaking skills.

However, seeing as it was a staple for Mario Kart for such a long time, it would be nice to still have some sort of "classic mode" that uses the system of the old games. But if there can be only one system, I feel the current timed system accommodates the largest number of players. Just be glad that Nintendo didn't make automatic drift the only method. ;)

And hey, I wouldn't call that a rant, it was a well-explained opinion with examples and logic to back it up. I can see the appeal in snaking, even if I don't like it. Maybe I was a bit harsh, because I feel that the new timed system gets too much hate from longtime Mario Kart fans. So I guess I know the feeling.

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