Mario Kart DS

I picked up a copy of Mario Kart DS this weekend and I must say its quite good. It takes the old elements from the original SNES version of the game, combines it with the fun from the 64 and GC versions and puts it all in one. The addition of the touch screen map is a nice feature.

Not only does it add some new features like the Nintendo Wi-Fi play, but single player has some unlockable missions you can complete. Even though I have completed them, I'm obsessed with getting the best possible scores that I can.

Good job, Nintendo. You put out yet another addiction of a game and my DS is actually getting played for longer than 10 minutes. If anyone wants to get an online game going, let me know. I've been practicing.

Original Comment by: Daniel Vanasse
Hey Whitney, contact me and we'll play some games together. I've been looking for some friends to add to my registery in MK: DS.

Original Comment by: Slartibartfast

This is really the best mario kart game to date, but it's still mario kart. Does anybody else feel bad about raising a hubub about the lack of originality in gaming but then buying the fifth freakin' mario kart game? I'm guilty as charged, and bored with it after a week. I hope I learned my lesson.

Yeah, for sure. I do it all the time too. I'm a sucker for Tekken. I have all of them and keep buying them over and over again, even though they never really change. And I probably will keep doing it. Hey, at least this Mario Kart I can take on an airplane with me. :P

I don't. There's no reason to dislike established genres just because they aren't new, especially if they aren't being overplayed (which I don't think Mario Kart is - they've only ever released one version per system to date). More originality in gaming isn't a demand to never release something that isn't purely original - it's just a desire to see more titles that don't follow established genres. If anyone doesn't deserve that criticism at the moment, it's probably Nintendo - especially on the DS.

It's not like there's nothing new here - but the innovations in MK:DS arent on the gameplay side, they're more in the handheld + online multiplayer side. MK:DS is a 'safety' title for Nintendo - they're introducing a new technology into their platform using a well-established franchise. If the online multiplayer wasn't received well, they'd still have a quality single-player/local multiplayer game anyway. Plus, including the functionality into a game that's sure to be popular increases the chances that players will be able to find others online to play with.

And, most importantly to me, the game is still fun without a ton of complexity.

Original Comment by: Randall Fitzgerald
I'm getting a little tired of the rehash, honestly. I mean, I know lots of people loved Sunshine, but I couldn't stand it. I didn't like the new Metroid game (color me crazy) and I am not really digging Mario Kart DS. I did enjoy Double Dash, but the DS version isn't making me feel it.

I think one of my problems is that I see a lot of DS games out and no real honest use of the second screen for anything inventive. The touch screen, sure that's nice. I've done all of that stuff on my PDA in one form or another before, so I'm not so floored by it, but I haven't seen good use of that second screen. Oh great, stats and maps. Thank god. Not to be raining on parades but I still prefer the corner minimap overlay. That way I am not looking away from the action overtly to check my position or whatever. Anyway, what are some notable instances where the second screen REALLY achieved something that a sizeable single screen couldn't have? And no using the Yoshi catching baby mario game. All you really need there is the touch screen and some more real estate.

Original Comment by: Slartibartfast


Well, most of the dual-screen uses for the ds could theoretically be done with more real estate, but think about it: cut a standard tv in half and use one half as the "top" screen and one as the "bottom." Each half is flattened, whereas with the DS you have two more squareish screens, which I think just works better. Where one screen is just stats you find yourself appreciating it because the main screen is free of clutter. I really like the map in Mario Kart DS because you can use it to gain a lot of information, like where turns are coming but also items coming from behind you, as well as catching the computer opponents cheating (which they do). For the kind of stuff the DS does you would need a really weird, tall TV. Have you ever played a good ds game? Maybe you should.


I agree with you somewhat, but part of the problem is that the rest of the industry sees how money Nintendo makes off of their franchises and sequels, so that motivates them to pound out sequels in an attempt to replicate the effect. Of course they are nowhere near as good at it as Nintendo is, because Nintendo does attempt to innovate a bit, but the motivation is there. And yeah, Mario Kart does have some pride because it's never had two games on one system, but the DS one seems like more of a rehash than some of the others. The N64 version made the game 3D, and the four player capability made it a huge hit. The GC version added the whole co-op driving thing, which I absolutely loved. I have not played the GBA version, but my impressions of it is that it's more of the same. So yeah, I know it's a gray area, because I'm guilty of it in other areas. But I have been trying to make an effort to buy different things. I always thought Animal Crossing on the GC was stupid, but I made myself get the DS version and I love it. I have also never been a big fan of turn-based strategy, but then I got Advance Wars DS and have put some 70+ hours into it. So even though those two games are in themselves sequels, I have some peace of mind knowing that I never bought the other games in the series. I guess I'm saying, vote with your wallet when you can, but I know we all have our favorite series/games (I only own seven capcom fighting games...)


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