Mario Kart Wii, for the life of me, is the worst Mario Kart title in the franchise. I say that as a die-hard Mario Kart fan. The gameplay lacked that certain challenging, explorative character that made previous entries so incredible. There was a good heap of characters to unlock and courses to enjoy, but they felt almost flat when compared to the lot playable in Mario Kart 64 or, the current reining king, Mario Kart DS.
However, that’s not what really killed the Mario Kart Wii experience for most gamers. What did the title in was the over-active rubber-banding that happened during almost every single race.
Essentially, if you were in first place, the computer turned on an unstoppable cheat mode that found you wrecked with every aggressive power-up imaginable. If you were in last place, however, you were blessed with the strength of the gods and able to stay near first throughout the race.
It was obnoxious. Rubber-banding is naturally present in the Mario Kart franchise, of that there is no doubt; however, the Wii version was absolutely atrocious.
Looking towards the upcoming Nintendo 3DS entry, Mario Kart 7, one of my primary concerns as a fan lies in whether or not this game will suffer the same fate. Well, I bring news from the NYCC show floor, friends… Mario Kart 7 feels more like Mario Kart DS than Mario Kart Wii, which is, frankly, awesome.
I was able to roll into first place for the duration of each race I encountered. The game was set to 50cc difficulty, so that likely had something to do with the absence of challenge, but the fact that I wasn’t constantly trounced with Blue Shells and Lightning Bolts is promising.
I will say this here and now: if the rebounding problems have been toned down or completely solved for Mario Kart 7, brace yourselves for one of the best entries in the franchise.
This story is part of Joey’s New York Comic Con coverage. He’ll be at the show all weekend, posting whatever video game related information he stumbles upon. That may include impressions, pictures, videos or tiny nuggets of insight.