This review will focus on the multiplayer of the game, since that is the only part I have played. Based on the (boring?) choice of name this is the seventh iteration in the highly successful game series of racing games. So, how does it fare against earlier games or in general?
I played this game on “download play”, which is a really nice feature that many games lack but hopefully more games in the future will have. Basically it means that it is enough if one person owns the game, then other people, up to seven others, can join in and play the game together on their own 3DS. My nephew has this game and I could join him with this feature. There are a few downsides to this, such as you cannot choose your character or cannot customize your kart, but unless you are a customization freak you can still enjoy the game. On the other hand, if you buy a copy yourself you can play against anyone in the world who has an Internet connection and owns a copy; then you can customize all you want!
Compared to other Nintendo games I have played recently (Zelda: Skyward Sword and Zelda: Phantom Hourglass), Mario Kart 7 have excellent controls! You steer with the left analog stick, accelerate with A or Y and use items with either B or Y [I might have mixed up the buttons in this text and are unable to verify, since I don’t own the game]. The kart responds perfectly to the way you move the stick and you feel that you are in control of the whole “situation”; so even if the track have some narrow parts or hard-to-reach parts you can pin-point-steer your kart there without too much trouble; of course it is still hard when you are driving fast enough, but that is not to blame on the steering, you just have to slow down in that situation.
Mario Kart 7 has a lot of variety to keep you coming back. There are plenty of tracks to keep you and your friends from becoming bored, many different power-ups, different styles of playing and even different ways of driving! You can race in a Grand Prix, setup a Versus race or “battle” against each other in Balloon Battle or Coin Runner. I never tried Balloon Battle, so I cannot say much about that mode of play. Coin Runner weren’t too fun, although I just tried it for a few minutes. Competing in the Grand Prix was the best part; racing against each other fighting over the trophies. As mentioned earlier there are many kinds of tracks which reduce the chance of repetition and boredom; as in other Mario Kart games you can also race on tracks re-made and re-used from the earlier games. Most of the power-ups are also old acquaintances from earlier games, but there few new ones, such as the Super Leaf which give you the power of tail-whipping! Two new ways of driving, actually more two new “positions”, are introduced in Mario Kart 7. If you “jump” high enough your kart will fold out some kind of wings to hang-glide and if you go into water you are able to drive there, fully submerged.
So have does the game stand up against the other Mario Kart games? I remember the original Super Mario Kart on Super Nintendo and it was great fun; probably one of the best race games I have tried, especially in multiplayer. Mario Kart Wii were also quite fun, but had some problems with the control (due to the bad “response“ of the Wii remote.) All in all, and based on the few hours I have played this game, I think Mario Kart 7 is one of the best Mario Kart games, at least in multiplayer mode. I have to come back on how it fares in single player. But for now I can just say: if you want to have serious fun, laugh out with a few friends, without the need to buy many copies of the same game, and have a game that is varied and easy to play then you should go with Mario Kart 7!
- Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS
- Developer: Nintendo
- Version: Release
- Release date: 2 December 2011
- Perfect control
- Huge variety of play styles and levels
- Multiplayer based on one copy