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Platform

3DS

 

Genre

Racing

 

Publisher

Nintendo

 

Developer

Nintendo

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

December 4, 2011

 

 

- Lots of racing to be had
- Online component is pretty darn good
- 3D is put to good use

 

 

- "Nintendo Fairness" in 150cc category
- Being dumped to the opening menu screen!

 

 

Review: Star Fox 64 3D (3DS)

Review: Ridge Racer 3D (3DS)

Review: Mario Kart Wii (Wii)

Action Figure: Bowser (Mario Kart)

 

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Mario Kart 7

Score: 9.0 / 10

 

mario kart 7          mario kart 7

 

After Mario Kart Wii I was kind of done with the series. It suffered from an extreme case of Nintendo Fairness where any lead was diminished by a series of calamities that could quickly drop the player from first to last in a matter of seconds. Then the roles reversed and it was the player that got to use all the devastating power-ups

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which had the potential to catapult the player back to 1st only to drop to 5th a moment later. Some enjoyed the constant jockeying but the game never rewarded skilled driving. For me, the long term appeal of the game was over in a matter of days.

Mario Kart 7 does a lot to make up for the missteps of Mario Kart

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Wii as evidenced by the fact I've been playing it for weeks now. The 150cc races all suffer from Nintendo Fairness to some extent though if the palyer is knocked to 8th place there's very little chance of getting back into the race. Really then it's Nintendo Unfairness. The AI seems to mysteriously know the precise moment to drop a lighting bolt (shrinking everyone) to send the player flopping off a ramp and into the abyss. It happens far too often to be a coincidence.

Coin collecting is the route for unlocking vehicles upgrades but to unlock the extra characters like Wario, you have to test your patience with the 150cc races and win gold. That gets old pretty fast.

 

mario kart 7           mario kart 7

 

The 100cc races -- medium -- is where skill is rewarded. Even getting whammed by a series of power-ups might not be enough to bring the pack within striking distance of 1st place if the player is far enough out.

Nintendo did a great job packing the game with other ways to race, including ghost race data and local and online multiplayer racing. There just doesn't seem to be a shortage of challenges.

And I've gone this far without mentioning the actual racing. Let me fix that right now. It's pretty darn good. And the added underwater and hang gliding sections add a little more nuance to the driving. Though I do need to complain about the hang gliding. If the player attempts to take shortcuts, the game will actually count that as running off the road. One track in particular is bad for this because it's clear a big chunk could be ducked around but the moment the invisible line is crossed, the player is dropped back onto the track by Lakitu.

As an apology for Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart 7 gets high marks indeed, and it definitely has the depth and longevity to remain in constant rotation on my 3DS.

- Aaron Simmer

(December 28, 2011)

 

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