Posts Tagged ‘wii’

mariokart

I love Mario Kart. The series provides multiplayer gaming bliss like no other. Which is why I’m going to devote the entire month of June to Mario Kart! It’s Mario Kart Month, baybay!

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I don’t have a graphics department.

I want to kick off a month of Mario Kart-related articles by ranking all eight Mario Kart games from my least favorite, to my absolute #1. As with any list I do or have done, this isn’t a list to say “this list is fact, your opinion is wrong.” I know my list differs from other people’s (SPOILER: I have Double Dash ranked lower than most other people would). Let’s get this thing started!


#8- Mario Kart: Super Circuit

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This was a was a game I didn’t play until well after it was released. When I say “well after” I don’t mean it was a few months or a year. It was over 11 years before I got to really sit down and play this game. I played it for maybe 30 seconds while I was at a Best Buy when I was 14 years old. I received this game for free as a part of the 3DS Ambassador Program (Nintendo’s way of rewarding early 3DS buyers before a rather quick price drop). Maybe it was because I already had several years of more technologically advanced Mario Kart games under my belt, but I never felt the connection with this game that I do any of the others. But, that’s not to say it’s a bad game. This is surprisingly only the 3rd game in the series. This game was released in Sept. 2001 and missed being a Game Boy Advance launch title by only 3 months. It was the first handheld Mario Kart handheld game and really didn’t look bad for being a near-launch title. But the problem is nothing really stands out about it for me aside from being the first handheld Mario Kart. It doesn’t hold any special place in my heart for nostalgic reasons or anything. It’s the only one on this list that’s just kinda “there” for me, which is why I have it ranked last.


#7- Mario Kart DS

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Because I was never REAL big on Double Dash (more on that later) or Super Circuit and was Mario Kart 64 just kind of appeared for me one day, Mario Kart DS was the first Mario Kart game I actually got hyped about before release. 3D-modeled characters, online play, etc. This game was gonna be big! And it was! But it was surpassed by every Mario Kart that came after it and didn’t have the staying power that the classics did. It was super fun at the time and definitely gave you an idea of where Mario Kart was heading in the future (online play, kart and character stats), but by the time the next game in the series, Mario Kart Wii, came out, it seems like this one was forgotten.


#6- Mario Kart: Double Dash

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I know this will be THE controversial selection for this spot (if at all). Mario Kart: Double Dash is fun, don’t get wrong. Remember, I like ALL the games on this list. But I know a lot of people who would rank this game, or the game I actually have #1, at #1. Maybe it’s because this was the newest console version of the game when my friends and peer age group were in high school. I really don’t know. But I just don’t see what other people see in this game. It does have the unique feature of two racers per kart allowing for a little bit more strategy when selecting your racer. But later entries would see the strategizing go further with the expansion of stats for karts. For me, I feel like this is the first game that took a turn for the worse. It can get to be a real fustercluck during races with the number of items and characters flying around the course (something that persisted during Mario Kart Wii as well). Playing with friends was alright, because you could share in the misery of getting destroyed by 3 red shells in a row. Single player was a nightmare for me, however. But for whatever reason, it remains the go-to party game if you have a Gamecube laying around. Although my enthusiasm is low going into it, I always end up having a good time by the end.


#5- Mario Kart Wii

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For me, I feel like I hold Mario Kart Wii on the same level as Double Dash, but I think the hype surrounding Double Dash and some features in Mario Kart Wii helped me decide to put this one at #5 and Double Dash at #6. The item and character fusterclucking return for this one, but some gameplay enhancements keep it from dropping lower down the list. I did enjoy the different vehicle types (this game introduced dirtbikes and motorcycles) as well as auto-drift if I was playing with a Wiimote. This seems to be another popular version of the game for get-togethers, but its popularity seems to be waning (at least in my social circle).


#4- Super Mario Kart

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The game that started it all! This game is quite the challenge and still gives me fits, even today. This is the only game in the series to have 5 laps per race, as well as 5 races per cup. I was only 4 or 5 when this game came out and I didn’t get my first Super Nintendo until Christmas 1995, so I discovered this game a little late. I remember being blown away by the idea of a Mario racing game. Usually Toad is my go-to character, but I usually go with Bowser in this one, only because I love is post-race results screen music. Bottom line: How cool was this game back in the day? Heck, it’s still a cool game to play today even with 7 Mario Kart games building upon what this one started.


#3- Mario Kart 8

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This is the most recent game in the series, having only been out just over a year as of this writing. But man, did they do a lot of good things with this game. The anti-gravity, topsy-turvy tracks, the customization, the DLC, everything about this is great. There’s some characters in this game that I’d never thought I’d see in a Mario Kart game (Link!). The DLC is worth every penny and adds plently of neat courses and characters (including one track I’m now including among my all-time favorites). Some of the tracks that go heavy on the anti-gravity stuff are intense! It’s so easy to lose track of your orientation and where you are in the game world, but I feel it just adds to the fun and excitement. I actually, legitimately got dizzy during one race. I haven’t been able to spend too much time with it. It took a while to track down a used copy of it (I’m on a budget, yo!), but I know this will go down in the annals of, not just great Mario Kart games, but great Nintendo games.


#2- Mario Kart 7

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This game blew me away when I first picked it up. I put so many hours into single-player, unlocking nearly everything. I put a lot of time into the online aspect too, becoming one of the few games I regularly won playing online.The unlock system in this game made me a better Mario Kart player, not just in this game, but in all Mario Kart games. Since you have to collect coins to get unlocks, you had to play the races over and over again. This made me discover better lines, better strategies, and better kart customizations. Online multiplayer matchmaking (especially when playing with friends) could have been better, but that is my only major gripe with this game. As far as I’m concerned, this is EASILY the best handheld Mario Kart game. But not THE best Mario Kart game. That distinction of course goes to…


#1- Mario Kart 64

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Yes. YESSSSSS! Mario Kart 64 is the DEFINITIVE Mario Kart experience for me. It provides the fun, multiplayer goodness, and action of the others, but it lacks the gimmickyness of games like Double Dash. It’s a pure Mario Kart game. Mario Kart 64 defines the phrase “less is more.” I could talk more about this game, but I have something planned for later this month where I will delve deeper into Mario Kart 64.


So that’s my ranking of the Mario Kart series. How does this list differ from yours? What do you agree or disagree with? Let me know in the comments or on my Facebook page.

As always, thanks for reading, and stay tuned as I continue Mario Kart Month, taking a look at my favorite Mario Kart racetracks!

Growing up, I was all about Nintendo. I still prefer Nintendo to this day. That’s not to say I don’t like Sega, Sony, or Microsoft. But I feel that with Nintendo being a big part of my life for the better part of 25 years, I could do them justice with a Top 5 list of my favorite Nintendo consoles. Now, of course, this is purely subjective. This list isn’t to say “These are the best, in order, and what you think is wrong.” I will be doing a “Handheld-only” list sometime down the road. This will concentrate on the ones that required a TV to enjoy. I currently own all 5 of these consoles (only 1 of which I’ve never had to re-buy over the years, I’ll explain that later).

#5- Wii

The Wii is a fantastic system. Don’t take me putting it at #5 as anything bad. There are only 5 Nintendo consoles anyway. This just happens to be my least favorite of the 5. I still like it though. I was able to get my hands on one only about 3 weeks after it launched (and if anyone remembers these things coming out in 2006, you know how freaking impossible it was to find one). I had a blast playing Wii Sports and… and… well, I never really bought much for the Wii. I rented and borrowed a lot of games. There really wasn’t much for the Wii where I felt “OMG, I MUST HAVE THIS!” Some games I likely would have bought anyway, I received as gifts, such as New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Donkey Kong Country Returns. I think in the time I’ve owned a Wii I’ve actually purchased about 5 games. For me, this was a revolutionary console, without the revolutionary games I thought it would have.

#4- GameCube

Back when the GameCube was released my friends all made fun of it. They all made the same “lunch box” jokes that everyone else did. They badmouthed the mini-disks. I thought the GameCube had potential though. I wanted a GameCube so badly, I put a GameCube sticker over the logo on the front of my Nintendo 64 and wished it was a GameCube. None of them thought it could unseat the dominance of the PS2 (it wouldn’t, but they all eventually got GameCubes anyway). So when my 15th birthday came up, I had a decision to make. Did I want a Playstation 2 which had Grand Theft Auto III and was getting Grand Theft Auto Vice City in a few months? Or did I want to remain loyal to The House of Mario and hope the rumor I read in EGM about Vice City coming to GameCube was true? I went with the GameCube and Super Smash Bros. Melee, was sad about the false rumors, but still had fun. I don’t have quite the warm and fuzzy memories I do with other systems that I have with the GameCube, but I remember being a staunch defender of it with my friends, then hearing all those criticisms fly out the window when they all played Super Smash Bros. There are still some fantastic games I’ve yet to discover on this system and some games (such as Windwaker and Mario Kart Double Dash) command a higher price than the system itself in most used game stores.

#3- Super Nintendo

I was torn about what to put in this spot. I didn’t know whether what I had at #2 should go here at #3 and the SNES goes to #2. But I took a step back and thought about it. Even though this system was the 1st I could truly call my own (not counting the Game Boy), I didn’t necessarily “grow up” with it. I got my Super Nintendo for Christmas in 1995. I was completely excited for it. I loved it. I played the HELL out of it. The only problem is that the Nintendo 64 was just on the horizon and the SNES was soon to become old news. Despite the amount of time I played my Super Nintendo when I was a kid, I’ve done more SNES gaming as a “retro gamer” than I did when the SNES was the bees knees. The Nintendo 64 replaced my SNES only about a year-and-a-half after I got it. But the Super Nintendo still has some of my favorite games. Super Mario RPG introduced me to role-playing games. Kirby Super Star totally suckered me in with the whole 8-games-in-1 thing. This is still a very fun system to play.

#2- NES

I spent the first 13 years of my life with this guy. I have so many fond memories with the NES, some of which were covered in my 1st Top 5 article. I was devastated when it was stolen along with all my games in 2000. I think I would still have it today if not for that. I re-bought one a few years ago, and have tried to build back up the original collection and then some since. But my earliest memories of gaming involve the NES. Not only that, but some of my earliest memories in my entire life involve watching my dad play the Nintendo. My favorite game of all-time, Super Mario Bros. 3, calls this system home. The love-hate relationship I went through with Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! started and ended on my Nintendo. Overall though, there is still one I hold above all others…

#1- Nintendo 64

Here it is. Not only my favorite Nintendo console, but probably my favorite console of all-time. I still have the very same Nintendo 64 that I got for my birthday in 1997. I don’t think I would ever let it go. Over 15 years I’ve spent with this machine. Loving it when I first played Super Mario 64. Hating it for 6 months when I was wishing I had a GameCube. There are so many great games on here and so many games I wish modern-day games would take a page from. I wish they made wrestling games today like they did with Wrestlemania 2000 and No Mercy. I wish they made action-adventure games like they did Super Mario 64. Mario Kart 64 is THE BEST Mario Kart. When I have a crazy idea for a created wrestler, I don’t boot up WWE ’12, I pop in WWF No Mercy. Pokemon Stadium 1 & 2 helped me get through some tough days when my dad and stepmom divorced. The rollercoaster of emotion one feels in just a few seconds in Ocarina of Time is amazing. One second, you feel sad when Saria stares longingly at Link as he leaves Kokiri Forest, then the very next moment you feel inspired by the panning shot of Hyrule Field as you take your first steps out of your home. When I got my 1st car and drove somewhere on my own for the 1st time, I felt just like Link stepping out onto Hyrule Field. The Nintendo 64 had this middle ground between when you had more ability to tell a story with graphics than the NES and SNES, but not so much that you could rely on voice acting in games on later consoles. There is a reason why when people talk about moments they love in Zelda games, a lot of it centers around Ocarina of Time cutscenes. The Nintendo 64 was the 1st party machine. It was the 1st time I could remember me and a bunch of friends all sitting on the couch and gaming. There was no “taking-turns.” Everyone could play Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart and Wrestlemania 2000 and Mario Party at the same time. The Nintendo 64 was, and arguably still is, the ultimate dorm room machine. It is also my ultimate Nintendo machine. Nintendo may claim that the Wii and soon, the Wii U, will bring families and friends together, but for me, nothing does it better than the Nintendo 64.

So what do you think? How would you rank these consoles? Leave a comment or post something on my Facebook page, or tweet at me on Twitter!

As always, thanks for reading!

System: Wii

Release Date: September 18th, 2007

Rarity: 15%

Price/Location: $2.99/Gaming Warehouse (Grandville)

Holy what the hell, Konami?! What… this game… I just… *deep breath* OK, let me start from the beginning. If you had any sense of what “cute” is, then this game will give your cute radar sensory overload and give you some kind of aneurism. The opening cutscene, which plays before the start screen when you power the game on, is hand-drawn and is two kids (clearly voiced by adults) telling/listening to a story about how Dewy saved the world… or something. I lost track of what was going on when my eyes started twitching.

 

Coffee was never Tweek’s problem. He just played this game all the way through.

The story goes, black rain falls from the sky and Dewy defeats the source of it. BUT! Some time later the black rain comes back like Daft Punk: harder, better, faster, stronger.

“Harder, better, faster, stronger” clearly meaning “they came back with dorky hats.”

Dewy needs to defeat theses guys and their leader, Don Hedron, again! He has to go on a totally cute adventure through Cute Land to save his cute hometown from certain cute destruction that is ESXDRCTFYGHNKM5E46T7YUBTRR568T73U2EH OMFG I cannot stand how adorable this game is! The graphics! The environments! The music! Our protagonist!

Awww! Look at him!

I SAID LOOK AT HIM! >=O

 

Such a cute game should have  difficulty to match right? I mean, clearly I am not the demographic for this game, being an 18-34 male. The problem with this game is, I don’t think Konami knew what the demographic for Dewy’s Adventure was either. You see, for its looks, there’s actually some neat things under the hood and a challenge level to boot. Firstly, the controls. You do not control Dewy. You control the environment by tilting the Wii remote. If you’ve played the game LocoRoco for PSP, you’ll get what this means.

Also an unbearably cute game.

There is also a weather system where a press of the of the Up or Down buttons on the Wii remote (when holding it sideways) will heat up or cool down the environment, changing Dewy’s physical state. Freeze the environment to turn Dewy into a block of ice with increased offensive capabilities or warm it up to turn Dewy into a thundercloud that can stun enemies (or defeat them if they are weak enough). The point of each level is to rescue the villagers stuck in the ground by the black rain. There are 100 in each Act, 4 Acts per level. You don’t have to rescue all 100 to win, but that, along with how fast you finish will get you a better score. S is the best ranking, then going on down to A, B, and C. No failing grades here!

If only the Dewy’s Adventure development team were our teachers in high school…

Verdict: BARGAIN BIN

I’m sorry Dewy’s Adventure, but just like a hot blonde flirting with a gay cop to get out of a ticket, your looks aren’t winning anyone over. The problem lies in the “challenge level” I mentioned earlier. The challenge lies in the flawed controls. The physics are good, but it doesn’t translate well to good or fun gameplay. There are several good ideas here, flawed by their execution. With a game with such slippery (pun SO intended) controls, you’d think Konami would make it harder to fall of the edges of levels, but it’s actually quite easy to do so. That, and when you tilt the remote to manipulate the environment, the camera tilts. If you’re making several sudden movements, the action on screen gets confusing and hectic. So I’m sorry, Dewy but you must go back into the bargain bin.

No! Love me!

I’m sorry Dewy, but you just don’t have what it takes to-

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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Thanks for reading!