Mario Kart 7 ReviewJustin Ling
The Mario Kart series has always been about everyone's favorite Mushroom Kingdom characters racing through several exotic locations while being pelted by banana peels, giant spinning shells, lightning bolts, and all sorts of other abuse. Mario Kart 7 for the Nintendo 3DS is no different but still offers quite an exhilarating experience for old and new fans alike.
The graphics in the game are very pretty to look at and provide a great sense of beauty and awe to the world of the Mario series, whether it is the cheerful scenic imagery of Daisy Hills, the symphonic wonder that is Melody Motorway, or the celestial magnificence that is the Rainbow Road. Several cups in this game are dedicated to racetracks from older games, reimagined with the graphics of the Nintendo 3DS that are sure to appeal to fans of the older Mario Kart games. While some players may be too preoccupied to fully take in the glorious landscape due to the frantic nature of the game, it is still a nice thing to have that adds quite a bit of beauty to the Mario world, reminding players that it is a large one with many more wondrous things to discover.
The music is definitely one of the greatest parts of this game. The background music of each stage is unique and creates an atmosphere that is not only competitive but also encouraging, urging all racers to do their best to grab the first place position. For fans of older Mario Kart games or Mario games in general, some old soundtracks receive remixes that are sure to appeal to the nostalgic parts of those who loved the previous games. A good game should always be accompanied by a good soundtrack and Mario Kart 7 certainly delivers on that.
The game itself has several new features. Some new characters joining the already diverse cast of characters include Wiggler, Metal Mario, the Honey Queen from Super Mario Galaxy, player-created Miis, and Lakitu, the little critter responsible for fishing unfortunate drivers out of bottomless pits among other duties. Karts are also customizable, allowing for players to switch parts depending on their most comfortable style of writing. Race tracks now feature underwater areas that characters can drive through, hang-gliding sequences, and certain levels being one long track with checkpoints as opposed to loops. These are executed quite well and add a new layer to the Mario Kart experience.
The game controls work very well and do not hinder the game experience. The circle pad gives players a comfortable time steering, which is a big plus in a game that involves a lot of twists and turns. The control scheme is comfortable and does not feel cluttered at all, allowing for easy access to items without players having to worry about slowing down, which can mean all the difference between first place and eighth.
Mario Kart 7 is, overall, a solid game that combines good graphics, good music, and easy-to-use controls to create a fine gaming experience. Fans of the older Mario Kart games will be overjoyed to see some older beloved aspects of the game such as older stages returning while adding in new parts to keep the experience fresh. Incoming fans will find this game can serve as a solid introduction to the series as a whole. Those who love racing games should definitely check out Mario Kart 7; it is one long ride that will not be forgotten anytime soon.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.