(I know I’m late to this party.)
I’ve never played Double Dash or the DS versions — the last game I played in this series was (the excellent) Mario Kart 64.
- It’s taking me a while to get used to steering with the wheel. I’m trying not to cop out and use the analog stick, but I don’t know how long I can hold out.
- The tracks and items are absolutely manic. There’s a lot going on, and I’m missing most of it.
- 50cc mode is very easy. I easily got first place, by a lot, on all four tracks of the first circuit… the first time I played the game.
- The new items aren’t incredibly self-explanatory. Like there’s this lightning cloud that hovers over me for a while before the lightning-bold shrink action happens. Is this indicating that there might be something I can do during that time to avoid it?
- I’m not understanding the sounds yet. A lot of things seem to make sounds similar to the N64 version’s “approaching blue shell” alert. Sometimes it’s a red shell. Sometimes it’s really a blue shell. Sometimes it’s a banana or a question bomb. Sometimes it’s nothing (maybe a shell approaching someone else nearby?).
And, while this is unrelated to Mario Kart specifically, it’s worth saying: the Wii’s graphics, limited to 480p over component video, look horrible on a 42” plasma — especially after playing an Xbox 360 over HDMI for a few months. I know that graphics weren’t the focus of the console’s design, but at least give me 720p over a digital interface so I can have sharp text, greater brightness range, and fewer wires (I love HDMI for that). The Wii’s low resolution is embarrassing in 2008, especially for a system that still costs $250 and is still in short supply.
Anyway, Mario Kart seems good so far. It will get better as I figure it out and get used to the mechanics.