Community Review: Mario Kart 7

Community Review: Mario Kart 7

As it comes closer to Christmas, and the new releases have all but dried up it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find games to use for Community Review. Mario Kart 7 was probably the last major release of the year — what did you guys think?

I’ve detailed my thoughts about Mario Kart in general here; really it’s a Mario Kart game, plain and simple. It plays things relatively safe in terms of the mechanics, but that’s to be expected.

What’s been overlooked, however, in the various negative reviews, is just how good the track design is. I’m loving the massive one-lap courses used to finish off each of the Grand Prixs, loving the change of pace in the underwater courses — overall I’m loving the game.

I haven’t been able to get online yet, mainly because my Mario Karting has been restricted to my commute so far, but I know plenty of you guys have been playing online — how is it? And what do you think of the game in general?


  • I haven’t played it, but if it’s at least as good as previous Mario Karts, then I’m sure to love it (I think MK DS is my favourite so far… I can’t remember :P). The online modes/streetpass stuff sound awesome from what I’ve heard.

  • Haven’t tried the multiplayer yet but I’ve been making steady progress through single player (3 starred all 50cc and 100cc cups, most 150cc and one or two Mirror cups, still got to play a few of the Mirror cups and have earned about 1000 coins).

    In terms of gameplay, they fixed a lot of the problems that the changes in Mario Kart Wii bought about.

    12 players were simply too many with the item system, too many of the ridiculously strong items were out on the field at once and that typically meant that first place was going to be punished a lot. Bringing it back to eight and playing with the items available worked well. Now there has only been one race where I’ve been hit with a Blue Shell three times. It used to happen every race.

    The false item box is gone and was replaced with the Raccoon Leaf and Fire Flower (not sure on real names). Neither of which are items that I particularly like but it’s good to bring in something new.

    Getting rid of bikes and changing the drifting back to something more like MKDS also helped. They seem to have hit that right balance where you’re encouraged to drift around most corners and be rewarded for it, without turning the entire race into just wild snaking.

    New characters are interesting. Lakitu, Shy Guy, Queen Bee, Wiggler and Metal Mario all join the ranks (Rosalina, Daisy, Wario and your Mii round out the rest of the unlockable characters). But I had grown to like using Dry Bones and I’m sure that there are Waluigi fans out there who feel like they’ve been robbed. You can’t really win when it comes to this stuff and it is an admittedly minor part of the game.

    The new gliding mechanic is neat and opens up some interesting new ways to handle tracks (particularly in the retro tracks where it affects the short cuts).

    Not too sure about the kart customisation though. It’s neat and all but it does seem like a little too much choice for this sort of game. Do I want more acceleration? More handling? If I get this kart with those wheels is that the right balance between the two or should I got for the other option?

    Simplicity is one of the keys to MK’s success. Kart customisation seems to be stepping a little away from that, although I don’t think it’s a huge problem. Just a little thing that doesn’t seem quite right.

    Finally, the tracks.

    Damn did they get this right.

    Even tracks I hated like Mushroom Gorge from MK Wii seem pretty damned awesome in this one. The new loop tracks (that Serrels mentioned) are a great way to mix things up and most of the tracks have multiple paths that may or may not count as short cuts. Makes for fun and interesting races.

    This is the game that got me to find my 3DS charger, I imagine that anyone else who owns a 3DS will be in a similar position as me. Nursing a severe case of Nintendo thumb.

    • How were you able to play a race over your phones hotspot? I’ve tried many times with my phone, I can connect to the Nintendo Network, but when I try to join a worldwide race I wait for 10 minutes just searching for a game, then it eventually cuts out with a connection error. Great game by the way, well worth the money. I love the drifting, and impressed with the music, especially in Melody Motorway.

  • Online is brilliant, let down by the 3DS/the game’s actual on-line infrastructure. I can’t easily join friends and when you try Communities, the default ‘Mario Cup’ is (only sometimes) full and you end up spectating an entire race.

    But when you get in, and you are racing against others across four randomised (you can vote too) tracks, it feels very right.

    i have so far won gold in all the 50cc cups, so I can race as my Avatar.

    I am certain Yoshi is swearing at me when he passes me in the one too. Luigi’s probably my favourite this time around cos he’s hilarious.


    Can we start a Community please – don’t know what to name it though.

  • I dunno. I like it I guess, and it’s miles ahead of the horror that was MKWii. But it still feels a bit rushed out the door and incomplete. Not to mention (as I already said back in that other MK story), it’s the first Mario Kart that hasn’t felt particularly distinctive to me. All the others have their own feel, but this is basically MKDS 2. Glad to see the snaking system of MKDS remains shelved, with the Wii drift system in place instead. Can’t say I’m particularly sold on the gliding thing at all, however I do like that it has replaced the “invulnerability tunnels” like the chute in Waluigi Pinball, cannon thing in Maple Treewayplacething, etc. There’s no longer this magical wall that will kill all your shells and block you from taking someone out (as much as that feature was nice to have when you were in first place :P).

    150cc and Mirror mode are absolute bastards. Going for that three-star rating in everything and trying to finish every race with as many coins as possible, etc… but getting totally blasted off the track at every opportunity. It is nice not to be hit with three blue shells and a lightning bolt any more, though I don’t like how the blue shell is no longer as receptive to taking out first. Often by the time you can hear it it’s already too late, even if someone else takes over you’ll still get nuked. I also don’t like how much downtime you have where you can’t trigger or release your items after taking a hit. And the way you get shoved around when you’re hit now… especially blue shells, they seem to have a tendency to throw you several kartlengths away from where you were hit. Especially if you’re at all near a ledge, then you’ll slowly bounce and roll off the side there and lose miles of ground. A lack of grid times at the end of each race continues to annoy me.

    I guess with all that complaining I sound pretty negative, but for the most part I like the game. I just get hung up on little details like that. There’s probably even more that I’ve forgotten to list, but it’ll do I guess. It’s a solid entry in the series, just not without its flaws.

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