As I told you recently, Sophie was utterly overjoyed to receive a Nintendo 3DS (which had been on her Christmas wishlist for a while!) and given the title of Madhouse Family Chief Games Tester. However, she was even more excited when the games started arriving. We started off reviewing Super Mario 3D Land, which she loved, and the next game we were sent was Mario Kart 7.
Now, I have to admit, I thought a kart racing game would be a bit boring. I remember back in the early days when we got our first ever console (the original Playstation !), we had a couple of Need for Speed type games which were OK for a while but soon got repetitive and tedious. Well, silly me ! I wasn't counting on the magic of Mario !
Kart-racing is obviously an important element of the game but it's not the only one. You get to ride off ramps and see your kart magically sprout wings and turn into a glider, you can grab yourself a tanooki -tail to swipe your rivals with, you can even continue racing underwater with a handy propeller !
New fans will love discovering the madcap world of Mario and his friends, but old fans will also love the game because it uses a mixture of brand new kart tracks along with some retro tracks. Sophie loves the fact that you can throw firebombs at your enemies (it's all pure kiddie-violence though so there's nothing to worry about, despite the 12+ rating) and she always gets excited about the Lucky 7 power-ups that give you loads of fun items to use in the game. Another fun element is that you can customise your kart, buying new items with the coins you collect. Sophie also mentioned secret characters that need to be unlocked on Grand Prix mode but that she hasn't managed to get yet.
And that's the beauty of the game. It is a racing game but it's also a whole lot more than that, because you also need to collect items, deflect attacks with an array of weird and wonderful weapons (the tanooki-tail being our favourite !) and discover all the crazy surprises that the game holds.
You can play using different modes - Grand Prix, Balloon Battle, Coin Runners, Time Trial and Multiplayer (with up to seven other players from all over the world in online play mode). You can even create a community and invite your Nintendo 3DS-playing friends to play with (or rather against !) you. The 3D aspect also works really well, especially when things (such as banana skins or coins) are flying around or when you crash.
This is the first Mario Kart game that we have played so we were utterly blown away, but a couple of Sophie's friends who know the other versions and earlier games have said that it is very similar to the others though.
As I told you in an earlier blogpost, Nintendo are currently looking for Britain's Fastest Family so get practising on Mario Kart 7 then head over to the website to see how you can get involved !
star rating : 4.5//5
RRP : £29.99
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