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E3: Hands-on with Mario Kart 3DS

8:08 PM on 06.07.2011 // Chad Concelmo

So, yeah, Mario Kart 3DS is here at E3, and it is EXACTLY LIKE MARIO KART!

But don't take that as a negative thing. If you like Mario Kart, you will love this game! Mario Kart 3DS looks as great and plays as smooth as all the other entries in the series. There are a few changes, such as the ability to upgrade your kart with new body, wheels, and accessories -- as well as sequences that find your kart flying through the air with a hang glider attachment or swimming through the sea with a propeller -- but, other than that, not much is different.

I do have to say: I really like the hang gliding and underwater stuff. I didn't think I would -- as I thought it was just an aesthetic thing and didn't affect gameplay -- but it really adds some much-needed strategy to the tried and true racing series. You can actually control when you are gliding around, so by diving and pulling up you can move around and find shortcuts or try to overtake your competitors from above. Pretty cool stuff.

Visually, the game looks great. Slick. Polished. Very colorful. Maybe the best-looking entry in the series. And the 3D? The 3D is subtle, yet effective, adding a ton of depth to the winding, wild tracks.

I liked Mario Kart 3DS more than I thought I would. It was exactly like the other games (again, not a bad thing!), but the little changes add enough to keep me interested. Can't wait to play this online when the game comes out later this year!

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