In the long history of the Mario Kart franchise, fans have been divided on which entry is the best. Many maintain that nothing will ever exceed the sheer fun of the original Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo, while others insist upon the DS version. Personally, I'm one of those strange folk who believes the series reached its pinnacle with Mario Kart: Double Dash!! for the GameCube.
With that in mind, I sit down to play Nintendo's entry for the 3DS, Mario Kart 7.
One of the main features I've been wanting to see is, of course, the 3D effect. However, I hold off until I get a feel for the controls. As I begin my race in Mario's signature red kart, I first get a sense of the course. The Nintendo rep at the booth tells me that, while it doesn't have a name yet, the track will be in the final game.
A mixture of tropics, sand, and even underwater sections greet me as I use the circle pad to take corners. Almost immediately, I feel completely at ease steering in this manner. It feels smooth and natural while also giving me precise control of my handling.
As I experience the speed of the demo, Bowser and Peach both speed past me as I fail to notice the bridge ahead. I'm suddenly underwater, where a section of the track continues. The water makes the kart feel floaty without sacrificing much control over my maneuverability.
I turn the 3D slider all the way to max, and the track opens up in a way I did not expect. Platform sections become huge and engrossing, and the surrounding environments envelop the course. I have to be careful, as slight movement of the screen causes the 3D effect to ghost a little, causing me to lose concentration.
As I cross the start line, series stalwart Lakitu appears on his cloud, holding up the checkered flag. While only briefly flashing past, both him and his 'Final Lap' sign sit fully formed in the sky in surprisingly amazing three dimensions.
The highlight of the demo is certainly the hang gliding section. In addition to being able to now customize your karts with upgrades, a hang glider attachment is now fitted for every racer. It automatically pops out at certain points in the track, and it is great fun. Floating past Peach to gain a third place victory is a fantastic feeling.
It is regrettably a short demo, but in the end, I'm honestly shocked. I thought I was done with Mario Kart! I had been playing the series as far back as I can remember, and my interest had started to wane. If this demo of Mario Kart 7 is any indication, I'll be jumping back into it with a great deal of excitement when it is released in December. Every aspect seems effortless and injects new life into a potentially aging franchise. I can't wait to play more!
|1:30 PM on 05.15.2012|
Mario Kart 7 patches up some glitches today
An update is now live for Mario Kart 7, and you can grab it through your eShop update menu, or by scanning this QR code that Nintendo Life has generously produced for the internet at large. All the update does is essentially ...more
|8:00 PM on 04.22.2012|
Mario Kart 7 patch due in May
In a Nintendo briefing this week, it was announced that Mario Kart 7 will soon be patched. Nintendo of Europe bossman Satoru Shibata stated the game will receive a few gameplay tweaks and fix an online exploit in the Wuh...more
|10:00 PM on 12.10.2011|
Miyamoto in a life-sized Mario Kart makes my day
Shigeru Miyamoto was already in California to attend tonight's Spike Video Game Awards, so he took some time out from his trip to...go to the mall? The legendary game maker is shown in the photo above behind the wheel of a IR...more
|2:01 AM on 11.29.2011|
Review: Mario Kart 7
The more a game has the word "new" printed on the back of its game case, the better the chances are that the game inside will feel older than time itself. Mario Kart 7 has the word "new" printed on the back of its game case n...more
|8:40 AM on 11.01.2011|
Wiggler and Honey Queen playable in Mario Kart 7
Nintendo has revealed two new playable racers in Mario Kart 7 -- Wiggler and Honey Queen. If you were able to guess any of those ahead of time, you must be some sort of X-Man. Wiggler is that really annoying caterp...more
|12:00 PM on 10.27.2011|
Mario Kart 7 trailer has Mario driving a kart in it
Here's a new trailer for Mario Kart 7, which is going to make love to your 3DS on December 4 (December 2 in Europe). Watch it to see Mario riding around in Kart and throwing turtles at people. Also, raccoon tails! We've got some good stuff coming for the 3DS, and not before time! It even has online, which I'm pretty glad about. Yes, this is a 3DS post in which I have nothing to whine about.more
|12:00 PM on 10.21.2011|
An extensive hands-on look at Mario Kart 7
I’m of the mind that Mario Kart DS is the best in the series, one of the best games on the DS and a shining example of well executed gameplay. Accordingly, Mario Kart 7 seems like it could be a game ready to stand out f...more
|3:30 AM on 09.13.2011|
3DS gyro sensor will control first person in Mario Kart 7
If you caught the live stream of the 3DS Press Conference and ignored the trailer for Mario Kart 7 because you thought it was the same old Mario Kart you've come to love, well, there's been a change. You will now be able to ...more
|1:45 PM on 08.10.2011|
Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7 get release dates
Nintendo of America has confirmed release dates for two of the year's most anticipated 3DS titles, Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7. The raccoon-flavored platformer will be out November 13, while the classic Kart racer is...more
|10:00 AM on 06.12.2013|
DriveClub: Under the hood of the first PS4 racer
Get in, totally disregard your seatbelt and saftey, and get ready to take a spin with me in upcoming PS4 game DriveClub. Relax. Don't let the high-end visuals fool you -- this isn't some uptight sim. It's all about driving an...more
|9:00 AM on 06.12.2013|
Kazunori Yamauchi on Gran Turismo 6 and beyond
At E3 this afternoon I had the pleasure of chatting with Polyphony Digital president Kazunori Yamauchi about his upcoming PS3 game, Gran Turismo 6. He also teased what might be coming up next, but made it clear that we're getting ahead of ourselves when talking about PS4 Gran Turismo titles. more
|11:15 AM on 06.11.2013|
LocoCyle is like Arkham meets Spy Hunter meets acid
After seeing Twisted Pixel's LocoCycle at multiple trade shows in the past, we were finally able to go hands-on with the game on the Xbox One. It's going to be a downloadable launch title when Microsoft's new console is released, with an Xbox 360 release to follow some time later. So how's the game? Fun! It's got the charm that makes all Twisted Pixel games enjoyable. more