I grew up with Mario Kart. I can still remember the front room of my house being full of smoke and teenage boys and cups of tea as my brothers and their mates played it on the N64 and would let me play every now and then. Years later Mario Kart: Double Dash for the Gamecube was a bit of a letdown but me and MY friends still played the hell out of it for... years. I was playing it up to this year. You either get the whole Nintendo thing or you don't, and I had it ingrained in me, like chip shops and britpop.
So it was with trepidation and excitement I approached Mario Kart Wii, fearful they might have fucked up something so precious again. But what do you know... they've cracked it! It's fucking ace. It really feels like they care about the characters and the gameplay again and they've listened to the previous fans grumblings.
I was scared of the wheel, but it's really good fun. Having said that, we've played it without (with the gamecube controllers) and it's about 5 million times easier. But the wheel is nuts. The tracks are wicked as well. The new tracks are brilliant- it's crazy time, driving up the walls, weird acid-like trips in Bowser's castle, and more mushrooms than you can shake a stick at. I LOVE the snowy track, and the leafy track (I'm not looking up the names! What am I, a boy?) Another great aspect though, is they have revived a bunch of old tracks from various Nintendo formats. So you get the proper nostalgia trip. How weird is it that your brain still remembers it's way around a track from ten years before? Why would your brain store that information? It's like hearing an old song- and you're there. It's a really nice touch.
What else? The characters are good, the karts are good, the bikes are good. As usual, it's bloody hard, and bloody unfair in the extreme, but I like some of the new power-ups, the bullet thing is good if you're in last place, and the squid thing that goes all over your opponents screen is pretty funny.
Can someone tell me how to hook the Wii up to the internet cos we don't have a clue here. I want to play the world!
Mario is back, back, back! Luigi can still fuck off though.
PS. I can't wait for Wii Fitness! Surely I'll go on it more than once if I fork out £70?