Mario Kart DS Reader Review
We are between races, so I take a quick sneaky sip of the Guinness. .... '3'. Oblivous to the smoky pub around me I focus on the top of the two screens in front of me, waiting for the .....'2' to slowly fade before I press and hold the 'A' button. .....'1'
We are off on another race. Being ahead this early isn't always a good sign - the power-ups aren't that great when you are in front - but then, leave it too late and it's race over before you've got anywhere. I power slide around a corner - at least I attempt to, but a green shell has knocked me off course and sent me tumbling. Now I'm last. I glance upwards to see both drinking buddies smirking into their screens. Before long the silence is broken, "keep up", boasts one. Smiles all round, but an intensity in the eyes that suggests they don't want to lose. Not really.
No time to think about possible revenge. Must focus on the track ahead and get the items to help me claw back. Must remember I know the track. I know the track when I'm at home beating the unlocked Nintendo Staff time with a big smile on my face. I know the track when I'm getting double star awards on the Grand Prix mode - so why don't I know the track now as I bump into another corner? I swear it wasn't there before. Why don't I know it now, when racing against friends, when it really counts?
I can't blame the game - the handling is spot on, with characters and karts providing a variety of styles to suit almost all. One suits me, and I race the same character/kart combo all the time. I was able to refine my choice when performing various missions that appear elsewhere on this jam packed DS cartridge. I learnt a lot whilst getting star awards on all of them, and striving to achive more and more on the grand prix mode. What I learnt needs to come to me now as I see one friend appear ahead.
Breaking an item box, I see various possibilites spin before me in the top corner before it rests on a blue shell. A flicker of a smile before I fire and forget - this race of going to be closer at the finish after all. One power slide and blue shell explosion later and all three racers are together with half a lap to go. Final bend coming up - any slips here and you've lost. I skillfully manage to avoid all the item boxes - blast. You presume the others has no such problem - but the finishing line is in sight, you could win this after all .... then a shell hits. You tumble, others zoom by. So close, so close, but oh so enjoyable.
"Another round?" Ok, just one more race. "Best out of five?" Ok, let's settle this - ON THE TRACK. Smiles all round, but an intensity in the eyes that suggests they don't want to lose. Not really.
9 / 10