If its one criticism that Nintendo receives, it’s for being set in their ways. Unfortunately, Nintendo hit the nail on the head it right off the bat with most of their flagship franchises. Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid…you can look at each game in the series dating back to the beginning and there’s not a bad one in the bunch. Interestingly enough, for a company that prides itself so much on “INNOVATION”, these series rarely change in any drastic way.
Such is the case with Mario Kart, a series grounded in tried and tested gameplay, but this time around Nintendo has made things a little more interesting. Hit the jump and find out why.
Every new Nintendo system features a new installment in the Mario Kart series. While all great games, they’re unfortunately not too different from one another. Some things never change and if you loved Mario Kart before, you’re still going to think the upcoming 3DS release the best thing since sliced bread. Luckily, Nintendo didn’t stop at the visual trickery to spice up the latest installment.
First, let’s talk about customization. Rather than just leave players with stock karts, Nintendo has given players a variety of options to customize their vehicles. With Mario Kart 3DS players will have the ability to upgrade their karts with a variety new body types, wheels, and accessories. There could be a tad more customization for my liking, but Nintendo usually seems to keep things pretty simple and this is a definite improvement.
Now onto the real game changers! The new title features hang gliding and underwater sections. While these might just seem like visual gimmicks, they actually alter the gameplay quite a bit and add a bit of much needed strategy into the mix. The hang glider is particularly fantastic, allowing you to soar over your opponents, and perform aerial maneuvers to find short cuts and edge out the competition.
Of course, the visuals all look very nice. The 3D effects aren’t the most impressive that I’ve seen on the system but that isn’t a bad thing. They’re subtle, using just enough depth to be effective without being jarring. As someone who frequently goes back and plays the SNES original, it’s amazing to see how perception of the 3rd dimension in gaming has changed in just nineteen years. Look for Mario Kart 3DS in stores later this year.