We got the Mario Kart game for the Nintendo Wii and we are LOVING it!! The best part is the online play, which we connect to via wifi. The only problem is the wifi at the apartment sucks and after 10 minutes of being connected/disconnected without actually accomplishing anything and I'm ready to go play EVE.
The game itself is simple and fun. Nintendo for sure hit a winner here. It's similar enough to all the other Mario Karts (including having old race tracks) with twists of new different enough to be a new game. The only old track I have a problem with so far is the GBA Bowser's castle which looks almost 8 bit in its simplicity compared to what's available now. Harsh, yes, but still true.
The online portion of the game is both the biggest weakness and strength. Unlike the Xbox 360 there is no announcement if a friend is around but doing something else, alerting you both to a possible playmate. The Mario Kart friend portion will only take you to the online race your friend is participating in if you also happen to be playing online!
Also, friends are done per "license" or registered player, so both Pat and I have to register both Jeremy and Jojo, and both of them have to register both of us, which is utterly retarded. In addition to this stupidity, there's no announcement that someone has made you friends, no way to make friends with someone you meet while playing, AND no way to pass friends easily between licenses, making the online friend portion one of the most unwieldy tools I've ever seen.
Once you get past that though, it's SO MUCH FUN I COULD PEE! Seriously. Being able to compete against, and with, your friends while racing is a blast. While voice chat during races would be fun, I see many issues with it, and can forgo the complaints. My issue here is that for any one Wii you can have one "license" at a time being ranked as they win and lose, and they may bring one guest. But if I'm playing with Pat as his guest, only he is ranked.
I can't attach my guest account even temporarily to my license making my competing online jointly with Pat both a hindrance and a help. You see, 12 people at a time can compete in a race. And since every person can bring one guest that means that it's possible to get 6 drivers who are being ranked, and 6 other drivers who can finish in top spots and keep people from being ranked, or who can finish last and artificially bump ratings in others.
While this isn't that big of a deal, my main issue is that Pat and I can't both be ranked at the same time. Trust me, I am ALWAYS competing with him. The fact that I can have my name and not just be "Dimli's Guest" is a HUGE plus, but if you're going so far as to let me attach a mii to the account, why not let me attach my player ranking/license to it as well?!
The items are all well done and while they provide a boost, there's no "win button" and no "back of the line" button, although the blue shell that beats the crap out of the person in first with zero recourse or blocking is a bit harsh. There's only one item, the thunder cloud, that is detrimental to receive, and even that can be passed off. Granted it's tricksey, but at least it's doable!
In the end, the game has provided a TON of entertainment, and Pat and I will continue to play!
If you'd like to make Pat or I friends, email me your code and we'll get you added. In the meantime, keep an eye out for Tovin, Dimli, or the two of us together!!!