|Portal: Sports and Racing||Mario Kart DS at|
Mario Kart Racing Wiki
|Mario Kart DS|
|Release date|| December 8, 2005 (JP)|
November 14, 2005 (NA)
November 25, 2005 (EU)
November 17, 2005 (AUS)
|Genre||Racing, Kart racer|
|Mode(s)||1-8 players (4 Online), Versus, Battle, Online|
|Age rating(s)||ESRB: E|
|Input||touch screen microphone|
|Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough|
Mario Kart DS is the fifth installment in the Mario Kart series (sixth if Mario Kart Arcade GP is counted.) Mario Kart DS was one of the first games announced for the Nintendo DS and was pushed back from its originally estimated release of early 2005. Unlike Mario Kart 64, which features sprite-based characters against a 3D background, Mario Kart DS features an entire 3D world.
Along with Animal Crossing: Wild World, Mario Kart DS was one of the first titles able to be playable online through Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Using friend codes, players could race each other on most of the tracks, and even show off custom decals on their kart.
The action takes place on the top screen while a map is visible on the bottom. Unlike previous games, you can both hop and power slide. The game has also taken a step away from the dual-kart mechanism present in the last installation, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
The racing itself, however, has not changed much from previous iterations of the franchise. They focus on simple, arcade-style controls instead of realism. Players use different weapons from the Mario series, like Koopa shells and Super Stars against each other, while racing along crazy twisting tracks. The tracks range from original creations to throwbacks from every previous installment of the game. Four tracks from each of the previous games in the series are present, recreated or for the first time in three dimensions.
In addition to traditional races, there is a revamped battle mode and a mission mode. The former features open maps and player-vs-player combat; each player begins with one balloon representing their life. In another twist, players can inflate additional balloons by blowing into the DS's microphone or by holding down SELECT.
A new feature called mission mode is also available, which gives the player a limited amount of time to meet a given objective. Example quests include completing five power slides, or collecting a number of coins in a certain time extent. Each stage also has a "boss" fight, such as shoving Big Bully into the water with Mushroom Dash power-ups, or winning against Goomboss in a race while it tries to release other Goombas to attack the player.
There are a total of thirty-two tracks, sixteen from the previous iterations of Mario Kart, with the remainder as new tracks for this game. Twenty of these tracks are playable online.
Nitro Grand PrixEdit
Retro Grand PrixEdit
- Mario Circuit 1 - Super Mario Kart, SNES
- Moo Moo Farm - Mario Kart 64, N64
- Peach Circuit - Mario Kart: Super Circuit, GBA
- Luigi Circuit - Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, GCN
There are six battle stages, two of which are from previous iterations from previous installments of the Mario Kart series.
- Nintendo DS - Modeled after the surface of a Nintendo DS. A similar stage is found in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!; in that case, players go head-to-head on the surface of a GameCube.
- Twilight House - A nine-room three-by-three configuration of a house, the center being filled in as a wall. Players can go outside of the house, but doing so may make the player fall off the edge.
- Palm Shore - A beach with a central island and some stretches of dry land all around it. These stretches are separated by a sand-filled sort of basin that the tide fills occasionally, causing karts in the water to move very slowly.
- Tart Top - A large cake, with all the item boxes floating directly over the cherry-topped center. Frosting and strawberries are dotted around the outer and inner parts of the cake, and bumping into one sprays a bit of frosting onto the top screen, making sight a bit difficult for a few seconds.
- Block Fort - Originally found in Mario Kart 64, this stage features three layers and four massive color coded blocks.
- Pipe Plaza - This course comes from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
There are a total of thirteen characters, eight which are initially available from the start and five unlockable characters as the game progresses. There is also Shy Guy who can only be played as in DS Download Play with a random color palette.
All items are activated using the player's choice of the X or L buttons. Holding the button allows certain items to be dragged behind the player's kart.
- Mushroom: Performs a turbo boost forwards. It can be used for passing, ramming, or crossing terrain such as sand or grass without being slowed down.
- Triple Mushrooms: Each button press uses one Mushroom boost, until all are gone.
- Golden Mushroom: After activation of the first boost, the player has twenty seconds where as many Mushroom boosts as desired can be performed.
- Banana: Driving over this item causes the player's kart to spin out. It can be set behind the kart, or thrown forwards. Hitting the dragged banana has the same effect as driving over it. It can even be carried behind the kart. There is a Triple Banana variation which sets off three bananas and automatically is at the back of the kart.
- Green Shell: A shell that travels in a straight line, bouncing off of walls a few times before breaking. If it hits a kart, the kart spins over. The hit from a dragged shell has the same effect as being hit. Like the bananas, there is a variation with three Green Shells. It is entitled Triple Green Shells. The three of these shells spin around the kart.
- Red Shell: A homing version of the Green Shell. If racers are too close together, Red Shells don't always lock on to the racer and continues around to the next racer. Red Shells hit if the player is in first place will attempt to go all the way around the track and hit the player in last place. There is a Triple Red Shell variation which also spins around the kart, like the Triple Green Shells.
- Bob-omb: This item can be held by the back of a kart. If a kart touches it, it falls into the air and all the other karts that come in contact with the explosion spin out instead. If the bomb is dropped behind and is not touched, it automatically explodes in a few seconds, affecting karts the same way.
- Fake Item Box: This item looks like a regular item box, but it doesn't spin and is missing a question mark. Driving into one causes the kart to flip over, even when held behind the kart.
- Spiny Shell: A large, spiked blue shell that zooms straight to the person in first and creates a large explosion. Like the Bob-omb, the player targeted flips into the air, as does the other players within the radius of the explosion. The short aftermath of it can cause others to spin around.
- Blooper: Sprays ink onto the top screen and karts and its driver. CPU players that have been hit by a Blooper drive in an erratic zigzag pattern most of the time. If used while in first place, no enemy karts are hit; Blooper instead sprays ink onto the driver in first instead. Ink can be cleared of with the use of a Mushroom or driving over a boost pad, but not snaking.
- Boo: Makes the driver who used it invisible and invincible, and is allowed to drive through and over any terrain (with the exception of walls), items, and other karts. If an opponent has an item, Boo steals one and give it to the user. Boo does not protect players from falling off of the course completely, and the effects wear off sooner or later.
- Star: On activation, the player is made invincible to all attacks, items, and terrain effects. Driving into another kart while using this item causes the opposing vehicle to flip over. The effects of a Star fade after a short period of time.
- Bullet Bill: Transforms the user into a Bullet Bill. Players are automatically navigated through the main road of the course, and can knock over any karts in the way. Bullet Bills do not take shortcuts, but finishes going through a shortcut path if the player activates the Bullet Bill mid-shortcut. The player turns back into his or her normal self after a short period of time.
- Lightning: All other karts in front of the user shrink and move slowly as well with the inclusion of high-pitched and distorted music and voices temporarily until the driver grows back to normal size. Drivers in lower places take a shorter time to return to their normal size than those in higher places. The farther ahead a driver is, the longer the period of time before the player returns to his or her normal size.
Caveats: Triple Bananas, Triple Green Shells, and Triple Red Shells do not appear in Wi-Fi due to potential lag problems. Dragging items behind one's kart in Wi-Fi is also disabled for the same reason.
Obstacles and HazardsEdit
The Mario Kart series have had many obstacles in almost every course, including this game. This section lists all of the obstacles and hazards in the tracks:
- Boxes: The player is able to find wooden boxes throughout the game, first time in Delfino Square. If the player crashes into a box, it breaks which causes the player to stop. Sometimes an item may come out of the box when hit.
- Cheep-Cheep: Cheep-Cheeps are hopping around in the water or on land, notably in Cheep Cheep Beach.
- Crab: The player can find crabs on Cheep Cheep Beach. If the player runs into one, he or she suddenly starts to spin around for a couple of seconds. They appear near the ending of the level.
- Monty Mole: The player can locate Monty Moles in multiple tracks such as Peach Gardens. The player may see small holes in the ground, sometimes, Monty Moles pop out of the holes and try to spin him or her out.
- Piranha Plant: Piranha Plant appears in a couple of courses. It pops out of its pipe and then tries to spew fireballs at drivers.
- Pokey Pokies can be located in Desert Hills. In this course, the Pokies sway back and forth in one spot. If the player crashes into one, he or she fly in the air and then collapse onto the ground.
- Rocky Wrench: Rocky Wrench can be found on Airship Fortress. In the stage, it pops out of a manhole on the ship. This foe does not throw wrenches at the driver like in Super Mario Bros. 3, but still cause harm by physical contact.
This is one of the new features of the game. An emblem is a decal or picture that appears as a symbol on a person's kart. The emblem appears only on certain places on a kart, and depending on where its put, the emblem may be smaller, bigger and/or stretched out. The player also has the ability to choose from various patterns ranging from a Starman to Thunderbolt and also Mario's face. The player can also choose not to use a custom emblem and to use the original emblem which is matched for a certain character. Emblems are displayed during VS matches and online matches via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
- In the Japanese version of the game, R.O.B. is red and white and has the name HVC-012. HVC-012, or better known as Famicom Robot, is the original Japanese version of R.O.B. and has the colors of the original Famicom. Additionally, HVC-012 is the true staff ghost on Desert Hills and Rainbow Road, not R.O.B. HVC-012 has the same karts as R.O.B., even down to being the same color.
- Mario Kart Slot Cars were created as a promotion for this game.
- During the race when a character gets the item box, the item-roulette sound effect stop selection was "Blah". The item-roulette sound effect carries over to Mario Kart Wii.
- When players play Mario Kart DS on the original Nintendo DS system, Mario says "Wahoo!", but "Here we go!" in later models and the Nintendo 3DS.
- The American version of Mario Kart DS is one of the few games on the DS to have a multiple language option (almost all European DS games have this function, though). Depending on the language of the DS, the language on the game will change; however, it will not change into Japanese.
- Mario Kart: Super Circuit tie-in: When the Nintendo DS is turned on with "Mario Kart DS" in Slot 1 and "Mario Kart: Super Circuit" in Slot 2, "Super Circuit" is listed as an "Option Pack" and cannot be played. Users have yet to discover if and how this effects "Mario Kart DS".
- Mario Kart DS still maintains a 9.2 average at GameStats, #1 on the Nintendo DS (as of 15:40, 22 December 2006 (EST)).
- GameSpy reviewer Bryn Williams admitted that online, Nintendo "trimmed it back a little too much for my liking", but was certain that "Even with a few online flaws, this is the best Mario Kart ever.." (5/5; Multiplayer: Great)
- GameSpot reviewer Justin Calvert had similar quips with the online feature: "Whether these opponents were leaving voluntarily or because of network problems is anybody's guess, but it's equally irritating either way." Yet, he finished up similarly by saying "Mario Kart DS is without a doubt one of the best games to hit the Nintendo DS to date." (9.2/10; GameSpot Editor's Choice; DS Game of the Year)
- IGN reviewer Craig Harris commented that "it's just hard to ignore just how limited the online presentation is." But again, his closing line was this: "The only way to finish this review is just to say it: this is the greatest Mario Kart game ever developed, and is without a doubt the best DS game of 2005." (9.5/10; IGN Editor's Choice Award; DS Game of the Year)
Scores received in the major gaming review sites:
- GameRankings - 93%
- GameSpot - 9.2/10
- IGN - 9.5/10
- Joystiq - 9.0/10
- Nintendo Power - 9.0/10