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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mario Kart 7 - same old shit

Let's face it, Mario Kart 7 is just another minor update of a tired conservative franchise that's too lazy or timid to not only evolve gameplay, but remove significant game-breaking flaws inherent in the past versions.


It may seem trivial at first, but the menu & loading. Geez, what is with how long it takes to load the game?? The white screen stays up way too long. And the menu system itself is the exact same one from the previous Mario Karts, still clunky as hell where it kicks you out to the title page rather than makes it easier to navigate & re-enter races. It becomes a real pain to play this game over & over when the interface is so crap.

And for some unknown reason, it takes at least TWICE as long to actually close the game & exit out to the 3DS menu as it does every other 3DS game. What the hell... it's like this is a shoddy port, even though it's a 3DS exclusive game! How lazy/rushed were the developers that they couldn't make any of this smoother?

The game itself is the exact same format as the Mario Kart DS & Wii: same cups, 32 tracks, etc. Most courses are re-hashed from previous games, with a few new ones. Apparently Retro Studios was called in to create a couple of courses.

Maybe that's what this franchise needs: to be taken away from Nintendo's in-house studio & given to a 2nd or 3rd party to inject some new ideas & more important: improve gameplay. The same old shit still happens: blue shells trump anything, you can do everything humanely possible, stay in first place and still finish in 7th or 8th no matter what you do. This game is the very definition of cheap.

Mario Kart 7 does look really good. There are some interesting additions that on the surface look great but in reality somehow don't affect gameplay at all. You can tweak your kart; changing out wheels, body, etc. but it doesn't make any difference. If anything, the "enhancements" make it harder rather than gives an advantage.

Nintendo is so incredibly timid & afraid to step up their franchises in a major way. Years ago, they created a hit formula with the Mario Kart franchise. At the time it was an attractive blend of multiplayer gameplay mechanics & challenge. But they haven't done anything since to improve or evolve the experience, leaving in all the same bugs that have always been there.

Nintendo should be ashamed.


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