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Mario Kart DS
Mario Kart DS
Published by DragonLX
Author review
Average 65%
Mario Kart DS

Mario Kart DS Review
A review by DragonLX

Release date:
-America: 8th of December, 2005
-Japan: 14th of November, 2005
Console: Nintendo DS
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Publisher: Nintendo
Rating: 3+
Players: 1-8 players

Well, if you're reading this review, chances are that you've played or heard about the Mario Kart series before. Mario Kart is a racing game, but what makes it different? Two things: characters and items. On what game you're allowed to race with your favorite Nintendo characters? Or throw banana peels or homing red shells to your opponents? These are some reasons of the success that the Mario Kart series had over the years, and they're re-introduced in Mario Kart DS, with new features to make your gameplay experience more enjoyable. This title is an excellent game that will give you several hours of fun, and the most fun experience is playing with your friends, or other racers from all over the world. If you're interested in this amazing title, keep reading.

I'll go the point here.

Storyline: 1/10
Really, the Mario Kart Series never had a plot. We can just assume Mario and company decide to reunite together and do some races just for fun. Don't let the storyline is score give you a bad impression of the game, though. The other aspects of Mario Kart DS compensate this score.


Mario Kart DS is main concept is that you can choose one of 13 characters to race in a kart, with the possibility of choosing 32 courses to race on. In Mario Kart DS the use of the second screen becomes pretty important as it allows the view of two things, one is a bird's eye view of the course. The bird's eye view shows hazards, item boxes, incoming attacks, and the racers around you in a small range. The other view is showing the whole track and allow to see what item the other racers have picked and where is everyone on the course.

This game offers 3 gameplay modes. One player, Multiplayer and Wi-Fi modes.

In one Player mode there are 5 more selections: Grand Prix, Time Trial, Vs Race, Battle and Mission modes. In Grand Prix, first you'll have to select a category: 50cc, 100cc and 150cc and with every of them the speed and difficulty increases, then you may select one of 8 cups, all of them containing four courses. In Time Trial you may play any of the courses you have unlocked and have single races and try to achive the best time possible on a course. Battle Mode allows players to do some races on special courses, but the difference is that you must either: collect suns (the player with most suns wins) or do a ballon fight. (in which the player that takes out the most ballons of other opponents wins) Finally, Mission mode. In Mission mode you must complete certain special tasks, such as collecting a determined number of coins, or destroy Pokeys with bombs, etc.

The second mode is multiplayer. Well, as its name suggests, it allows two or more individuals the possibility of racing at the same time.

Wi-Fi mode allows you to race with any person of the world, as well to race especific people with the use of Friend Codes.

I'll also mention that the controls are quite simple, and really easy to get at first. If you want to improve your racing skills there are plenty of advanced tactics that you can learn, such as the infamous 'snaking'.
Gameplay: 9.2/10
The game may be similar to previous installments of the Mario Kart series (with the exception of Mario Kart: Double Dash!!) but due to being the first Mario Kart game with online gameplay, the series have taken a big step. Also the addition of the unusual, but welcome, mission mode also introduces boss fights that are really fun and entertaining.


Considering a DS' graphic capabilities these graphics are great. They could've improved, especially the bottom screen is Bird Eye view of a race. Sometimes they may surprise you, though. A new addition to this game is creating your own emblem, that will be added into your Kart while racing. Only downside of this feature is that it is highly costumizable, so you may see some, err... obscene emblems while playing online.

Graphics: 7.8/10
Not much to say here. The graphics are good, but as said before, they could've improved.


Sound: 8.7/10
The soundtrack is outstanding and all of the background songs really fit their respective courses. One thing I can complain about is the voices of some characters *coughDaisyandWaluigicough*. Most of the sound effects were amazing, and a neat thing the map developers did is, in some courses (like in 'Waluigi Pinball') they change a little.

Here, some of my favorite soundtracks of the game.

Waluigi Pinball

Airship Fortress

Replay Value

Replay Value: 9.7/10
The normal thing you would expect in a racing game, is replay value, and that's a thing Mario Kart DS does well. As explained in the gameplay section, this games has several categories for you to have hours of fun, and with Wi-Fi capabilities, this title will not leave you bored easily.

Final Score

Mario Kart DS is by far one of the best titles for the Nintendo DS. Having the same concept as past Mario Kart titles, it only adds new features which are without a doubt incredible. The Wi-Fi gameplay is amazing, this title is packed with Replay Value and allowing you to race with your favorite Nintendo characters was an incredible experience since the first Mario Kart game. This game is really worth your money.

+ Good ol' Mario Kart returns with some new feautures.
+ Game is packed with replay value.
+ Ability of racing with 8 players with just one copy of the game.
+ Ability to play with racers from all over the world.

- None. (Seriously)

For reading this review!
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By gameaddict on 06-21-2009, 06:41 AM
Nice review. You've marked parts separately, and there are lots of great pics.
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By op89x on 06-21-2009, 06:45 AM
I approve of this review. And the tags it has.
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By OxyMoron on 06-21-2009, 09:37 AM
Best game in the Mario Kart series.
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By gameaddict on 06-22-2009, 05:23 AM
I wouldn't say that, but it's definitely one of the best. I'd say MK 64 is the best.
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By KiteTheHero on 06-30-2009, 04:19 PM
I love this game, I lost the acuall game about 3 times, and I rebought it everytime.
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By Xenon on 07-02-2009, 05:17 AM
Nice dude. Awesome review, just what I expect from a member of the Review team. Awesome work!
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By DarkLegacy on 07-03-2009, 03:26 AM
nice review man I <3 mario kart ds.
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By johnpeterson on 12-09-2010, 12:59 AM
i very much agree with this review as this is one of my favorite game. i never get bored playing game. i love bowser!
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By Ride The Yoshi on 12-09-2010, 06:17 AM
It's definitely a good game, and it's fun to play, even if you're a non-snaker like myself. ^_^
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kart, mario, nintendo ds, review, superb

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