The Mario Kart series has gone wireless and now lets players race and battle with up to eight karts at once, regardless of whether everyone has a game card. Naturally, it features the all-star cast of Mario characters including Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Wario, Bowser and Toad and more than 30 courses drawn from every Mario Kart game in the past (including a crazy new one that sees you driving on the top of a Nintendo DS!). The unusual items and frantic speed players have come to expect are here as well. The only let-down of this title is the fact that the Nintendo DS almost seems too advanced for it with the second screen seeming rather redundant. It is used as a map and score tally which is good because it leaves the top screen to just cover the action of the race – however you’ll hardly ever have time to look at it because you’re too busy staying on the track and dodging flying turtle projectiles.
Everything in Mario Kart DS also moves extremely smoothly, which is a big plus during races on such a small screen. The game’s audio is composed largely of engine noises, weapon sounds, and occasional remarks from the racers, who are quick to express their glee or disappointment as they overtake you or fall victim to one of your weapons. Some of the battle modes, such as Balloon Attack sees you acting like an idiot and blowing into your DS console in a battle to keep your balloon inflated as you race around. Overall - plenty of single and multiplayer fun and a game to get for any DS owner with a passion for the Mario franchise.