Nascar Kart Racing (Wii)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Friday, February 27, 2009

Graphics: 7.50
Sound: 7.00
Gameplay: 8.00
Replays: 7.50
Gamelength: 7.50

EA’s blatant ripoff, “Nascar Kart Racing” is upon us and as terrible as we all expected it to be, it’s a pretty solid game.

Okay, let’s be honest here. This game is a serious ripoff of Nintendo’s “Mario Kart” series. It’s completely and utterly obvious, even down to the similar font and map design. This game is shameless and as much as I wanted to hate it, I fell in love with it for a while, as did my entire family. For a completely unnatural, confused and yet somehow satisfying racing experience, hop into a go-kart and prepare to race to your heart’s content in “Nascar Kart Racing” for the Nintendo Wii.

This game is pretty much a dumbed down ripoff of the “Mario Kart” series in every way, which includes the graphics. The environments and textures are bland by comparison, but the vehicle design, special effects, minimap and even the freakin’ font are extremely similar. The game runs at a very solid high framerate and as bland as it looks, it’s far from ugly. The characters faces are even displayed on the minimap, just like, you guess it: “Mario Kart”. It’s no “Mario Kart” for sure, but for all intents and purposes, it’s a good substitute for those people who can’t deal with the Nintendo-branded characters for whatever reason.

The sound effects are generic and the music is pretty stupid, but the character voices are hilarious, although a bit overdone. This isn’t the game’s shining point and there’s not much to say about it, but it doesn’t get old or boring, for sure. At the very least, it’s sure to keep you laughing for a while!

Honestly, if you’ve played “Mario Kart”, you can skip this section. There’s not much different here that you wont pick up on within’ a single race. For the newcomers, this game is a simplistic racing experience designed to make full use of the Wiimote, the Mario Kart wheel attachment and the standard classic style of controls. Aside from that, the only real change to the game mechanics is that there’s an added Turbo system. By completing power slides or syncing properly with your team mate, you gain turbo, which can then be used to blast your way ahead of the pack. The sole purpose of your team mate is this turbo system, so don’t be fooled by the seemingly cool team mate idea. Anyway, the game is simple. You pick a racer, pick a spot and start racing. It’s very easy to win first place in just about everything and there’s not much variation with the gameplay modes, but there’s a good dozen courses, all of which are very different from one another. There’s a “Time Trial” mode, but it’s fairly pointless by comparison to the main game. There are a few mini-game style things, but there aren’t all that many of them and they’re not very enjoyable. At the end of the day, this is a really good ripoff of an A-grade first party title that should be a good bit cheaper, but it’s still a good game. If you’re craving more variety of the same style as “Mario Kart”, it doesn’t get much closer than this.

Overall, EA did a really good job at making a really good ripoff. Kudos to them for turning a generic concept into a somewhat authentic “Mario Kart”-like experience.

Pros:
-Rock solid high framerate.
-Plenty of tracks.
-Hilarious voices.
-Fun to replay over and over again.
-Easy and playable by everyone, regardless of age.

Cons:
-Base price is a bit too high.
-Graphics are a bit too bland.
-Characters are all very generic.
-Not much depth at all.
-Sound is repetitious and generic.

Bottom Line:
If you absolutely need something almost exactly like “Mario Kart” for whatever reason, this is the game for you. It’s a good game, but if you don’t own “Mario Kart” already, I highly recommend that you pick that up first.

Overall Rating: 7.50

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