On Sunday after I watched Godzilla in theaters (Awesome movie by the way) I picked up a racing game for each of my handhelds: Mario Kart 7 for the 3DS and Aspalt: Injection for the Vita. This is a first-look review of both games.
The only non-platform Nintendo franchise more popular than Mario Kart is of course, Super Smash Bros. Two games back, Mario Kart finally made the jump to Online (Mario Kart DS, which I still have despite Online Play shutting down). While Mario Kart Wii showed us Nintendo’s vision for the franchise, MK7 refined the formula. It would be no understatement to say even after Mario Kart 8 is released on the Wii U, MK7 will still be a fan favorite for years to come.
Of course, MK7 came out two years ago so most of you have probably at least heard of it. I held off getting MK7 for two reasons: For one, I know how addicting the series is. The other is at the time the game came out, I was more interested in playing Tales of the Abyss, Super Mario 3D Land and Crosswords Plus. No regrets on this decision 2 years later. I have played every single MK game released to date and while I’m obviously going to pass on getting a Wii U and by extension MK8, each game has become more and more interesting over the years.
In regards to the A.I., it’s like playing against other people. I first noticed this in MKDS but the A.I. races to win. There might be times where you get hit with several items in quick succession at just the wrong time. I’ve played MK online more than enough times to say this is SMART gameplay, not cheating. MK7 is also free of the Snaking Exploit that was so rampant in MKDS. For those who don’t know, in MKDS it was possible to drift for almost an entire track’s duration and prettymuch enjoy a free boost indefinitely. The exploit was so widely used it became a norm and prettymuch killed online play from day one. There’s a difference between Drifting and Snaking. What you do in the games released before and after MKDS is Drifting.
Overall, I give the game a 10/10. I do not expect my scoring of the game to change. It has endless replay value in both Online and Streetpass and you can race with your Mii once you’ve cleared all the cups of a difficulty Level (50cc, 100cc or 150cc). Before we move on to the other game, I want to point out this is actually my second 3DS racing game. Ridge Racer 3D was my first. I got it three years ago =O
At the moment, it’s the only racing game on the Vita. For some reason Sony doesn’t see the merit in releasing Gran Turismo on the Vita. Even if it’s a port of GT5 I’d buy it. Due to technical difficulties with my Vita this weekend I haven’t been able to play it for more than a few minutes so far. The game boasts licensed cars, online play and from what I can tell a somewhat steep learning curve. Grinding Money seems to a necessary evil. That’s fine with me. The mechanics are crisp, the controls have not under or over reaction and Adrenaline Mode is pretty.
So far I give the game a 7/10 but you can be sure that will play once I’ve spent more time playing it.