With Mario Kart Wii, in a lot of ways we’ll be going back to basics. No more double-dashing, or having other characters riding shotgun. One vehicle, one rider and - hopefully - one hell of a time to be had.
That said, Nintendo seems to have gone a little wild with the karts. Each character has a range of unique vehicles. Mario has a kart, at least, so the title isn’t a lie. Wario has hot rod muscle cars (of course), while Baby Mario poodles about in a turbo-charged pram. Most surprisingly, dainty ol’ Princess Peach zooms about the place on motorbikes. Wha? Don’t suppose we can expect any sexy unlockable leathers for the lady, eh? Nope. Damned family values.
Apart from character skills, there’s a question mark on just how wildly different the vehicle handling will be. But, as any good Mario Kart fan knows, question marks only ever lead to good things (unless it's a decoy)! For instance, Mario Kart comes bundled with the Wii Wheel, a steering accessory into which the Wiimote slots, just to give you a better sensation of motion-sensing driving. It’s not about making it a sim; it’s about comfort, because, heck, you’re probably going to need all your spare calories for yelling, shaking and jumping about the place when tackling the game on the high-level cc classes. Addictive frustration, indeed.
Up to 12 players can swear politely at one another online (this is, after all, the first ‘truly’ online Mario Kart console game). Just think of all the cackling to be done when unleashing a bolt of lightning! The best known power-ups will be back in tow, but you’ll also be treated to a few new ideas to punish opponents with. Even maybe something that makes use of the Wii Wheel’s motion-sensing.