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Mario Kart DS

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Mario Kart DS
Mario Kart DS - North American Front Box
The North American boxart for Mario Kart DS.
Developer(s) Nintendo
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Series Mario Kart
Release date JP December 8, 2005
KO April 5, 2007
NA November 14, 2005
EU November 25, 2005
AU November 17, 2005
Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single Player, (Online) Multiplayer
Ratings ESRB: Everyone
Platform(s) Nintendo DS
Input methods Gaming cartridge
Previous game Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (2003)
Next game Mario Kart Wii (2008)

Mario Kart DS is a game for the Nintendo DS. It is the fifth installment in the Mario Kart game series. It was the first to use an online play feature. It was released in November 2005 in the United States, Europe, and Australia. In Japan, it was released in December 8, 2005.

The game itself has a prototype which is the kiosk demo and the beta version of the game.

Gameplay

As in previous games, the player can participate in a Grand Prix, each containing four tracks in which points are gained for the player's position at the end of the race. The player must come within the top three players at the end of the Grand Prix to win a trophy.

There are thirty-two tracks in Mario Kart DS. There are four sets of 'new' tracks, along with four sets of tracks which have appeared in previous titles in the Mario Kart series. Each set contains four tracks, and can be played entirely in Grand Prix mode.

The game supports up to four players in multiplayer modes including Versus and Battle modes, as in Mario Kart Wii. Players can play against each other or in a team in both modes. It isn't possible to unlock trophies or any other awards in multiplayer mode.

The game also includes DS Download Play. This mode lets the person with the cartridge in his/her system compete with someone else not having the cartridge in their system. The person not having the cartridge also gets to play as Shy Guy with the color choice picked for that player.

Controls

Menu controls

  • D-pad: Highlight a tab in the specified direction.
  • Stylus tap/A button: Select an option.
  • B button - Back

Racing controls

The controls are not much different in this game than in other Mario Kart games.

  • D-pad: Move in the specified direction
  • A button: Accelerate
  • B button: Brake/Reverse
  • X/L buttons: Use an item, if any
  • R button: Hop/Drift
  • Y button/Touch Screen: Change the map view (bottom screen)
  • START: Pause the game

Racing techniques

Power sliding

When coming to curves, power sliding is a way of making it through a curve quicker. The player must push the R button to drift so the kart may spark. The player must push the R button and the opposing direction the kart is going in. This allows the player to gain blue sparks coming from the kart. Holding a little longer results the blue sparks to turn orange so that the player can gain a speed boost.

Rocket start

In the previous Mario Kart games in the series, the player has to press the A button immediately before the race in order to receive a boost. Though, this game has it different. When the number three or two appears on-screen, the player must hold the A button to go. Though, the first having to need the A button released at the number one to gain the boost. Then, a speed boost is given to the player. If not released or done too early, a cloud of smoke comes out of the back of the player's kart, thus a delay in starting the race.

Slipstream

When the player finds his/herself behind someone else, he/she can use a slipstream. As a kart goes forward, it breaks through the air that's usually stationary, and it relocates to the side of the kart, allowing the kart through. In the end, this action causes a slipstream, a V-shaped section where the air has already moved away. At the point of the V is the kart, and the section behind the kart is just where the air has moved.

Screen Display

There are things in the top and bottom screens that are displayed to show what goes on in the game and some additional extras.

  • Item Box Icon: This feature shows which item the player has obtained and is located at the top-left part of the top screen. Only one item at a time can be obtained, meaning the current item has to be used in order for another item to be put in the item box icon. When an item is obtained, the item box item spins like a roulette and picks out an item.
  • Team Box: This element is in Multiplayer mode games and the Single Player Versus and Battle modes. It is not used elsewhere.
  • Lap Indicator: This indicator is shown at the top-right part of the top screen. It shows how many laps there are and also indicates the lap number the player is on. It blinks once a new lap is started. The top number shows the lap number the player is on while the bottom shows how many laps the player is on. The bottom nearly always says three. There is also the text "LAP" on the left side of the fraction-esque lap indicator.
  • Events Screen: The event screen is where the events of a battle, mission or a race is going on. It is seen in all the Single Player and Multiplayer mode options.
  • Position: The position indicates the placing order of the player ranging from first to eighth. It changes once the player gets ahead of kart(s).
  • Wi-Fi Box: This box appears in the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection mode in the game. It ranges from no bars to three bars. The more bars, the closer the internet connection is. This box is located on the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  • Character Positions: This feature displays the progress of the opponents (team members if applicable) and shows the items they're using, what place they're in and such. It is displayed at the entire left side of the bottom screen. If tabs switch, it means the opponent moved up a place. The names can be revealed once the minimap is viewed when the bottom screen layout is changed. In battles, it indicates the amounts of balloons or Shine Sprites one has.
  • Race Time: The race time indicates the amount of time used by the player in a race by minutes, seconds, and milliseconds. It is located at the top-right part of the bottom screen.
  • Map: The map shows an overview of the course and icons which indicate players and items. It moves when it is in motion. A minimap can be viewed when the bottom screen view is changed. The map is entirely located on the bottom screen, covering most of it.

Characters

Mario Kart DS has thirteen playable characters appearing in the game itself, one being an exclusive character to DS Download Play, making only twelve playable in general.

Default

Unlockable

Unlocking Criteria

  • Dry Bones: Complete all 50cc cups in the Nitro category.
  • Princess Daisy: Complete all 50cc cups in the Retro category.
  • Waluigi: Complete all 100cc cups in the Retro category.
  • R.O.B.: Complete all Nitro or Retro 150cc Mirror cups.

DS Download Play-exclusive

Courses

As aforementioned, there are thirty-two tracks appearing in the game itself. Sixteen being Retro races from previous games in the Mario Kart series and sixteen others being new to the game itself. In Retro races, it goes from oldest retro course to newest retro course. Meaning to go from Super Mario Kart to Mario Kart 64 to Mario Kart: Super Circuit to Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

Nitro Races

Mushroom Fire Flower Artwork - New Super Mario Bros Starman Picture 7
Mushroom Cup Flower Cup Star Cup Special Cup
Figure-8 Circuit Desert Hills DK Pass Wario Stadium
Yoshi Falls Delfino Square Tick-Tock Clock Peach Gardens
Cheep Cheep Beach Waluigi Pinball Mario Circuit Bowser Castle
Luigi's Mansion Shroom Ridge Airship Fortress Rainbow Road

Retro Races

Green Shell Artwork - Mario Kart Wii Banana (Mario Kart Wii) Leaf Artwork - Mario Kart Wii Lightning Artwork - Mario Kart Wii
Shell Cup Banana Cup Leaf Cup Lightning Cup
Mario Circuit 1 Donut Plains 1 Koopa Beach 2 Choco Island 2
Moo Moo Farm Frappe Snowland Choco Mountain Banshee Boardwalk
Peach Circuit Bowser Castle 2 Luigi Circuit Sky Garden
Luigi Circuit Baby Park Mushroom Bridge Yoshi Circuit

Battle Courses

Missions

This game is the first and so far only game where there are mission included (not to be confused with the Mario Kart Wii competitions). Missions mainly have the player having to complete a task within the time limit. This includes collecting coins, driving through gates, destroying Item Boxes, etc. There is also a boss stage at the end of each mission set. In each level, there is eight missions total along with a boss stage with a boss returning from Super Mario 64 DS. By getting at least a star ranking on all the missions allows Mission 7 levels to be unlocked.

Gallery

Title screens and screenshots

Items

Reception

Mario Kart DS is known to have well received reception and reviews from others. This includes GameRankings giving the game a rating of 91.19/100, GameStats as 9.2/100, 9.5/100 for IGN's rating. Though, people have criticized the limited online multiplayer mode.

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