Mario's first foray into online racing fun is still as playable as ever and finally starting to drop in price after hovering above the £20 mark for what seemed like forever! ShopTo are currently offering it for the bargainous price of £17.99 – the next cheapest I can find is DVD.co.uk with a price of £22.81
You begin with a choice of eight characters, each with a pick of two karts – each kart and character will is different and your choice will have a noticeable affect on how it feels to race so picking wisely is key to success. As you progress in the game you will be able to unlock more characters and a huge range of karts. You can take your character through five different modes of play: Grand Prix, Time Trial, VS, Battle and Mission, each offering a different challenge.
Mario Kart DS plays a bit like a best of compilation of all the previous MK racers; taking karts, power ups and tracks from past titles and refining them and mixing them with plenty of new ideas and a greater depth than ever seen before in the series.
Before we were all on Xbox Live & PSN, playing Mario Kart against strangers from across the world felt like a groundbreaking excitement, even if I was constantly foiled by my arch nemesis “Fat Ball”! While this sort of multiplayer action is now commonplace it has not detracted from the joy of pitting your kart against that of someone from lands far away.
Whether you're a fan of the moustachioed plumber or not, you have to admire the work that Nintendo put into ensuring that every one of their poster boy's adventures is a perfectly polished delight from start to finish. Mario Kart DS is a truly outstanding game. It's great fun, particularly when played with friends and is a must have for any self respecting DS owner.