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Mario Kart Wii
Wii-wheel.jpg
The Wii Wheel bundled with the game.
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Yasuyuki Oyagi
Producer(s) Hideki Konno
Composer(s) Asuka Ota
Ryo Nagamatsu
Series Mario Kart
Platform(s) Wii
Release date(s) Wii (original release):
  • April 10, 2008 EU
  • HK July 12, 2008
  • WA December 29, 2009
Wii (Nintendo Selects):
Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Display 480p, 16:9 or 4:3

Mario Kart Wii (マリオカートWii , Mario Kāto Wī) is a kart racing video game made by Nintendo for the Wii game console which was first shown at E3 2007. It is the sixth installment in the Mario Kart series and the second Mario Kart title to use the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The game was released in every country throughout April 2008, but one year later in South Korea.

Mario Kart Wii features 16 new tracks, plus 16 from the previous games in the series, and is bundled with the Wii Wheel. The game was commercially successful in every region, and sold over a million copies in both Japan and the United States in less than a month. It also received positive reviews from critics.

Gameplay

In Mario Kart Wii, players choose a character from a roster having of up to 24 characters and from 36 cars. The cars are classified into three different weight classes. A character's weight decides the available types of karts and motorbikes, and their performance on the tracks. Each car has seven different parameters for characteristics: speed, weight, acceleration, handling, drift, off-road, and mini-turbo. Mario Kart Wii has 32 different tracks, having 16 new tracks, four tracks each from Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and Mario Kart DS, and two each from Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart: Super Circuit. Plus, up to twelve characters can play in a race. Players get items by driving through item boxes, which can be used for either defense, offense, or for powering up the engine. New items from Mario platform games are introduced, like the "Mega Mushroom" from New Super Mario Bros. It allows the character to grow very big in size and flatten other players. The "POW BLOCK" from Mario Bros. allows the character to send a shockwave to all the players in front of them, spinning them out of control and making them drop any items they may be carrying (there is no effect, however, on those who are airborne). One new item to the series is the "Lightning Cloud", which raises the user's top speed briefly, but shrinks the user if it is not passed on to an opponent by colliding with them.

Mario Kart Wii has 24 selectable Nintendo characters, more than any of the other Mario games. In addition to this, there are 12 different kinds (3 weight classes, 2 genders, 2 outfits) of the Mii, the digital avatar made by Nintendo. Twelve characters are available from the beginning; the other twelve and the two Mii variants become available after finishing certain elements of the game. The cast of characters has 19 returning characters from the series and six new characters; Baby Peach, Funky Kong, user-created Miis, Rosalina, Dry Bowser, and Baby Daisy. There are eight characters of each weight class. The Mii's weight class depends on its height and weight (this can be customized in the Mii Channel), and its favorite color changes the color scheme of its clothing, while the gender changes the color scheme of their cars.

Development

Mario Kart Wii was officially announced at the 2007 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3); the online features and the first footage of the game was shown. Producer Hideki Konno wanted to include online features for Mario Kart DS, but they were left out due to time constraints.

The game was called "Mario Kart X" internally for a while, before deciding on "Mario Kart Wii". General producer and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto's inputs were limited to new aspects of play such as the Wii Wheel and battles over Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The designers tested roughly 30 different prototypes with different shapes, colors and weights (based on real-life go-karts), before deciding on the final Wii Wheel design.

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