Jumping on the Bed!

The continuing blog on anime, games, movies, computers, college, and life in general

Archive for May, 2008

Mario Kart Wii

Mario Kart Wii

My thoughts on Mario Kart for the Wii… I don’t think I have EVER been this worked up from playing a game before. No, wait, I take that back. I used to yell at my brother because I could feel his body heat when I was trying to defeat the three stages of Dracula in Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, but I was 13 going through puberty. And yeah, I get flustered in Guild Wars when there’s no chance to get anything done without tacking another score of deaths to your tally, but Mario Kart… this “game” infuriates me like no other.

We have a saying since the days of old when Playing Mario Party 5. “The Friggin’ Millennium Star is Rigging the Game!” And guess what ladies and gents. The Millennium Star is back in full f’n force here. It doesn’t matter how good you are, or how well attuned you’ve gotten to using the steering wheel. The game decides who wins. Not you. At the end of the race, <x name of character x> is going to be in third place. God help you if you’re in their spot.

Speaking of the steering wheel, it’s actually a pretty impressive addition to the multi-functionality of the Wii. It’s a shame it’s shaped the way it is though, because while it is a steering wheel, it also holds an uncanny resemblance to a frisbee, and let me just say it’s a damn good thing that stupid strap was on because I well would have ricocheted the thing off three friggin’ walls after the majority of the cup races I’ve “played”. ;(

Liz once did a college paper about artificial intelligence in gaming systems. Some are good, some are terrible, and if they’re in a Mario game? They’re God. The system knows that 78% of racers come along a particular corner in a certain way. It knows the exact tangential angle is needed to bounce that green shell off the wall to nail your ass so you spin out at exactly the right time so you get tag-teamed by an invincible Donkey Kong and knocked over course into the lava only to be brought back up inches away from the boost that you needed to clear whatever fire-breathing crevice was right in front of you, squandering your 2nd place to dead last 12th.

It’s not so much that you’re playing the game, you’re being man-handled by digital equivalents of Albert Einstein mixed with Chris Pronger and a little bit of Charlton Heston. Insanely intelligent evil cooks without any hesitation to fire whatever weapon is nearby. 11 of them, all linked into their own little Matrix against you as your loose-handling cart and your onscreen avatar squealing “Wheeeee!” ignite into a fiery death upon atmospheric re-entry again, and again, and again, and again…

Yeah, the f**king Rainbow Road is back too.

So much like all of the Mario Party titles, the only skill involved is luck and I for one don’t want to spend what few hours of time I have at night hoping that perhaps this time I’ll get lucky and get through the 100cc Grand Prix only to go from 1st to 1st to 1st to 12th and come in 4th place again and again and again. I just don’t have the patience I used to have. All I wanted to do was unlock characters and vehicles for the little gaming nights we occasionally have. I shouldn’t be punished for that.

(“airbag” radiohead – ok computer)