The 3DS conference in Japan on October 21, 2011 wasn’t just about 3DS firmware, Hulu Plus and giving people a reason to actually visit the eShop. It also was a chance for Nintendo to hype up Mario Kart 7, the December 4, 2011 3DS release. Nintendo decided to really get into it, offering details on StreetPass and SpotPass, online functionality and some new features that set this entry apart.
Let’s start with some of the basics. Mario Kart 7 will be a kart racer as usual, with 32 courses in all. Half of those will be new for this entry and the other half will be returning tracks from previous games. In addition to the glider, underwater propeller and big wheel karts, there will be new power ups and characters. Lakitu and Metal Mario both appear for the first time as drivers, and on the course you may see a driver wielding a Fire Flower or driving with a Tanooki Tail attached to their kart. Standard and motion controls will be available.
Mario Kart 7 will also have online multiplayer, as if anyone honestly expected it wouldn’t. You can immediately start racing online with friends or strangers, if you’d like. What’s new to the series is the Community. It allows players to create custom groups that can race together with special rules and details, and StreetPass will allow people to share their Community information with other 3DS owners.
Finally, StreetPass and SpotPass functions will both be included. The first time you play Mario Kart 7, a Mario Kart Channel will be added to your 3DS menu. There, people can see SpotPass ghost data that has been collected and go through all of the StreetPass stats and information that have been collected by walking past other Mario Kart 7 players.
It’s nice to see that Mario Kart 7 is going to make so much use of the 3DS’ special features. As much as I enjoyed Mario Kart DS, I just never really felt it had anything that made it stand out from the other Mario Kart games. It was good, but there wasn’t anything exceptionally memorable about it.
Read [Official Nintendo Magazine]