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    Jan 12th, 2007 at 14:24:46     -    Mario Kart (Wii)

    For my second session, I decided to play the single player grand prix mode and settled on the Star Cup, 150 CC.
    At the start of the first race, the single player starts in 8th place and I let myself stay in 8th for a little while to see if that actually is an effective strategy against 7 CPU players. At the first box, I received a lightning bolt and was in first place before the end of the first lap. From the beginning of the second lap, it felt much like a 4 player game because only a couple other racers were within a short distance of the lead. There is one difference.
    In the multi-player, 4 person race, the racer in 4th is in last place, and consequently receives much better items, as the player in 3rd generally does as well. In grand prix mode, the three or four racers jockeying for position are the top 3 out of 8, so, generally, none of these top racers will likely get anything better than a single red shell or maybe some mushrooms. This changes the dynamic as the lightning bolts affect everyone and are an advantage to none (generally). The racer in 1st in grand prix doesn't have to be as worrisome as the 1st place racer in 4 player mode because most of the direct competition isn't getting anything to useful.
    This seems to be why any individual 4 player race can have any outcome. One racer will almost always make a run at the end of the race with a string of useful weapons. This may be explain the extreme re-playability of the game. Anybody of any experience in Kart can win any race and a lot of crazy things will happen during the course of any race.

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    Jan 12th, 2007 at 00:34:07     -    Mario Kart (Wii)

    I have played Mario Kart 64 for a long time. When I sat down to do this assignment, however, I found it quite easy to find new aspects of the game to think about. For about half an hour, I played with 3 friends. We played most of the levels but found we played a few courses more than others, mainly Wario Stadium and Koopa Troopa Beach. After about 10 or 15 races, two people left and a friend and I mostly played time trials. While I won more of the 4 person race, I could not beat him in a time trial. This led me to think about what leads to success in Mario Kart in 4 player versus mode, which I find to be the most dynamic type of race in Kart. It seems that being successful in Kart isn't about being the quickest driver (as my friend clearly was) but about utilizing a strategy outside the power slide. It seems that success in Kart is more about positioning and luck. It definitely doesn't seem to be an advantage to get the power boost off the start line, as you will likely get a banana or fake box if you are in the lead at the first set of mystery boxes. at the same time, a player who didn't boost of the starting line has a better chance of getting a set of red shells or maybe even a star or lightning bolt. Now, assuming you luck out and get a better weapon, it is important to get the most out of the superior weapon. For example, if you get a bolt, make sure no one has a star or has fallen off the map as they will be unaffected by the shrinkage. It seems to be especially important on courses with large obstructions, like Wario's Stadium, Royal Raceway or DK's Jungle Parkway. These courses have large jumps that can only be cleared when full size. In Wario's Stadium, if you shrink someone and they go off the jump, they will be about half a lap behind where they were. In Koopa Troopa's Beach, use a lightning as someone attempts to hit the ramp for the shortcut and they won't be able to clear it. Little things like that can be the difference in the race.

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