Mario Kart DS

Mario Kart DS. Nintendo’s first real online excursion. It helps their cause that, apart from the online connectivity, they start off with a really good game. The best Mario Kart since the original, as far as I’m concerned (I missed the N64, the GBA version was… off and the most recent GC version I found to be lacking.) The only strong negative with Mario Kart DS, to me, is that the controls seem to cramp my hand a little and the default control scheme can’t be changed (why not!?)

Connecting the the Nintendo WiFi network was easy and starting a game was easy. It’s a very Nintendo-like approach to what could be a tricky problem. It’s practical simplicity — it does what it sets out to do, presents it concisely, and doesn’t complicate matters with more, well, control. Almost too easy.

It does seem to take a while to connect to a game online, but it’s no worse than it was with Halo 2’s matchmaking after launch. Once you do connect, everything seems to go smooth. Being undefeated after some excellent online races further helps my opinion of the game.

So, my friend code:

(As an aside, one stupid thing with the service is that it doesn’t show whether your friends are online or not. It shows stats and when they were last online, but not their current status, which makes matching up games a little difficult. It would probably help if I had some more friends, though.)

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