NYCC 11: Mario Kart 7 Hands-On Preview

We’re up to the 7th Mario Kart now? Time sure has flown by. I was about 3 years old when we got the first Super Mario Kart for Super Nintendo.It was a hit then and it’s a hit now. We’ve all seen the trailers for Mario Kart 7 and its new features, and if you haven’t, just click here. So how does the introduction of these new gameplay elements work for the latest Mario Kart? Read on to find out.

The demo of Mario Kart 7 started off with selecting a racer, and then choosing what kind of wheels, vehicle or add-on to use. There were a handful of wheels and vehicles to choose from, but the add-on list was blocked out by lots of question marks and I was only able to choose the hang glider.

I played three tracks during this demo, and as the first race started, naturally, I tried the speed boost trick and…it worked! If you know how to do the speed boost trick in the previous Mario Kart titles, then you’re good to go in this one. The first course I played was pretty normal. You have a basic course with some big jumps that show off the hang glider feature. At one point you go up a really steep hill, kind of like a roller coaster, and then jump off the end where the hang glider pops open automatically. From there you steer your kart as you glide across the air before you land.

The next stage I played had a water portion where the submarine feature is seen. The propeller automatically appears when you hit the water — similar to how the hang glider works. It seems like, depending on the situation, these new vehicle features come out. So let’s just call the karts in Mario Kart 7 “context sensitive vehicles.” While underwater, the physics change much like what you would expect in any game with an underwater portion. I also noticed that drifting was also much tougher while underwater.

After playing three courses, I noticed that coins were indeed all over the place and new items seem to be here too; however, I did not get to put any of these into practice firsthand. I was told that the lack of coins will have you spin out much more easily like in Super Mario Kart, and I never got any of the new items. Tight controls was definitely a highlight of the game, and I look forward to hearing more about the game in the near future. Gyro controls perhaps? I wouldn’t doubt it. See you this holiday season, Mario Kart 7!

François Chang

Working on the DualShockers staff as both an editor and community manager since late 2009, François is absolutely no stranger to the videogame industry. He is a graduate from the City College of New York, and has his Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising. His next step is to obtain his Master's degree at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Before starting his career, François has been gaming since the age of 2 with Super Mario World, and he has never looked back since. Gaming may be his profession, but it has always been his passion.

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