Point Me

Monday, April 13, 2009

Blue Shell'd and Lightening Bolted

This entry of my text vlog is about video games. Here is some mood music* to help set the tone.

*WARNING: mood music may actually cause bleeding in the ears and thoughts of self-harm.

My parents got Paul and I a Wii for Christmas. We've been loving it, and have totally been using it to its full procrastinatory, unproductive potential. We seem to get into these obsessive love affair relationships with each game we buy, monogamously playing it until a) the fun quota has totally run dry, b) we unlock all the characters and surprises or c) we buy another game that totally steals our hearts. January and February were totally dominated by Super Smash Brother Binges. March and April have been the era of Mario Kart. Paul always plays as Baby Peach on the Bullet Bike, and I always play as Dry Bones on the Magikruiser

I was/ am a huge fan of Mario Kart Double Dash, for GameCube, and I was extremely excited to get my mitts on Nintendo's new offering. I was a little disappointed at first that the whole "two person team" angle of double dash had been taken away, but the awesomeness of the new features totally assuaged my doubts.

1. In addition to Karts, you can also race with motorcycles, which makes for more dynamic gameplay. Also, it allows the ability to pop sweet wheelies for a speed boost.
2. If you follow close behind your competitors, you can pick up a backdraft off their kart and blow past them.
3. The added capability to do stunts when you go off jumps.
4. The ability to play online with real people all across the world

I also really liked that in addition to some really cool new levels, they also had many re-imagined levels from previous incarnations of Kart. You can play levels from SNES, Gamecube, and DS versions of the game. I think that the ambiance of the levels, the atmosphere of the races, is a huge part of what makes Kart such an addictive game. All the little details in each level, coupled with really excellent music choices, really does let you get sucked in to it. So without further ado, I proudly present:

Top 5 Mario Kart Wii Levels


Who knew that Toad was a burgeoning industrialist? What, exactly, he is mass producing in this factory is unclear, but it seems to create a lot of brown sludge-like byproduct, and requires a great number of big stamp-y hammers coming down from the ceiling to squish stuff. Those are just a few of the obstacles you have to avoid while tooling around the warehouse. This level gives you lots of opportunities to use your drift to get power boosts, and lots of jumps to do tricks off of. I also really like the variability of this level. Platforms and conveyor belts switch up how they work on each lap, which keeps you on your toes.


This course has you racing through an immaculately manicured hedges and lovingly landscaped flower beds. I like to imagine that Peach invited everybody over for a nice, civil tea party, which eventually devolved into underground street racing. I never played the original DS version of the level, so I'm not really sure how it compares. I do really like the maze-like quality of this level. There are definitely right and wrong ways to go through each section, and it tends to spread out the players through the course. Items are well spread out too, and often hard to get at, precariously trailing behind giant chain chomps. I really like the music in this level too. Its an accordion or a zydeco or something, and it sounds like something you'd hear outside a Parisian Cafe or strolling by the Eiffel Tower. Oui!


This level has some of the best verisimilitude in the game. Instead of racing through castles and jungles, this course provides an almost realistic premise, racing through the streets of a coastal city, as the locals cheer you on from their banana stands. The tight alleyways you have to race through make this one challenging, as your proximity to others makes things chaotic, but it's always fun. This level also has one of the most beneficial secret shortcuts in the game- But it takes skill to use without killing yourself. I haven't actually done it successfully yet. It comes right after you go around the first corner on the docks, nestled in between two fruit stands. You can only use it if you have a mushroom, otherwise you'll get stuck in mud. However, I find using the mushroom makes me shoot out of it way to fast and fly off the pier. I guess I need more practice.


DK Mountain was my absolute fave level in Kart for Gamecube. Obviously, I kick butt at it. So of course I was so excited to see it return for the Wii version. The level
is basically the same as its predecessor, but with new opportunities to do tricks off of jumps and look cool. I also like that at the end, you can get some crazy air without even trying driving on the windy suspension bridge. Anybody who is reading this is welcome to come over to my house and challenge me to a race down DK Mountain, anytime!


This level is awesome, and has a lot of really neat things going for it. Racing across tree branches, a beautiful autumn theme, and a soundtrack that you'd want to go apple picking to. Plus it's got these cute caterpillar guys! Sure they'll get in your way and trample you a little...but look how cute they are! Aw...
There are a few cool secrets in this one too. If you drive through the little leaf piles, sometimes secret items come popping out. Another perk of driving through the little leaf piles in the nice, satisf
ying woosh sound it makes. Whoever did the sound effects for this game deserves a prize. Also, there's a really fun shortcut, right after you go down this netted ramp (pictured above). Veer to your right and you can get an item, plus the opportunity to do a sweet trick as you cross the finish line.
Mayhaps I just like this level best because fall in my favorite season; with my birthday, wedding anniversary, and Halloween all contained within. Either way, it's a fantastically designed and absorbing level. I give it my highest honor!

If you read all of this after I subjected you to Blackout Band, bless your heart!


  1. Splendid work. I'm so excited you're on the Blogwagon now! Can I share the link with Matthieu?

  2. Yeah, absolutely! The more the merrier.