Friday, November 18, 2005

Mario Kart DS - The DS goes online successfully

Before I go into this game, I do want to say that the only reason I have nothing to say about PSP games is that my room mates simply aren't buying anything new. I don't blame them really; there isn't anything exciting to grab lately. Supposedly that is supposed to change, but I haven't seen or heard of anything spectacular yet.

I picked up MKDS today; last one in stock. The DS game prices are simply awesome; I haven't had to pay more than $35 for a game yet. Anyway, I mainly wanted to test out Wifi online gaming. Beforehand, I will mention that I have little faith in wireless anything.

  1. Wireless is slow

  2. Batteries suck

  3. Connection reliability is erratic

  4. Wired is simply better and more stable

Back to the point. When I got home, I had to setup our extra wireless router. I didn't want to go directly into our router so the slow encrypted traffic wouldn't impede all of the connections. I don't care what anyone says, this happens. So I set up our old router on its own subnet. It took me a while to realize I needed to hook it up via cross-over cable, and then find out that port 8 on our switch doesn't work when the switch is linked. This also resulted in me having to make a cross-over three times because I thought it was bad, but it was the wrong port AND the first two weren't long enough. Maybe I'll post a picture of my "Network Cabinet" one of these days.

After setting up basic encryption etc., I setup MKDS. Nice and simply, and I was playing with foreigners within a couple of minutes. No lag! It makes me realize how much more I would have played the other MKs if they had online. Similar to my previous comments about Halo 2...reliable and mostly fair online matchmaking is what sets it apart. MKDS is somewhat the same way, although I don't know if players are matched up by skill level so much. For my first run through playing against people who had played 20 times as many games as me, getting 2nd wasn't bad.

The game itself is in my opinion the best MK yet. It has tracks from all the console versions including the GBA. That's hours of fun right there, not to mention there are always opponents available. Even without Wifi, the game would offer the MK goodness Nintendo fans have come to love.

Graphics? The best I've seen on the DS yet. Everything is smooth and looks good. This doesn't mean it is PSP style or anything, but for this specific game it feels perfect. And the controls have stuck to their roots.

I'm a happy camper, and give it a 9.5 for everything.