• Review

Mario Kart DS

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Rating: 4.6/5 (27 votes)
Comments (51) | Views (4,851)

Mario Kart DSNintendo has finally entered the online games market with the release of its long awaited and much anticipated Wi-Fi Connection service that links gamers together over the Internet. Mario Kart DS is the first game to be released that incorporates the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection for online play among a plethora of game play options sure to satisfy even the most discriminating tastes.

Ask anyone familiar with the Mario Kart series and you will get no argument that the franchise is among the best Kart racers ever made. Spanning five (5) consumer hardware platforms: SNES, N64, Gameboy Advance, Gamecube, and now the Nintendo DS, the venerable Mario Kart has made important and timely appearances on almost every piece of hardware Nintendo has released. And for good reason: Mario Kart moves more than just go-karts, it moves hardware.

Mario Kart DSAnd the DS version will be no exception to that tradition. With its 32 different race tracks, including tracks from every version released thus far, customizable karts, 8-player wireless multiplayer mayhem, and 4-player online play, the latest incarnation fills those illustrious shoes with shining stars to boot. The game is pure unadulterated fun for gamers of all ages.

Connecting to the Wi-Fi Connection was extremely easy for me, as I already had an Apple AirPort wireless router with broadband Internet access for connecting with my Mac Powerbook. For those that don't already have a wireless network in their homes, or one that is not currently supported, you can purchase a Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector if you have a PC connected to the Internet and running Windows XP, or play at any of the 6000 worldwide McDonalds hotspots that Nintendo has partnered with. Once connected, finding three other players was fast and simple and before I knew it I was in a Grand Prix style race throwing banana peels and Koopa shells at my human foes. Interestingly, there is an equally greater satisfaction to winning against human opponents over computer opponents as there is devastation from losing. So far my losses outnumber my wins.

What I didn't like about the game: the controls. Nintendo almost nailed this game with the DS button controls. The touch screen is used only for selecting menu options and for viewing an overhead map during play. What I've yet to master is the dextrous handling of the A & X buttons, a requirement for simultaneous acceleration and throwing of items. Lift your finger off the A button even for a split second and your Kart slows to a crawl while any racer behind leaves you in a cloud of dust. An alternative to the X button is the L shoulder button, but using that one to throw items behind you requires similar dexterity. Overall a smallish complaint, one that may become moot with further practice.

If you're considering a game for that special gamer someone in your life this holiday season, Mario Kart is a hands-down winner among choices vying for your hard-earned cash. The addition of Nintendo's accessible and fantastically simple Wi-Fi Connection raises the bar for the series, and puts you in the driver's seat of a joy ride you won't soon forget—nor easily put down.


This is my first comment but I've been visiting the site for a while now. I think it's great that you've posted something about Mario Kart DS and I'm definetely buying it as soon as it comes out here in Holland, the 25th. Keep up the good work, I love the site.


jay, do you really have to "lift your finger off the A button" in order to press the X button? What I would do in the SNES in such a scenario was to press the A button with the middle part of my thumb and the X button with the top part of it. I have never had a DS in my hands though, so I'm not sure this would work.


Good point, Markus. And no, you really shouldn't lift your finger off the A button to toss an item, and that's exactly the problem I'm having with the controls at present. When pushing the top part of my thumb down onto the button, the middle part of my thumb invariably comes up slightly off the A button and I stop moving.

I must try using the L button more instead.


I have a DS too, (the only games i have are nintendogs and SM64DS) and i must say i love it. is there any way to change controls?


And Jay, i have two questions:
1. can you wi-fi connect pictochat over the internet?
2. Is the game worth the money?


Hi Mike, no Pictochat does not work over Wi-Fi, and yes I believe Mario Kart DS is well worth the money! Couldn't you tell that from my review? ;)

Unknownguy November 16, 2005 9:20 PM

I'll probably wait until Christmas to get it, but I am so pumped!

So much fun to be had also with Animal Crossings coming out :).

Too bad the online is said to be overly simplistic, but hey, if it is Mariokart it is Mariokart.


over simplistic? Hmm, I think you got some wires crossed. They have made linking up with others very simplistic, all you do is click a button and wait for opponents to connect to you. How is that a bad thing?

The racing is ANYTHING BUT simplistic, with classic Mario Kart mahem packed into two little screens. It's awesome in every way imaginable.

Yoshi_Moshi November 17, 2005 1:50 AM

Hey, I really want this game and I want Nintendogs Lab and Friends. Would there be a hotspot at most well known shops across Australia? However, If I can't find one I can just vs my brother. However, he'll probably be hogging the game. I can't wait till Christmas!

Also, though this has nothing to do with Mario Kart DS (I couldn't find a blog for Nintendogs) does anyone know if it's possible to unlock all the breeds without going to bark mode? Because I know you can unlock some dogs by getting owner points but can you unlock all the breeds from that?

Can't wait to get these games, oh how I love them!


My boyfriend bought me an early Christmas present of a DS yesterday (which made me a very happy bunny!) and I must say, having played Mario Kart on my old school N64, I'm really looking forward to it on the DS. Being in the UK, however, I'm going to have to wait a bit :)

Yoshi_Moshi - I have Nintendogs: Labrador & Friends and when you get it you have 6 different breeds available to you: Labrador Retriever, Miniature Pinscher, Toy Poodle, Miniature Schnauzer, Shiba Inu and Welsh Corgi Pembroke. You can only own three dogs in your house at a time (but can leave others at the Dog Hotel for safe-keeping), and only when you have enough money to buy more than one. You have to earn money by winning contests and selling supplies at the Secondhand Shop.

Hope that helps :)


hmm, I always use the L button, I'm still working on getting the throwing backwards/forwards thing down along with drift mini-boosts (which I just learned that I don't have to do >>> as fast).

...Let's trade Friend Codes!

266347-447447 name: Harukio


Yes, I am finding that it is a LOT easier to do the items with the L button, no more trying to control two buttons with one thumb(!)

Drifting is a challenge, getting better at it with practice.

My Friend code:

094548-746952 name: jayisgames

Oh, and I keep losing when playing on WFC. =(


>My boyfriend bought me an early Christmas present of a DS yesterday (which made me a very happy bunny!)

Haha, Jackie, my boyfriend got me a DS for my birthday today. :D I've been playing Nintendogs, but I would love to play Mario Kart.

Yoshi_Moshi November 18, 2005 2:21 AM

Sorry Jackie but what you said didn't really help with what I asked about nintendogs. I know you need money to buy dogs but I was wondering if it was possible to unlock all the breeds from having a certain amount of owner points and not having to go to bark mode. I mean unlock meaning being able to buy it, not actually buying it. Aynone have an answer you could post it on this site but it would probably be easier if you e-mailed me: [email protected]


Anyone else with a friend code to exchange? Let's see if we can get a jayisgames friendly competition going! =)

UnknownGuy November 18, 2005 5:04 PM

Jay, I know the game itself is not simplistic in the least but from what I understand the connecting online is so simple that it lacks choices.

For instance, you can't race 1vs1 against a friend since the online will always find you two other people. My point was by making the online very simplistic which is nice, some choices are cut out.

The game itself is awesome, no doubt about that though.


Ah, I see your point now. When choosing to play using WFC, you are given the choice to connect with: Friends, Regional players, Rivals, or Worldwide players.

So, theoretically, you should be able to set up a game with only your friends. The booklet that came with Mario Kart does go on to say that by choosing Friends you may connect with anyone who you have entered a Friend code for AND any of their friends who may be online, too.

Also, there does not appear to be any option limiting a match to only 2 players. WFC will attempt to gather 4 players for a match.

This is not a big deal to me. If I want to play online, then the more the merrier. =)

Come on! Anyone want to exchange friend codes and play???

Yoshi_Moshi November 18, 2005 6:45 PM

Jay, sorry I don't have a code but I'll probably get the game soon. Is it true that if me and my brother are sharing the game we can only play wi-fi on one person's ds otherwise the codes will get stuffed up? Also, do you have a nintendogs blog because I couldn't find one? If there isn't are you going to make one?


Yeah, I always lose, it totally lowers my self esteem... ;_;
Oh well, it's still fun XD


Hey everyone!
I've got MKDS too, so here you go if you want to add me:


Oh yeah, love the site, jay ;)



Oh yeah, I should probably let you know that my MKDS name is in Japanese (らいã"), just in case ;)

See you both online!



Added you to my friends, Kokuou. =)

Now I have two!


Hey Jay! It'd be cool if you could add me, too!


Also, I don't know if you would be interested or have the time to, but I'm on a forum, NDSart.net/forum designated for people with DS's and do art (or not) with them. It's a nice, small community that you might enjoy, seeing how you have a DS. ;)


Yoshi_Moshi - yes, I think it's true that using the same Kart cart on a different DS can get the friends codes and/or stats messed up. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I read about that, so I can't say for sure. I only have one DS to test with. And no, I never posted a review for Nintendogs, though a copy of the game is still sitting here on my desk waiting to be played. Soon.

outlawed - Thanks, you're now one of my DS friends. =) And I will check out that forum you posted, but I'm not sure how much time I will have to participate. School starts back up for me in a week(!)


Hey jay.

I was away at my mom's house on the weekend (translated is, "I was swept away to the world of dial-up land") so I've just confirmed that you are added to my list :)
Hopefully, I'll be able to actually find you sometime to race.

Oh, I've also added Harukio and outlaw as well!



For anyone with the game who wants some help designing emblems to customize their carts and online presence with, this web page will convert any graphic file you specify into a 32x32 icon, using the same colors as the Paint program in Mario Kart DS.

Then just hand edit the icon in the game, and voila!


Hey guys-

My friend code is 227692-842847

Add me!

Yoshi_Moshi November 24, 2005 1:15 AM

Do you think it would be best to get a Mario Kart DS game each for my brother and I or share the one game and have to play wi-fi connection on only one person's DS? Also I know you have to play wi-fi connection on one DS per game but is it the same with multiplayer that is not wi-fi? I haven't actually got the game yet so I don't know, is their more than one save slot for the missions so me and my brother can sharethe game?


No, there are not multiple save slots, so all of the stats and progress saved in the game will be the same for both of you.

I guess it depends on what you expect to get out of the game. If you're someone who wants to do everything in a game yourself, then you should probably consider getting your own game.

Also, by each having your own cart of the game, you get around some restrictions on circuit and character choices imposed when using only one for multiplayer play.

On the other hand, if it won't bother you that you and your brother will be essentially sharing the same identity online as well as on the cart, then you can get by with just the one.

Yoshi_Moshi November 25, 2005 6:39 PM

Thanks for the help Jay! I love your site.


=) My Friend Code is 210513-178860, and my name will be Zenord.


I've added G and Alejandro (Zenord) to my friends list.

In fact, I'm going to be playing for a while in case anyone else wants to try to get a race amongst friends going. =)


(Hour late) I'm there!


Wow! That was good fun, Zenord!

I was certain I beat you on Yoshi Falls, you must have passed me only a millisecond before I touched the finish line! argh!

It was fitting, though, that we tied that last game, as we seem to be well matched. Good times.

I'll look for you again soon! cheers!


We have developed a friend code finder system that is starting to increase in popularity. Please visit the site and register your code and you can find other friends to play against.



hey jay, add my friend code please

373722-258614 username- jibioko


hey people please add my friend code too!
it is 545522-839601


mike you can play over the internet but only with a special connector which links to the computer

ps ive got the game and ive done 50cc and 100cc!


Mario kart ds is probably one of the best games for ds. Of course, it is debatable but it's excellent. Oh, by the way, unless your some kind of dweeb, Animal crossin ww is very boring after about a month so not recommended by me!!!! In m.k ds, how is snaking possible?


ad this friend code to MKDS: 116058-718692

name is Gamoc ;)


I am getting Mario Kart DS in 2 weeks, i am exited because of the shine battle and of the wi fi connections, P.S I am aso getting Wi Fi.


i cant beat 100cc how can i beat it cheats hints help anything plz


hey, u guys know how on mario kart some people go crazy and super fast on the track how do they do that?


all i did was use alot of items.
and using dry bones that's the only way i could beat it


every 1 add me my friend code is:545580-245425


hey anyone playing mariokart right now and can do wifi put ur gamecode on so i can play

cheesey May 18, 2008 8:20 PM

any 1 still posting here? if so my friend code is 498357-997393

Jasmine July 17, 2008 1:34 PM

Mario Kart is fun on the wii too. The controls are easier because you have the wii controller and the nunchuck. For the ds Using the L button is easier than holding down the x while holding down the A button. FUN GAME!


How do i save a cutom emblem on mario kart for ds?


how do i save a custom emblem on mario kart for ds?


Hi everyone! Just so you know, I added everyone on this page on to my friend list. So here is my friend code:

Friend code: 210599-417534
Name: Soren

Everyone add me please!
P.S. Happy New Year to all!!!!!!!!!


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