As previously noted, I’ve finally gotten my hands on Mario Kart Wii and the Wii Wheel packaged alongside it. And for the most part, I’ve been rather enjoying it, though I’ve not yet ventured online.

I’ve warmed up to the Wii Wheel, and gotten better at the bikes. For the most part, the game has been a joy. I’ve actually found that I best like playing the Vs. mode, even by myself against the computer, but with the items set to “strategic,” which means the more powerful ones are rarely, if ever, in play.

And I find this immensely more enjoyable than having Flying Blue Spiny Shells crashing on my head, followed by a blast of lightning, and whatever else may follow. Now, if only Nintendo had thought to include this in the regular single player races, the Cups if you will, which just happens to be where you unlock the bulk of things (more on that another time), Nintendo might’ve had a more widely-appreciated installment. Let those who want mass-destruction have it.

I’m not totally anti-Blue Shell, however. Rather than the current one which essentially discriminates and singles out the first-place racer (and often does so once I happen to reach first), blowing them to Kingdom Come alongside anyone who was unfortunately too close, I rather favor the wingless variety seen in Mario Kart 64 and Super Circuit. It still homed in on first place, but would wreck anyone and anything that stood between the two, as well.

As it is now, the Flying variety is usually gained by someone near the back of the pack, and doesn’t even make a difference in where they are; at least the grounded version cleared a path for you. Plus, the non-flying ones weren’t so damned inescapably perfect, either. The person using it could miss, or it might be able to be deflected still. The only way to avoid a flying one is to get a speed boost right as it’s about to hit you.

Incidently, I miss custom items. Not just the ones in Double Dash!! that you could get (Fireballs for the win), but the ones in the very first Super Mario Kart; while the players could get items from the question blocks scattered about, the computer didn’t, instead relying on a limitless, unique attack to see it through. A mode or option like that might be nice to see again.

–LBD “Nytetrayn”

Originally published on Kombo.