E3 2011 Impressions: Mario Kart 3DS (Nintendo 3DS)

After the Nintendo conference, a playable build of Mario Kart 3DS was demoed outside.

It featured three tracks, with eight selectable racers (the basics). I chose Yoshi and was able to customize the cart and choose a hang glider option.

It felt like Mario Kart, but with some cool 3D effects. The graphics were about on par with the Wii/Gamecube Mario Karts, with maybe a bit less detail but the game is still early.

The first track was a Mario-Sunshine like level that allowed for high jumps and ramp pads that soars the kart over large space. The hang glider attachment pops out automatically over a high jump, turning the kart into a gliding machine that must avoid pipes, other racers and collect coins. Pressing down while in air sends the kart/glider faster to the ground, while pressing up drifts back into the air.

The second track took place half underwater, showing the other major new feature which is driving underwater. The kart reacts differently, bouncing and easing through the water, although sliding was still possible.

The final track was influenced by Donkey Kong Country Returns, and also had the ability to glide through the air.

All in all, Mario Kart 3DS seems like another great entry in the series, with 3D graphics and a few new innovative gameplay mechanics.

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