Instruction Game Mario Kart DS Manual Guide

Nintendo system, or have at least befriended somebody with one, odds are you've encountered a Mario Kart game at some point. The popular racing series, which first appeared on the Super Nintendo in 1992, lets you race your favorite Nintendo characters against each other in karts that can be armed with such devastating weapons as banana peels, opponent-seeking red shells, and opponent-shrinking lightning bolts. The series has evolved steadily with each iteration, up to and including 2003's Mario Kart: Double Dash, which retained most of its predecessors' features while introducing a new team-based mechanic that saw each cart manned by both a driver and a gunner. Mario Kart DS, then, might seem like something of a step back for the series in that it more closely resembles the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 games than the GameCube version; but, as the first game in the series to boast integrated online play, it also represents a major step forward.

The new Bullet Bill power-up is one of three new items in Mario Kart DS, all of which complement rather than detract from the existing arsenal that many of you, no doubt, know and love. So, in between dropping banana skins for opponents behind you and firing shells at opponents in front of you, you might now find yourself launching an exploding bob-omb, or releasing a blooper (one of those flying squids) that squirts ink onto the screens of every player in front of you. The effectiveness of the blooper varies depending on how the ink lands on the screen of your opponent, and also depends to a large extent on how well your opponents are able to drive while the DS's top screen is covered in black ink. Driving after being "blooped" is made much easier by the presence of a top-down view of the circuit on the lower screen, which is actually good enough that you could play the game using only that if you really wanted to. The map screen not only shows your location on the circuit, but also the locations of power-ups, traps, and opponents. A column down the left side of the screen also lets you check on the race positions and current armaments of your opponents, which often makes it well worth a look toward the latter stages of a race.

The forgiving handling of the carts makes Mario Kart DS is an incredibly easy game to pick up, but there are also plenty of advanced techniques that you can use to give yourself an edge. Drifting around corners, for example, lets you negotiate even the tightest of hairpins without decreasing your speed, and if you repeatedly move the D pad left and right while drifting, it's even possible to gain a boost of speed by inducing a miniturbo. Timing your start perfectly will also give you a high-speed advantage off the line, and you can also gain a significant boost by drafting (tucking up behind) opponents who are beating you.

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