Technology and the occasional justified rant


A sore thumb

While I was away, ‘Mario Kart’ for the Wii arrived. I’ve always been grateful that no-one except our neighbours could possibly see into our games room – the sight of a man holding a white plastic thing as someone would hold a baseball bat, or waving it around like a tennis racquet, must look a bit strange. We don’t get passers-by in our remote corner of Camberley, but if we did they now might see a man holding a white plastic steering wheel… and a small blonde girl telling him it’s only a game. That’s easy for her to say, she won’t be suffering peer-pressure from her brother-in-law.

Unlike ‘Wii Sports’ and ‘Mario & Sonic at the Olympics’, ‘Mario Kart’ doesn’t demand that you get off the sofa… so I’ve felt a bit of a couch potato today. But that aside, this is a great game. The steering wheel approach (the Wii controller just snaps in) works really well and is very responsive. The sore thumb comes from having to hold down the ‘2’ button in order to accelerate and keep the speed going. The button on the back of the controller is used for braking, but let’s face it, slowing down is for pansies.

The really nice feature about this new version (compared to the GameCube version) is the on-line competitive driving – I had a few goes today (the wife would say that’s an understatement), racing against opponents from France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland and Germany (obviously the people of Denmark and Norway have better things to do). It’s very easy to set up, assuming your Wii is connected to the Interweb. You can also do a world-wide game, but I bet there’s thousands of American kids who are already experts and will wipe the floor with me – I have been holding my own against my European rivals I’ll have you know.

You can also set up races against your registered friends (assuming you have any) – Choddo also has the game, and has set me up as a friend to race against. If anyone else I know wants to do the same, let me know.

…works for Microsoft as a Global Account Technology Strategist. In a former life he worked for the Lotus brand within IBM for many years. Married with one daughter and two dogs, lives in Camberley (Surrey, England), plays the guitar to a mediocre standard, and runs 10 kms and half marathons at an average speed. That’s it really.


Darren Adams • 13 April 2008

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  1. Ports 14 April 2008 - 10:47 pm Reply

    Linking to eh ? In my experience frequently a display of hope over experience. He has clearly not embraced clustering πŸ˜‰

  2. Darren 14 April 2008 - 11:47 pm Reply

    True enough, and even when it is up and running the content is covered with a thick layer of dust. But he’s famlee, and we gotta stick togetha and watch aht for eachuva.

    By the way, I have now lost all feeling in the tip of my right thumb.

  3. Tony C 15 April 2008 - 8:40 am Reply

    be joining u soon and the call of the Wii can no longer be ignored.

  4. Steve 15 April 2008 - 11:10 am Reply

    Darren, you may be pleased to hear that you may have an online advantage against the american kids. This is mainly because Wii Mario Kart isn’t released here until the 27th April.
    However, soon after that, you may get your butt handed to you by an 8 year old in Omaha, Nebraska. πŸ˜‰

  5. Darren 15 April 2008 - 1:25 pm Reply

    Steve – ah, that’s why when I tried a worldwide game it just gave me opponents from Europe.

    Aren’t people in Nebraska too busy playing the banjo on their veranda?

  6. Stu 17 April 2008 - 3:30 pm Reply

    8 players the other night was hilarious, skypeing with jwlyie, tedwardo, and choldley was just a hoot – laughing at every corner and red shell nighmare!

    I suspect the 12 player max will be hit soon.

  7. Darren 17 April 2008 - 9:32 pm Reply

    I wondered if you were Skyping – I decided it would have been too much technology. I can imagine the conversation as I led all the way round one track and then was twatted 2 inches from the finish line and had to watch everyone pass me. On the other hand, on another track I was last, got Billy the Bullet just in time and overtook everyone … and won the whole Grand Prix. Maybe the luck balances up sometimes.

    One other thing… I hate the Rainbow Road. It doesn’t suit my style of play. I keep falling off.

  8. Ports 22 April 2008 - 7:10 pm Reply

    I popped into Comet on the way home and I am now Karted up. Please send me the list of licences so I can start opening a can of Mario Whoop Ass.

  9. Darren 22 April 2008 - 9:00 pm Reply

    We’ll be glad to welcome you to the Kart Klub, although I fear your confidence may be a little previous. Eat my pixelated dust.

  10. Roberto Boccadoro 24 April 2008 - 9:33 am Reply

    Ciao Daz
    I just bought Mario Kart for my son. Let’s go back in time πŸ™‚ You know what I mean… πŸ˜‰
    Guess you and Rob will kick my butt, but it should be fun anyway, and eventually I will have my son play for me and beat you πŸ˜€

  11. Darren 24 April 2008 - 2:15 pm Reply

    Hi Rob… I’ll send you the Mario Kart codes for the guys later.

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