Sure, you’ve gone and bought the Mario Kart Wii Guide, and you’ve figured out the craziest shortcuts for all 32 tracks thanks to the guide’s officially-approved content. You may have also memorized the dozens of tips scattered throughout the strategy guide to help you speed to pole position, or dodge the deadly Blue Shell. But have you driven each course to distraction, and put together a top ten list of tips when you should be writing a guide to Spore? I have, and here goes:
1. Maple Treeway: Everyone knows there’s a shortcut to the right, just after the start. But have you used this to your advantage in online games? Get the Turbo start, then skid through the gap in the fence. When you reach the Item Boxes, you’ll be in last place, and snag a really cool (and powerful) item. Then, as you rejoin at the barrel cannon, you’ll be in first or second position; but with an item you’d usually have at the back of the pack!
2. Turbo Drop: You should already have figured out how to begin every course with a Turbo start (and wheelie if you’re a biker). But make sure you also Turbo after Lakitu drops you back on the track after you fall off. Press Accelerate just before you’re dropped, and you instantly boost back up to speed.
3. Online Course Selection: When you’re choosing a track, don’t pick the “?”; choose the course you’re best at, as this is better than letting your rivals pick the track!
4. Online Course Selection #2: We haven’t checked this as a fact yet, but it appears to work some of the time: When the cursor cycles through each player’s course selection, tap the Accelerate precisely at the time your chosen track is highlighted; there’s a better chance your track is selected; but you’ll need lightning-fast reactions!
5. Points Stealing: Are you playing with a “whale” (a player with a massive points total in the 7000s, 8000s, or 9000s range)? Do you need some masses of points, and quickly? Then choose the shorter, compact tracks like Luigi Circuit. It literally doesn’t matter if you’re an insanely good, or simply moderate gamer; this track favors the newbie, as a veteran can’t get too far ahead.
Luigi Circuit: Victory is more luck than skill-based.
6. Points Keeping: Conversely, if you’ve gathered points up, and don’t want to lose loads of them, make sure your track is long, and features numerous corners, like the GBA or N64 Bowser Castle stages. Yes, you’ll be struck by Blue Shells, but if you speed around corners with expertise, those newbs will never catch you!
N64: Bowser’s Castle: Victory = crazed cornering, and mad skills!
7. Ultimate Defense: When you’re in the lead, you’re the target of shells from the scrubs behind you. So, make sure you keep a Banana or Shell on you, and when you hear the Wiimote alarm of an incoming attack, keep your item behind you, but don’t let it go; let the attacker’s item hit it, while you concentrate on the cornering!
8. Ultimate Defense #2: The second plan to maintain a lead is to utilize as many items as possible. Between the set of Item Boxes you just passed through, and the set you’re approaching, figure out the best place to leave the item you picked up; usually around a blind corner or in among the Item Boxes.
9. POW Player: The bane of your existence is the POW Block and the Blue Shell, and it’s very tricky to avoid them. However, if you can be in the air when a POW Block detonates, you won’t lose speed; so drive up a ramp, or “bounce” just at the right time!
10. Blue Shell Avoidance: You can’t, most of the time. However, if you’re in the lead, cycle through items, until you’re given a Mushroom. This is the only way to outfox a blue shell; make a Mushroom Turbo the millisecond before the Blue Shell dives into your vehicle, and you’ll avoid it. This works infrequently, but it can make the difference between 1st and last!
Next week: We complete our Mario Kart Wii blog with the third and final part of our visit to Nintendo.