Picture the scene: the year is 2008 and you, a massive Nintendo fan, are gearing up for the next instalment in the Mario Kart series after the incredible online experience of Mario Kart DS and having poured many, many hours into the former home console endeavours on Mario Kart: Double Dash!! But something is different this time. Instead of playing the game with the conventional analogue stick and button inputs, you whack your Wii Remote into a white plastic wheel and swerve around the track by actually steering.
Mario Kart Wii turns 15 today and, for many of us, these controls are still looked back on fondly. Playing Mario Kart with motion controls felt like groundbreaking stuff back in 2008. No longer were we simply playing a driving game, we were actually driving. Collectively, we gripped the wheel at ten and two, leant into corners while sitting in our armchairs, and made every jump count by swiftly lifting the controller in the air in mimicry of the on-screen takeoff. It was brilliant.
Even if you didn’t put the controller in the wheel itself (which many copies of the game came with), there was still a certain level of fun to be had. You could feel like a fancy F1 driver with one of those tiny little steering wheels that they use. Well, okay, an anthropomorphised dinosaur gliding around a shiny shopping centre might not be quite the same as driving around Silverstone at 150mph, but you get the picture.
Of course, this was not the control scheme for everyone. While to some the Wii Wheel was the closest we would ever come to driving Rainbow Road IRL, to others the tilt controls were nothing more than a gimmick, preferring the old-school analogue methods for more precision.
Mario Kart Wii, being the great game that it is, catered to exactly this. You can use the Wii Remote and Nunchuck controls if you wanted a more authentic Wii button experience, or there’s the Classic Controller / GameCube Controller for those Double Dash aficionados out there.
And that is how we arrive at the central question: what control scheme did you use for Mario Kart Wii? A quick ask around Nintendo Life Towers seemed to lean heavily in the favour of the tilt/motion method, but with multiple methods available, we’re curious to know whether we are alone in our admiration of the glorious gimmick.
On top of this, we’re wondering how many people carried over their preferred method from the Wii to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe today. Sure, tilt controls are still an option on the Switch, but with a Pro Controller that smooth, is anyone really using it with the comparatively tiny Joy-Cons?
You can fill out the following polls to have your say. Three… two (accelerate)… one… Go!
What are your favourite memories of Mario Kart Wii? Steer down to the comments and let us know.