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Mario Kart Wii VS Donkey Kong Barrel Blast

An article by Jomingo

2 June '09

Well, every major platform series needs a racing game at some point. And it just so happens that Nintendo's two biggest platform franchises have come out with racing games on Nintendo's current system; Mario Kart Wii, and Donkey Kong Barrel Blast. But which one is better? Well that's what this feature attempts to find out, if we were to put both games head to head which one would rise above the other. Well fasten your seatbelts, and get ready for a bumpy ride. NOTE: We promise there will be no more racing puns.

. . .

Mario Kart Wii
So, the next installment of the Mario Kart franchise, on the Wii. Naturally, they called it Mario Kart Wii. But how does this one stack up to Donkey Kong Barrel Blast?
Donkey Kong Barrel Blast
Finally, a Donkey Kong racing game. We've been waiting for this since Donkey Kong Racing got cancelled. Does it deserve the relatively poor reviews given by some sites?

. . .

MKWii: Well the new Mario Kart definitely has a lot of characters. Unfortunately, there are many disappointments within the roster. Several characters seem in the completely wrong weight class, and several others don't belong in the game at all. The good news is that Funky Kong is in the game(no I'm not joking), unfortunately, Dixie Kong is nowhere to be seen.
DKBB: Donkey Kong Barrel Blast has far fewer characters than Mario Kart Wii, but these characters properly represent the series much more. With the inclusion of several characters that haven't been seen for years, this game definitely pleases the fans.
And the Winner is: Donkey Kong Barrel Blast!

MKWii: Mario Kart Wii has 16 brand new tracks, and they also have returned and updated 16 classic tracks from previous installments! Many of the new tracks are a lot of fun, even if the new DK level, DK Mountain, is nothing like a Donkey Kong level should be.
DKBB: Donkey Kong Barrel Blast also has 16 tracks. Unfortunately, many tracks recycle the same elements. For example, all four Jungle levels reuse a few of the same obstacles and track elements with only minor adjustments.
And the Winner is: Mario Kart Wii!

MKWii: Mario Kart Wii has several new items, but there really isn't anything that special. Everything has either been done before or is really cheaply used against you.
DKBB: The items in Barrel Blast are much more balanced. What's really cool about them though is that there are different items in Red and in the Blue balloons. What's unique about this is that if a Kong gets a Red item, they get a special advantage, and Blue ones are for the Kremlings. It's a nice touch to mix up the gameplay and add a little strategy.
And the Winner is: Donkey Kong Barrel Blast!

Game Modes-
MKWii: Mario Kart Wii has plenty of ways to race, but you can also play a battle mode, in which you drive around trying to attack the other team. You can also play most of the modes Online.
DKBB: Barrel Blast has very few options to play with. There is no battle mode, which is a shame. I think they really could've pulled off something really cool with this game.
And the Winner is: Mario Kart Wii!

Online Play-
MKWii: This is where Mario Kart Wii really shines. The online play is mostly great, and they have all kinds of online competitions.
DKBB: Donkey Kong Barrel Blast's online play is terrible in comparison, mostly because there is none. For shame.
And the Winner is: Mario Kart Wii!

MKWii: Mario Kart Wii's graphics aren't too impressive. It feels like a GC game. But then again, so do most games on the Wii.
DKBB: Barrel Blast's graphics aren't the best, and unfortunately, they are slightly worse than Mario Kart Wii's.
And the Winner is: Mario Kart Wii!

Innovative Gameplay-
MKWii: Mario Kart Wii certainly tries to change the Kart series up a bit, specifically by adding: 12 racers at a time, Tricks, Bikes, etc. But the gameplay really doesn't feel much different from any other kart racing game.
DKBB: Donkey Kong Barrel Blast really mixes up the kart racer formula. The Wild moves specifically separate it from the pack. That and the inclusion of the Animal Buddies/Vehicles really differentiate itself from other games of the genre.
And the Winner is: Donkey Kong Barrel Blast!

Peripheral Usage-
MKWii: The new gimmick in Mario Kart Wii is the Wii wheel control system. You just tilt the wheel whichever direction to turn, just like a steering wheel. Unfortunately, it's very difficult not to over steer or make mistakes, though their are multiple control methods besides the Wii Wheel.
DKBB: The control system in Donkey Kong Barrel Blast is way more original, and pretty fun too. It was originally made to be used with the DK bongos, and that idea has been roughly replicated using the Wii-mote and Nunchuck combo. You shake the Nunchuk to go left, Wii-mote to go right, and both to jump. Simple, right?
And the Winner is: Donkey Kong Barrel Blast!

MKWii: Mario Kart Wii has plenty of unlockable content and downloadable events. There are 11 unlockable characters (excluding Miis), and they are all pretty tough to unlock. It definitely will last you a while.
DKBB: Donkey Kong Barrel Blast has very little to do. There are 11 unlockable characters, but most of them are easy to unlock, and don't feel very rewarding. You will find that this will get pretty old, pretty fast.
And the Winner is: Mario Kart Wii!

Overall Enjoyablocity-
MKWii: Mario Kart Wii is pretty simple, and is full of characters and multiplayer modes that will keep you playing for a long time to come.
DKBB: Barrel Blast's controls work well, but do take some time to get used to. It's harder for you to just bring some friends over and play. Not only that, but the lack of modes or features makes it less enjoyable.
And the Winner is: Mario Kart Wii!

Representation of the DK Series-
MKWii: Well, the game does include Funky Kong, a new DK track, 2 old DK tracks, and a Funky Kong themed Battle stage. Unfortunately, Dixie Kong is missing in action. And DK mountain sucks.
DKBB: Donkey Kong Barrel Blast has the return of Lanky Kong, rideable Animal Buddies and Mine carts, the return of tons of enemies, and you can play as Cranky Kong. It is the definition of fan service.
And the Winner is: Donkey Kong Barrel Blast!

. . .

That about raps up our epic presentation. I can't believe I'm saying this, but Mario Kart Wii wins. That's right, I said it. Mario Kart Wii is better than Donkey Kong Barrel Blast. WHO CARES! Donkey Kong Country is still better than Super Mario World! Ugghhhhh, I'm going to go play Diddy Kong Racing, a real racing game...

- by Jomingo -

This article was written by a DKC Atlas Forum staff member. All opinions expressed within this article are those of the writer, and are not necessarily shared by DKC Atlas, or the DKC gaming community.
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