Looking back, there's an argument to be made that Mario Kart 64 was my first true multiplayer gaming obsession, more so than even Goldeneye 64. It was so much more fun to race against my friends than it was to race against the (frustrating, rubber banding) computer—the idea of online Mario Kart hadn't even crossed my mind.

Nintendo's Mario Kart 7, which releases this Sunday for the 3DS handheld system, is by the nature of its platform less of a party game than its console predecessors. Unless you have a bunch of friends with 3DSes, it's not as easy to get everyone together into a room to race. Fortunately, Nintendo has made finding online multiplayer matches a painless exercise. I made this video to demonstrate some of Mario Kart 7's easy-to-use online multiplayer features.

I've been playing multiplayer games with Kart racers around the world for the past few days, and I've only had a couple of connection problems. (In the video, I do my best to hold my arms steady, so sorry it's a little unsteady—I had to hold the thing at a weird angle!) I do get stuck watching an in-progress game for about a minute and a half, which I edited around. That's only happened a few times—generally, I'll come in towards the end of a race and will only have to wait a few moments.

Mario Kart 7 is the first 3DS game that I've wanted to play online, and it's heartening to see that so far, Nintendo's servers appear to be up to the task of handling it. Better still, the game makes it very easy to hop online and play. Players like me who long for multiplayer but whose friends don't all have 3DSes will still have plenty of folks to race against, and the game's many maps and modes won't get old anytime soon.


You can contact Kirk Hamilton, the author of this post, at kirk@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.