It's fair to say that we've been hooked on Mario Kart longer than is right. As soon as Mario Kart 64 landed on Wii's Virtual Console we downloaded and played it every single lunchtime (and after work) until we got the Wii version last week.
Part of Team CVG was worried we'd play the new game for a few days before reverting back to our old N64 habits. The other bit couldn't bare that thought that that actually might happen.
Needless to say, it was a tense first session on the Wii version. Lots of looks at each other over the easier handling mechanic. Eyebrows raised over fake power-ups not blocking incoming shells. The cheesiness of the stunts. And then the unthinkable. Someone (bloody Andy) went and picked a bike. The peace was about to be shattered.
Almost a week later and we're proud to say that we DO like change and we WON'T be going back to play Mario Kart 64 anytime soon. But shall we ban bikes from office sessions?
Here's a quick look at the raging office debate. Note: corporate office pics attached for added comedy value (they make us do it).
Gavin Ogden: The clue's in the title and it's not called Mario Bike. Yes, I've played the 100cc class in the single player game and I felt dirty the whole way through it. A bit like when you had to play as the Arbiter in Halo 2.
On a straight with no power-ups or boosts (so quite a few home straights then) the bikes and their wheelie option are just too unfair to play as or against. If you're in a kart there's nothing you can do about it. Don't get me wrong, I can use the bikes just like the karts (and win) but it doesn't feel right, or fair, against people playing properly in karts. Dare I say it's like cheating? Hell yeah!
Was all about Halo 3 (now plays Mario Kart exclusively at home)
Mike Jackson: I spend hours of my life perfecting my lap times around a course in the Time Trial mode (because I'm a total geek), only to find that the top times in the world are being set by people using bikes with ridiculous turning ability.
There are certain bikes in the game that have superior powersliding properties. They don't obey the same physical laws as the other vehicles in the game. It's like they have super tyres with infinite amounts of grip. Imagine the advantage they have in multiplayer games. That's not Mario Kart. That's unbalanced. No satisfying sideways powerslides - no play. Ex-Nintendo fanboy (but current Mario Kart Wii fanboy)
Andy Robinson: At first, the idea of playing Mario Kart with bikes was about as appealing as sticking my special bits in a bees nest (as you can see from this feature I wrote before launch). But, admittedly, I've completely turned around on the two-wheelers.
They handle great, you don't have to power-slide for ten minutes to get around a corner, and you can snatch back the lead at the last second with a cheeky wheelie on the finish line.
Kart players are clearly not up to par with the bikers at the moment (just look at the fastest times online) and lapping the other players like a 16-year-old on a scooter just isn't that fun. For that reason, we've banned them from our lunchtime sessions - but they're still a great addition to the Mario Kart roster. Massive gloater (but deep down he knows we're right)
Chris Hicks: As the 'it's Mario Kart not Mario Bike' and 'the handling is unfair' arguments have already gone (like Diddy Kong in the character select screen when I get there) I'm going to rant on how they look; rubbish!