I’ll be honest; Mario Kart 7 isn’t exactly the most original title of this year. But it is still a worthy addition to the franchise nonetheless, and an ideal title to release in the 3DS’ first year of life. The biggest new feature is the ability to customize your karts into anything you can imagine. With the use of many different bodies, wheels, and hang gliders, you can create an infinite number of combinations to perform a variety of tasks. And it’s fun to see what kinds of stylish designs you can come up with. You can unlock more parts by collecting coins, which are back for the first time since Super Mario Kart. They also included underwater and air racing, which is put to good use, and leads to very inventive tracks. There are also a few new items that are fun to use. There’s the tanooki tail which allows you to whack anything that’s in your way, such as shells, road hazards, and even other racers. Then there’s the fire flower, which you can shoot to hit racers in front or behind you. There’s also the rare lucky 7, which gives you seven random items at a time. Another new addition to the items is the blue turtle shell. Not the item itself, but now instead of directly targeting the racer in first place, it travels along the ground and takes out nearly all the racers, which helps to shake things up a bit. It also makes use of the 3DS’ gyro function, switching to a first person view and you have to turn the 3DS like a steering wheel, kind of like Mario Kart Wii. I don’t personally prefer it, but it’s a nice addition. This game isn't perfect, but with its unique design, and the best online play on the system so far, you've got hours of high speed Mario Kart action. And the online shows that Nintendo is learning from their recent mistakes and looking to improve upon themselves. I think Mario Kart 7 is a sign that we can expect great things from the 3DS, and Nintendo in general. I totally recommend picking this one up if you're a fan of the franchise.