Mario Kart Wii Choosinator!

Hey there, race fans! As you all know (or at least should know), Mario Kart Wii is the most awesomest video game ever made. One of the difficulties, however, of trying to shave a few thousandths of a second off of your time trial, or of trying to beat your 10-year-old son, is knowing what is the best kart (or bike) to use (for your particular driving style, and the peculiarities of the course you want to run)? Indeed, which character to drive it, as each gives a subtle boost to some of the vehicle’s innate characteristics, in their own character-specific way.

To try to take some of the black magic out of the kart/character-choosing process, I created a spreadsheet. For the raw data, I am indebted to some other Nintendophile who goes by the handle of ‘ark42’, and who painstakingly gathered these tables. (I can only imagine that he grabbed screenshots like this one of all possible character/vehicle combinations, and measured the pixels in every yellow bar!)

As great as that resource is, I wanted more. So I perled up a spreadsheet that computes the character-boosted stats for each character/vehicle combination, and put some weighting in there to compute a single final SCORE. This way, a player can enter weights that reflect how relatively important he thinks various characteristics are, the SCOREs will recompute, and all of the data can be re-sorted to find out what are the recommended options.

I made a version of the spreadsheet available as a public Google Doc. Click on this link to view it, go to menu item File/Make a copy… and you can have your own copy of the spreadsheet that you can type weightings into. The Google Doc is set up to automatically re-sort whenever the weights are changed. It’s a nice idea, but VERY slow. (Also, there seems to be a bug with Google Spreadsheet at the moment, that when you click on a cell, it actually selects the adjacent cell. You should be able to navigate correctly with arrow keys though)

Another option (and probably preferable given the slowness of the Google doc autosorting), is you could File/Download As… Excel (or OpenOffice), and tweak it for yourself.

So the first lesson is, it takes a LOT of weight on Speed to get the Quacker out of the top spot (I leave the spreadsheet in its “neutral”, equally-weighted state). You should play around with the weights until you start to see vehicles you know to be good come near the top. Maybe for fun, you could try to figure out what weights are necessary to get your favorite combination at the actual top of the list. But when you figure out how hard that is, maybe you can take a look at some of the other options that keep turning up ahead of your preferred combination, and give it a try.

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3 Responses

  1. You have *got* to try Mario Kart DS! Much more technical and fiddly, and ridiculously compelling.

  2. Oh, and have you got Kororinpa? It’s what the Wii was made for.

  3. Hey limey!

    No, we don’t have a DS. If we did, then nothing would ever get done around here. But half of the MK Wii courses are “retro” (from other systems), and some of the them are DS, some of my favorites, like Delfino Square and Peach Gardens.

    And no, we don’t have Kororinpa. Looks pretty interesting. I do enjoy the Table Tilt games in Wii Fit, when you have to do that kind of thing with your feet (body) on the balance board.

    Actually, the game I think the Wii was “made for”, is Boom Blox (and its sequel, Bash Party). And Sports Resort is pretty awesome. Disc golf, archery, swordplay…

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