Let's make one point very clear from the onset: The Mario Kart series has thoroughly rocked our boxers since 1992. Despite some shortcomings we still have pretty high praise for Wii's latest iteration, and most fanboys agree that there currently exists no better Nintendo Wi-Fi experience. For everything Mario Kart does right, though, there always seems to be a cheaply overpowered item that renders even the most skilled racer indefensible.

So this is us venting. We have seen too many races (and online VR points) slip away on account of nasty item distribution. The series' long-standing method of reserving the best (or at least most destructive) pickups for trailing racers can be especially frustrating to those who would have otherwise earned a legitimate first place rank. Competition, in effect, is deadened by a deliberately equalized playing field. Mario Kart's algorithm for item probability is more at fault than the items themselves, but you know you've cussed out a spiny blue shell before. Now get angry with us in our new rant gallery.
It's-a Mario World is a weekly feature in which the ubiquity of Nintendo's flagship character is celebrated. Check back every Friday to find out what strange and wonderful thing has got us tipping our caps. * * * Links of the week: SMB clone revived! | Mario Tennis comes out swingin'! | Delgrego disses the Party! Get him! | New Mario and Luigi 3 screens!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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