flipping and somersaulting its way to all major regions later this month, so roughly now would be a good time to start getting excited. If you really need any further encouragement, let's see what the reviews say*:
NGamer UK -- 88%: NGamer UK claimed that not enough effort had been expended on the local multiplayer mode, that balloon battle "still stinks," but that the online modes were well-executed, and that overall Mario Kart Wii is "a really solid Mario Kart with a terrific online setup. There's plenty here to make up for the disappointment of local multiplayer, but it does stop short of magnificence."
Eurogamer -- 80%: Meanwhile, it looks like yours truly may have spoken too soon when it comes to the Wii Wheel -- according to Eurogamer, the peripheral is "ergonomically brilliant, satisfyingly solid and adorably chunky." Which is good news, considering the gimped Classic Controller and GameCube pad controls. They seemed to like the rest of the game as well: "Ultimately, the sheer sensory pleasure of playing Mario Kart Wii - from the charming animations, to the bopping tunes, to the sugar-rush boosting, to the exquisite steering - far overcomes the few concerns we have about it. It still has to be docked a mark for the awkward structure and compromised battle modes - but it's still unreservedly recommended to anyone for whom Mario Kart is a gaming cornerstone. And really, that should be everyone."
Nintendo Power -- 90%: Nintendo Power was more effusive in its praise, claiming that: "With more features, modes and multiplayer options than ever before, fans should be revved up to get behind the wheel." [May 2008, p.86 -- excerpt found at Metacritic]
* Also worth noting is Famitsu's 37/40 score, a combination of one ten, and three nines.