The 'Shroom:Issue LXV/MK:WTC
Well, well, well... Welcome to MY LAIR! - ahem, to the Mario Kart: Wheel Tips Corner! A monthly section dedicated to tell you tips about all the Mario Kart games.
Today we shall talk about an item that made several appearances in the Mario franchise. Someone would guess why Nintendo did not think of putting it as a power-up in the racing series. Just see, if you use one of these, it shakes everything on the screen and everyone falls over like domino pieces. That item I'm telling you is the POW Block.
The powerful POW Block finally has made it as an item into the racing games, making its debut in Mario Kart Wii - so far the only Mario Kart game that it appears in. It is one of the three brand new items that appeared in Mario Kart Wii (the others being the Mega Mushroom and... the Lightning Cloud). It is an item that can be obtained from an Item Box, usually from 3rd or any other lower place - except 12th. The item is kinda rare to obtain, though. Once obtained the player just has to activate the item to work its effects. A small signal of the POW Block appears over the player and all his or her opponents that are ahead. The signal of the block flattens three times gradually, shaking the ground a bit. After the third and last strike, the signal vanishes and makes all the opponents spin out of control as if they were hit by a banana, although the spin lasts longer, as racers spin twice (more like a Lightning) and as result they slow down drastically, unable to accelerate after that. Also, all the victims drop all of their items onto the road.
For the targets of a POW Block, there are some ways to resist, or at least avoid the effects of the item. The POW block only works on vehicles that are on the ground, therefore, the block has no effect on a victim that is in midair when the third strike goes off. For racers on the ground, it's very hard to avoid if you're not using an item like a Star, a Mega Mushroom or a Bullet Bill to undo the quake. However, if you don't have one of these items you can do the next trick: Once the third strike comes, try to do a wheelie when using a Bike or shake the Wii Remote (or the buttons of the Classic Controller or GameCube controller to perform tricks). If done correctly, the player will drop their items and spin just once instead of twice, retaining the momentum and avoid decceleration caused by the double spin that way. There are other, less conventional ways to avoid the effects of the item but the success of doing them is very hard to get. Its possible to simply press the button to make the vehicle hop over the third strike, completely avoiding the shake: No spin, no speed loss, no items dropped. However, it requires perfect timing to do this, and works best on uneven paths. The other way is to get hit by an item that makes you flip over, like a Green Shell, right before the third strike comes. Obviously this is the last thing you wanna do if you can't find any other solution to evade the block.
The POW Block is simple to use, and funny sometimes, but remember that you cannot control the action of the item once you've activated it. The block acts automatically. The POW Block can be used specially when your opponents are trying to get big jumps over gaps, or when they are taking a corner, but you will need to predict your moves and the POW Block's actions in order to make the third hit take the rival right in those situations and by surprise. Also, you must be careful once you've used the POW Block. The items dropped by your opponents on the track can be both useful or dangerous.
The POW Block is also available in Battle Mode with slight differences in function. If the item is deployed by a member of a team, all the racers of the rival team will see the signal and get then the shake. In Balloon Battle, the POW Block only serves to slow down the opponents and drop their items but they don't take away any balloons from them. In Coin Battle they do the same thing but they are able to drop the coins from all the opponents.
Well, that's all the tips for today Shy Guys. See You next time with another tip in the Mario Kart Wheel Tips Corner.