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Super Mario Kart (SNES)

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8 Reviews

This driving game for up to two players (simultaneously) was developed and published by Nintendo.

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    8 Reviews
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      22.09.2012 01:43

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      The original and best Mario Kart to be released

      Super Mario Kart is simply one of the most playable games of all time. A true pick up and play classic which I have been revisiting again and again for the past 20 years. Modern gaming consoles and games may have more spectacular graphics, sound and depth, but there is something special about the original Mario Kart that means I will still be playing this game for the the next 20 years. This is a must have game for anyone wanting to start or add to their SNES collection.

      There is a choice of eight characters, broadly divided into four categories of driving style from easy to handle with low top speed (Toad), to poor handling with high top speed (Donkey Kong) and everything in between (Mario). There are four cups to play in grand prix mode which become increasingly challenging, with the infamous Rainbow Road the final track to conquer. There are also three speeds from 50cc to 150cc to contend with, which also increases the level of difficulty. There are various novel powerups to help and hinder you along the way including red shells, which hone in on you nearest opponent causing them to go into a spin, to a lightning bolt which shrinks all your opponents into an easy to run over size (coincidentally you only get this powerup are not doing so well in the race!). There is a time trial mode where you can set course records and lap times, which is very addictive to play as you attempt to beat the ghost of your previous best time.

      The two player mode is fantastic. I had a group of friend round but a week ago and we spent most of the night playing Mario Kart on 2 player. The grand prix mode is available, or there is a battle mode where you have to collect powerups in order to burst your opponents 3 baloons, which adds another fun dimesion to the game.

      The controls are smooth and although it the game is very easy for anyone to pick up and play, it is a very difficult game to master.

      This is undoubtebly a five star game, even by today's high gaming standards. I would not be without it in my Super Nintendo Collection.

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      04.09.2011 22:38
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      As the largest selling title on the SNES Super Mario Kart is a solid classic.

      The Super Nintendo was where my childhood gaming addiction started, before then I had access to other games platforms but none grabbed me as much as the SNES. I had many favourites back in the day but one that stands out strong is the original Super Mario Kart.

      It seems common place now to have game characters star in other spin off games, such as sports or beat-em ups, however back then you would never have dreamed of it. So imagine you are a six year old boy who loves the Mario games and you suddenly are presented with a game where they are all placed in super fast go-karts, it is a kids dream come true.

      This is not saying that the game is only appealing to kids. While it is presented in bright colours and all of its its protagonists are all cute characters, the game is highly addictive and presents some of the deepest game play and strategy that was offered on the SNES.

      Mario Kart sold over eight million copies worldwide and held the title of Nintendos highest selling game on the SNES.

      The game allows you to play one of eight characters from the Mario Brothers universe, each one possessing slightly different abilities. You can either race against the computer or go head to head with up to three friends via a split screen mode, racing or duking it out in a battle arena, where players fire various objects at each other.

      Like most games of it's time, Super Mario Kart is a hard game to master. In order to pass the 150cc cup against the computer one must learn all the short cuts, techniques and player attributes. You have to learn how to powerslide and when to jump, the best time to use those red shells. After many hours of investment, you will find yourself skimming water and pulling off feats you thought were impossible, only to still be beaten by the computer.

      The graphics in Super Mario Kart are by todays standards dated, however they are probably the best example of Mode-7 on the SNES. Despite all of the sprites on the screen and the frenetic action the graphics all stay nice and smooth, without flicking or clipping out. The racers are animated wonderfully and have a nice amount of expression, when dazed or victorious they pull rather amusing faces. But the main draw of the game graphically is the rich race tracks, their hazards and backgrounds. From the cactus like enemies, to the thomps and the amazing but harsh Rainbow Road, the graphics are simply superb and are some of the best the SNES had to offer.

      Like all classic Nintendo games, Mario Karts sound was amazing and well thought out. The audio in conjunction with the various sound effects all make the games atmosphere complete. The background music is in part revamped versions of existing Nintendo music and part new creations, yet they are all distinctive and crisp in their own right. No matter how relaxing the track may be when the final lap begins the music speeds up, suddenly making the game far more intense. Whether it is the background music, the coin sound effects or hearing the triumphant cries of the characters you can hear the quality of the audio. So clear is the audio that it is always possible to distinguish one characters yell from another even if they are not on screen.

      To most kids nowadays all of this will seem like old hat, yet it was Super Mario Kart was what layed down all of the foundations that modern novelty racers build upon. Others may see the features offered as mundane or boring, yet still to this day if you pick up a controller and give it a spin, it retains the same addiction and charm as it offered back then. There is a reason that this game sold eight million copies world wide and that is due to the games innovation and charm.

      While there is no need to go out and get a copy as the newer versions of Mario Kart do the same thing, Super Mario Kart is an important piece of not only Nintendo's history, but of gaming history in general.


      This review will also feature on my blog here: http://retrokingdom.blogspot.com/ in some form or another.

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      28.05.2010 02:31

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      What can I say you will have this game, I have for a long time

      This is the Mario Kart that started them all, the grandaddy of you will. Released in 1992 it was instant hit. The plot is simple you race classic Nintendo characters around various different tracks against each other. It was really well it is so easy to pick this game up for a quick five min play and still be at it hours later, it has that rare thing in the game world the "just one more game" appeal. In this version it is one or two player, in the later ones such as the N64 version it was up to 4 players racing at any one time on the screen. Even today this game looks and plays great, it is a classic game that is played on a classic system with so many A1 titles on it. This really is a must have for anyone, you do not have to be any good at racing games to love this one.

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      03.03.2010 12:11
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      The first ever super mario kart game still oozes brillance to this day.

      Super mario kart was released for the super nintendo (snes) in August 1992, and was the first mario kart game to be released. Super mario kart was a huge success thanks to a lot of things really: the iconic characters, the items you could obtain to either blast your opponent out the way or help your kart in some other way,the different cups,the maps,the music, the mutiplayer, yes basically everything was a complete success story.

      GAMEPLAY
      ---------------------------
      In super mario kart you have a choice over eight iconic characters they are:
      Mario
      Luigi
      Toad
      Yoshi
      Bowser
      Donkey Kong Jr
      Princess Toadstool (A.K.A Peach)
      Koopa Troopa
      Each character plays a bit differently so the lighter characters like toad have great acceleration but not a good top speed. Where as heavier characters such as Bowser have bad acceleration but a good overall top speed. And also characters who are medium in weight are just balanced they don't excel at any particular skill they are just ok at top speed and acceleration.

      Once you have choosen your racer you then have to pick a cup to compete in,
      Mushroom cup (Easy racing tracks)
      Flower cup (Medium racing tracks)
      Star cup (Hard racing tracks)
      Each cup contains five racing tracks to race on. Of course the overall objective is to come in first place, the more closer to first place you come the more points you will recieve. However if you finish in fith place or below you will be "Ranked out" and will be forced to race the track again you must come in fourth place or higher to progress to the next track in the cup. You never know if you manage to win the gold in all the cups...........you never know they could be something else waiting at the end.

      Also in super mario kart not only do the maps represent how hard the race will be, you will also have to choose wether you want your kart to be fitted with a:
      50CC engine (Easy)
      100CC engine (Medium)
      150CC (Hard)
      The higher the engine power the faster the karts will go which makes it more difficult to play (it may sound better having more engine power so you can go faster put trust me it is harder!)

      The thing that makes mario kart different to other racers (besides the fact this is the only racing game where you will find a turtle racing against a plumber!) Is the fact you can obtain items which help you in someway to get you back into first place or to keep you there! There are all sorts of items you can obtain some make slip up on the track once you drive over them, some can blast over racers out the way and even one item can make invincible! (I won't name the items you can have the joy on finding them out for yourself)

      In super mario kart you can even have time trials you can set on each track. And once you set a record for the specific track you will have a ghost on that track and the ghost is there so when anybody else wants to challenge your race time they can see the ghost of the character you choose to set the time and race against it to make sure they have to beat that ghost in order to set a new record time on that track.

      Then theres mutiplayer the best mode in super mario kart, the mutiplayer mode allows you to play with a friend either on the grand prix mode (which is racing in all the cups I listed earlier) or my favourite mode which is battle. Battle mode is when each player picks there racer and a course to play on, and once they have done that each player has three lives the object of the game is to defeat the other player of their three lives whilst guarding your own. It is a really fun mode and adactive too!

      OVERALL
      ----------------
      Super mario kart is a wonderful game with the modes avaliable, the characters, the way you can use the items so just because you in eighth place in the final lap doesn't mean your going to end up there, and even the music is great. If you have a snes you most own this game especially if you have a second controller and a friend to play with, super mario kart is a must have!!

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      08.02.2010 20:32
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      The best Mario Kart

      I've been a fan of the Mario Kart series of games ever since its inception on the Super Nintendo in 1992 but for all the newer, better looking, feature filled updates nothing has come close to knocking the original off its pedestal in my opinion.

      The formula here is perfect and has gone on to inspire many other very good Mario Kart titles as well as a raft of less accomplished games on rival systems for almost twenty years now. It's the single-player side of things that cements its position for me, in a genre which is famously multiplayer-centric to coin a new phrase.

      Super Mario Kart can only boast a multiplayer offering for up to two players which can sound disappointing when pitted against modern offerings where twelve player online races are the order of the day but it's in the single player mode where newer games can't match up.

      It's partly down to the technical limitations of the Super NES that Mario Kart's tracks are very short and twisty incarnations but this makes for very closely fought races between the computer controlled opponents and a friend as the smaller racing space means there's always a challenge around the next corner with eight karters competing for first place.

      For a game which can look childish to the uninitiated, there's an awful lot of depth here for the lone driver. As in all Mario Kart games, the original gives you the option of three different speeds; 50, 100 and 150ccs which also affects the difficulty of the A.I. opponents and seems to make them more vengeful should you green shell one in to a corner but that might have been me developing a complex.

      It is these weapons or power-ups which makes Mario Kart what it is and distinguishes it from other racing games. These power-ups are gained by driving over yellow prize squares on the track to give you a random upgrade from a mushroom which gives you a temporary speed boost to the all powerful red shell which is basically a homing missile and the best thing to have if you're in second place on the last lap. The power-ups are beautifully balanced with the better ones awarded for the lower ranked driver which helps to keep races close.

      There are eight different drivers available here and they can be neatly divided into four groups of karters. Mario and Luigi are great all rounders, Peach and Yoshi are great accelerators, Bowser and Donkey Kong JR have a great top speed and Toad and Koopa Troopa are great handlers.

      I've tried all the different drivers but always seem to use Koopa Troopa who for years I'd called Mr Peanut Head and he's an easy competitor to master. Bowser and DK JR or the 'hefties' as I call them are probably the best racers in more capable hands but they are much slower to recover from a tactical use of a banana skin or a backwards propelled green shell.

      Away from the racing the game pioneered competitive time trials, which, thanks to a battery back-up facility built into the cartridge recorded and saved your best lap and race times and this mode is a great testbed for the serious, competitive karter. As a teenager i've got fond memories of painting an eggcup gold and exchanging it between myself and a friend based on our triumphs in Super Mario Kart..

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        17.02.2003 15:24
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        Its been years since I got my SNES for my birthday. I couldn't wait to play on it. There was only one reason why I wanted a SNES and that reason is Mario Kart. I had played Mario Kart for the first time on one of my friends computers and I personally thought it was one of the best games I've ever played. I would go round to my mates house everyday just so I could play on Mario Kart. I've never wanted a computer just so I could play on one game but that all changed after I had experienced the arcade thrill that is Mario Kart. The game features many popular characters found in other games on the nintendo systems such as Mario, Luigi, Kooper, Bowser, Princess, Yoshi, Donkey Kong and Toad. There are three game modes to choose from. Mario Kart GP ---------------- This mode is basically a Grand Prix of all eight drivers battling it out to gain points by winning races over various tracks. The level of difficulty of the game varies depending on which GP you enter and the speed of the karts you are racing in. To start with there are only three to choose from: Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup and Star Cup. There are two varying speeds too: 50cc and 100cc karts. If you are good enough and you manage to come first in all three cups at 50cc level and then come first in all three cups at 100cc level you will open up the hidden GP, Special Cup AND an extra speed of kart: 150cc. The tracks that you compete on might look familiar even if you've never played the game before. They have that Mario World look and feel about them. Of course, the game isn't just about accelerating around a track...its about accelerating around a track whilst trying to knock your opponents off the screen and dodging various obstacles and collecting various bonuses. Around every track there are question marks lying on the ground that you can drive over and collect. Once you have collected a question mark items will start flashing in a little b ox on your screen. You can stop the items flashing and you will be given a bonus. There are many bonuses that you can get including: Coins - the more coins you get the faster your kart will go. Green Shells - these can be laid on the track and hopefully your opponents will run into them knocking themselves clean off the track losing a lot of time and saving you from being defeated. You can also fire them so that they fly along the ground around the track until they hit something or someone. Red Shells - these can only be fired and are basically homing missiles. They home in on the driver one position in front of you. Feather - this can be used to leap your kart high into the air. Useful for taking shortcuts by jumping over parts of the track and for dodging enemy fire. Ghosts - these only appear if you are having a two player GP or in Battle Mode (explained later). When used you steal the enemies item. Star - this makes you invincible and gives you mega speed for a short time. If anyone touches you their kart spins allowing you to get way ahead. Lightning - the ultimate item. Usually, you only get this if you are doing terrible. It makes all competitors tiny and slow, you can squash them if you drive over them :) Computer players do not pick up question marks, instead they have their own weapons that they use whenever they want. The weapons each character has varies depending on which character they are. For example, Toad throws toadstools at you. If you hit one then you become small and slow for a short time (the same effect as lightning). There aren't just question marks on the levels, there are also other goodies (and baddies). You can get quick bursts of speed by going over the speed signs on the tracks. You can get hit by little black things (don't know what they are) running around the track. You can slip on ice, fall in water and disappear into blackness. Each character in the game has diff
        er ent strengths. Yoshi for example has quick acceleration, so does Princess. Toad is pretty good at everything, Bowser can easily knock people off the track. I personally use Kooper Trooper, he's like Toad. The level locations include Bowsers castle with lava and stone, Donoght Plains with sand and grass, Ghost Valley with (amazingly) ghosts and lots of holes and other various locations. Points are as follows: For winning, 9 points, second gets 6 points, third gets 3 points and fourth gets 1 point. Each GP consists of 5 races. Time Trial ------------ Basically, this is where you race around the tracks (just you and noone else) trying to get the best time you can. If you pull off a good race (not falling too much) then the next time you race around the track you will be racing your ghost. This will push you to do better. The ghost will not be there if you leave the track and then come back to it again. If you manage to get to Special Cup in Mario Kart GP then you will also be able to Time Trial on the Special Cup tracks. Battle Mode -------------- This is only available in two player and features yourself and someone else battling it out using items from question marks on the tracks. The tracks you battle on here aren't the same as the ones you race on. There are only four available tracks in battle mode specifically designed for battling. The idea of battle mode is to use items to burst the balloons that circle your opponents car while you randomly race around the tracks available. It takes quite a bit of skill to dodge the red shells but it can be done. Once you have burst all three balloons on your opponents kart you win. Summary ----------- Mario Kart is an awesome arcade driving game with nice graphics that will provide anybody with years of fun. I still play it a lot and I've had it for years now. Its an addictive game that will keep you comi
        ng back for more and the great thing is that it will be really cheap to purchase now since the game and console are old now.

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          06.07.2001 01:24
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          I remember I few years’ back, when I was a likle boy, pleading with my dad to get me Mario Kart. Not known to me it wasn’t out yet! But he performed; don’t ask me how he did it. But he got me the American Mario Kart and a converter. Yippee! I got down to it straight away. What a game! The basic concept is as most racing games; Win the races to gain point, the driver with the most points after 5 GP's wins. Simple. The game has 3 worlds each with 5 grand prix in. For every time you win you get 9 points, second 6 points and so on. The game also has 2(ish) difficultly levels. 50cc, which is supposed to be easy. And 100cc that is supposed to be harder. But after you have completed all 3 worlds and both difficulty setting. A fourth world and an extra difficulty setting will become available. The graphics for this game are brilliant. Remembering this is for a Super Nintendo. They were by far the best for any racing game out at that time. As the game is a Mario, the game is all bright and cheerful. The multi-player for this game is great. You can either have a race or series of races. Just as most Racing games have. Or you can have a battle mode (by personal favorite!) There great fun. The basic concept is that you play inside a maze (sort off) and you drive around trying to run over the question mark boxes on the floor. When you successfully run over one, and then get a weapon from a selection. The weapons are accessible through all the races and grand prix, but they have more of a meaning in the battle mode. Weapons range from the speed increasing mushrooms, to shells that follow your opponent. This game is great if you still have a SNES, and do not own this game I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it!

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            23.04.2001 09:38
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            While many people feel that this game has been improved by Mario Kart 64 on the N64 I personally think that the original game is actually much more fun, especially when it was launched. It's a racing game, but with a difference, rather than just racing cars around a track that aims to promote some sort of realism you instead drive popular nintendo characters around tracks with no realism and much more fun (at least I thought so). --One Player-- One player mode allowed you to either race a single track (time trial) or take part in a Grand Prix. The time trial was a bit boring in my opinion, but the fact you could get a ghost driver that would reperform your best time so far meant that at least you had something to race against. I will mention the grand prix in a minute as it was also allowed in 2 player mode. --Two Player-- With 2 players you could either race a single track against each other, take part in a Grand Prix (again against each other, but also the computer) or have a death match. --Grand Prix-- In this you race with 8 characters (all of them), up to 2 of these can be human controlled. There are 3 different courses that you can choose from initially and 2 different speeds, successful completion of these however can unlock another course and a faster speed, for the ultimate challenge you need to attempt special cup on the fastest speed. Each course has 5 different maps, you race each map and have to qualify within the top 4 to gain access to the next one, you get different points depending on what position you come and the idea is to aim for a gold cup. A win is obviously best but each place down to 4th awards points and if you are behind in the race you can always target the current 1st place in an attempt to stop them getting as many points next go. The fun part of a grand prix was in 2 player mode, this gave you a great sense of multiplayer while still having many opponents to pl
            ay against rather than being limited to 2 (and a smaller screen), this is one of the few games my Mum actually played now and then and she did seem to enjoy it. --Battle Match-- In this match there is no race, you have the usual powerups and simply have to try and take away your opponents balloons. Each player has 3 balloons and every time you are hit by something (run into a banana skin, get hit by a shell etc) you lose a balloon, lose all your balloons and you are out. While this mode is fun enough to play there aren't really enough characters to make it that interesting in the long term and it only really appealed to a smaller group of people compared to the other game modes. I personally enjoyed playing it but could never really find anyone who enjoyed this mode enough to play against me and so tended to stick with the Grand Prix. --Characters-- There are 8 characters to choose from, each with different charactaristics which make them good for certain types of players. Luckily the creators of the game divided that these characteristics would be given to 2 drivers so if you are playing a 2 player game there is less need to argue over which player gets what. Mario/Luigi - These are all around drivers, they are medium speed/control/acceleration/top speed and have no real advantages other than that they are not poor at anything. Not my favourite choice as they don't seem to really offer anything much. Princess/Yoshi - These are fast at accelartion, reasonable at control and low on top speed. Not the best characters but easy to recover from crashes with, probably my 2nd favourite choice. Donkey Kong (Jr?)/Bowser - These have a low accelaration and control but great top speed, if you are an experienced player and can deal with the slow starts these are probably one of the characters that will allow you to get the top speeds on each of the courses. My 3rd favourite choice. Toad/Kooper
            Trooper - Good control, medium top speed and medium acceleration, their mediums are slightly lower than mario and luigis but still better than the other characters lows. In my opinion these were the best characters, good for new players and a lot of control for experienced players too. --Powerups-- This was one of the fun parts of the game, rather than simply racing the game on each lap of a course (or at various spots on the battle map) you got to race over a question mark, doing this gives you a random powerup with which you can gain some advantage. No doubt I'll forget at least one of the powerups but these are what I remember: Mushroom - Speed up for a while, gives you quite a boost of speed but is limited, useful at certain parts of a race. Feather - Lets you jump into the air, fairly useless in battle matches (although it's saved my live a few times) but great for shortcuts on some race maps. Green Shell - Lets you either fire a green shell in front of you or lay it behind you. If someone gets hit by it they will be stopped for a while giving you an advantage, requires a bit of accuracy to hit but still a good powerup (much better than the one in Mario Kart 64 in my opinion). Red Shell - Like a green shell (that can't be dropped) and homes in on an opponent, unless they manage to get an obstacle in the path of the shell or jump it at the last instant they will be hit by it and stopped. Lightning - Not available in battle mode but the best (and rarest) single player powerup. With this all players other than you will be shrung and can be run over and squashed (stopping them from moving for a while), while small they will also be slower than you letting you catch up or get away from opponents. Star - Makes you invincible (except from falls) for a while and increases your speed too. If you run through someone while under this you will stop them for a while. Banana skin - Step on this and be stopped for a bi
            t, hard to actually get accuracy but leave in a busy spot and you should hit someone hopefully. As well as these powerups each computer player had their own special powerup when racing against them, however these were unavailable for single players (except in certain cases). The unavailable ones were: Princess - Toadstool that shrunk people when they stepped on it. Yoshi - Egg shell that worked like a banana skin. Bowser - Fireball that worked like a banana skin. Toad - Drops the same toadstools as the princess, shrinks people when stood on (the toadstools that is not toad himself). --Control-- Perfect use of the controller and possibly one of the main reasons the Game Boy Advance will be having 2 buttons on the top of it (much like the SNES had L & R). Control of your character is great (at least if you chose a character that is supposed to be easily controllable), you can skid around corners, slow down/speed up realistically and overall have a good feeling of control over your character. On Mario Kart 64 I personally felt that some of the controlling skills were partly down to luck and there were various courses that seemed to require a great deal of it, in this game however after enough practice you can use a lot of skill in driving (although the fun part of this game is that it is always at least a little luck). --Graphics-- For the time the graphics were great, now they are a bit dated however and the images really don't look that clear at all. Of course, anyone who is playing on a SNES or an emulator probably isn't looking for perfect graphics and should be able to put this past them. The graphics are still very enjoyable and the characters all look good, each track has its own distinct image (although a few of these images are repeated on different courses) and overall the game looks, for its age at least, great. <br> --Sounds & Music-- Still sounds classic in my opinion, I can sti
            ll remember many of the tunes in this game now such as the intro screen jingle or the beeps to start the race. The music may get on some peoples nerves but I personally always enjoyed it and this was one game where I never really felt the need to ever turn it off.

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