Product Type: Nintendo Nintendo 64 games
Newest Review: ... even by today's high gaming standards. I would not be without it in my Super Nintendo Collection.... more
Super Mario Kart
Super Mario Kart (SNES)
Member Name: Grave-Joy
Super Mario Kart (SNES)
Advantages: One of the best titles Nintendo had to offer on the SNES.
Disadvantages: Dated and newer versions of the game add leagues to the original.
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.
Summary: As the largest selling title on the SNES Super Mario Kart is a solid classic.