Super Mario Kart

Over the many years Nintendo’s staple character, Mario, has been one of the most recognizable video game characters. This monster of a franchise has many titles, but not all of them are platformers. We all remember the original platformers such as Super Mario Brothers, Super Mario World, and so on. And then there were the sports games such as, Mario Tennis and Mario Golf. One of these non-platformer games changed the racing genre forever, and that game was Super Mario Kart for the SNES.

Super Mario Kart isn’t just a racing game where you try to make it to the finish line first, it added a new element to the racing genre. Super Mario Kart Race During the races you pick up and use projectiles to slow down or stop opponents in their tracks to gain positions. By doing this we now see other staples from Crash Bandicoot to Sonic racing games with the same formula. But nothing is more satisfying than suiting up as Yoshi and shooting some red shells at your friends in Battle Mode. I’m going to keep this review simple since we all now how Super Mario Kart goes.

Graphics — One thing I want to point out is Mode 7. Mode 7 is a 2-dimensional layer that is laid out to emulate 3-D graphics. That was a big perk to owning a SNES, and in the early days of the SNES it seemed that every title that was produced contained some form of Mode 7. The reason I brought Mode 7 up, is because it’s one of the few games that has it and doesn’t give me motion sickness. To me, this was the best display of Mode 7 that was done in a video game. Below is an example of Mode 7 from Secret of Mana. Secret of Mana Mode 7

Music — The music in Super Mario Kart is all over the place. It sets a good mood for a light-hearted racing game, but nothing that really stands out for me.

Modes

Grand Prix — Grand Prix is the meat of the game, where the player races in circuits for the gold against the other seven computer players. When completing them, you can unlock more circuits and difficulties. Now to get the gold, each circuit has five races and you must fight your way to first place in each of them. When you complete a single race, depending on which position you are in, you are awarded points. The closer you are to first place, the more points you get. At the end of the five races, the sum of your points determines what trophy you get, if you get one at all. Plus, you can play this mode with a friend!!

Time Trial — In Time Trial you race by yourself on a track, in order to get the fastest time on that particular track. Pretty simple. I have never been into Time Trial modes in racing games, but it does add replay value for those hardcore gamers.

Match Race — Match Race is just like Grand Prix but the computer players are not present. It’s just you and your friend. Mano y mano.

Battle Mode — This mode is where you will get most of the replay value out of the game. In Battle Mode you play against your friend but it is not a race. The game places you in an arena with obstacles, and just like in the races, you pick up weapons to deal damage to your friend. Super Mario Kart Battle mode Mario vs Luigi Also the game allows you to get hit three times before losing the match, and these hits are represented by balloons that float around your kart. This mode is tons of fun, and still today I hook up my SNES just to play Battle Mode in Super Mario Kart.

Overall this game is super fun, especially with family. Like I was saying before, I love playing it during holidays, and I was wondering, what’s a game that you usually set down and play during the holidays? Let me know below!!

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Tetris Attack!

When’s the last time YOU had a Tetris Attack?

puzzled_man Receiving this game as a kid had me puzzled… you get it… PUZZLED… In all seriousness, puzzle games were not what I was into at the time. Only being into action-type platformers, this gift threw me for a loop. But Tetris Attack being a video game, I had to try it. Now from the front box art, you would have never guessed that this was a Yoshi’s Island themed game. Which when I popped it in my SNES, added more value to it. The game did stand out from other puzzle games, with a story, simultaneous two-player action, and multiple modes. Tetris Attack is by far, my most favorite puzzle game. You know why? Because I loved kicking the crap out of my friends in two-player mode.

Tetris Attack Gameplay So in Tetris Attack, the basis of the game is to connect three or more of the same block, in order to clear it from your puzzle board. You can connect these blocks vertically and horizontally to clear them. But the puzzle board is against you *gasp* *oh no!*, it adds a new row of blocks every so often, trying to make you lose by pushing the blocks to the top of the board. And as you progress through the puzzle, the board adds the rows more quickly. So keep connecting those blocks!

VS. — In Tetris Attack, versus is your primary mode, which contains a story. The story in versus, is that Kamek has put a curse on Yoshi’s friends, and Yoshi (You) has to beat them in order to remove the curse. Pretty simple. Now I know in Castlevania, I said that stories usually bore me. But in normal tetris-type games, there isn’t a story. That is why as a kid, I just referred to them as the ‘boring puzzle games’. So by having a simple story, it made the game more appealing.

So as I mentioned above, you have to beat Yoshi’s friends to make it to the end of the game. ‘But how do I beat Yoshi’s friends up?? It’s a Tetris game, you can’t attack!’ Oh… you can… In order to beat each friend, or level, you have to make their blocks reach the top of the board. To make things tricky for them, matching up blocks fast (combo), or connecting four or more blocks will release a garbage block on their puzzle board. But beware, they can also do this to you. Garbage Blocks To remove the garbage blocks, simply connect three or more blocks (make sure one of the blocks is touching the garbage block) to get rid of it. By adding multiple garbage blocks, you will quickly defeat your opponent.

Endless — The name of this mode pretty much says it all… it’s endless. There is no goal except for trying to rack up those points before you lose. And as I said before, the board adds rows more quickly over time.

Stage Clear — In Stage Clear, the setup is similar to Endless except for now there is a goal. You will continue clearing blocks until you see a ‘Clear Line’ from the bottom of the board. Get your blocks underneath this line and you progress to the next level.

Time Trial — Same setup as Endless, but now you only have so much time to get the highest possible score you can.

Puzzle — When I was wasn’t beating my friends up in two player, I was playing Puzzle. This was by far my most favorite single player mode of Tetris Attack. In Puzzle the game sets you up with a few blocks and all you have to do is clear them from the board. Easy enough… WRONG! You only have a certain number of moves to clear every block. The game sets these blocks up so strategically, that in later levels you will be playing a game of trial and error. The main reason I liked it so much was because it’s so satisfying finally figuring out that one puzzle that had you guessing for 20 minutes, or showing your friends the solution to the puzzle they were stuck on.

Graphics — The graphics for Tetris Attack are pretty mediocre in my opinion. Being related to Yoshi’s Island, they did a good job of being colorful and sticking to the theme. But this is a puzzle game so graphics didn’t make much of a difference for me.

Music — Now the music for this game is actually done very well. Most of the tracks make the gameplay seem much faster, putting you on the edge of your seat trying not to lose. Here is a track from the Blaze Stage, one of my favorites.

Overall, Tetris Attack is just a puzzle game, but by adding multiple modes, difficulties, *spoilers* and endings, there is a lot of replay value to this title. But by far the most fun is through the two player mode. So get together with a friend, or enemy, and duke it out on Tetris Attack!!

If there is something you would like to add about this game, or just want to share stories, please do so below!!