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. 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.
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.
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. 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!!