Super Mario Kart

Super NES

Review by Joe Santulli



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 10

Overall: 9

With all of the game cartridges in my collection, these days all I ask for is a game that I can go back to after a few months. Something I can just pop in and play without having to re-learn the controls or even touch the instruction manual, for that matter. Well, everyone knows that I'm the Anti-Mario (before there was a Wario), but I must admit, Nintendo finally produced a Mario game with idiotic creatures like Toad and Koopa that I can actually enjoy. Will wonders ever cease?

In Super Mario Kart, your perspective is from slightly above and behind your kart similar to Nintendo's own F-Zero. The tracks spin and wind beneath you with incredible smoothness, although the backgrounds are pretty flat. There are several ways to play, the racing games all involve the obvious get to the end objective, with a special "battle mode" for two players mixing up the action a little. In battle mode, you have to hunt and destroy your opponent's kart in a pseudo-virtual-reality contest.

There are many other options, some of the better ones include practice races where you can race against yourself from a previous race, power-ups during the race, an awards presentation at the end of a cup race, and a hidden "challenge" level of courses that only appear if you win the gold in each of the three other levels. In one-player games you even have the option of viewing the overall course from above (displaying the locations of the other racers as well) or a rear-view mirror in the lower window. In head-to-head games each player has his own half of the screen to view.

This is certainly a game you can come back to, and you can just pop it in and play with anybody. There are lots of ways to handicap players, so there's seldom a mismatch. The graphics are cartoony, reminiscent of Super Mario World, but they're colorful and well animated, and the background tunes are fun to listen to. I couldn't ask for much more! Well, I could, but I'm going to go a few laps against that turtle with the long tongue instead.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:28 PM