Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mario Kart Memories, pt. 1 - Super Mario Kart (SNES)

Mario Kart 8 comes out in a few short weeks, so every day between now and then, I will share some of my favorite aspects of each Mario Kart game, in order. First and foremost, let's explore the joy that is Super Mario Kart (SNES).

Released in 1992, Super Mario Kart created the quintessential kart racer. Using the magic of Mode 7 graphics, Nintendo was able to make a fast, fun racing game with only 16-bit hardware.

Super Mario Kart goes beyond a simple kart racer by adding Mario-themed elements to each track: pipes, coins, Lakitu, and more. Add to that some items to hinder your opponents, and you have yourself a good-ol' pixelated hootenanny.

Plus, when you're tired of racing, you can go into Battle Mode and use items to destroy (or be destroyed by) your opponent. If there's one thing that can tear two friends apart, it's Mario Kart.

First Played: When my younger brother and I were little, we went to my aunt and uncle's house for a few hours. The cousins weren't there, so we decided to see what cool games they had (they always seemed to have better games than us). There in the SNES was Super Mario Kart.

At the time, we had never heard of it. But it had Mario in it, so we had to try it. We started it up and right away the music set the tone for a fantastic day. We eventually figured which button was B, and found our way to Battle Mode. I picked Toad, because he's the best character in all of Nintendo, so he had to be the best character in Mario Kart. My brother picked Koopa, who is a great character that was strangely skipped in the next two Mario Kart games.

After we figured out which button was the gas, we roamed around the level, not sure what to do. We saw the balloons and thought maybe you had to run into each other really hard to make them pop. It wasn't until about 30 minutes in that I somehow used a shell to pop a balloon. And then all heck broke loose. We played Battle for an hour or two and then moved on to VS. Mode where we played Mario Circuit 2 until my parents came to get us.

There's something about only getting a taste of a game every few months that makes you love it even more. Makes me wonder if I bought fewer games, if I'd love them more.

LOL, yeah right.

Best Track: Ghost Valley 1 - This track literally never gets old. There is a section you can skip (on the bottom-right side of the picture) by using either the mushroom or the feather, so it's kind of like an Item Roulette. Whoever gets the Feather, withstands the weather. Not sure what that means, but it rhymes.

Best New Item: The Feather - Technically, every item in Super Mario Kart is new, but the best item is the Feather. With it, you could jump. That's it. It sounds lame, but it's awesome. If you know where to go, you can skip major sections of tracks. This item has sadly never been seen since the SNES days. I guess it makes sense, since you could skip 90% of some later tracks if you could jump a wall. Oh well. The Feather lives on in the 16-bit world of Super Mario Kart.

(Super Mario Kart for the SNES is available on Wii Virtual Console for $8.00)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like reading about the first time you played it. How funny :) awesome game :D