Super Mario Kart/Mario Kart 64
These games are so similar that I combined their game info, pages together for convenience.
System(s): SNES (SMK)/N64 (MK64)
U.S. Release Date: 1993/1998
Current street price: $10.00/$20.00
Save: Battery Back-up
Size: 8 characters, 15 tacks (SMK)/16 tracks (MK64) + 4 battles (both)
Players: 2 simultaneous (SMK) 4 simultaneous (MK64)
ESRB Rating: K-A
In a nutshell
Mario characters get together to race around in a cartoony racing adventure
These games don't really have a story. The characters just got up one day and said " I wanna have a go kart race" I guess. It's a well-known rumor that Wario stole Koopa Troopa's kart in order to get into MK64.
The Mario Kart games involve racing around in go-karts (duh). Yo ucan accelerate with the press of a button and turn using the control pad/analog stick. You can also hop into a powersldie, which is important if you want to become a Karting master. You hop with the R button and if you hold it down and turn you get a nice little sliding effect that canm shave seconds off your time. Super Mario Kart includes Mario and Luigi (The average middleweights); Yoshi, and Peach (the fast-accelerating lightweights); Bowser and Donkey Kong Jr. (The high top speed heavyweights); and Toad and Koopa Troopa (The sharp turning little guys). In MK64, Wario (heavyweight) replaces Koopa Troopa, Donkey Kong (heavyweight) replaces DK Jr., and Toad is a fast accelerating lightweight. What makes the MArio Kart games really unique and fun, though, is the items that you get from ?-mark boxes.:
Green Shell: Fires a green projectile straight in front of you. Bounces around off walls. Comes in a 3-pack in MK64.
Red Shell: Everyones favorite homing projectile. Fires forward than seeks in on the closest racer. Comes in threes in MK64.
Banana Peel: Lay these on the track to slip up the opponents. Comes in 5-packs in MK64.
Mushroom: Gives you a temporary speed boost. Comes in gold and three-packs in MK64.
Ghost: Makes you invisible and steals the nearest racers item.
Lightning Bolt: Shrinks all the other racers, making them slower and easy to squish.
Starman: Makes you invincible and speeds you up a bit.
Feather: Makes you jump high off the track. Not in MK64.
Fake ?-box: Lays a bomb that looks a lot like a ?-mark box. Not in SMK
Spiny (blue) Shell: Tracks down the first place racer and knocks whim out temporarily.
Play modes include Mario GP, where you race against 7 (or 6 with a human friend) computer players in competition for the Mushroom, Flower, Star and Special Cups. There's also Time Trials, where you try to beat your best times, and the all important Battle Mode, where two or more humans fight to the death in an enclosed square course.
What's the big deal?
: Before Super Mario Kart, racing games were mostly a serious arcadey affair. You got a car, you got a track, and you raced. Most of them had a serious feel of competition. They certainly weren't interested in the characters inside the cars. Along comes SMK, a cute racing game with lovable characters and funky weapons. Many people pass it off as too cutesy or childish. Despite this, it ends up being one of the deepest and msot challenging racers out there (to this day). Since then Crash, Sonic, Chocobo's Goemon, Aero the Acrobat, and many other lesser mascots havehadtheir own kart-racing adventures, but none have matched the greatness that is Super Mario Kart (Some would argue Mario Kart 64 improves upon the original, but I disagree). Super Mario Kart opened up a whole new sub-genre in racing, and while oft-imitated, it has never been beaten.
Notes of interest
First and only time Koopa Troopa is playable (SMK)
Yoshi's sprite has his toungue constantly out (SMK)
Luigi's first N64 appearance (MK64)
Special Cup appears after getting Gold on all three other cups.
There are ways to take advantages of glitches in the games to get ridiculously low times.
The Castle from Super Mario 64 appears on Royal Raceway (MK64)
"I'm-a Luigi... Number One"
When you finish in 1st-3rd in a cup, it shows the top three characters in that cup on a pedestral, a huge floating fish then floats by and barfs up a trophy to you. The 1st place guy then pops the cork and it hits the floating fish. Then the characterwho won does a celebratory animation. In MK64, it's the same without the cork popping (making it infinitely worse, IMHO)
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