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Mario Kart: Super Circuit (Game Boy Advance) artwork

Mario Kart: Super Circuit (Game Boy Advance) review


"With the same SNES engine improved upon, adding smoother animations, and far more detailed graphics (they even move.) For any racing fan, or specifically a kart fan, this game is sure to impress."



Introduction:

The original Mario Kart was not only the start of a new genre, but it
was a damn fine game. It featured cool tracks with secrets and jumps,
plus a bunch of little go-karts to battle all your favorite Nintendo
characters with. It was multiplayer, so it had excellent replay value.
The N64 version of Mario Kart featured basically the same kind of thing,
but with better graphics, some new characters, and a bunch of brand-new
tracks. Both of these legendary games never ceased to amaze me, and
the latest addition to Nintendo's excellent series is no different.

Not only does it feature all 20 of the tracks from the original SNES
game, but it also includes 20 creative new ones. What a package! With
the same SNES engine improved upon, adding smoother animations, and far
more detailed graphics (they even move.) For any racing fan, or
specifically a kart fan, this game is sure to impress.

Graphics:

The graphics are excellent. Definitely a grade up from the SNES
visuals, with moving backgrounds, and snappy animations. Characters now look
similar to the polygonal versions on N64, but possess a more
appropriate, cartoony look. Throughout levels, you'll come across some really
cool effects, like a fish jumping in and out of water in the background,
rain and snow falling, and even the sunset going down. There really is
a lot happening on-screen which is truly mind-boggling for a handheld
system.

Sound:

As usual, all the characters come packed with their trademark sounds
and voices. Mario still says ''Yipee'' as he passes someone, and DK still
makes his funny horse-like sound. All your favorite track music from
the original SNES title is back with all the old tracks. The sound
quality is very crisp, and all the familiar music is sure to sweep you with
a wave of nostalgia.

The sound effects are also back, such as the little ''plink'' sound the
turtle-shells make when you shoot them. Superb.

Gameplay:

The gameplay is almost exactly the same as both the SNES and N64
versions. All the characters handle and perform the same, as do the items.
I saw very few flaws with the transition of the old SNES tracks and
gameplay to the GBA, except for the fact that a lot of the obstacles from
the old tracks are gone, as is the feather, which makes performing some
of the shortcuts from the SNES version impossible. But regardless, I'm
just glad to have those old tracks!

Something else which is back is the very successful battle-mode. With
four new battle stages to play on, all kart racing fans are just to be
jumping with joy.

If you were good at either of the other MK games, this should be a
piece of cake to pick up. The button order is even pretty much the same
(well, as close as it can be.) Overall, the gameplay is excellent. I'm
amazed by how well the developers created a SNES/N64-style Mario Kart
hybrid on the GBA. It's really quite impressive.

Replay value:

There is a fair deal of replay value, because of the several modes.
There is, of course, the normal GP mode, which allows you to play on
three different difficulties (or 'speeds') through 5 different cups, 4
races each. Then there's the two-player mode, which is pretty
self-explanatory. Plus the battle mode, time trial, ghost exchange, and quick run.
Not to mention it'll take some time to unlock all the old SNES MK
tracks. The replay value is very stellar.

Conclusion:

Nintendo has ''done it again.'' Not only have they delivered a
near-perfect sequel/port of their classic trademark racing game, but they've
brought it to the new handheld system. If you're looking for a
combination of the handheld SNES classic (with improved graphics), plus a bunch
of new elements, look no further! If you're a fan of Nintendo, Mario,
racing games, or just good fun in general, this is perfect. Probably
one of the best GBA games so far.

Rating: 9.0/10

ender's avatar
Staff review by James Gordon (Date unavailable)

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