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Super Mario Kart (SNES) artwork

Super Mario Kart (SNES) review


"Now for this review to be honestly fair, you must understand where I am coming from. I was not one of the ones who had experience Super Mario Kart when it was first released, nor before I had even played it's sequel. I only got it around three months ago when I got my Super Nintendo, seeing I wanted the original Mario Kart. I was kinda dissapointed with the experience but that is understandable. I will try to understand this game when it was originally released, but really I guess I can't. Howev..."



Now for this review to be honestly fair, you must understand where I am coming from. I was not one of the ones who had experience Super Mario Kart when it was first released, nor before I had even played it's sequel. I only got it around three months ago when I got my Super Nintendo, seeing I wanted the original Mario Kart. I was kinda dissapointed with the experience but that is understandable. I will try to understand this game when it was originally released, but really I guess I can't. However if you are reading this review and considering this purchase, you have not experienced it either so then this review could be good for you.

STORY (2/5): I will penalize Mario Kart for the lack of a reason to it. I mean I don't want some RPG story with a kart game, but I would like to know why. I will give it two points for having a nice collection of character with various skills.

GRAPHICS (18/20): The graphics are very nice for a Super Nintendo game. They are colorful and fit the mario world nicely. I do not like the way a few of the obstacles look (like the Thwomps) but at least they are in the game. The courses are large and detailed, as our the character even though they are a little too much 2D animated in a 3D world. The graphics are not perfect but they set the atmosphere for this game perfectly.

SOUND (6/10): Super Mario Kart could've been much stronger in the audio category. This is one thing that doesn't matter if you got when first released or bought it today is the music. Mario Kart does not have that catching music that many Mario games have. The sound effects are nice however, such as someone tripping on a banana or the lightning strikes.

GAMEPLAY (35/40): Now I will first have to give my praises for the weapondry system. By going through little boxes you pick up a special power. Some are shells others banana's, and other surprises. This lets you attack your opponents to get a move up the raceway. However you will also have to block yourself with those same shells, which puts in a strategy element. Also it is not good to run over your own bananas. I love the system that this game originated.

The races are fairly boring. While some, like Bowsers castle have cool obstacles or the boardwalks which each move could either throw you off you ledge, or help get a lead. However other courses are just simple circles, or a bunch of turns. It just isn't fun in most of the levels. However a few of the levels are classic like the boardwalk one, how I do love that one. The courses are nice, but some are just too unoriginal and therefor boring.

There are not really many modes to Super Mario Kart. You have the GP mode where you go through a few races and count up the points. This is after doing multiple laps. The only problem is the same people will ALWAYS get the same ranking near you. Now I do like when one person stays close, but I would like a little scattering of points. There is also a timetrial mode, but no game has yet to really make running through a course by yourself with no opponents entertaining. It just can't be done.

CONTROLS (5/10): The controls are not to firm, as you will slide very much around the corners whether you break or not. Also there is little to no practical reason for jumping. The Kart doesn't really move when you tell it to, as the first response is semi late. Plus if you hit someone with your own kart, they really don't feel any shift. That isn't really controls, just lack of realism. I would liked the turning and the breaks to be better implicated like many other kart games. Also the weapons are not controlled as well, and do not aim straight out where you want them to go.

REPLAYABILITY (7/10): This is where my review gets tough. I would rate this category alot lower, but I can see how this game could've been played alot when it was first released. The innovative weapon system is a nice touch, but is not as controllable as I would like. The races get boring very quickly, and really kart games are not the easiest games to play with a friend. However when this was really the only kart game, I could see someone picking this up for a quick playthrough by himself or with a friend.

DIFFICULTY (5/5): Really I can't fault the difficulty. You move your way up from easier levels to harder levels, which is a nice touch. They go by different CC's which make the karts go faster. You will quickly get sick of the slowest CC, cause it just takes too long.

VINTAGE VALUE (+5): This is really the game that started the whole Kart game industry. Instead of just having cars racing, Mario Kart gave a bunch of little go karts weapondry. This expanded the racing genre so much, and made it what it is today.

OVERALL (83/100): Sure, I wasn't into gaming when this game hit the world by storm. However years later in my mission to make up lost time, I knew this was a must own game. I was very dissapointed. I was told this game was more fun then the Mario Kart 64, but it is not. I just don't see how this is such a classic. Sure it spurred on many great games, and it was innovative with a great system. But it had weak music and weak controls. It just wasn't addictive either. I tried to great this review fairly, but honestly if you don't own Super Mario Kart or Mario Kart 64, I would reccomend the second one. If you are a fan of kart games however you must purchase Super Mario Kart for the SNES, cause no matter what it is still a good game, just not a great game.

Rating: 8.3/10

ratking's avatar
Community review by ratking (August 21, 2002)

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