What I'm Playing: It's Mario Kart Mania!
February 01, 2015

Mario Kart: Super Circuit - Last week, I said my goal was to unlock all the SNES grand prixs in 150cc. Mission accomplished, and then some. I went through all three engine classes and did 100+ coin runs, so I'm now an expert at collecting coins in "Super Circuit". I'll be damned if I'm going to get a Gold Cup in the final SNES grand prix, though. I like this game, but I don't like it THAT much, y'know what I mean? In conclusion, I would actually rank this as one of the better Mario Kart games.

Mario Kart 64 - Finally scratched this one off my bucket list. This is probably the easiest Mario Kart I've ever played. The computer rubber bands you like hell, but it's also incredibly stupid and prone to crashing into stuff. That, combined with the retry system and some rather tame course design, makes this game a cakewalk. All in all, MK64 is pretty okay.

Mario Kart DS - It pains me to say this, but this one's showing its wrinkles. The actual race courses are still among the best of the series, but the game mechanics are janky as hell. It's surprisingly tough to go back to the old "wiggle the stick" system of Power Sliding, and losing your items when you run into obstacles or Blue Shells is just frustrating. Speaking of Blue Shells, the encounter rate in this game is absurd. In one race, I actually got hit by three of them back-to-back! The vehicle system also renders weight classes pointless. With all that said, this game's still great in its own way, but these days I'd rather play Mario Kart 7 & 8.

Mario Kart 8 DLC- Excitebike Arena is the biggest surprise among the DLC tracks. When I heard that the course was somewhat randomized, it didn't sound promising. The execution of the procedural elements works, though, and it's becoming one of my favorite MK8 tracks. If I had to criticize one thing about the DLC, its the inclusion of SNES Rainbow Road. An HD re-imagining of MK7 Rainbow Road would have been so much better.

Gunman Clive 2 - I was liking the game up until the final boss, at which point it became an instant GoTY candidate. The end credits made me laugh. Bravo, Hörberg Productions.

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