MARIO KART Super Circuit
(Nintendo, August, 2001)

This game marks the debut of the popular Mario Kart series to a portable gaming system. The Mario Kart series has been one of Nintendo's biggest franchises over the years with over 10 Millions copies sold worldwide (Mario Kart 64 is actually the top selling N64 game in Japan with over 2 Million copies sold) even though there were only two MK games released (Super Mario Kart for SNES and Mario Kart 64 for N64). Now out comes a new brand Mario Kart for the new 32-bit Game boy Advance and I'm sure a lot people will be dying to play it, but is this really a Super Circuit or a Super Sucker like all those other copy cat want to be like South Park Rally, Antz Racers, and Atari Karts?

The game lets you pick from some of your favourite Nintendo characters, each one differs in speed and power. The 8 characters are Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Wario, and Bowser which is the same line up as the N64 game (where's Koopa Troopa and Donkey Kong Jr.?). It would have nice if we saw some new characters to the line up but you can't win them all. Bigger characters like Bowser, Donkey Kong, and Wario have faster engines but have slow acceleration while smaller characters like Toad, Peach, and Yoshi are just the opposite and have quick acceleration but poor top speed, Mario and Luigi are balanced characters with both good speed and good acceleration but not excellent. I recommend going for a smaller lightweight character at first so that you can easily recover from mistakes or wipe outs and for the tighter controls as well to collect the all important coins and power ups.

What made Mario Kart different from other racers, and thus, making it a big hit in the first place was the cool items you were able to get on the tracks during a race. Who could forget about the Red Turtle shells that homed in on your unlucky opponent or the Banana peals that make lose your coins? You're going to need all the firepower you can get because this is not a forgiving game much like other games of the past.

The graphics are really sharp here thanks to some very colourful backdrops and great use of the Mode 7 3D graphics. The game looks better than the Snes game but not the N64 one because the GBA can't produce polygons too well. The character's animation was really improved and is the one case was it looks better that Mario Kart 64.  Super Circuit has excellent graphics overall.

The graphics were great and the new music does the job here for a Nintendo themed game but it nothing too special thanks again to the GBA lackluster audio. There are some voice samples in there too that sounds just the N64 game although the voices do get on you nerves after awhile.

Bottomline: Even though the series is well over ten years old now the Mario Kart series is still the best there is in its category. Mario Kart SC is the almost the perfect GBA game even if you don't like racing games. The controls are right on, the graphics look amazing, the sound is there, and the multi player rules! You won't regret picking this wacky kart racer up unlike all the other copy cat racers out there.


*Battery back up game

Overall Rating: 90/100

Find this game on eBay here!

For 1 to 4 players
Rated (E) for Everyone

graphics: 8/10
sound: 7/10
gameplay: 9/10
replay: 9/10

(Ryan Genno) 2007

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