GAME OF THE MONTH COLLECTION! 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.