With Mario Kart 8 just mere weeks away I thought what better time than to look back over the twenty plus year old series checking out just how far things have come since it’s original SNES debut. Let’s kick things off with the worst of the seven and work our way up starting with…
Mario Kart Wii
Okay first of all let me just say that Mario Kart for the Wii did do a number of cool things with the series. For one the game offered what for me was the best online experience the system ever saw. Racing with eleven other players from around the globe meant even if you didn’t always have the chance to get three friends over you could always take to the net and best someone in Japan or the US. Snaking had finally been eliminated (a huge deal at the time) and the trick system was also first introduced here and has been used ever since.
Unfortunately the game also did a lot wrong in a number of ways including the addition of the broken bikes, a poor choice in retro courses, visuals that managed to look worse than Double Dash, tracks that were far too wide, a mess of overpowered and overused weaponry and team battle modes.
The game can still be a lot of fun in multiplayer don’t get me wrong, but as far as the series goes, this is a Mario Kart I’d prefer to avoid.
Mario Kart Super Circuit
The first handheld entry in the series, Super Circuit at the time blew gamers’ minds. Just the idea of being able to shoot red shells and slip your opponents on banana peels in the car, train or even the toilet was amazing.
Super Circuit takes a few ideas from the original SNES entry (which is definitely no bad thing in my eyes) by offering completely flat tracks, a limited character line-up and weapon selection and a similar tough to master drifting mechanic.
Best of all though was what happened once you’d finished each of the five main cups another five would unlock featuring all tracks from the original Super Mario Kart. That’s right, everything from Mario Circuit 1 through to Rainbow Road crammed into the cartridge. Thinking about it, Super Circuit is what really started the use of retro tracks in future Mario Kart’s.