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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Super Mario Kart

     It's Super Mario Kart for The Super Nintendo Entertainmnet System in all its splendid glory! Simple in concept, nice and sweet in design, appealing to all audiences, outright awesome in execution! Eight drivers race each other in a bliss-laden competition rife with classical Super Mario elements befitting all of the thrill that is the trademark of a true Nintendo classic.  In a thoroughly engrossing experience, the player will happen upon the famous hodgepodge of the dearest creatures of which he's bound to have fond memories such as Spark, Mount Moles, Chip Chip, Green Plumbing Pipes, Thwomps and many more! Each driver has their own features as well as pros and cons that make each one of them unique; the player should give each racer a fair-go in order to find out which best suits his style. The fine selection of racers is comprised of Nintendo's Eternal Pop Icon Super Mario as well as his loyal companion and brother Luigi, Mushroom Kingdom Advisor Toad, classical Super Mario Bros. damsel in distress Princess Toadstool, All-time favourite villan Bowser, Koopa Troopa, Yoshi, a comely addition to the series right off Super Mario World and DK. Jr.

     It's one of these games in which everything is perfect and there isn't a single object that any time seems out of place. Everything seems to be where it rightfully belongs. The tracks are fraught with items that are familiar to any Mario player, ranging from the Thwomps in the Bowser Castle stages, Piranha Plants in Choco valley to Boo Budies in Ghost Valley. Strangely enough, the Ghost Valley, a ghost-themed racing ground that takes place on a faulty wooden board with large sections along the track missing guardrails, is hosted by Yoshi. The other tracks were assigned to the game's characters according to their characteristics: Fpor instance, Koopa Troopa, being a seemingly quiet individual with a somewhat low-key profile is the host to Koopa Troopa Beach, a halcyon location home to a peaceful sea, pleasant waves and a population of contended Chip Chips, all set to a restrained, but wholly enjoyable tune. The greatest surprise hidden within this already excellent gem is the last track: Rainbow Road. It's fashioned after the colour pattern of a rainbow, resulting in a refined array of colourful bands that can be delightfully dazzling. It is also the hardest track of all; its complete dearth of guardrails along the side compels racers to not leave the track under penalty of falling into an endless pit. Lucky for them that Fishing Lakitu's stint includes angling players out of the pit and back onto course. And whose idea was it to include such a malicious enemy in this game? That creature is a riot!

     The title screen features Mario and Luigi smiling at the title font, superimposed over a colourful background purporting to prompt the player to a cheerful gaming experience. A Koopa Troopa shell-shaped cursor is used to toggle between 1P and 2P Game.

Players who wish to challenge a tougher version of the CPU-controlled characters can take a whack at the 100cc class. Winning this class grants the player a new mode, 150cc. This mode features carts with enlarged engines, resulting in a much faster-paced game but chock a block with more excitement, nonetheless.


After successfully finishing the race a table of the total time taken to do each lap is shown. On the left hand of the screen are the race results- the first four drivers are shown with jubilant expressions beside, whereas whoever was unfortunate enough to only scrape a fifth place or lower is shown with a blank face, with the number standing for the course rank in dull black. In the picture above, Koopa Troopa had to settle for the fifth place and DK Jr got a 6th. Toad and the Princess are still to cross the finishing line.

 The results are shown with the drivers riding on in an odd location with dimmed-out lights, with a background scenery reminiscent of the untainted environs of Super Mario World, jolly knolls and all with musical notes hanging just above them. The drivers are shown riding their carts on a queue mirroring their positions. The last four are shown spinning, but still concentrated to remain in a coordinated straight line. Another asset of this game is the theme that plays after the race is over. Every character has their own theme, also in accordance to the character's traits.

 Let go your emotions as it's time to rumble! Fishin Lakitu gives the go ahead to the greatest race of your life! At the bottom is a map of the course along with the location of each racer. It's possible to spot where potential traps can be laid out or where the shortcuts are, but care should be taken to remain concentrated on the race.

Fishin Lakitu descends to crown Luigi the winner in a moment of great eminence to him.

Celebrating a winner involves cracking open a bottle of bubbly, hitting a flying Chip Chip in the process. Afterwards the character then proceeds to engage in victory ritual, which varies from character to character. Luigi, for instance, raises the bottle while jumping up and down in an endless progression. The second and third finishers are also shown beside the winner.