As the news of Mario Kart 8 getting a May release, it got me thinking of all the past memories I’ve had with the franchise. As I sit here listing to classic Mario Kart music to get me in the mood, I relived my love for the game all over again. My brother was older than me, but not so much older we couldn’t play games and be competitive against each other. Some of our favorite games are from the Mario Kart franchise and Nintendo in general. Join me in taking a look back at Mario Kart.
The Super Nintendo Days
The first game in the series came out for the Super Nintendo in the United States in 1992. My older brother and I had some classic races and we were instantly hooked. The first time we played the Extra Cup and Rainbow Road were some of the toughest tracks to play on. I would have been about 5 years old at the time and it was tough for me to stay on the course and then add the fact that Rainbow Road was the king at having players drive off the road.
The review mirror and the split screen/map were ahead of their time
We used to go over to my brothers friend’s house for New Years and one year we played Mario Kart most of the night. I was younger than the other kids so I wasn’t taken seriously in the races and I blew their doors off. Always fun to beat people who don’t think you can beat them. We use to have video game marathons as well on New Years and we would play Galaga and Mario Kart! I still love listening to the winners music and being able to play as one of my favorites, Koopa Troopa (this started my liking of Koopa Troopa for the newer games). The review mirror and the split screen/map were ahead of their time, in my opinion.
The N64 Days
The world was taken by storm by Nintendo 64 and it was only a matter time until the likes of Mario Kart joined the N64 era.
At the time, the game looked fantastic and the courses had a ton of secret routes to take and explore. One of the main things I didn’t like about the N64 version is that they took out my boy, Koopa Troopa. What were they thinking? My brother and I have played this game so many times, that I could probably tell you the short cuts in my sleep for each course. I still find myself humming the Choco Mountain theme. The steering and the fact that I was older made it easier for me to stay on the course at times. I can still see myself getting shrunk with the lightning bolt on the jump in Wario Stadium and falling way behind… That’s like someone stealing a parking spot that you’ve been waiting for; you want to drag them out and kill them. Mario Kart: responsible for players beating up other players for years.
The Gamecube Days
Mario Kart: Double Dash or, as I refer to it now, my “Freshman year of college.”
Mario Kart: Double Dash or, as I refer to it now, my “Freshman year of college.” This and Smash Brothers was all my suitemates and I did for my first year of college at Rutgers University. When I first heard about the two driver system in Double Dash, I was a little turned off by it but after we started playing, I was hooked. You learn quickly that small characters are fast and that sold me on Baby Luigi and Koopa Troopa. (There’s that man, er Koopa, again!)
The triple shell combo weapon for Koopa Troopa and the Chain Chomp for Baby “Weegee” made me a pretty tough customer. The fact that we were playing on my Gamecube gave me an advantage too because I was familiar with the controllers. My roommates and I would play for hours after class and before the dining hall closed and sometimes after that. The Blue shell that hunts out first place became a bane of our existence. Players would drive in reverse just to not be in first when the Blue shell was in someone’s inventory. I lost a race (and broke a controller on my foot) in Baby Park after leading the whole time and then getting hit on the final lap. I wasn’t happy.
By the time I graduated, I was amazing at the game and was doing things like drifting on every turn and getting out to big leads. My driving style was better, and I have college to thank for that.
Oh yeah, I have the degree too.
Sweet Mario Kart Memories
I played Mario Kart 8 at E3 and was impressed with what I saw.
To sum up, these are some of my favorite Mario Kart games and some of my favorite memories from the franchise. It doesn’t mean I don’t like the Wii/3DS/DS versions. I have played the games mentioned with more people and more people creates the unknown; anything can happen with multiple players. From the Super Nintendo days to the Gamecube era, Mario Kart should be around for a long time. I played Mario Kart 8 at E3 and was impressed with what I saw. I tried playing with a controller and the Game Pad and both felt natural. I came in first with both control styles, but you didn’t expect anything less did you?
Now if you’ll excuse me, all this Mario Kart talk has me in the mood for some Double Dash!