Mario Kart 64 Reviews

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Mario Kart 64
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“One thing annoys me about MarioKart 64, but it's...”


written by TOMLEECEE on 16/11/2005

One thing annoys me about MarioKart 64, but it's nothing to do with the game itself - its the idiots in rose tinted specs that complain "it's not as good as the SNES version" in order to look like they are some kind of higher gaming sentient being. To those people I say this: "RUBBISH!!!"

Sure, the original 16bit version is an icon, but MarioKart 64 is at least 48 times better because of one thing: the multiplayer.

The single player game is OK, but nothing special - you just get to enter a series of tournaments in 50, 100 or 150cc classes (each cc class is faster/harder than the one before) and race across a number of extremely inventive tracks set across various magical terrains. As you would expect from a game of this ilk, these range from desert, jungle, castle and road.

The karts all handle practically identically even though they all have a different Mario character wedged into them, and you collect weapons designed to hinder other Karters' progress by driving through floating yellow boxes placed strategically around the tracks.

As stated above, the single player game is mildly distracting, but the true meat of this game lies within the multiplayer. With 4 pads plugged in, MarioKart 64 comes alive. Apart from GoldenEye, there isn't an N64 game that comes close to this in terms of fun. You can play a tournament against your friends (who will become sworn enemies after a few rounds) or you can go head to head in one of the well constructed battle arenas and try to pop the 3 balloons that each player starts the match with. You do this by firing shells or by leaving traps littered around such as banana skins or fake power-up boxes with bombs inside. Some arenas are better than others and likewise with the straight race tracks, but you have to take the rough with the smooth.

Visuals are colourful but sprite based so hardly cutting edge and the sound effects music are pure Mario, but there's always the mute button if it's not your bag.

The moral of the story is this: Get an N64 with four pads, a copy of Mario Kart 64 and crack the beers open - it's gonna be one hell of a ride!

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