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So, I LOVED Super Mario Kart when I first got my hands on it back in the days. Played it hardcore. Of course there was no online back then so I played against the AI, friends, family, whatever. Did a ton of solo time trial stuff. Got super good (or so I thought, the Internet has since taught me that I'm not nearly as good at video games as I like to think.) It was easily one of my top 10 games for a long time.
But then of course other Mario Karts come out regularly, and there isn't much reason to go backwards.
OR IS THERE?
Now that it is free and easily accessible on Switch I decided to play it recently for the first time in forever just for nostalgia sake and you know what? It's still awesome!
I actually think it did some things better than all of the Mario Kart games since. Or at least, differently, in ways that held value.
For instance, I miss Mario Kart races that were 90% about you know... the racing! The new style of Mario Kart is cool too, but it's like a big item battle the whole race. Back in the days a single red shell or a star were the most OP items! Almost everything could be defended against! It was more about the racing! Getting those perfect turns on the track!
Speaking of turning, I'm not sure that I actually like powersliding around every turn so much. It's ok, I guess. But I kind of miss having to really think about your speed and momentum and cutting things just right. In the new games you can pretty much just slide around every turn at top speed.
Oh, and I was reminded of how in the original SMK your engine sounds differently the faster you are going, which gives you awesome feedback... you can tell just by listening to the engine if you kept your momentum up around a turn, etc.
I also kind of miss the short tracks / 5 laps. Or maybe I don't? I don't know! But you could master them pretty quickly!
What an awesome game that still holds up! What do you think?!
Can't say I really disagree with anything here, except that I wouldn't rank SMK quite as high as you. It's a SNES classic that does still do some things better than its contemporaries, and because it feels so different from later Mario Karts (with more of an item focus), I feel it hasn't been dated as much as, say, something like Mario Kart: Super Circuit.
Literally my least favorite game in the series (I feel it aged terribly) but man...back when it first came out? What a ground-breaking, revolutionary title. It's been completely over shadowed by just about every other game in the series since (though I would say Mario Kart 64 aged the worst), but it's a great look into the past at what has become the world's most popular video game racer.
Glad there are still people out there that still really enjoy it, but maybe just not my specific cup of tea/shot of whiskey.
I recently played it at a gaming bar called Beer Geeks. Still fun, but the powersliding is so unforgiving! You've really gotta commit.
I don't know how often I'll go back, but, man, this game was like a bolt of lightning when it released. We played the living shit out of it. Races, Battle Mode, Time Trial competition. What a great, innovative, packed multiplayer title.
I always loved how the CPU had it's own endless stash of unique items, with some exclusive ones, even. Endlessly invulnerable Luigi was horseshit, but it was also awesome.
Y'know, I could've sworn that I'd played a 4-player version of Super Mario Kart on a giant tv at CES in Chicago before its release. But maybe that was some kind of fever dream? My brother remembers it, too, though...