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Super Mario Kart

スーパーマリオカート

Developer / Publisher: Nintendo
27 August 1992
Super Mario Kart [スーパーマリオカート] - cover art
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2.95 / 5.0
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1,188 Ratings / 2 Reviews
#3,065 All-time
#64 for 1992
Super Mario Kart is a racing game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the first game of the Mario Kart series, as well as the game that sets precedents to the fictional kart racing genre. Part of this game is heavily based on Super Mario World in terms of graphics and overall theme.
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Super Mario Kart Série super classic
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This is quite a bad Mario Kart [マリオカート] game. I did come in thinking that the original game that started it all probably hasn't aged the best, but I didn't expect it to be as aggravating to get through as it actually is. Now I will list some positives first. Kind of like F-Zero [エフゼロ], this game does use the Mode 7 feature pretty well and it has a very great soundtrack to boot. In terms of the soundtrack, I especially like that there are unique victory themes for each racer when they win. It also has several elements such as the super iconic item wheel that truly makes this game Mario Kart [マリオカート]. I can even praise it at a content level since it features a battle mode and the option to play multiplayer locally.

And that's where my positives end because there are so many problems with this game that I don't even know where the game is really at its worst. First, I'd like to mention the driving mechanics. I do not enjoy using the B button to accelerate and the A button to use items, it's not a great control scheme to work with. The game does have drifting but the drifting feels very unsatisfying to pull off and is sometimes even slower than just straight up turning on a corner. Considering I started off playing the later Mario Kart [マリオカート] games, mainly Mario Kart Wii [マリオカートWii] onwards, the drifting just feels off and I can never really get used to it even as I get closer to figuring out how it actually works. Using the items is definitely the most fun as far as the control scheme goes but not by much. A lot of the items do not feel balanced and often straight up do not work half the time. The lightning might as well be a "free win" button, the red shell sometimes targets directly through walls which obviously makes it miss, and it never feels practical to use the mushroom on anything other than a straightaway. So yeah the driving is not great but it is something that I think I can live with, it's not so unfun that it completely ruins the game. Ruining the game would be combining this with playing the main Grand Prix mode.

The Grand Prix mode is a miserable experience if you play anything other than the Mushroom Cup. There are two reasons for this: the track design and the CPUs. The track design is pretty hit-and-miss, mostly miss, across all 20 available racetracks. There are tracks I do dig playing on such as Mario Circuit 2, Choco Island 1, and Ghost Valley 1. But that is countered by tracks that are either filled with a ludicrous amount of hazards and slowdown opportunities that pretty much mean your race is killed (Ghost Valley 3, Donut Plains 3), or braindead and/or horribly designed courses to the point where you feel like you aren't even playing a proper Mario Kart [マリオカート] track (both Vanilla Lakes, Bowser Castle 2, Koopa Beach 1). And when I say "your race is killed", I mean "your race is killed". The CPUs are relentless, the game is terrible at giving you good items to catch up (you just have to pray for lightning every time), and Lakitu takes 5 business days to get you out of hazardous situations meaning that you are most likely 8th place by the time he's done. Let's talk about the CPUs in particular because they are another reason why the Grand Prix mode is not fun. So imagine you're playing this game and pick Koopa Troopa. You will want Luigi dead and buried by the time each cup is over because he not only can just turn invincible at will even without going over a ? panel, hop frame 1 over your shells or other items, but when you do manage to hit him he just brushes it off like it's nothing and boosts with 2 TIMES THE SPEED BACK TO THE POSITION THE GAME WANTS HIM IN IN SOME OF THE MOST LUDICROUS RUBBERBANDING I HAVE EVER SEEN. He's not the only one that can just use items either, Yoshi can throw eggs, Peach and Toad have a way to make you small with poison mushrooms, and I don't even want to get started on Bowser's fireball thing that is basically just "here's a banana but infinitely better :)". It's even more of a problem because the game FOR SOME REASON was like "I wanna be F-Zero [エフゼロ] lite" and doesn't allow you to progress if you get below 4th place, forcing you to retry until you run out of lives. It's not even that I hate the system, I just don't see a reason why it makes sense here especially if you're on something like Ghost Valley 3. And not just that but the Special Cup is locked behind 3 first place finishes in all 3 100cc cups, and 150cc is locked behind 4 first place finishes across all cups but considering it was a pain at 100cc I don't think I'm missing out on much.

Okay, I will say though. Despite clearly having a lot to complain about when it comes to the game, I can't really bring myself to really dislike it. I did still have a lot of fun at points even with all the stupid stuff the game throws at me and the game can become fun with its current mechanics if you play the Battle mode or the 1 v 1 mode with no CPUs anywhere, which I think may be the most optimal way to experience the game, even if you need to unlock everything first to get all the tracks. And I do admire this game as a first step in what turns out to be a great and constantly improving franchise. That being said though, it is a very rough first step and when you give me the option between this and F-Zero [エフゼロ] for an SNES racing game, I'd pick F-Zero [エフゼロ] in a heartbeat. It's mechanically better in spite of not having the content. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the worst Mario Kart [マリオカート] game.
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Sothras 2024-02-03T17:42:23Z
2024-02-03T17:42:23Z
2.5
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yoitu 2023-10-11T16:38:27Z
2023-10-11T16:38:27Z
›80%
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An absolutely wretched experience through and through, and not just for the bland nature of the courses for the most part. Super Mario Kart is honestly a game that I feel fails in practically every way to the point where starting off with its positive attributes is easy enough to fit into a single paragraph. The reason I'm not giving this a lower score can be traced to a few different elements, the biggest being that even in its simplest form, Mario Kart is wonderfully charming and I heavily appreciate certain elements of this game's presentation. I also think that from a technical standpoint this is really, really cool, being able to somewhat craft a 3D effect on a 2D console and then apply it to basically everything, must've been a bit mind blowing for the time, or at least I imagine it would have been.

Unfortunately, while technically very impressive, the game is also downright nauseating to the point where playing this for around an hour is enough to make me feel genuinely ill. Every individual facet of the track ahead of the player feels as if it moves and pulsates constantly, often flickering between textures before the camera itself moves in unpleasant ways. This is an issue present throughout the game and makes the base experience of driving, even when separating it from literally everything else the game has to offer, feel horrible. This is especially notable on Rainbow Road, which combines the issues of the flickering, constantly moving textures with a rapidfire onslaught of colour that changes very quickly if you're driving at an even slightly reasonable pace, sickening stuff. The way the player controls while driving also feels very off, and I think it's both due to the controls themselves but also with the way the game attempts to establish a fully 3D space. I feel that it's extremely difficult to gain a full grasp of the speed of the character and the way they handle turns, often feeling as if you're either too slippery, as your character moves like they're on ice, or they turn at such sharp angles that you're almost guaranteed to overturn and bump into something else, made especially egregious by this issue with depth perception that plagues everything.

While the core gameplay loop itself is utterly broken it feels, it's made all the worse by how unashamedly the AI just cheats all over the place. The rubber banding is absolutely insane here, to the point where it feels as if the items you use on your opponents are practically useless as they'll speed up to catch up with their expected position extremely quickly, giving the player only about 10 - 15 seconds before it all looks the same. The idea of giving each character a "rival" that sticks close behind you is a pretty cool idea on paper, but it just makes it worse when the game feels as jankily conceived as it is, with them seemingly having unlimited access to a particular powerup, determined by what character they are. While this is already annoying with something like an unlimited supply of green shells on hand, the fact that Mario and Luigi are able to activate a star like this is absurd and makes it practically impossible to win if they're what the game considers your rival.

The way the AI acts makes it feel as if the game outright hates the player, and not in the usual, upbeat and funny way that this series already does, where it feels as if it's just sitting there grinning while it throws more nonsense at your way, but actual, genuine hatred and aggressive refusal to let the player gain any distance. The courses almost all have a couple of turns that feel way too janky, the depth perception makes it hard to properly judge how to move to avoid obstacles, the AI is specifically tailored to never give the player a hint of reprieve, and the visuals are physically sickening. While I'm sure that some people would say that the multiplayer experience is more engaging and fun as it does away with a lot of the AI nonsense, I'd say that while it's true that basically any game is more fun with friends, that I would literally rather play almost any other game with them than this nightmare.
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Kempokid 2022-02-17T10:20:41Z
2022-02-17T10:20:41Z
1.0
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When it comes to SNES racers, its always a debate of F-zero against Mario kart. Both games have very different themes and objectives however. Mario Kart is harder to handle mechanically, and there is really a lot to learn in order to hit those curves just right. It also allows the racers to use weapons against each other, which can make the game a bit harder to perform well since there are many more variable to take into account. Its not as fast, and ends being more family friendly just because of the cartoonish visuals.

In the end, i enjoy myself more playing f-zero, but i do feel that Super Mario Kart is deeper and ultimatly better racing game out of the two. It also has the bonus of local multiplayer, which i didnt have the opportunity to test out, but seems like an addiction that would make the game even greater.
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Threntall 2016-06-27T15:27:08Z
2016-06-27T15:27:08Z
3.0
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Super Mario Kart is yet another Nintendo classic which became a huge, cultural(?) SNES hit in the early 1990's. Despite of being just a mere racing game, it offered new, fresh Mario action packed gaming moments plus the player could use a " realistic three dimensional" view to move sideways like a real car. Yeah, the tracks are simply flat but the effect was revolutional those days. Mario and his friends can use items to either move faster, hit the opponent off the track or simply cheat to race to first place. There are many challenging racing tracks, two different difficulty modes, eight familiar Mario characters and the two player mode. Battle Mode is probably the best mode because two players can use items to wipe each others out. The first one who bursts three balloons is the winner.

Played the game many times before i discovered "Mario Kart 64" and "Diddy Kong Racing" were far more enjoyable. I don't like the way that you earn only one item per a lap. It gives more challenge but it works better in the other Mario Kart releases because the players can pick up multiple items per a lap. It's just an opinion, but still. One another thing is that the racer doesn't get any special items if (s)he already is in the first position, but the opponent on the other hand keeps throwing their individual items every time they reach the player. That's often, by the way. How many times have you hit the mushroom or the banana peel? Some of the special items are so rare that i think i've never gotten the lightning item...

The soundtrack of Super Mario Kart is marvellous. Even though it isn't written by the main Mario musician 近藤浩治 [Koji Kondo], it still very nice to see that Soyo Oka and Taro Bando have created something very melodic and brisky. Typical Nintendo music but as enjoyable as always. The best of all, the soundtrack has aged quite well even though it feels rather tacky. Heh, even some of the game over tunes sound happy! They even reused Bowser's theme from "Super Mario World"!

...But then the music gets frustrating when the race gets harder...
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RaggaR 2016-04-14T10:36:32Z
2016-04-14T10:36:32Z
4.0
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Catalog

riffmachine スーパーマリオカート 2024-04-17T23:15:54Z
2024-04-17T23:15:54Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
AngrycatCL Super Mario Kart 2024-04-17T15:00:07Z
SNES • US
2024-04-17T15:00:07Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
polland Super Mario Kart 2024-04-16T19:46:05Z
SNES • US
2024-04-16T19:46:05Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
extremenoisebird スーパーマリオカート 2024-04-15T04:51:59Z
2024-04-15T04:51:59Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
pearguy スーパーマリオカート 2024-04-10T18:11:26Z
2024-04-10T18:11:26Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
kafeis スーパーマリオカート 2024-04-09T18:56:34Z
2024-04-09T18:56:34Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jesseleefoster スーパーマリオカート 2024-04-07T22:55:28Z
2024-04-07T22:55:28Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
damonweibgen スーパーマリオカート 2024-04-06T17:10:49Z
2024-04-06T17:10:49Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MasterOfShaft スーパーマリオカート 2024-04-04T17:11:11Z
2024-04-04T17:11:11Z
Mid
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
LesbianKit スーパーマリオカート 2024-04-03T19:38:55Z
2024-04-03T19:38:55Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MikeyPaine Super Mario Kart 2024-04-02T02:32:11Z
SNES • US
2024-04-02T02:32:11Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
spookypurpp スーパーマリオカート 2024-03-30T23:44:56Z
2024-03-30T23:44:56Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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1-2 players
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1x Cartridge
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  • Super Mario Kart
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  • Previous comments (20) Loading...
  • daskull 2023-01-25 04:01:40.888026+00
    best in the series
    reply
    • worstcaseontario 2023-03-21 19:56:25.931391+00
      based
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  • vivus 2023-01-31 20:15:08.84593+00
    i'm sure the multiplayer is fun but the single-player aged like an open can of soda left in the summer heat
    reply
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  • 666LILGILGAMESH666 2023-03-20 20:07:01.226554+00
    if u want a challenge press y on character select screen to play tiny mode
    reply
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  • HeatherMadhouse 2023-05-14 13:13:49.080568+00
    based ass game
    reply
    • Cody645 2023-05-18 22:12:12.124786+00
      oh yeah this game is bussin- lilmar
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  • 4D3D3D3 2023-06-27 23:01:40.340794+00
    best music in the series at least
    reply
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  • FleegalFlargel 2023-09-26 00:07:17.104304+00
    wow I can't believe the spike in difficulty when trying the special cup. Narrow roads + rivals spamming items from behind + being stuck behind said rivals so can't get past + rivals outright cheating by jumping over bananas/shells 90% of the time + being knocked off into water/bottomless pit = a very unhappy lad who wants to get a hammer and you know... ;) boink boink boink into pretty little pieces, sprinkle them on toast, yum yum, bye bye
    reply
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  • kaifmo31 2024-03-15 22:50:45.865928+00
    takes a while to get used to the controls but when you do its so much fun
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