Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review: Mario Kart: Super Circuit

Mario Kart: Super Circuit is the 3rd game in the Mario Kart franchise that was released on the Gameboy Advance and was released as one of the 3DS Ambassador games. While it doesn't stick out as much as the other Mario Kart games and may feel weird at first, it is still a fun game. It also takes  the position as the first handheld Mario Kart game. Like Super Mario Kart, it has 20 courses and now has five cups instead of the usual four, but also includes the original courses from Super Mario Kart. It also has the original  50, 100 and 150cc classes, along with a new mode, the Quick Run mode, where you can race on any course unlocked without having to enter a whole cup. Time Trials also makes its return, like all the other games. 

Multi player returns and requires a link cable and at least one copy of the game. One problem is that the multiplayer is unplayable on 3DS because it has no way to read a link cable due to it being a wireless system, which is a classic fail. Battle mode returns and like before, only available in multi player. Then there is still versus and grand prix mode like before, where you can race your friends. As I mentioned before, you need only one copy of the game to play multi player, so if two Gameboy Advances and a link cable are lying around, find a possible way to get this game and have a friend try it along with you. 

As I mentioned before, the Super Mario Kart courses are all unlockable, but there a few problems. One is ALL of the road hazards are removed, ranging from the pipes to oil spills. Second, backgrounds from the game's main courses are used in the classic courses instead of remaking the old ones, which probably took away nostalgia factors.                                     

If this were in Super Circuit, that pipe on the top screen would be gone and the background would be replaced with the background in the course above,

After all that, the controls tend to be a little slippery, making it difficult to turn and do drifts. It doesn't ruin the fun, but I feel that the controls could have been more polished. Overall, it's not the worst controls, though. 

The graphics are pretty good for Gameboy Advance standards. It uses Mode 7 style graphics that make the flat courses look 3D. The racer models are the same ones from Mario Kart 64, in which if you read my review for it, I mentioned the models looked really bad for its system. They were lowered down graphic wise for the Gameboy Advance, in which they don't look bad on. The backgrounds on the courses were very nicely done along with the courses themselves. The Mode 7 stages are great and look good in the game. Graphic-wise, I pretty much have no complaints.

While graphics are good, this topic is a little mixed. Most of the music is in fact enjoyable, while most of it appears to be pretty low tech for the Gameboy Advance. Voices are just flat out weird. Many of the voices are from the Japanese version of Mario Kart 64, which sound slightly weird and a little unrealistic. A few characters use voices from the American version, which sound more comfortable . I don't really have a comment on the sound effects, as they sound decent and well enough for its time. 

This game, like other Mario Kart games, is a must have. Sadly, the Gameboy Advance era is over, so this game is rarer than it originally was. It was released as a virtual console game for the 3DS Ambassador program, so if you are a 3DS ambassador and have not downloaded it yet, I highly recommend you download this one. There are no current plans to release it to the public, but trusting Nintendo this may happen in the future. If it was, this would indeed be a must have for your virtual console collection.



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