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Nintengod
29-10-2007, 11:31 PM
Mario Kart 64 - Nintendo 64 (Released 1997)

Back in 1992, our favourite plumber Mario, was always viewed as a platform game. Then Nintendo announced a game that would change everything - Super Mario Kart on the SNES. This game, along with Street Fighter 2 and Mario World pretty much made the SNES the most sought after 16-bit machine of the time. Super Mario Kart was just perfect in every way : the controls were a dream, the powerups were fairly distributed, the opponents were challenging, the graphics and presentation were superb for its time and was and is arguably still, one of the best 2 player games ever.

So 5 years down the line, the N64 got it's Mario Kart incarnation. We all expected something REALLY special. What with the power of the mighty N64 and what it achieved so far with Mario's outing in Super Mario 64, they couldn't fail, could they? Well, it was always going to be a hard act to follow.....but yes, they did fail.....to a certain extent.

First off, and most importantly, the control system. For one reason or another, it just lacks what the SNES version had in abundance. The control system in the original was really tight, where as the N64 version feels sluggish and unresponsive by comparison. Secondly, the 1 player is a very boring game.....the original SNES game made you go back for more and more, and the time trials would take years out of your life, trying to shave 1/100ths of a second off your fastest time on Ghost Valley. I had no urge in Mario Kart 64 to do this.

Next off my chest of the disappointment stakes are the tracks....yea, they look good as you'd expect from the all powerful N64, but the SNES tracks were far better designed. The N64 tracks tend to be longer, but you only get 3 laps to complete, rather than 5 of the original. Also, why did they remove Koopa Troopa from the characters??? Instead, they added another heavyweight in Wario - and they already had Donkey Kong and Bowser.....it just made no sense at all adn spoiled the perfect balance it had before.

Powerups were similar to the original, although crucially Nintendo omitted the "feather" icon. If you are a fan of the original, you will remember the joy of using the feather to take a shortcut, or when a friend tried to take you out with a red shell, only to "hop" over it. Pure bliss - all gone in MK64.

I realise this has been a very negative review so far, so I will try to balance it out a little now with some good bits. As I mentioned before, the graphics look good. Secondly, the multiplayer is also a lot of fun, and you can now of course have up to 4 players. The battle zones are still in place, meaning that you can still play the balloon game we all loved from the original.

Incidentally, this is out on Virtual Console, which I did download , but my disappointment hasn't faded. In fact, I am more disappointed, as I now have to put up with the PAL version on VC, which is even slower than the NTSC MK64 I have on the N64. This game should have been the best game ever, or at least one of them. Instead, its a very standard kart racing game that's only superior to the likes of Crash Team Racing.

My advice....stick to the original.

Score : 6.5/10

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/42/Mario_Kart_64box.jpg

http://www.mywii.com.au/img/game/Mario-Kart-64-1.jpg

http://www.mywii.com.au/img/game/large/Mario-Kart-64-3.jpg

Talentz
29-10-2007, 11:34 PM
Arr man. This game should get a better review than that I grew up with this game.
And yes the tracks are 3laps but still a great game to have and should get a better score,ninten.

Nintengod
29-10-2007, 11:54 PM
Arr man. This game should get a better review than that I grew up with this game.
And yes the tracks are 3laps but still a great game to have and should get a better score,ninten.

6.5 may seem like a harsh score, but I am directly comparing it with Super Mario Kart (which i have now reviewed, please look!). I think it's a generation thing.....i grew up with Super Mario Kart, you grew up with Mario Kart 64.....but the SNES version is like the Beatles, and the N64 version is like Oasis - no comparison, the original is infinitely better.

Shooting Palanx
30-10-2007, 04:07 AM
Nice review, shocking rate :D

I guess everyone has different opinions, nice screenies.

Lightning Strike
30-10-2007, 08:28 AM
I think the rate suits the game, it has no real secrets to it so its just a repeditive fun racing game, I love the game myself, but I think that the score Nin gave it is about right, its not a perfect game in my eyes

Nintengod
30-10-2007, 11:17 AM
Nice review, shocking rate :D

I guess everyone has different opinions, nice screenies.

I did the review fully expecting a backlash! I know some people love Mario Kart 64....but I honestly can't think of one thing that Mario Kart 64 has that's as good as Super Mario Kart.

I still can't get over how sluggish the PAL version of Mario Kart 64 is....that deserves to be docked half a point for that alone!

Shooting Palanx
30-10-2007, 12:45 PM
I guess you see the game from both a gamers point and a technical stand point, even though I did have so much with the game, I might have to agree with your rate :D

Nintengod
30-10-2007, 02:17 PM
I guess you see the game from both a gamers point and a technical stand point, even though I did have so much with the game, I might have to agree with your rate :D

I don't think Mario Kart 64 is a terrible game....it's just a terrible let down. 6.5/10 is more of a reflection of the original being 10/10. The original is SIGNIFICANTLY superior, so if i was to award this game an 8, then i would have to give Super Mario Kart 11.5/10! :p

Shooting Palanx
30-10-2007, 02:19 PM
Haha!!! That is quite true :D

You wouldn't happen to have the ROM for the original Mario Kart for the SNES would you?

Talentz
30-10-2007, 02:24 PM
Yer thats what I was askin I need to try out this mario kart on the snes,Need to see whats so good about It.

Nintengod
30-10-2007, 02:32 PM
Haha!!! That is quite true :D

You wouldn't happen to have the ROM for the original Mario Kart for the SNES would you?

I do, but it runs quite buggy on ZSNES. Better off waiting till a clean official ROM comes out on the Virtual Console. It's worth the wait.

Shooting Palanx
30-10-2007, 02:36 PM
I guess I'll have to wait then :D