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 The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8

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Dusty Knackers
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Fri 25 Apr 2014 - 18:00

I was a Wario guy mostly, probably because of him being new to the series back then. Toad or Yoshi were my back-ups.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Fri 25 Apr 2014 - 22:37

Love me some MK64 still my fav to this day. Playing split-screen with a few chap with some cans of cola Wink was the best playing as my guy Yoshi.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Fri 25 Apr 2014 - 22:59

Dusty wrote:
I'd be hard pushed to think of a more enjoyable game mode than 64's Battle mode. To me, this is still the finest local multiplayer in any Kart game (second best probably goes to Double Dash, more on that in a few weeks time). Four player Battle mode on Block Fort would rank as one of my favourite multiplayer games of all time. They don't make them like this anymore.

Block fort multiplayer is easily my best memory of MK64 it was always the go to game mode (alongside goldeneye) at Christmas with my brothers & cousins.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Sun 27 Apr 2014 - 3:47

Sorry to rush things along, but time is against us, so...


Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2001)




2001 saw the debut of Mario Kart on a Nintendo handheld, the Game Boy Advance. Super Circuit blended features and its style from its predecessors, Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart 64.


   

Super Circuit was hailed at the time for its content: Single player with over forty tracks (twenty borrowed from Super Mario Kart), and multiplayer and battle modes via the GBA's link cable, all squeezed in to a tiny cartridge.


   

What did you make of Mario Kart's portable debut?

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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Sun 27 Apr 2014 - 9:28

In a word: meh. It's aged about as well as its SNES forebear. Its multiplayer, although it does have four-player, was hindered by the need for four consoles, four copies of the game and three link cables (which often weren't long enough). And the powerslide was and is a tad rubbish. Worst of all, though, was the need to get the higher grades in the Grand Prix to unlock everything. This involved collecting the non-regenerating coins, which were frequently and unavoidably lost to Boos, Blue Shells and Lightning. Hissy fit 

It wasn't all bad. The soundtrack was superb for the time, and although it has since aged dramatically, Sky Garden (among others) remains great to this day. It was an incredible feat on the hardware, packing a game essentially twice the size of the SNES original (and more varied) into a teeny tiny cartridge for a handheld. The CPUs were the least cheaty to date. And Sunset Wilds deserves a special mention, for its ability to annoy Jay. Cheeky 

Everyone seems to be mentioning their personal multiplayer experiences. Mine wasn't great with SC: got a three-player game running, once, and was soundly thrashed by someone who was much less into Nintendo in general than I was.

I still played as Yoshi and Bowser.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Sun 27 Apr 2014 - 10:57

Not one I ever owned but I did play my cousins version and really enjoyed it. Never been tempted to load it up on the 3DS though.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Sun 27 Apr 2014 - 11:09

Super Circuit is another great Mario Kart, though one it took me a good few years to warm to. I remember being really excited and bolting home from school on a pissing-it-down Friday on the day it came out, but after spending a week trying to get into it I just wasn't enjoying it. Two reasons for this: firstly, it was closer to SMK rather than the preferred MK64, and secondly - but most importantly - this was only a few days after 9/11. I don't think anybody was in the mood for gaming, truth be told. I wasn't.

I wound up trading it in, and not playing it again until I got it dead cheap in Blockbuster during the early days of the Wii. I still didn't take to it immediately, but on reflection it really is the best amalgamation of it's prequels that it could have been, utilising the strongest bits from each of them and fitting them around the hardware. True, I missed the N64 drifting, but everything else was pretty much spot on.

I don't think I prefer it to Super Mario Kart or Mario Kart 64, but it's among the GBA's very best nonetheless.

A bit of a con that the Wii U Virtual Console version is very unlikely to feature the multiplayer though. I never got to try that.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Sun 27 Apr 2014 - 11:20

I was too young (and possibly too selfish) to appreciate the events of that day.  I blitzed through the single-player, and had a lot of fun doing so, until I had to start getting the higher ranks.  At which point, my above issue with the coins came into play.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Sun 27 Apr 2014 - 22:15

This is the game I got with my first GBA so Im quite fond of it, loved that it was more in line with the snes games & as already mentioned had some fun tracks like sky garden & ribbon road.

Though I do feel I have to say that when I revisited the game with the 3ds ambassador programme I was shocked by how slidey the controls are.


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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Sun 27 Apr 2014 - 22:59

My first Mario Kart! I don't know how it'd hold up if I played it today, but I remember having a really good time with it. Would I have felt the same if I'd played SMK or 64 beforehand? Maybe not - but as my first taste of Mario Kart I was hooked.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Mon 28 Apr 2014 - 15:58

I gave Super Circuit a bit of a playthrough last night. It holds up very well, I feel. That said, it got me thinking: as good as it is, I wouldn't necessarily say that it does any individual thing better than all six of the other Mario Kart games. It's something of a jack of all trades, but master of none.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Tue 29 Apr 2014 - 16:59

The Cappuccino Kid wrote:
It's something of a jack of all trades, but master of none.

From the Mario Karts I've played, this seems like a fair classification of Super Circuit.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Tue 29 Apr 2014 - 17:14

I only played Super Circuit as a 3DS Ambassador. Given the hardware of the time I found it surprisingly good and the coins gave me nostalgia. I never delved too deeply into it, though.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Tue 29 Apr 2014 - 17:32

I played Super Circuit to death. I've always been more of a handheld gamer than a home console one, and it was a brilliant handheld realisation of a home console game - and one with a tonne of content. I tended to use the "quick race" mode after playing through every grand prix, turning the coins off and upping the number of laps to five. (I can't really remember why, but that's just the way I liked to play it.)

It had a lot of brilliant courses - I particularly liked "that" shortcut in Ribbon Road, as well as Sky Garden (like Balla mentioned) and some of the weirder ones like Cheese Land. I found a lot of them pretty challenging too, like Luigi Circuit and Lakeside Park.

One thing I didn't much enjoy, though, was the AI - I always played as either Yoshi or Toad, and it was always the other lightweight characters that would come top. Bowser, DK and Wario were shit, all the time, and I don't know why. The positions each character would achieve was entirely predictable - the CPUs would get the same place in every race in a grand prix, for example - and that was pretty weird.

It's aged a bit, I think mainly because of the drifting. Powerslides aren't nearly as tight as they have been in games since, and it takes a bit of getting used to. I'm also not sure how much powersliding particularly helps - the little blue boost you get never struck me as something that made much difference.

Oh! And the music for SC's Rainbow Road is my favourite out of every RR iteration.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Wed 30 Apr 2014 - 0:44

'Tis a shame I missed out on writing some words about Mario Kart 64, but I've got plenty to say about Super Circuit.

Super Circuit is one of the more interesting Mario Karts in my eyes. Despite being developed by Intelligent Systems (even the music has an Advance Wars-y sound to it), I really like how they went full circle and incorporated bits from Mario 64 back into the 2D Mario Kart formula.

Back when I first played it in 2001 I didn't really notice this, but I was astonished all the same at how amazing it looked, and it took me ages to master the game's complex more handling model, though I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of the drifting since you can't really use it to correct your driving so much.

But yes, still have fond memories of this, I like how some of the courses looped around each other, too, and the return to the narrow style tracks from Super Mario Kart. And how you could unlock that game's courses, what a gift! It certainly carries on the competitive, engaging, compelling single player experience that Super Mario Kart had, even remaining quite the challenge whenever I boot it up on my 3DS, and I really appreciate that.

It speaks volumes when I just realised I barely returned to single player Grand Prix in any other Mario Kart except this and Super Mario Kart (I did it on Mario Kart DS to get the Three Stars, but success on that particular challenge felt arbitrary at times).

One thing that was always weird to me was how they reused Luigi's voice from the Japanese version of Mario Kart 64, back when Luigi's voice wasn't really final. Still sticks out like a sore thumb!
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Wed 30 Apr 2014 - 16:01

fronkhead wrote:
'Tis a shame I missed out on writing some words about Mario Kart 64

You can have your say on it if you like, just stick what you say in a spoiler box in your last post or something.


(Back to Super Circuit...)

Didn't play this when it was released, I gave up on the Game Boy Advance pretty early on in its life due to its lack of back-lit screen, which made it pretty difficult to play and enjoy. I didn't give myself the chance to play Super Circuit until 2011 when it was a part of the 3DS's Ambassador Games promotion. First impressions weren't great, it looked quite ropey to my visually spoiled eyes, and the karts handled like they were being driven around Vanilla Lake. Track design is poor, I understand that there were limitations on what could be done back then, but even so, there was no need to make every track a twisty, turney, labyrinth, I'm thinking that even the developers realised how convoluted the tracks were given that they added on-screen directional arrows to assist drivers around the tracks/mazes . I tried my best to enjoy it, given my love of Mario Kart, but I couldn't click with it.

Booted it up again a few weeks back to give myself a refresher course on it, and my opinion hasn't changed that much. The only difference is that I can enjoy it a bit more now, possibly because I'm being carried away by MK nostalgia in preparation for 8's release.

I think Super Circuit is to me what Super Mario Kart is to a lot of other forumites: it's the game I didn't play when it was current, and I can't 'go back' and enjoy it with my eyes full of nostalgia.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Wed 30 Apr 2014 - 16:14

fronkhead wrote:
'Tis a shame I missed out on writing some words about Mario Kart 64, but I've got plenty to say about Super Circuit.

If this thread isn't an incentive to log on every week, I don't know what is!

And yep, Dusty, that's pretty much exactly how I feel about SMK, apart from the handling quibble. I know I haven't played the original for long enough to comment on its handling.

Did many people have problems with the lack of backlight? Didn't seem any worse than the Game Boys to me. Meh
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Sat 3 May 2014 - 17:34

Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Nintendo Gamecube (2003)



Just over two years after its handheld debut, Mario Kart returned to a Nintendo home console in the shape of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! It arrived at a time when Nintendo's latest console, the Gamecube, needed a shot in the arm.



   


Double Dash!! brought about the biggest change that the series had ever had: two characters sharing each vehicle. The change was intended to add an extra layer of strategy and complexity to the game, given that drivers could now hold more weapons (including some character specific weapons). DD!! was the first Mario Kart title to allow drivers to select their vehicle, the size and specs of which were determined by the driving team selected. Double Dash also saw the debut of online multiplayer, this was possible via the Nintendo Broadband Adapter, though it required a great number of TVs, consoles, and people in the same place at the same time.



   


Mario Kart: Double Dash!! then, how does this rate amongst everyone? Tell your tale below.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Sat 3 May 2014 - 17:58

Loved Double Dash. I know it gets a lot of rap for being "slower", but I loved it. The courses were great, I thought character specific items was a great move and local multiplayer was such a laugh. My favourite Mario kart.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Sat 3 May 2014 - 18:26

Double Dash - the point at which Mario Kart jumped the shark.  Despite removing the ability to actually jump.

I make no secret of the fact that, at least before MK7, DD!! was my favourite game in the series.  It wasn't because of the track design, which was all right: nothing as bad as MK64's worst, but nothing that could touch its best either.  (And sixteen courses ties with MK64 for the smallest number in the series.)  Nor was it because of the speed, which was disappointingly slow, or the handling.  And it certainly wasn't because of the removal of the hop.

It was because it was absolute madness.  Two characters in a cart?  Genius!  That's two weapons at a time, without needing to drag one behind you, and I don't think that people calling it the ultimate party Mario Kart (which it is) necessarily appreciate the extra layer of strategy this provided.  Not to mention that having to intercept red shells with a well-timed backthrow required more skill than just dragging a banana.  

As for the multiplayer, what can I say?  Split-screen with no slowdown and all the craziness of the main game, or even the fun-for-a-bit gimmick of co-operatively controlling two characters in one car!  It also had the last great battle mode, keeping the classic mode while adding Shine Thief (which was all right) and Bob-Omb Blast (which was bloody mental), although the courses lacked the greatness of N64 Block Fort or Skyscraper.

But what I loved most about this game was the special items.  Bowser's giant shell, DK's similarly proportioned banana, the babies' Chain Chomp (that makes it the only game so far where the babies have been worth including)...  There was finally a reason to choose Bowser over Wario, Waluigi over Luigi, or Diddy Kong over... well, anyone.  (I usually went for Bowser and DK, for the ultimate defence, in the Boo Pipes.  Horrible car, great acceleration.)  I can't understand why they've never been brought back. Sad

I've said since that MK7 has beaten this game in my esteem, with its gliders, hopping, and having almost twice as many courses.  Now that I've had a think about it, I'm not so sure.  DD!! definitely has the best multiplayer in the series in my opinion, with or without its tricky-to-set-up online mode.  Even its infuriating all-cup tour was a welcome addition to the single-player.  Plus, it had the Barrel Train.  So maybe this is still my favourite in the series. Tough choice...
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Sat 3 May 2014 - 21:07

Did you ever try playing with two players on one pad? I forget if that was in the game or just something I did with mates, but it was a proper laugh.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Sat 3 May 2014 - 21:32

I think that may have been a Jay-vention. Razz I do remember coming second to my father and sister in one cart on Rainbow Road, in a moment of particular embarrassment: I thought I was them for about half of the first lap and never caught up. Embarrassed 
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Sun 4 May 2014 - 1:07

Balladeer wrote:
I think that may have been a Jay-vention. Razz I do remember coming second to my father and sister in one cart on Rainbow Road, in a moment of particular embarrassment: I thought I was them for about half of the first lap and never caught up. Embarrassed 

Excuses...  Razz 

Nah, I thought it might be. But still - the fact that I felt the need to come up with that idea is a testament to just how good Double Dash was at its local multiplayer.

Favourite courses? I really liked Daisy Cruiser and this iteration of Rainbow Road, and Baby Park was an oft-frequented haunt when playing local multiplayer.

I've never seen the online mode of Double Dash in action - anyone get a chance to try it?
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Tue 6 May 2014 - 2:08

Some great multiplayer memories of this, I even managed to get a game going in school on one of the last days of term and one of the projectors, was a brilliant set up and a lot of fun. It's strange how well the double karts worked considering it never became the norm and probably wouldn't feel right if it did, would be nice to have it as an extra mode though but let's not ask too much shall we. I would love to see character specific items return though, makes character selection seem that bit more important.
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PostSubject: Re: The Mario Kart Retrospective. Part Eight - Mario Kart 8   Tue 6 May 2014 - 7:54

Another one whose memories of Double Dash!! were mostly multiplayer - one single session, in fact, at a friend of a friend's. When I bought it to play through the Wii, it was fun in single player. More, even, than actual Mario Kart Wii (I felt).
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