Racing it's way to first! Mario Kart 64 Review
I used to own Mario Kart 64 on the Nintendo 64, and I played it a lot. Mario Kart 64 is one of my favorite games of all time (maybe top 15).
I have played the original Mario Kart on the SNES (I'll review that one.), and it's great as well. It was Mario Kart's first transition into 3D.
It paved the way for future Mario Kart games.
Mario Kart 64 was developed and published by Nintendo, and released December 14th, 1996 for the Nintendo 64. Mario Kart 64 is the Nintendo 64's second best-selling game with 9.87 million copies sold., only to be topped by Super Mario 64. With all that out of the way, time for the review.
GRAPHICS, 8: For early N64 titles, it's very good. The game features 2D items and sprites with 3D environments and tracks.
When at the player s
elect screen, the eight characters have animations where they blink and have slight head movements.
When you s
elect the player, they have another animation, which is usually a celebration taunt.
Before each race, you'll see Lakitu countdown to start the race.
While racing, if you're in 2nd or 3rd place, you may notice that racers in front of you sort of pop-in if you get close. This could be because of the N64's memory limit.
Each characters karts are different colors to represent them, such as Mario's kart being red, Luigi's blue, Peach's kart being pink, and Bowser's being orange. The only characters with the same color karts are Luigi and Yoshi. although Yoshi's kart is a lighter green.
Each track varies in size with the smallest being Moo Moo Farm (0:36 lap time), and the largest being Rainbow Road (2:00 lap time).
On the tracks, there are obstacles moving. On Luigi's Raceway, there's a Luigi air balloon that moves up and down on the track, and even has an item box attached to it. On Moo Moo Farm, there are moles that pop up out of the ground. On one of the best courses in the game. Toad's Turnpike, you race on a highway and have to avoid traffic. On Rainbow Road, there's two chain chomps.
When you collect a item box, a small roulette wheel pops up and randomly s
elects a item.
When you use a item, it'll display a small effect. Usually a fire trial, or a smoke effect, sometimes both.
When you powerslide, a smoke effect appears. When you land a jump, a small text graphic saying "POMP" will appear. If you jump, it'll say "BOING!"
Each character has about 8 sprites, and these sprites are shown when the characters turn. They're pixelated on the edges, but that may also be because of the N64's memory limits. The game looks very good, especially for the N64, so graphics get an eight.
SOUND, 10: Mario Kart 64 has a great soundtrack. I has about 20 songs. The best are Raceways, Bowser's Castle, and Rainbow Road.
The songs really add atmosphere the the game. When you start the game, Mario will say "Welcome to Mario Kart!".
During the Lakitu countdowns, he's holding a bar full of light. Two green lights, and one blue. There will be three beeps. It's basically "Ready, Set, GO!" because the third beep is longer than the rest.
The sound effects are good too. Powersliding, bumping, jumping, advancing to the next lap and winning all have sounds. When the last lap comes, the songs is sped up, which really adds a sense of 'hurry!'.
When you s
elect your character, they'll say something. Peach says "let's go!". Mario says "lets-a-go!". Luigi says "ho-ho!".
Also, after winning a race, they'll say something, too. Mario will say "I've got it!", while Luigi says "It's-a-me, Luigi! Number one!"
The sounds are really what made this game classic, so sound gets a ten.
ADDICITVENESS, 10: This is a game that is not only fun, but addictive. Trying to find all of the shortcuts are fun, as well as performing them.
Also, trying to win the cups on the harder difficulties is fun and challenging. The multiplayer modes, such as split-screen racing or the battle modes (four players only) are very fun too. I'd say it takes about 15 to 30 minutes to complete each cup. I've easily played this game for 20+ hours. Addictiveness gets a ten.
STORY: There is no story to this game, but if I had to guess, Mario and his friends (and even Bowser), all take a day off to go kart racing.
The winner is awarded a gold medal, second place silver, and third place bronze. In the end, it's all just a fun day off for Mario and friends.
DEPTH, 7: There is plenty to do in this game. First off, there are 4 cups, and each cup has 4 different tracks., making a total of 16 tracks across 4 cups. There's the Mushroom cup, the Flower cup, the Star cup, and the Special cup. There are different trophies to get for winning cups on each difficulty. There's also shortcuts on almost every track, with the most famous being Wario Stadium and Rainbow Road.
There's also time trails, where you to get the best possible time on each track. There's no opponents, so this is where usually you experiment with the shortcuts or the track itself. The game features eight characters. Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Toad, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Wario and Bowser are all playable. Technically, they all play the same, but their karts handle differently. Toad and Peach are lighter, while DK and Bowser are heavier.
Mario Kart 64 contains One, Two, Three and even Four-player modes. The One, Two, and Three player modes are all split-screen racing. These can be fun and chaotic. The Battle Mode is exclusive to the Four-Player mode. In Battle Mode, there are four courses to battle in.
All four players race in a mini bomb kart with three balloons on it. If a player is hit with a item, is bumped hard, or falls of the course, a balloon will fall off. If all balloons fall off, that player is eliminated. The last player with balloons attached will win.
It's every man or himself and last man standing. It's extremely fun.
Apart from winning all cups on all difficulties, setting the best times on time trials, and playing the multiplayer modes, there's nothing else to do after that. For depth, Mario Kart 64 gets a seven.
DIFFICULTY, 5: Mario Kart 64 has three difficulties. 50 cc(easy), 100 cc(medium), and 150 cc(hard). On 50 cc, the computer racers are slower than the player, but there are always one or two that are almost as fast as the player. You can easily win all races on 50 cc.
Also, you get better items if you are behind.
On 100 cc, most computer racers go as fast or maybe a little faster that the player. If you're in front by a few turns, the computer will start rubber-banding (a very common issue found in racing games) and getting close. If you're behind, you'll mostly get good items, and obviously, it's harder to get first place.
On 150 cc, all computer racers go as fast or faster than the player. It's much harder to win, and if you're ahead, rubber-banding takes place.
The computer may get a blue shell if you're in first.
If you're behind you'll sometimes get good items.
150 cc is only recommend for really good players.
You can find a difficulty that isn't too easy, or too hard, so Difficulty gets a five.
OVERALL, 9.1: Mario Kart 64 is one of the best Mario Kart games. It was there series' first transition into 3D, although it isn't entirely 3D.
It's very enjoyable, fun, addictive, and easy to play. Overall Mario Kart 64 gets a 9.1 out of 10.
Thanks for reading this review, and until next review, bye!