If I had to make a list that defined the SNES for me, Super Mario Kart would be right up there at the top of the list. So much so that even after I had gotten a Playstation, my SNES stayed hooked up almost exclusively for Mario Kart. I can vividly remember still having crazy two player battles against friends in 1997 or so. And this was after getting the game right when it came out in 92.
Since those days there have been a lot of other Mario Kart games, and I've played and loved most of them. And my favorites (Double Dash, MK8) have totally eclipsed the original for me. But this week Nintendo 'surprised' us all by dropping twenty SNES games on the Switch Online service, so I figured what better time to go back to the beginning?
It's possible that I haven't played Super Mario Kart in twenty years now. Maybe I'm wrong. But I can't remember playing it in that time since I was checking out sequels instead. And yet, it's amazing to me how well I remember each track. And I mean, no wasting time on 55cc mode, I was coming in first on everything. These tracks are just so iconic to me that it was like a time-warp straight back to the 90's in my bedroom after school.
I didn't have a lot of time to play last night, but I got gold in the Mushroom and Flower cups and did a save state in the middle of the Star one. The game still looks fantastic. Who knew that Mode 7 would still hold up so well? And the controls are tight and concise, which is really the most important thing in a game like this.
Again, given the existence of newer and better Mario Kart games, I can't see a whole lot of reason to come back to the first game often. But it's nice to revisit an old favorite and see that it's still as good as you remember.
Finishing up my brief kart-ride down memory lane, I opened up the Special circuit, which was a bit trickier than I remembered. Unfortunately, I came in second on that one. I think a first place would have opened up 150cc mode? It's been a while, so my memory is straining. But oh well. I got my Mario Kart fix for now. There's still nineteen other SNES games that Nintendo tossed me to dig through - some of which I'm far less familiar with. But again, I'm glad I had an excuse to come back to this one for a couple of sittings. By the way, Koopa Trooper rules.