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Mario Kart: Super Circuit

Developer: Intelligent Sys | Publisher: Nintendo
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 08/26/01 | Genre: Driving

Although I personally don't worship it like I do Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Super Circuit is still gold for the Game Boy Advance. I would be surprised to see a better racing game on a handheld because once again Nintendo has prevailed with another fascinating experience with this highly anticipated kart racer.

Nintendo's Mario Kart series has yet to fail, with Super Circuit being the newest addition to the amazing trio. The game contains almost all of the same weapons from the Mario Kart 64, excluding only the multiple bananas, item bomb, and the temporarily infinite mushroom. However, with the shorter tracks, you wouldn't even notice the absence of these weapons.

The gameplay remains true to the series, racing as one of eight different Nintendo characters against Mario and his friends (or foes). Factors determining your character's kart racing abilities include the usual rates of turning, speed, acceleration, and weight. Of course, different characters are more advantageous in certain areas than others, and vise versa. The new version of the power slide, in which timing is everything, is a bit tougher than on the Nintendo 64, and power sliding is often the key to victory. And yes, the game can get very tough, almost frustrating, for me anyway. Mario Kart: Super Circuit includes a new rating system in which you are ranked, from D (lowest) to 3-Stars (highest), at the end of each cup, which determines whether you advance to bonus tracks.

The sound and music in Mario Kart: Super Circuit is done very well. While one may not consider music to be a deciding factor in a racing game's overall experience, the tunes in the game are for the most part cheery and made to match each track. The voices are what you would expect if you've played a Mario Kart before, except Yoshi has been given his Yoshi's Story voice instead of his weird beeps, meaning that whenever you choose him, he'll actually state his name. All characters have different voices, although it is sometimes hard to tell, with Princess, Toad, and Luigi all sounding like girls. Overall, Super Circuit's sound quality is just above average.

The game keeps you busy with loads of options including: 3 difficulty levels, 8 playable characters, 3 different modes of 1 player racing [Mario Grand Prix, Time Trial (saves up to 10 ghosts), and Quick Run], and multiplayer action (up to four players if game paks and link cables are supplied). I have little doubt in saying this is the best Game Boy Advance title yet, so there really is no reason not to own this game if you have an Advance already. Also, don't forget to buy some batteries, as you will most likely use them.

By Keith Schaefer - 09/25/01

Screenshots for Mario Kart: Super Circuit

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