Super Mario Kart was first released in 1992 on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (the famed SNES). It has continuously upgraded and evolved, reflecting innovations and social trends in terms of technology, culminating in the latest release, Mario Kart 7, available for the Nintendo 3DS console.
Consistently popular and universally acclaimed, the Mario Kart series consists of a selection of go-kart races that take place in colourful, cartoon worlds, with users able to race their favourite characters, from Mario to Luigi and Donkey Kong to Princess Peach. The sheer demand for the games has seen numerous sequels, spin-offs and associated acts released down the years as well. The go-kart games were originally seen as an extension of the popular Super Mario Bros franchise, transcending the older games and bringing about a new realm of gaming experience.
Mario Kart 7, recently re-released by Nintendo, embodies all aspects of what makes the series so popular, continuing to exude innovation and simplicity with a fun, wacky world where users can escape with Mario and the others. It includes previous maps and power-ups but adds its own unique selection, such as the Fire Flower and the Super Leaf, casting its own brand on the series.
Gamers are now able to customize their vehicles to gain an advantage on their rivals and new courses, such as Wii’s Wuhu City, are available to race in, enhancing the experience considerably.
In terms of new technology, the family friendly game MarioKart does branch out from previous editions with its Nintendo 3DS gyroscope addition. The action becomes first-person and the go-karts are steered by turning the entire console as opposed to directing the go-kart with the traditional controls. The game also supports SpotPass and StreetPass features, the online wireless multi-player gameplay mode, meaning that gamers can save their data online and challenge others through their internet connection. The game makes use of the traditional Nintendo 3DS specifications, including the 800×240 pixels top screen and the 320×240 pixels bottom screen.
Great for a younger generation looking for something new and exciting, Mario Kart 7 allows gamers to compete online in local matches with an internet connection as many of the game modes offer a multi-player option. Other game modes include the traditional Time Trial and the renowned Grand Prix mode, which is made up of a plethora of different tournaments and tracks.
As mentioned, Mario Kart continues to improve on its predecessors, whilst at the same time ensuring it doesn’t alienate previous fans of the game. It’s a colourful adventure featuring plenty of throwbacks to past games but at the same time brings Mario Kart into a contemporary world.