20 YEARS! Holy Crap 20! Really?!? That game has been out for 20 years?
Yup! Today Feb 10th marks the 20th Anniversary of Mario Kart 64. This was the second iteration in what has become a Nintendo staple for every system and handheld since the SNES. Mario Kart on the SNES was all good, and Mario Kart 64 perfected the formula. Since then Nintendo has not swayed very much from MK64’s formula since then (the biggest difference was adding the 2nd rider in Gamecube’s Double Dash). MK64 brought us the drift boost adding extra speed and challenge for the time trials and setting an unbeatable ghost for each course.
The game was released just a couple of months after the system hit the shelves and was one of the most successful and fun 4 player titles on the system. The game remains a classic and many of the tracks have reappeared in later Mario Kart titles because they were just that good.
As with most classics players these days are finding all sorts of exploits and shortcuts to make record times on courses for the purpose of speed runs. Which is cool for that purpose, but in my opinion it ruins the spirit of the time trial.
This game took full advantage of the 4 controller ports on the front of the N64 in probably one of the best games for the system. The racing was so fantastic that my neighborhood pretty much had a full blown racing series, and the competition was fierce. I’m sure that it caused some arguments, conflicts, and hurt feelings among us. I know for a fact that it caused some extra yelling and wrestling with my siblings.
While the number of drivable characters in N64 is only the 8 above the best by far is Wario. Nothing beats his evil kackle after hitting an opponent with a collected item. This kackle would always bring a smile to my face unless it was because of the blue shell. There was no honor in using that item, it was only handed out to 4th place or worse, the stragglers just to ruin it for 1st place. The shell is bar far the worst item ever. So hearing Wario’s kackle as a result of using this horrid weapon brought me no joy, but part of me thinks that the kackle gave birth to the Luigi death stare that is super popular now, which I find hilarious.
Anyways, take a moment to go through this exercise of nostalgia…
Close your eyes! Imagine in you mind a funky little tune to get you blood pumping as you speed around the very first race track in Mario Kart 64. A huge thanks to our friends the Super Soul Bros.
What’s your favorite Mario Kart game? Do you have a favorite track? What about those items? Let us know in the comments below.