Rev it up for some classic Mario Kart action.
Back in 1992, Mario Kart had to be a weird concept. Mario and seven of his pals race around some tracks for a few laps? What's Mario doing in a racing game? The genre was relatively new at the time, so Mario joining the fray had to seem a bit odd. Jump to 2014, where Mario Kart is a staple of any new Nintendo console, portable or handheld. With the recent release of Super Mario Kart, one question remains: does it still hold up to today's standards?
In terms of presentation, the game doesn't hold up as well as they did back in 1992. Graphics are fine for their age, but it’s entirely noticeable that this was an early era Super NES title that didn’t use the system’s full graphical capabilities. But that’s fine, as it’s still quite a colorful, vibrant game. Music is good enough, though not entirely memorable, and the single player and multiplayer modes are familiar fare. The offerings are rudimentary compared to today’s fare, but it’s still highly effective.
As someone who is a fan of the simpler days of the Super Nintendo, I still find some enjoyment in Super Mario Kart. It might not offer all the bells and whistles that a game like Mario Kart 8 has to offer, but it’s a charming game that offers simple, fun gameplay. And it’s ok it’s not as polished as later titles. Every core mechanic, from the items to the way tracks are laid out to the characters, lay clear groundwork for the iterations we still enjoy today. It’s amazing how much has changed in the series since it’s inception, but at the same time it’s astounding how the core mechanics of the game have not. And that’s a good thing.