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Mario Kart 64

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Reviewed by Stryker Well, the 64-bit version of the great 16-bit race is here. Mario Kart 64 pits eight racers against each other across sixteen tracks in a disappointing version. The challenge is nonexistent, and there's basically no game underneath the paint job of Nintendo graphics.

Graphics 9 out of 10

Nintendo spent most of their cash forming this into a graphically impressive video game. They succeeded, forming 3-D environments that make the original pale in comparison. Mario Kart's courses mostly take on a bright, cheery color only abandoned in dark stages like Bowser's Castle and Banshee Boardwalk. The graphics of Mario and his seven racing friends are digitally mastered. There's even a new 3-D item box that regenerates after you pick it up, a good addition.

Musics 6 out of 10

There's nothing wrong with this music, but there's nothing that good either. The music keeps a cheerful tone through the sixteen races and doesn't throw anything satisfying towards you. Even the credits music is flat. As for sound effects, each character has a sound byte programmed in for when they hit another character, get hit, win, lose, or use an invincibility star. These are perfect for each character, even for the ones that don't speak English.

Game Play-Fun 7 out of 10

This game is saved by several multiplayer options. There's head to head battle for 2-4 players, versus racing for 2-4 players, and grand prix for 1-2 players. As for one-player, the fun is markedly increased. The frustrating brilliance of the characters in Super Mario Kart is gone, replaced by idiotic computer racers who run into your bombs and shells like morons. The challenging aspects are replaced by cartoony fun. One defect is that there isn't any music in 3 or 4 player options, and that can take the air out of any get-together. Mario Kart 64 has the returning cast of weaponry, plus a spiny shell, sets of shells and bananas, and a 10-second unlimited-use mushroom.


Ho boy. 1. The challenge is gone. 2. The enemy is stupid. 3. No music in 3-4 player. 4. There's no game behind the graphics. 5. Designed for 6-year olds. 6. The Memory Pak capabilities take up a whole Memory Pak to save them.

Replayability 6 out of 10

The multiplayer options save the game, holding up the tatters of one-player and keeping some younger kids at my house. But the one-player challenge is gone after I beat the hardest difficulty possible with every character.

Game Value 6 out of 10

Well, it's not a five-star game. It's good if you happen to have a bunch of little kids with runny noses who think that Mario 64 is too scary. But at least it's the average price, not to mention a rabidly advertised sequel.

Challenge 2 out of 10

I'll put it this way. I beat the entire game in three days. Then I beat the game with every character in one sitting. Then I beat my opponents in multiplayer 32 straight times without being hurt. It's sad. In the original Mario Kart, the enemies were smart enough to avoid your traps. They jostled you and it's hard enough to keep me from beating the game around two years. Notice that Mario's games just keep getting easier from his difficult original game.

Overall 60 out of 100

If you're a 14-year old who liked Mortal Kombat Trilogy then don't buy. If you're a 9-year old who liked Killer Instinct perhaps it's right. If you're a 7-year old whose favorite game is Mario 64, buy it now.

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