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Mario Kart on the SNES took the Mario platform formula and applied it to kart racing. This, the purest of Mario Karts, still knew at heart it was a racing game. And bceause of this it introduced many new gamers to the idea of mutliplayer video game racing.
He'd jumped and stomped his way into my heart and now once again that little plumber put the peddle to the metal and showed me exactly how cool a go kart could be. Mario's platform based adventures had lured me into video gaming and kept me enthralled with each new release but in 1993 Mario took to the road and with the release of Super Mario Kart I was forced to try out a genre of gaming that had never done it for me in the past.
The racing genre was boring to me. There was nothing to squash or hit, no-one to save, and no reason to play. I stuck to that school of thought until, back int he day, I went to my friend's house for a sleepover. He'd recently bought the game and as the night progressed I very quickly realised that Nintendo had incorporated everything that I enjoyed in a Mario platform game into a racing game.
This was the thrill ride I had been waiting for and it opened my mind up to other genres.
You could blow other players up, you could make them slip on a banana, you could get little speed boosts, and in battle mode it was you vs then in a head to head battle of who can aim their shells better!
This was the thrill ride I had been waiting for and it opened my mind up to other genres. The multiplayer was my new best friend. It was really a friendship builder too as when you got smashed by a particularly well aimed green shell, or someone shot a banana in front of you credit had to be given. These feats required skill to complete and achieve and if you were the one delivering the fateful blow that put them into second place just as they were about to cross the line the buzz was extraordinary.
We'd laugh, boast, eat sugary foods, and even attempt to play the game silently after we were told it was bed time. Super Mario Kart was a game you played with your mates, and a game that you could never get bored of.
It's only the portable DS title that has come anywhere close to filling that racing game love.
It's worth mentioning that although my memories of Mario Kart primarily involve me and my friends playing it I also remember clearly enjoying the single player and enjoying even more the chance to up the difficulty and complete the game on 150cc. The challenge the game provided never frustrated or detracted form the sheer joy of playing it and it will stand out to me as one of the best video game experiences of my life.
The formula of Mario Kart on the SNES was that perfect balance between racing and fighting. In fact even since playing the other games since - Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart DS - it's only the portable DS title that has come anywhere close to filling that racing game love I remember from when I used to play games all those years ago.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: