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Mario Kart: Super Circuit Package Art

Mario Kart: Super Circuit


“Has this happened to you? You’re probably one of many who now own Mario Kart: Super Circuit for the Gameboy Advance. Little Timmy here thought it would be a wise idea to try it out, but he found it so addicting and fun, he was unable to stop playing, and contracted a bad case of Gameboy thumb before going through 6 AA batteries. You’ve learned your lesson, haven’t you Timmy?”

“No, sir, I still can’t put this game down, nor do I want to. Hand me some more batteries, please.”

Ok, this is a little unlikely because the game has been out only for a few days, and if you were to stay up for, say, three days straight playing it, you’d have a pretty bad change of personality, and would probably go on a mass murder before you hit the hay or ask politely for another pair of AA. This game is addicting, fun, beautiful, has great sound…but I’m getting ahead of myself. Read on for more detail.


Ah, the intro, it’s awesome looking, just like the rest of the game, but let’s start here. You get no company ads at all, and go straight to a shot of the sky, with a transparent checkered flag that gradually becomes solid, while it pans down to a nice shot of all the characters. God, if this is the title screen, one can only imagine the beauty of this game.I think we all remember what the other two incarnations of the characters looked like, or at least one of them. The player sprites look better than even the 64 version here; they’re a lot more clear and less pixilated. I swear they’re of the polygonal variety. Anyway, they’re absolutely beautiful, and have more frames of animation for turning and victory poses than ever.

The tracks are excellent too. You’ll race in various locales from deserts, to snow, rain, to Bowser’s castle. First the backgrounds. Each has their own, and they all look as good as those in Castlevania: Circle Of The Moon. That’s impressive. For example, say I’m racing out in the desert. In the backgronds, there’ll be huge scrolling (as I turn) pyramids, a few coulumns, and a shpinx with a Yoshi head. Or I’m on the course with boos, there’s a huge haunted mansion in the backgound. An Ice course: various icicles. Ribbon Road, assorted presents. Even a huge blimp that’ll only move on the third lap. I mean, one level even turns night on the third lap. It’s all very nice eye-candy.

Now for the foregound. It’s just as excellent. In ice levels, we have snow covered trees, shyguy teepees in the desert, and a Magikoopa in Bowser’s castle. How awesome is that? He’s just there, riding around on his broom, lookin awesome. At times you forget this game is Mode-7 cause it looks so incredible. But tit really has to be seen to be truly appreciated. And best of all – no slowdown! Oh, there’s also rain on one track, but it’s just a camera effect.


If anything surpasses the graphics of this game, well, it’s the gameplay, but this game’s audio is real close behind. Not only are the sound effects great, but the voices are top-notch. Each character has their own few voice samples. Like Bowser has his roar from the 64 version, Toad has his noise, Mario will say, “Let’s-a go,” it’s all very good. And they all have a separate sample when they get hit, too.

The greatest part about the audio, though, is the music. There’s a different theme for each of the tracks (except the three that take place in Bowser’s castle). The music on the menus is good, the victory theme returns at the end of a cup, and we also have the Star theme and Lightning theme. This game is very pleasing to the ears.


As mentioned above, this is the best part of the game. It’s just so solid. A is go, B brake, L fires your weapon, R jumps, D-Pad steers. It’s that simple, but it makes for one hell of a game. You can also do a quick 180 by holding A, B and Left or Right, Shoot a shell backwards by holding down and hitting L, throw a banana peel forward with up and L, back up with down and B, holding R lets you slide aorund corners, it’s all done so well.

Let’s begin with the characters. Selectable are Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Toad, Bowser, Wario, and DK. Each has their own specific stats. But to quote the manual…
Mario: (Middleweight) Perfectly balanced!
Luigi: (Middleweight) Great steering!
Toad: (Lightweight) No one has faster acceleartion!
Yoshi: (Lightweight) Dirt is no obstacle!
Peach: (Lightweight) Check out true lightweight racing!
Wario: (Heavyweight) True Heavyweight power!
Bowser: (Heavyweight) There’s nobody faster!
DK: (Heavyweight) Better steering than Wario!

Next are track hazards to slow you down. In Bowser’s castle, there are thwomps that’ll squash you., lava pits, fireballs, and jumps over lava. In the desert, there are some pirahna plants, shyguy teepees on the track, and some thick sand in portions, making you go slower. You lose traction in the snow and rain, forcing you to learn a whole new type of cornering/sliding for the win. And while all these things will slow you down (and many others), there are also little speed boosters and jumps to help you out.

But what would this game be without the items? They’ve taken all the items (except the banana bunch, and three mushrooms) from the 64 version, including the malicious blue shell. They’ve also improved the red shell’s direction quite well, so it resembles the SNES one, rather than the one on 64 where you shoot it, it goes out a ways, then tracks. Another enhancement is that Boo now chases down the first place racer, and tries to screw with them a little.

The final thing is coins. Yup, they make a return in this game, and do pretty much the same thing as before. The coins act as a shield towards spinning out. You lose one everytime someone runs into you, four for a big hazard, and two for when Lakitu pulls you out of something. Once you run out, everything, including small bumps make you spin out. If you get enough in all three mushroom cups, though, you’ll get the Mushrom cup from the classic SNES incarnation. It’s difficult, so you’ll be playing this game for a long time to come.

So you’ve got all that in the single player mode. It can take on the forms of a Quick Race, Mario GP, and Time trial. In Mario GP, there’s 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc to challenge you. After you choose your difficulty, there are four cups to choose from, and one secret one. Each cup has four races, making twenty unique races to this title. Adding in the ones from Mario Kart for SNES, and you’ve got a whopping forty tracks on your hands.

Like the other two vesions before it, MK: SC’s championship is as follows. You race against the other seven racers around four tracks, using weapons, boosts, jumps, and whatever comes your way. After three laps, you get awarded nine points for first, six for second, three for third, and one for fourth. Any lower, and you have to repeat the track. Repeating the track takes a checkered flag away from three in the bottom right corner (shown only at that time). Once you run out, and place lower than fourth, the game is over. After completing 12 laps over four tracks, you get a bronze, silver, or gold trophy depending on what place you took overall, with a nice little victory cinema.

Naturally, half the experience is multiplayer. Like the last two, there’s VS. and Battle modes to choose from. VS. puts the four of you on a track for your racing pleasure, while Battle puts you into an arena with many item boxes, and three balloons attached to the back of your cart. Every time you get hit with something, you lose a balloon. If there are more than two players, and one dies, they become a bomb kart for the purpose of further hassling your competitors.

Multi-player supports both multi-pak and single-pak play. With single-pak, you’re limited in that you can’t do battle mode, only VS. Also, you can only race as differently colored Yoshis, and there is only one engine class. Multi-pak lets you do whatever the hell you want to/with eachother.


See above.


Pick this game up, you won’t be sorry. And if you are, you’re a danger to yourself and those in your immediate proximity. I mean really, it took me two and a half hours to write this simple review cause when I would turn on the game for reference to numbers and details, I would end up finishing another cup or two.

I’m currently trying to have a second system where I only buy games if I love them, and not fall for any hype. I picked up this game yesterday, and I’m completely glad I did. Plus, Target is selling them for a mere brand new. Jesus, what a deal! So go pick it up now. And take a few friends along while you’re at it, you gotta try multi-player. Link cables are a pop, too.
final score Racing/10

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Staff Avatar Schuyler Lystad
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"These toys are too much for you. Return them to me."

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