710th played so far

Genre: Driving
Platform: Game Boy Advance
Year of Release: 2001
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo

The Mario Kart series is one that we have to cover a lot of entries for – and we covered them throughout, with Mario Kart 64 being an early game and Mario Kart DS making for a recent good travel game. Today it’s the Gameboy Advance release. The DS game was a lot of fun, so I hope that comes across first here.

Our Thoughts

It’s difficult to see what’s so super about this game, other than the resemblance the game has to Super Mario Kart. It has the same semi-3D sprites creating the course, with some better semi-3D sprites so the objects fit in better, but it uses the same basic graphical system – and some of teh same sharp corners that made the original so frustrating to play at times.

It’s the first iteration for a handheld, but I don’t think that’s quite as notable, so that wouldn’t be a reason to add it to the list. It allows for multiplayer with some added modes, but to be honest, I found it to be good in the console versions anyway. But if you want it to be special, I understand the missing Mario Kart: Double Dash on the Gamecube offers a more interesting experience, even for multiplayer.

Aside from its own place on the list, this felt like the weakest Mario Kart game so far. It’s not as punchy or as fluid, I never got quite as much fun out of it. It worked well as a racer for the SNES era, but at this point we’re at least half a decade past that, and we know there are better experiences out there. It looks fine for the small screen, but that is its era.

What I miss, though, is what other Mario games do: they bring something new to the table. Whether it’s the spray in Super Mario Sunshine, the creative RPG playfulness of Paper Mario or the constant entertainment of Mario Kart 64, this game failed to bring that.  It looks and plays fine, but at this point, I want more than fine from the series.