Genre: Racing / Driving
Perspective: Behind view
Gameplay: Arcade, Vehicle Simulator
Vehicular: Automobile, Track Racing
Platforms: Super Nintendo (SNES), Nintendo DS (NDS), Game Boy Advance (GBA), Nintendo 64 (N64)
Honorable to be a trendsetter. Nintendo invented the gamepad. Nintendo came up with Mario. Nintendo created the first truly massive and popular gaming console. There is nothing surprising in the fact that the "Big N" also belongs to the idea to seat their heroes behind virtual rudders and to kindle a fire of rivalry between them. If before this someone had a similar idea, then, as a rule, either this one found its realization only in episodic moments of games, or did not cross the thresholds of igrodel studios. It was worth Nintendo to feed the gaming community with a rampant, super-filled adrenaline Super Mario Kart, as suddenly (albeit with a decent delay), clones from companies owning rights to more or less deserving heroes fell to the heads of gamers. Examples of these, by the way, you can see in the cap.
However, the Japanese game-lawmakers and without your recalcitrant have already heard enough about their praises. Let's immediately turn off the fly from the cutlet: without the presence of an Italian plumber companions, the game is likely to trivially stand in line with popular races such as Micromachines or Rock'n'Roll Racing. It is possible that in this case, she would have already had to bear the insulting stigma of a "clone" (although, to be sure, in the early nineties even banal clones, they say, "went with a bang"). However, Nintendo in time realized where the gold mine is hidden, and built the game on a recognizable at first glance of the universe. Marketers have not lost their way, having decided that gamers can be "bought" only by a non-standard character for those who like them. A trouble-free recipe, is not it?
So, our heroes decided for a while to abandon their platform duties and how to tear themselves away behind the wheel of the card-machines. Friend against the other, of course. With the latter, I'm truth, a little slukavil: in addition to the main mode "on the passage," - Mario Kart GP, - in the game there is also a single, called Time Trial, in which we can idly cut into our pleasure circles and look at statistics by time . Regardless of the chosen mode, we are given a choice of eight Nintend characters: Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Danki Kong, Princess Peach (the same one brothers tirelessly save in their series), Bowser (the same one who tirelessly kidnaps this princess), turtle (one of the thousands that our Italians jumped on a long journey) and a fungus (whose relatives and friends were also not very friendly towards the guys). The last two comrades, apparently, came into the game solely out of revenge for the brothers for their dead companions. Curious is the fact that although the vehicles themselves are completely identical in characteristics, in practice it turns out that a large role is played by the mass of drivers. Danki Cong in collision with ease will leave in the dust the same Peach, but the maneuverability of the latter allows it to filigree fits into turns.
All flattering words deserve and the organization of levels, which became the standard for the entire series. Trails (all circular, according to the usual arcade pattern) are packaged in four thematic cups: Mushroom Cup Race, Flower Cup Race, Star Cup Race and Special Cup Race (the latter was initially closed). Accordingly, to win in any cup you need to get into each of its tracks in the top four. But the "departure zone" is not here: when the player takes up lower places of him, and with him and the rest of the characters, they will force him to grind the wheels with the wheels until he squeezes one of the "through passage" places from him. Or while the gamer does not exhaust the data of Japanese developers three attempts. Points, of course, are distributed according to places: for the first - 9, for the second - 6, for the third - 3, for the fourth - only one. Thus, a gamer is always able to earn at least a penny (if you have the patience), but the four losers have to remain with a bagel. After the passage of all the routes, the final calculation of points is carried out, and in accordance with it the pedestal of honor is engaged.
Behind the dry letters is hidden with a heady addictive and addictive gameplay. In many respects this is due to the fact that SMK is not only alive by pokemon. On each track there are several bonuses, disposing of which, you can somehow make a pod with your neighbor. Hardly having arrived on the small area the bonus site marked by a question mark, next to a stopwatch there will be a tiny rectangle with successive images in the manner of "One-armed Bandit" images corresponding to bonuses. After the mechanism stops, and the dropped bonus finally fixed in the rectangle, you can either activate it immediately with the A button, or wait for a more convenient case. Bonuses, like characters with tracks, are mostly Nintend attributes. Turtle shells, like in the original series, perform a throwing function. True, only green flies on the straight line, red ones are more useful because they have self-guidance. Or the same stars, as in SMB for a few seconds giving the owner invulnerability. Rushing a race in combination with the randomness of the selection of bonuses and contemplation of how the opponent from the involved bonus became bad, in the sum and creates the proper adrenaline effect.
The engine, despite the pseudo-dimensionality, does not even think of "slowing down." It's understandable - Nintendo knows the iron of its own console from and to. The physical model of machines with its exceptional arcade makes us recall the later series of Ridge Racer. In the turns it is difficult to fit unless heavyweight Danki Kongu and Bowser, and then, as I said, because of their mass. Of other features - the presence on some routes of helping / interfering elements such as accelerating points (marked by an arrow), the action of which is identical to the bonus "Fungus", or obstacles like evil flowers that also migrated from the SMB. It should also be noted that there is an opportunity to fly off the track; in this case, you, of course, will be raised back to continue the race, but so slow that you are likely to lose a couple of positions. Another thing is that in the next, already 64-bit incarnation of the Mario Kart, there are much more opportunities to take off from the route (it should be noted that in general the whole N64-part is much more complicated).
Another attribute of the notorious SMB-series is coins. True, here their collection, apparently, serves only for moral satisfaction. Practical benefit is completely absent. But the complexity of the game in single player mode is really not enough. In the menu, you can choose a level of difficulty - 50cc and 100cc - but even on the last some special difficulties in the game process is not observed. Intelligence is also not added to opponents. But the mode of two players is a completely different song. You look at your opponents as extras, since the main interest is captured by the fight with the second player for the prize places, and the game starts to be accompanied by loud cries (joyful or, on the contrary, annoying mats) because of the customized bonus podlyanki.
The game looks great. In my opinion, the best implementation of pseudo-dimensionality on low-power consoles. Both technically and visually. But about the models of characters sitting on typewriters, to say something flattering does not work, as well as something bad. It's quite standard for SNES, it could be better. Only a few frames are used for the animation of turns, as, indeed, in the second part.
To music without a twinge of conscience, one can apply one capacious formulation - "background". The tracks are not memorized at all, only they are intended for dilution of the gameplay. A lot of additional sounds are used, but in combination with music they sometimes create the impression of such an awkwardness. In general, definitely - Nintendo can do better.
Advantages: building on the already popular universe with the "import" of most of its inherent attributes, an interesting level organization, two game modes, many "dastardly" bonuses picked up on the tracks, additional obstacles / assistants on the road, an exciting mode for two players
Disadvantages: low complexity, not the best animation, unremarkable soundtracks
All the beloved "Big Nintendo" gave out if not a masterpiece, it's exactly a hit. SMK - this is the beginning of a whole karting series, the next part of which should be released in early 2008 for the Wii. The idea of the game, although uncomplicated, is very, very promising, which proves the subsequent flow of clones and Nintendo sequels. And if the idea is still properly supported by the gameplay, what else can you wish eternally for the suffering gamers?