Monday, August 27, 2012

Mario Kart is now.... 20 Years Old?

Yep, you read it correctly. Mario Kart is now 20 years old. It was originally made in 1992 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, or as most gamers know it, the SNES. Super Mario Kart recieved harsh criticism before the game even launched. "It will never last" they said. "Mario doesn't belong in a go-kart" they said. Well, who doesn't belong in a go-kart now, huh? Wait, that didn't come out right.

Anyways, back on topic. Mario Kart has lasted 20 years, spanning 7 titles on 7 different consoles (Gameboys included), unless you also count the two games made for Arcade (2005 GP & 2007 GP2). The next step for the game was to head over to the N64 in 1996. It made huge numbers and gained even more popularity as the graphics got better. Fans became enthralled with the maps, learning every trick there was, including some the developers didn't even think of (Rainbow Road anyone?).

From there it made a brief stop on the Gameboy Advance (2001) and landed with a huge return on the Gamecube (2003). The graphics kept getting better and the gameplay, while mostly the same, never got old. The Nintendo DS added this title to it's ever growing game cache to much applause and was highly favored as one of the better co-op WiFi games.

Obviously with the Wii (2008), Mario Kart wouldn't be far behind the launch, and indeed it wasn't. Each game included the newest controller design, the wheel. Okay, so not entirely new, this was a wireless wheel designed to act with the motion of the user's hands. It's difficult to adapt to at first, but players immediately found themselves unable to put it down. It became so popular online that Nintendo started bundling it with the Wii itself.

The last stop on the journey is the Mario Kart 7 for the 3DS (2011). Selling well over 5 million units, it certainly is no small fish in a big pond. We can only wonder what the newest title will give us when the Wii U hits...

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