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Mario Kart 64

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Released: 1996

Genre: Racing

Format reviewed: Nintendo 64

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Submitted by: Alex Holmes

Following Super Mario Kart was never going to be easy, even with Nintendo's expertise.  The SNES title became known as one of the most popular games of all time.  But four years later, they did just that. 

The karting mayhem returned, this time with 64 bit goodness.  The four cups returned, each with four courses.  As did the game modes, grand prix, time trial, vs race and the infamous battle mode.

Track wise, themes such as beaches, snow, and dirt tracks all feature again, with some new ones including stadiums and farms.  Obviously with the increased memory on the cartridge, some tracks are considerably longer than the orignal Mario Kart, with some taking upwards of 6 minutes to complete a lap. 

The lineup also remained mostly unchanged from the original, with Mario, Luigi, Toad, Peach, Bowser and Yoshi all returning.  Donkey Kong replaced DK Junior, and Wario made his karting debut.  Bonuses are still obtained by hitting the ? dotted around the track, the red shell returns alongside such favorites as the jumping feather, speed mushrooms and banana.  Some power ups are now awarded in bunches, so 3 shells can be picked up at once, and circle your kart until fired.

This will always be compared to the SNES game, and will always pale in comparison when done so, but this is still an essential game for the Nintendo 64.