The engines roar again, and this time in 3D, in the retrogaming circuit thanks to Mario Kart 64 and its crazy drivers. So, everyone on the starting line waiting for the checkered flag to kick off one of the craziest races ever
When it comes to racing video games, retrogaming comes up like parsley, just think of the legendary Out Run by SEGA or F – Zero of Nintendo, but it is equally true that no self-respecting gamer will fail to mention a title like Mario Kart 64 or its other chapters!
We are in the lands of the Rising Sun in a cold December of 1996, the Christmas is already upon us, dear Nintendone is well placed in the homes of Japanese gamers, everyone goes crazy for the first three-dimensional adventure of our dear plumber, but there is something new that will leave them speechless. After a parenthesis, almost a headache to tell the truth, on the 16 bit of Nintendo, or the SNES, the time has come for our plumber and his crazy friends – enemies of get back in their cars.
It all started with a prototype
Like many other games, this one started with a prototype. First presented in 1995, the title of the game did not include the “number” of the historic console, but rather the letter R he was going to Rendered Graphics. As if to tell the players accustomed to the chapter for SNES, in this regard we remind you that that chapter is included in the SNES mini games, you have not seen anything yet!
Think that, in addition to the feather as an enhancement, already seen in the 16-bit chapter, the game even included one vertical division of the screen instead of the horizontal one that would be seen later to be able to play in two.
In addition to presenting soundtracks not used in the final version, among the pilots there was also the maghetto Kamek (old acquaintance still from the days of the 16-bit adventure riding Yoshi) which was then included in other chapters of the series, such as Tour, or other episodes of our plumber’s adventures, such as the various Parties and so on. Ah, in case you were wondering, the boy wizard Kamek was then replaced by the gorilla Donkey Kong which will be a practically fixed presence.
It seems then that one was thought of F – Zero style object-free mode to attract that kind of players too, but without power ups what’s the point? Idea discarded almost immediately also because, with this title, we wanted to detach ourselves from a type of racing and competitions all too linear.
Finally, the game should have been present at the launch of the console on which it would be “finished” in the future, but Shigeru Miyamoto has preferred to allocate more and more resources and staff members to Super Mario 64. A choice that, given the final results, we can well understand and “forgive” the father of the best series by Grande N.
Racing story and modes – Retrogaming: Mario Kart 64
Although it is a rather “dated” game, otherwise it would not be in this column, it is still the title with multiple shortcuts of the whole series, but to be sure you can always ask the world record holder Beck Abney (abney317) which made this title his workhorse.
Obviously, also here, as in the following chapters, he wins who is best positioned at the end of the three laps while you will run at full throttle along crazy tracks shooting at you practically everything from shells to banana peels or you will acquire greater speed thanks to mushrooms.
In addition to the more classic races, the mode is also present battle (here it will be necessary to burst the balloons of the opponents by pulling on the various objects contained in the cubes on the track) and the proof in time (here you will race against your own “ghost”). There is also a modality extra, unlockable by getting all the gold trophies in the other modes, where both the tracks and the game title will be reversed.
Of course, here too the selectable displacement is 50cc (easier), 100cc (average) e 150cc (the game gets tough) so see how best to set up your games. In this regard, to enjoy all these modes to the fullest, it is then possible to connect up to four controllers in the console and start the fun, or the insults, more unbridled.
Small final note. As in the following chapters also here the tracks will retrace the most “square” and “pixelous” realms of the games released on the Nintendo 64, in particular the aforementioned first three-dimensional adventure from our trusted plumber.
But the quotes don’t end there! In fact the award ceremony finale will take place at the Princess Peach’s Castle, that is the first introductory level in which you will find yourself in the 3D adventure of our favorite Mushroom Kingdom dweller and, curiously, even one of the last levels of Odyssey.
The drivers on the track – Retrogaming: Mario Kart 64
Of course, obviously the roster of drivers was rather small, after all we saw a similar thing also for the very first Super Smash Bros., but the eight drivers were still more than enough for a few hours of fun running around on curious tracks. However, we report the list of characters below:
Classic characters who certainly don’t need any introduction, or maybe they do? Do you think that it is precisely on this game that we can to hear dear Luigi speak for the first time and we owe this to Julien bardakoff who was in charge of localizing some Big N games into French and translating the names of the Pokémon.
It all started with one playing Magic: The Gathering with one of the programmers of the game. From there a chat led to another and Bardakoff was made to try the demo that won him over immediately. Indeed, in the beginning he wanted to voice Toad, but after a careful examination by the composer Kōji Kondō, he ended up voicing Luigi as his voice was more similar to that of the plumber in green.
A similar thing happened then also for Wario whose voice, always chosen by Kondō, was the friend of Julien Bardakoff, such Thomas Spindler, who was in charge of localizing games in German and had assumed that Mario’s rival was also from Germany instead of from Italy.
Unfortunately, both his voice and that of other characters, including Luigi, it can only be heard in the Japanese version of the game, along with the first two Mario Party, since he was called to the microphone historical voice actor Charles Martinet for the international version of the title.
A legacy of engines – Retrogaming: Mario Kart 64
The title has therefore generated a long series of sequels practically for all Nintendo consoles each with its peculiarities (here we leave you the special on the chapter for the GameCube), but in all that it is to be thanked that it did not appear on one in particular.
In fact, it seems that one was also initially designed version for the Virtual Boy, but, given the inconvenience of the strange one catafalco, the project was canceled and we can say that it is much better this way!
If you like the titles of races marked Grande N, then we recommend that you also take a good look at Rare’s Diddy Kong Racing (there Conker and Banjo also appeared to advertise the respective games), Wave Race 64 (for a more aquatic and colorful atmosphere) e Pilotwings 64 (to experience the thrill of equally crazy and damn fun flights). And if you want to make someone particularly suffer, then, in this case there is also South Park Rally, but he must have done something really evil to you.
And Sony in all of this? Of course, she didn’t let it slip so much that, in 1999, put characters from the Crash Bandicoot saga (including the little dragon Spyro) into a racing game called Crash Team Racing. A title that, nowadays, has been able to enjoy one remastered version for PS4 and Nintendo Switch simply called Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled.
Final considerations (and shots)
And with the last competitor crossing the finish line our little retrogaming race with Mario Kart 64 ends here. Of course, a few years and many chapters have passed by now, but this game is still very fun and competitive as in the nineties.
If you want you can still retrieve it on iQue Player, practically the Chinese Nintendo, or on the Virtual Console for Wii and Wii U. But if you want to make things even easier, then, we remind you that this title is featured on Nintendo Switch Online along with other outstanding games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Paper Mario, Yoshi’s Story, Banjo – Kazooie, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Mario Golf and so on.
Therefore, if you want to recover other titles from the Great N, and not only that, at the best price ever, then we advise you to click here, while, to be always updated on the world of video games of yesterday and today, we are waiting for you here on TechGameWorld.com!