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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Favorite Tunes #91: Welcome to Mario Kart!

With Mario Kart 8 being all the rage and Mario Kart music on the brain, this Favorite Tunes is dedicated to gaming's greatest kart racing series. I haven't given the spotlight to Mario Kart since Favorite Tunes #24. Where does the time go? Enjoy.

Donut Plains - Super Mario Kart (SNES)

The original Super Mario Kart. Mode 7 heaven, Donkey Kong Jr. and that dastardly rubber band AI that would infuriate me to no end. Also, no Blue Shells! As much as I can appreciate Super Mario Kart for giving life to the series, I think its safe to say that this game has been surpassed by the plethora of sequels that have come in its wake. That isn't to say that it isn't a game I cannot come back to, however. The soundtrack is still among some of my favorite SNES music.

Bowser's Castle - Mario Kart 64 (N64)

There were no less than three different Bowser Castle courses in Super Mario Kart. In Mario Kart 64, this was scaled back to one, but the course layout made it standout from all three versions of Bowser's Castle in the previous game. The Thwomps were now enormous and could had a higher chance of crushing you since they were given far more mobility. Numerous statues of Bowser breathing fire were littered throughout the track and contact with a Banana Peel or Koopa Shell at the wrong time could send you into the various lava pits. Ah, the memories!

Shy Guy Island/Cheep-Cheep Beach - Mario Kart: Super Circuit (GBA)

With GBA games popping up left and right on the Wii U's Virtual Console service, I'd say its only a matter of time before Mario Kart: Super Circuit becomes a available for digital download. Super Circuit returned the to the series Mode 7 racing roots as and was the first game in the series to introduce Retro Courses, tracks from previous Mario Kart games. In the case of Super Circuit, all twenty courses from Super Mario Kart were featured.

Baby Park - Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (GCN)

A track with a super simple design manages to be one of the most chaotic and a fan favorite. For all of its arcade style gameplay features, Baby Park is one of the few tracks in the Mario Kart series that has a design that's more fitted for traditional racing games.

Grumble Volcano - Mario Kart Wii (Wii)

Structurally speaking, quite a number of tracks in the Mario Kart series have questionable placement. A island overflowing with chocolate mud, a highway brimming with traffic that isn't watching out for the safety of kart racers and the numerous ice rinks to name a few. But having your racers go at it on an erupting volcano? Who does that? But then, if Mario Kart tracks were all about playing it safe, the races wouldn't be anywhere near as fun.

Sunshine Airport - Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)

Super Mario Sunshine is not what many fans would call a bright spot in the Super Mario series. It isn't a bad game by any means but when compared to the titles that came before and those that followed, it truly does come up short. Still, it does have one of my favorite settings in any Nintendo game, Isle Delfino and it brought me great joy to see Mario Kart 8 pay tribute to the game in the form of Sunshine Airport. Not only is this one my most beloved tracks to race on, but it has one of the most uplifting musical pieces in the game and anyone that's played Mario Kart 8 knows that the soundtrack is not blowing smoke.

Favorite Tunes Database

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