Mario Kart: Super Circuit
|Mario Kart: Super Circuit|
North American box art
|Release date(s)||Game Boy Advance|
Mario Kart: Super Circuit, known in Japan as Mario Kart Advance (マリオカートアドバンス Mario Kāto Adobansu ), is a kart racing game developed and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance in 2001. It is the third game in Nintendo's Mario Kart series and the first for handheld consoles. It is also the first Mario Kart game not to be developed by Nintendo EAD; instead, it was developed by Nintendo's Intelligent Systems division. Super Circuit combines features from earlier Mario Kart games, Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart 64. The game was well received by reviewers following its release.
As was the case with its predecessors, Super Circuit is a circuit racing game. In it, the player races against seven opponents, each of which is a character from Nintendo's Mario series, in small go-karts, on tracks set in the Mario universe. Power-ups, strewn across each track, aid the bearer or hinder their opponents, as well as coins; the coins increase the player's top speed.
Mario Kart: Super Circuit features twenty unique race tracks, as well as twenty more from Super Mario Kart for a grand total of forty. Each track also has a unique name, with the exception of the four Bowser's Castle tracks. Each set of tracks is organized into five cups of four tracks: the Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, Lightning Cup (which debuted in this game as an original cup, but was repurposed to a retro cup from Mario Kart DS onwards), Star Cup and Special Cup. Many of the tracks included in Super Circuit are Mario Kart staples including Mario Circuit and Rainbow Road, the final race of the Special Cup in every Mario Kart.
Unlocked tracks (Special and Extra Cups) are only available at the speed they were unlocked with. For example, obtaining a Gold trophy in each of the first four Cups at 50 cc unlocks the Special Cup at 50 cc, but not 100 cc or 150 cc. Time Trial mode for the Extra cups is unlocked when the player unlocks 150 cc.
The cups and tracks from Super Mario Kart for the SNES are available in Super Circuit. They have been retitled the Extra Cups. These cups are unlockable by winning a Gold Trophy for the corresponding regular cup and then collecting 100 coins in the same cup.
Each race in an Extra cup consists of five laps instead of three, although this can be lowered to three laps in Quick Run mode. The track arrangement has changed due to the number of cups. In Super Mario Kart, there were four cups with five tracks each; in the Extra cups, there are five cups with four tracks each.
These tracks are not exact replicas of the original courses. Many hazards have been removed, such as flashing Thwomps from Rainbow Road. The Super Circuit backgrounds are superimposed on the Extra Cup tracks. Some areas and shortcuts on the SNES tracks are now inaccessible or more difficult to reach due to the removal of the feather item from Super Mario Kart.
The main mode in the game. The player races in a series of "Grand Prix" competitions against seven computer-controlled competitors. Each Cup consists of four three-lap races (five in the Extra Cup). Each Cup may be approached at a speed of 50 cc, 100 cc or 150 cc, which determines the speed of the race.
Like previous Mario Kart games, players use items from item boxes to disable other players. Shells can knock out a player; bananas will cause players to skid. Mushrooms temporarily boost speed (and if the player uses a mushroom just before a jump on any track, except Bowser's Castle, they will fly further and faster). Each racer's finishing position in each race determines the number of points he or she receives ranging from one to nine and at the end, the player with the most points wins. Just like in the previous games, getting fifth or under will restart the race at a cost of one kart. Alternately, the player can restart at anytime for the same price. Losing all of the karts will end the mode.
In Time Trial, the player choose any of the forty tracks they unlocked on Mario GP 150cc. and race for the best record within three laps. The player will start with three mushrooms, which can be used at anytime during the race.
The player may choose any unlocked track, from any cup and any speed, and race against seven opponents as in Mario GP mode. The number of laps may be changed between three or five, and the coins and items can be toggled on or off. This feature can also be used to practice for the Mario GP. It is essentially a VS Mode where settings can be modified, though it is not an official VS Mode.
Super Circuit was one of the few Game Boy Advance titles to use the Single-Pak mode of the Game Boy Advance, alternatively known as the Link It Up! mode. Using a Game Boy Advance link cable, up to four Game Boy Advance units can be linked together and the game can be played with multiple players using only one copy of the game.
The mode omits many of the Multi-Pak multiplayer features, because consoles without the game have limited memory and thus can only store a temporary, miniaturized version of the game. Mario GP and Battle modes are absent, leaving only the VS mode to be available. Track selection is limited to four Extra Mushroom Cup tracks, which are remakes of the first four Mushroom Cup tracks from Super Mario Kart. Items cannot be turned off, the number of laps per race is fixed to five, and no coins are on the tracks. Yoshi is the only character in this mode, where he appears in green, red, blue and yellow colours to differentiate each player.
Although the sound effects are the same as those of Super Circuit, the Single-Pak mode exclusively features three re-synthesized background music songs from Super Mario Kart. The first is the character and track selection music from Super, used when the first player selects a track in Super Circuit. The second is Super's title screen music, which can be heard during Super Circuit's Single-Pak races. Finally, Mario's victory theme from Super is played once the Super Circuit race is finished, despite Yoshi being the only character available in Single-Pak mode.
Up to two players may progress in this mode. It works identically to the single-player version, except that there are two human players and six computer-controlled ones.
Similar to single-player Quick Run mode, with two to four human players, and no computer-controlled ones.
Two to four players are placed in specially designed battle arenas, strewn with power-ups. Each player has three balloons attached to their kart, and each time he or she takes a successful hit (from an offensive item or aggressive ramming), he or she loses one. Upon losing the last, he or she is taken out of the game and in three-four players game, turned into walking bombs that explode when they come in contact with other players. The last player standing wins.
Just as in the previous installment, Mario Kart 64, defeated players turn into Bob-ombs. As long as there are two players still standing, those who had already lost have the opportunity of driving around to help destroy the remaining players' balloons by simply running into them.
Up to two of the player's "ghost car" saves may be copied to another player, and up to two received in return. These may then be raced against in Time Trial mode or viewed as replays as though they were the player's own. This may be useful in attempting to better a friend's best time at a given track or to show off a player's skill.
There are eight characters in this game. The cast is made up of the same characters from Mario Kart 64 (Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Wario and Toad). Each has a specific weight and acceleration rate. In multiplayer mode, players who do not own Super Circuit become Yoshi, and are colored to differentiate between several players.
Mario Kart: Super Circuit was well received by the press and public alike once it was released. People who were frustrated with Nintendo's policy of remaking older games for the GBA were pleasantly surprised that not only had Nintendo released a brand new Mario Kart game, but that all of the courses from Super Mario Kart had been included instead of being released as a separate port.
In 2007, IGN named Super Circuit as the 19th best game on the Game Boy Advance.
On July 28, 2011, Nintendo announced that Mario Kart: Super Circuit, as well as nine other Game Boy Advance games, will be available to limited Nintendo 3DS owners, via Virtual Console, to whom will participate in the Ambassador Program after Nintendo officially issued a price-cut to the Nintendo 3DS starting August 12, 2011. This offer is available in all territories, and only to those who became eligible in the Ambassador program (by accessing the Nintendo eShop before the date of the price-cut). Currently, a general public release is being considered.
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