Mario Kart: Super Circuit
|Mario Kart: Super Circuit|
The North American Box Art for Mario Kart: Super Circuit.
|Platform(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 by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance in 2001. The game is the third installment in the Mario Kart series and the first for handheld consoles, following Super Mario Kart (1992) and Mario Kart 64 (1996). It was succeeded by the console game Mario Kart: Double Dash, which was released for the GameCube in 2003. The game retains traditional game elements of Mario Kart set by its predecessors, and upon release, was well-received by reviewers.
Super Circuit is a kart racing video game in which the player races in a kart against other teams in different courses. The game screen indicates the current standings in a race, the number of laps needed to finish and incoming weapons. Like in the previous installments, players can pick up item boxes to receive a randomly selected item and use it to impede the opposition and gain the advantage. Some items, such as shells and bananas, allow the player to hit others to slow them down, while other items, such as the star power-up, render them temporarily invincible to attacks. This is the second Mario Kart game to include coins, which increases the engine power of the karts.
There are five game modes in Super Circuit: Mario GP, Time Trial, Quick Run, VS., and Battle. Most of the modes can be played by themselves in single-player races, while some can be played in multiplayer.
- Mario GP – This mode has the player compete against 7 karts (6 in 2 player races), which are controlled by the computer, in a series of predetermined courses. The player can choose to race using three different engine size classes: 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc. Since all karts go faster when using higher engine sizes, the three classes serve as difficulty levels. There are 20 tracks, divided into five cups: Mushroom, Flower, Lightning, Star, and Special. After the player crosses the finish line, the positions of the computer-controlled characters are immediately locked in and they are given points based on those positions, ranging from zero to nine. Just like in the previous two installments, placing fifth or worse will give them a "rank out" and the race must be replayed until they placed fourth or better, but at a cost of one of three flags; ranking out with no flags remaining will cause the game to be over. At the end of the cup, there will be an award ceremony for the top three drivers, where they will get a bronze, silver, or gold trophy and in addition, they will get a ranking based on their performance ranging from E to a triple-star. Collecting 100 coins in each of these cups will allow players to unlock all 20 tracks from Super Mario Kart known as the Extra Cups.
- Time Trial – This single-player mode has the player to finish any of the forty courses in the fastest time possible, with the best time being saved as a ghost, a copy of the player's performance that they can race against in later runs. Each character will receive a Triple Mushroom, which can be used at any time during the run.
- Quick Run – In this single-player mode, players can choose any course with customized rules such as changing the item frequency or the number of laps in each race.
- VS. – In this multiplayer mode, up to 4 players can play this mode by using a single cartridge.
- Battle – In battle mode, the player fights against up to three human-controlled opponents using items scattered throughout a battle arena. There is the traditional balloon-popping battle game, in which the player must use items to pop an opponent's three balloons while defending their own.
Super Circuit features the same cast of playable drivers as in the previous installment, each placed in one of three weight classes. Peach, Yoshi, and Toad are light, Mario and Luigi are medium, and Bowser, Donkey Kong, and Wario are heavy. In addition to the playable drivers, other characters have supporting roles in this game as well. Lakitu reprises his role as the referee, helping racers in various situations such as announcing laps, giving the signal to drive with a traffic light hanging on his fishing pole, and taking characters back on track in case they fall off course. Other supporting characters appearing in Super Circuit include Shy Guys, Piranha Plants, Boos and more.
Mario Kart: Super Circuit was developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. Super Circuit was first announced in a press release by Nintendo on August 9, 2000 under the title Mario Kart Advance.
Mario Kart: Super Circuit has received critical acclaim. In 2007, IGN named Super Circuit as the 19th best game on the Game Boy Advance.
In the United States, Super Circuit sold 2.1 million copies and earned $63 million by August 2006. During the period between January 2000 and August 2006, it was the fourth highest-selling game launched for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, or PlayStation Portable in that country. Mario Kart: Super Circuit has sold over 2.53 million in the United States alone, placing it onto Nintendo's Player's Choice list. It received a "Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), indicating sales of at least 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom. The game has sold 5.91 million copies worldwide, making it the fourth best-selling game on Game Boy Advance and the best selling non-Pokémon game for 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 was 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).
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