Mario Kart Arcade GP

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Mario Kart Arcade GP
Mario Kart Arcade GP logo
Logo used for the initial installment, Mario Kart Arcade GP (2005)
Genres Racing
First release Mario Kart Arcade GP
October 10, 2005
Latest release Mario Kart Arcade GP VR
July 14, 2017

Mario Kart Arcade GP (Japanese: マリオカート アーケードグランプリ, Hepburn: Mario Kāto Ākēdo Guran Puri) is an arcade-only sub-series of Nintendo's Mario Kart series, developed and published by Namco Bandai Games under license from Nintendo themselves. In all installments, for an additional fee, a player's data can be saved on a magnetic card which can be inserted into the machine again later to retain unlocked items and records. Nintendo had a limited role in development, mainly for quality control purposes. This game's arcade cabinet houses a camera that will take a photograph of the player's face. The photo can be customized and then will be displayed above the player's character during multiplayer races.

The initial game, Mario Kart Arcade GP, is noted for being the first Mario Kart to feature playable crossover characters: Namco's Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, and Blinky. The game's sequel also features Mametchi, a character from the Tamagotchi games, and the third installment includes Don from the Taiko no Tatsujin franchise.


Timeline of release years
2005Mario Kart Arcade GP
2007Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
2013Mario Kart Arcade GP DX
2017Mario Kart Arcade GP VR

The Mario Kart Arcade GP sub-series started in 2005 with the release of Mario Kart Arcade GP. The game has been followed by three sequels: Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 (2007), Mario Kart Arcade GP DX (2013), and Mario Kart Arcade GP VR (2017).

Mario Kart Arcade GP[edit]

Mario Kart Arcade GP is the initial installment in the series. Originally designed for the Triforce arcade board (also used for F-Zero AX), players can race as one of eleven characters on twenty-four tracks.

There are a total of six stages, with four tracks in each, totalling twenty-four. After a track is completed, the player must insert additional credits to continue the game, even if first place is achieved. After finishing all four races from each stage, a "challenge game" comes up, in which the player is required to complete a certain task; each of them requires the player to drive to a goal under a certain amount of time while under a certain condition, such as driving backwards through a field of banana peels.

When a player hits one of the item boxes scattered throughout the tracks, the player is given one of the three selected items chosen at the start of a race. Mario Kart Arcade GP features items new and old. Unique to this game is a lock-on feature for the items.

Also unique to this game is a temporary shield that is produced while powersliding which protects players from items thrown at them by the other racers.

The game features all eight playable characters from Mario Kart 64, as well as guest characters Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, and Blinky for a total of eleven. Most of the game's sound effects came from Mario Kart: Double Dash‼ including the pre-race countdown timer to commence racing.

Mario Kart Arcade GP 2[edit]

Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 arcade cabinets

Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 is the second game in the Mario Kart Arcade GP arcade game series released in 2007. The game was developed by Namco Bandai Games and Nintendo and published by Namco Bandai. The game used the Triforce arcade system board.

The game features the "Nam Cam" camera features of its predecessor, and 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc difficulty modes, as well as new items. During the races, there is color commentary, which can be toggled on or off at any time prior to starting the race. In the Japanese version of the game, this is done by the prominent Japanese voice actor and on-screen personality Kōichi Yamadera.[1] All eleven characters from Mario Kart Arcade GP return, alongside new characters Waluigi from the Mario series and Mametchi from the Tamagotchi series.

Mario Kart Arcade GP DX[edit]

Mario and Pac-Man race in Mario Kart Arcade GP DX

Mario Kart Arcade GP DX is the third Mario Kart Arcade GP title, which was released in Japanese arcade in July 25, 2013, and in North American and European arcade in 2014[2] (previously announced for end of 2013[3]), but the game was available in all Dave & Buster's restaurants from February 16, 2014 until April 2014.[4][5]

The game features ten redesigned courses, as well as features introduced in Mario Kart 7 such as the gliders and underwater racing. Along with Grand Prix and Battle mode, the game introduces two new modes; Alter-Ego and Team. Alter-Ego mode uses online functionality to allow players to race against ghosts set by other players similar to Ghost Versus Battle mode in Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune series. Team mode allows two players to face against two computer-controlled opponents. The two players can combine their karts to form a more powerful kart, with one player driving and the other serving as the gunner (similar to Lucky and Wild and Mario Kart Double Dash!!). The playable characters in this game are Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Rosalina, Toad, Yoshi, Bowser, Dry Bowser, Wario, Waluigi, Bowser Jr., Donkey Kong, Baby Mario, Baby Peach, Metal Mario, and Gold Mario from the Mario series, Pac-Man (using the design from Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures) from the Pac-Man series, and Don from the Taiko no Tatsujin series.[6]

The racing commentary returns in this game and this time, it is voiced by Rica Matsumoto, who also voices Ash Ketchum in the Japanese version of the Pokémon anime.[7]

Mario Kart Arcade GP VR[edit]

Mario Kart Arcade GP VR is the fourth Mario Kart Arcade GP title, which was released in Japanese arcades on July 14, 2017. Unlike prior Mario Kart games, Mario Kart Arcade GP VR is played through use of a virtual reality headset and in first person. The game was developed on a HTC Vive Microsoft Windows arcade system. Similar to the prior arcade Mario Kart games, the game is controlled via a steering wheel and acceleration and brake pedals. In addition, items are thrown by making hand movements, which the game registers by an attachment to the player's wrist. For example, to throw a Green Shell, one must make a throwing motion with their open palm. Also, instead of using Item Boxes, the game uses red, yellow, and green balloons to store items. Gliders are also present, and are used similarly to Mario Kart Arcade GP DX.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (February 16, 2007). "IGN: Mario Kart Back in Arcades". Retrieved September 23, 2009. 
  2. ^ McFerran, Damien (July 15, 2014). "Video: Mario Kart 8 Isn't The Only New Mario Kart Game You Can Play In 2014". Nintendo Life. 
  3. ^ "Mario Kart Arcade GP DX Confirmed US Release 1st cabinet shot". Arcade Heroes. November 18, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Bandai Namco's Mario Kart Arcade GPDX On Location Test At Dave & Busters Locations Across the US". February 10, 2014. 
  5. ^ "GoNintendo - What are YOU waiting for?". Archived from the original on 2014-04-16. 
  6. ^ "Namco Formally Announces Mario Kart Arcade Grand Prix DX". February 5, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Mario Kart Arcade GP DX Trailer with Pokémon anime voice actress Rica Matsumoto". YouTube. July 25, 2013.