Hands On: Mario Kart Advance

Mario lands on Nintendo's next-generation handheld. Read our hands-on impressions.

The Mario Kart series is one of Nintendo's more beloved series, even though the second and most recent game, Mario Kart 64, wasn't exactly a fan favorite. Mario Kart Advance (tentative title), however, takes the game back to its SNES roots, and as a result, plays almost identically to the original Mario Kart.

Graphically, the game looks even better than the SNES game. While it may be a factor of the smaller screen, the characters definitely look a lot sharper. Also, the track still rotates around with a bit of that SNES Mode 7-style effect, but it moves much more crisply.

While there are different modes in the game, like battle mode, the GBAs on display at Spaceworld are linked together, and four-player races have been the order of the day. The game will also feature different track surfaces, such as rain and snow.

While the game may not be finished (paperwork given out at the event lists the game as being 50 percent complete), it's already amazingly fun - just like the original. The control captures the essence of the original, right down to tapping the R trigger to hop around corners for better traction.

Mario Kart Advance will likely be one of the ten launch games that accompany the Game Boy Advance's Japanese release on March 21, 2001.

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Jeff Gerstmann

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.
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