Proving multi-player games are still a possibility on the N64.

User Rating: 8 | Mario Kart 64 N64
The sequel to SNES's hit Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, is for those who are very into multi-player games. There's not a real storyline to this game except to race through first player to unlock backwards courses in mulitplayer. Not really much of a reward for conquering a bunch of courses but that's not what the game's about. Multi-player is what it's about. The way you play this game is very similar to it's predecessor except now it looks a LOT better and isn't 2-D racing (you can go up and down hills and such). Like in Super Mario Kart there are three different classes in first-player. 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc. The higher the class, the faster the karts go (you and computers go faster). You also get to choose between eight Nintendo characters each with slightly different abilities: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, Yoshi, Wario, Donkey Kong, and Bowser. The heavier drives get a major speed decrease when they go over grass or mud whereas the lighter characters can get knocked around by the bigger characters. The items you can use are very similar to the old game and you can get them from item boxes around the race. Now you can get a spiky blue shell (only in the later places like fourth-eight) that homes in on first place and nails him which causes him to fly up in the air. It's also do the same to anyone that touches it. The ghost item steals someone's items and makes them slightly invisible. The mushroom gives you a boost and lightning shrinks all other drivers and you can run over and squash them. A new addition is an option to get up to three green or red shells which spin around your kart acting as a shield. This game was solely set up for multi-player though. You can choose all of the tracks in multi-player without winning them in first-player. Plug in four controllers and you'll know what this game is really about. Playing First-player mode with two-players splits the screen in half giving you a much better shot at winning. Nintendo did a very good job at preserving the same frame rate level in 2nd player as they did in 1st player. This game has some special battle deathmatches which include A match where you have three balloons and a buncha item boxes appear around the level and everytime you hit your opponent a balloon goes away. When you lose all three you lose. There are also those pesky enemies from Mario games that show up here like those annoying moles, the dog-like iron balls attached to chains, bombs, and those accursed penguins. Some people have complained that it's much easier from the last one. Which is true. But it was either make the tracks larger and make the game look better or make the tracks slimmer and the game less good looking and more challenging. I personally choose the first choice because I like the way the game looks already. Single-player mode get's pretty lame pretty fast but the multi-player mode is forever brilliant. The graphics are typically smooth and represent Mario's truly cartoony world. Some levels look a little dull with not enough detail, but others, like Bowser's Castle, are a sight to behold. The game mixes polygonal graphics with sprites. For example, all the drivers are sprites and look pretty good unless you come to close with the screen. Lighting is also ok. When you drive into a tunnel your car darkens and when you land in ice you turn blue but it's nothing special. Track design is also well-done. There are 16 tracks total with many shortcuts and alternate paths for you to choose that make racing a little more strategic than you think. The classic tracks return from Super Mario Kart although I thought they messed up on Rainbow Road. Most of the track has gates on it which means you can't fall off anymore. The last level should've retained it difficulty from the first one. Lots of the colors used work well but they are kind of generic by today's standards. The music sounds pretty good with some memorable tunes, and cool stereo effects like a great, booming base in ghost house and Bowser's Castle. The sound effects are of equally high quality. The karts sound like actual karts and the character talk quite a lot. Wario's evil laugh is priceless. A little too average and you get bored of it rather quickly. No matter how old it gets, multi-player never get's old. Back then, when me and my friends had nothing else to do, Mario Kart 64 would be the first thing on our list to play because it's just as addictive as you could expect a racing game with mario on it to be. Mario Kart 64 is must have for N64 owners. Cute, stylish, goofy characters on karts throwing shells at eachother. Super Mario 64 on wheels.