The Mario Kart franchise has been one of my favourites for as long as I’ve been playing games. But goddam does it drive me crazy sometimes!
C1: Hi guys, welcome to P Myth Gaming, something a little bit different today if you’ll indulge me, I wanna talk about my personal relationship with the Mario Kart franchise.
Back when I were a lad, about 9 years old, I got a Nintendo 64 for Christmas. My mother and her partner at the time, got me Extreme G and Turok to go alongside it.
C2: Apparently utterly oblivious to the latter’s age rating.
C1: And when my brothers and I tootled off to our Dad’s house on boxing day. I was greeted with another game, Mario Kart 64.
I won all four races on my first cup
C2: Mushroom on 50cc, but I still thought that showed an innate natural talent coming from someone who’d only had the system for two days and had never played a Mario Kart game before.
C1: and was instantly hooked. My brothers, dad, and I spent hours upon hours playing multiplayer and I spent even more solo, learning the quickest way around each of the game’s circuits.
One day, on a family day out in York, I managed to convince my Dad to buy me the strategy guide which opened up my mind to the world of power sliding, mini-turbos, and course shortcuts. The first time I beat the ‘pro’ time the guide had listed I felt like a god.
C2: A nerdy, mario-karting god
C1: Even when Goldeneye dropped it shared the spotlight with Rainbow Road and Koopa Troopa Beach on our weekend gaming sessions.
It was undoubtedly the start of a love affair with the franchise, so when it came time for Mario Kart Double Dash to be released on the Gamecube, I was ridiculously excited.
Having ordered the game online, it was due for delivery on the Monday morning. Obviously this was a school day, and I’d be damned if I was going to wait until 4 o’ clock to get my hands on it. So the day before, I feigned illness all day, even going so far as to not eat anything to reinforce my pantomine
C2: And those that know how much I love food, will understand what a commitment that was
C1: My, frankly oscar worthy performance paid off, and I secured the day off school.
After stuffing my face once my mother had left for work I waited impatiently for the postman to bring me my new Mario Kart and spent the entire rest of the day playing it.
When my mother rang home at lunch time to see how I was feeling I replied a bit better, I’d had something to eat, and my new game had arrived. Any good she said? “Oh I don’t know, I haven’t really felt up to playing on it yet.”
C2: I truly know how to commit to a role.
C1: Double Dash garnered even more of my time than 64 did, I perfected snaking, and rarely lost when playing with my brothers at the weekend. They derived their joy at my, how shall we say, impassioned responses to the occasional blue shell they’d hurl my way. But by and large it didn’t effect the outcome, at least not yet.
C1: Mario Kart Wii was a revelation as for the first time I could test myself against other players online, rather than just with my friends and family. But the rubber banding system in that game was ridiculous, and this is something Mario Kart does that’s entirely unique, and I daresay the cause of many a hurled or battered controller.
As I’ve been working my way through, three-starring each of the cups in each class on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, this rubber banding system has become more prevalent and obvious to me.
As you progress in any other game, you get better at it, and the game rewards for your increased skill. But where Mario Kart differs is in this rubber band system it employs. The better you get at the game, the further ahead of the pack you’ll be, and the more likely your competitors are to get items like lightning and blue shells to pull you back and cut your lead.
Mario Kart actively punishes you for being good at it!
Needless to say, this results in some spectacularly profane language at times. I’m half convinced this is the reason Nintendo is so averse to voice chat in it’s games, because if people could hear the sort of things screamed at my TV when I’ve been blue shelled, red shelled, then punted off the circuit.
C2: All in quick succession, usually on the final lap, usually on the final corner
C1: Then I would undoubtedly be charged under every hate speech, blasphemy, and anti-terrorism law under the sun.
Not even Mario Party could illicit the sort of decorum-shattering hyperbole that a rogue green shell produces.
It has been pointed out to me by my younger sibling that these items are a key part of the game so calling them unfair is quite obviously ridiculous. I’ve even seen someone mention in a forum that they think of racing as secondary to combat in Mario Kart.
These are interesting and valid points, but balls to them it’s a racing game! The key goal is to be faster than everyone else and get to the chequered flag first, but in doing it’s best to ensure that the best racer doesn’t win, Mario Kart reveals a violent psychopathy in it’s creators and frankly they should be locked up for crimes against humanity and me personally.
So yes, I love Mario Kart possibly more than any other gaming franchise out there. But I also, at times, harbour a burning desire to fire it into the sun, and beat it’s creators with sticks. The cause of death on my eventual obituary will undoubtedly be ‘a blue-shelled induced anyeurism’
C2: My brother actually addressed a birthday card to me as ‘blue-shell magnet’ one year, just in case you needed further evidence.
C1: Thanks very much for watching guys, hope you enjoyed this slightly different, more personal video. If you did please hit those like and subscribe buttons, and tell me about your hugely unfair Mario Kart losses, or a franchise particularly close to your heart, in the comments below. See you all again soon!