[School of Everything Else 2022]
Lunatic eats strange fungus, throws reptile carcases and banana peel out of his car. Everyone cheers!
One of the most beloved of game series, the racing title that prides itself on accessibility (most of the time) and appeal to all ages, with a consistently high bar of quality (imagine if every Sonic game had that) and a lasting appeal that both piques nostalgia and makes us excited for the future.
What began as a multiplayer sequel to vintage SNES launch title F-Zero became a flagship Nintendo showcase of their core Mario-related characters. We look at the development history and how the series has evolved over thirty years, the gambles that didn't pay off, the elements we now take for granted and the key aspects that make it work so well.
What's abundantly clear is that everyone has a different favourite and everyone has at least one example in the series that they just bounce off. We eschew discussion on the obscure arcade games, the remote control car for your mansion, and the Switch DLC rollout, as that won't be finished for years, but we DO talk about the phone-based Tour (2019) and its microtransaction-plagued experience.
For this epic show we played through every cup, and tried every multiplayer and battle mode in Super Mario Kart on the SNES (1992), Mario Kart 64 (1997) Super Circuit for GBA (2001) Double Dash for GameCube (2003) DS (2005) Wii (2008) 7 for 3DS (2011) and 8 for Wii U and Switch (2014). And yes, we do talk about Tour for phones (2019).
The other unexpected and fascinating side of the show to pay particular attention to, which didn't become apparent until the edit is how Nintendo advertised each game over three decades. Their approach and audience changes over time and you can really hear that in the commercials. PLUS the whole thing is peppered with music that will evoke good times.
Nama Chibitty @namathenerd