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Mario Kart Advance
Preview By: Roger Taylor
Developer:  Intelligent Systems
Publisher:  Nintendo
Genre:  Racing
Est. Release Date:  August 27, 2001
Posted:  11-03-00

Updated: 7-19-01
Updated By: Jared Black

Now that Mario Kart: Super Circuit is out in Japan, Nintendo has unleashed a ton of new media of the game.  As a result, we've got four course maps (the entire Lightning Cup), new screenshots of each of the first four tracks, and renders of all the different items available in the game.  We've also got four more general screenshots of the game in action.  Enjoy.


Updated: 1-27-01
Updated By: Jared Black

Nintendo have released four new screenshots of Mario Kart Advance in action, and we've of course got them for you to drool over.  In addition to confirming three of the tracks in the game (your standard desert, ghost house and Peach's Castle courses), they also confirm the final roster of drivers.  Whether there will be hidden drivers or not remains to be seen.

New Screens (click to enlarge):


With the possible exceptions of Tetris, Super Mario 64 and Goldeneye, I have spent more time playing Super Mario Kart for the SNES than any other game in my life.  And why not?  It was, and still is a fabulous piece of software that combined a great racing experience with an outstanding multiplayer battle mode.  That said, when Mario Kart 64 didn't improve on that formula all that much, many people were a tad disappointed.  Still, in a recent Japanese poll, Mario Kart 64 was ranked as the fourth most popular title for the system.

I suppose that how you reacted to Mario Kart 64 will determine how you react to Mario Kart Advance because, like Mario Kart 64, Advance does not improve drastically on its predecessor.  In fact, Mario Kart Advance is more of an
attempt to recreate the original Mario Kart on the Game Boy Advance.  And from what we have seen so far, Nintendo is doing a darn good job of it.

The graphics look to be a jump ahead of the original Mario Kart, but not as sharp as the N64 version.  As you can tell from the screenshot below,  the characters look fantastic for a handheld system, while the backgrounds look pretty standard.

On the gameplay front, Mario Kart Advance plays remarkably similar to the original version.  The controls are still very basic, with the A button being the accelerator, the right shoulder being used for hopping, and the left shoulder for firing weapons.  The courses are standard Mario Kart fare (ghost course, beach course, etc).  Many of the weapons from the N64 version
were implemented though, including the popular spike shell, and the three turtle shells.

Most people will tell you that the best part of Mario Kart was the multiplayer.  That is why the most intriguing aspect of Mario Kart advance
has to be the ability to link up to other GBAs using the link cable, or through the Game Cube when that becomes available, in order to play against up to three other friends; either in a race or deathmatch.  Mario Kart Advance will also feature download link play, which means that up to four GBAs can be hooked together to play Mario Kart, using only one cartridge.  This is definitely good news for those of us with friends who don't plan on buying the game.

Mario Kart Advance is an update to a classic game, that should satisfy most anyone who enjoyed the previous versions, or anyone who liked recent knock-offs like Crash Team Racing.  This is definitely one of the more exciting titles announced for the GBA so far.  Look for it when the system launches in July 2001.
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