GSJ10: Welcome to Mario Kart

You know what’s great about Super Mario Kart? Besides the fact that Nintendo actually allowed this image — which makes Mario look like the Lollypop Guild version of Jack Black and reduces Princess Peach to a swimsuit-clad race queen (because girls can’t race cars, silly! That’s only for men and, and… mushroom things, and turtles, and baby monkeys) — to go out the door, the best thing about Mario Kart is that it’s basically one step removed from this. Due to the nature of Mode 7, which would take a flat image and stretch it and scale it to create an illusion of three-dimensionality, Mario Kart was really little more than a high-tech (for the time) means by which to make the way you used to race your Hot Wheels cars around a vinyl placemat that looked like a track seem more exciting. And yet, as Luke Osterritter rightly points out, it was great. I would say it was great despite that flimflammery, but in all honesty I suspect its greatness is because of that.

10 thoughts on “GSJ10: Welcome to Mario Kart

  1. B-b-but Peach is also right there in the background! Or is that Peach in the swimsuit and some royal body double in the kart racing on her behalf? I’m so confused!

  2. I think it also bears observing how Luigi, Yoshi, and Toad are all very clearly in front of Mario. Just more sloppiness, or is this vaguely trying to convey the awesomeness of the lightning bolt power up?

    … wait, was that even in the first one?

    • No, Mario’s just showing off the rubber-band AI. In about 10 seconds he’s gonna pull ahead of them all through no merit of his own.

  3. When Crash Tag Team Racing was mentioned, all I could think of was, “But there’s Crash Team Racing, that game is awesome, even if it is derivative!”

  4. I’d really like to see more obscure promotional and concept art every now and then. I pretty much taught myself how to draw by studying the illustrations in the old Mario and Zelda instruction manuals.

    These days such material is either presented as the same 3 pieces of official artwork or
    hidden away as a bunch of concept drawings that are:
    A) stuffed into a poorly laid-out, 8-page art book that comes bundled with a pre-order
    B) complied as a $40 tome.

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