Matt Chat 21: Super Mario Kart and the Kart Racing Genre

Matt Barton's picture

This week's Matt Chat is about Super Mario Kart, the game that popularized the "kart racing genre" in which popular characters (from games or elsewhere) race each other in go-carts. The video covers several games that it was inspired by, as well as some it inspired. Enjoy!

On a technical front, I think I've found ways to keep Vegas from crashing so often. It's a bit of a pain, but this time I just split the entire project into two halves, rendered them separately, and fused them together at the end. I had to re-render one of them to a silly error on my part, but the finished project seems fine. I think I'll continue to try to tweak the settings.

Also, tried some new things in this video--one was showing a picture of the arcade cabinet or box alongside the gameplay footage. I thought it was interesting, but let me know if it works or not. I also tried standing instead of sitting; this was mostly after observing that the guys who are beating my ass in views and subs always stand. We'll see whether it makes a difference. :)

Finally, this cool gentlemen has mentioned me in his video, so I wanted to post it as well and help get the guy some publicity. I certainly know how hard it is! His "pickup" video is really neat--the idea is that he takes his camera along on thrift shop tours for vintage gaming merch, then talks about his finds. I think I'm going to have to buy some of those Wendy's boneless wing things now, though. :)

Hmmm...Don't seem to be able to embed the video. Anyway, here is the link.

Comments

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Rad Racer is actually

Rad Racer is actually interesting, as in the US it came with the red/blue 3D glasses. In Japan, it actually worked with their hardware-based 3D glasses that used a shutter system, like the Sega Master System 3D glasses, which were available in the US. I have both the Famicom and SMS hardware-based 3D glasses, and they certainly provide quality 3D that red/blue or polarized glasses alone really can't provide.

There are a stunning number of Kart clones. It would be a massive undertaking, but it would be interesting to go through them by platform in a feature article, though frankly they could fill a book.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

n/a
Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
I don't have a pair of 3D

I don't have a pair of 3D glasses around--at least, if I do, have no idea where they are. The reviews I looked at claimed it was a cheesy gimmick. Do you disagree?

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Differences
Matt Barton wrote:

I don't have a pair of 3D glasses around--at least, if I do, have no idea where they are. The reviews I looked at claimed it was a cheesy gimmick. Do you disagree?

In its US form with the paper red/blue glasses, yes, 100% cheesy. In its proper Japanese form with the hardware-based 3D with the shutter glasses, no, not cheesy. It's a pity the 3D add-on was never released in the US, but then the US really didn't need anymore more essentially one-off peripherals.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

n/a
Rowdy Rob
Rowdy Rob's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/04/2006
Another great Matt Chat.

Once again, great video. I was surprised to see both my suggestions (Road Blasters and Spy Hunter) made an appearance in this episode, because they really don't seem very "Mario Kartish" when shown in context. I never considered "Mario Kart" to be a very innovative game before, but after watching this video, it really does seem like it was far more innovative than I gave it credit for, judging from the dearth of comparable games before it!

After watching the video and seeing the "Speed Buggy" clip, I was reminded of a pre-MK arcade game that was probably the closest I can think of to Mario Kart: it was called Power Drift by Sega. It doesn't feature power-ups, but it did have cartoonish racers in carts racing around the track. What it did have was roller-coaster-like courses, which to my knowledge was never featured in a Mario-Kart game, and I think it would make for a cool addition to the series! I enjoyed this game, and I wish I would have thought of this game earlier, so I could have passed it along to you.

Stunt Car Racer was also a fave of mine on the Amiga. I wouldn't say it was a critical loss to not include it in this episode, though.

Matt Barton wrote:

Also, tried some new things in this video--one was showing a picture of the arcade cabinet or box alongside the gameplay footage. I thought it was interesting, but let me know if it works or not.

I thought it was part of the game emulation you were using, and didn't realize you went through that trouble. As such, I really didn't notice it that much, since my eyes were fixated on the actual Pole Position gameplay. If you do it again, perhaps larger images on both sides will emphasize the images on the sides.

Matt Barton wrote:

I also tried standing instead of sitting; this was mostly after observing that the guys who are beating my ass in views and subs always stand. We'll see whether it makes a difference. :)

It didn't make any difference to me. The personality and commentary were still evident. It's amazing that you consistently find intelligent and informative things to say about even such simple, whimsical games like Super Mario Kart!

As for your viewership, I suspect it's just that the word just hasn't gotten out about your videos as much as we'd like. It's not the quality of your presentations (especially the more recent ones that are increasingly slick, ambitious, fun, and informative). Many top Youtube personalities have been doing their videos for years and don't have near as ambitious a schedule as you, nor even as many videos as you've produced. I think it just takes time for interested people to stumble upon your videos, I think.

Enjoyed the video!

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Matt's Response !
Rowdy Rob wrote:

Once again, great video. I was surprised to see both my suggestions (Road Blasters and Spy Hunter) made an appearance in this episode, because they really don't seem very "Mario Kartish" when shown in context. I never considered "Mario Kart" to be a very innovative game before, but after watching this video, it really does seem like it was far more innovative than I gave it credit for, judging from the dearth of comparable games before it!

There are probably several that I just didn't know about, but really at some point you have to say they are probably obscure for a reason. Super Mario Kart did benefit from the huge media juggernaut and fanboy army of Nintendo and Mario. Still, while there are plenty of fun multiplayer racers before SMK, I think SMK did the best job of creating something that was accessible, fun, charming, and loaded with personality. You just feel good playing this game. I think a lot of people who would love to play SMK would be turned off by many other racers that are more hardcore (i.e., Road Blasters).

Quote:

After watching the video and seeing the "Speed Buggy" clip, I was reminded of a pre-MK arcade game that was probably the closest I can think of to Mario Kart: it was called Power Drift by Sega. It doesn't feature power-ups, but it did have cartoonish racers in carts racing around the track. What it did have was roller-coaster-like courses, which to my knowledge was never featured in a Mario-Kart game, and I think it would make for a cool addition to the series! I enjoyed this game, and I wish I would have thought of this game earlier, so I could have passed it along to you.

Yup, it does look ideal. It's a shame I didn't know about it; it looks at least as relevant as Buggy Boy, though it appears to be later. If I ever do another edition though it should be there along with SCR. Just wasn't enough time to put everything in that I wanted to put in, frankly, and I'm still peeved I wasn't able to get Atari Karts in there. I tried for hours, but just couldn't get it working in a Jag emulator on Vista.

Matt Barton wrote:

I thought it was part of the game emulation you were using, and didn't realize you went through that trouble. As such, I really didn't notice it that much, since my eyes were fixated on the actual Pole Position gameplay. If you do it again, perhaps larger images on both sides will emphasize the images on the sides.

Oh, well. Perhaps it will reward repeat viewings! :)

Matt Barton wrote:

It didn't make any difference to me. The personality and commentary were still evident. It's amazing that you consistently find intelligent and informative things to say about even such simple, whimsical games like Super Mario Kart!

It is a bit challenging at times. I mean, there is plenty to talk about, but not always obvious. If I were discussing a more complicated game, naturally there'd be more stuff ready-at-hand to talk about. Still, I like comparing games to other games, and I think the visuals are interesting. I still think Summer Games is probably my best commentary so far. I guess I should start trying to think of funny things to say early on.

Quote:

As for your viewership, I suspect it's just that the word just hasn't gotten out about your videos as much as we'd like. It's not the quality of your presentations (especially the more recent ones that are increasingly slick, ambitious, fun, and informative). Many top Youtube personalities have been doing their videos for years and don't have near as ambitious a schedule as you, nor even as many videos as you've produced. I think it just takes time for interested people to stumble upon your videos, I think.

Eh, well, I guess it isn't the end of the world if it's just not a popular show. I have a small but appreciative audience now that really enjoys the program and makes it all worthwhile with fun comments (and even video responses from Mark!). I'm not really willing to be vulgar or goofy like so many of the more popular game shows on Youtube. I respect what they do, but that's just not me.

Thanks for all the comments!

n/a
Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Mark's video response

Don't mind the perspective - it actually looks like I am on the crapper....rest assured I am NOT!

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

n/a
Hammer
Offline
Joined: 03/23/2008
Another entertaining Matt Chat

Very good, although I think you should have mentioned Outrun, and showed the newest Mario Kart for the Wii that comes with the wheel.

BTW, have you ever played Bump N Jump?

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Time
Hammer wrote:

Very good, although I think you should have mentioned Outrun, and showed the newest Mario Kart for the Wii that comes with the wheel.

BTW, have you ever played Bump N Jump?

I wanted to mention Outrun, but of course there is only so much you can pack into 10 minutes. Also, I don't have a Wii or GameCube, so showing the newer ones would have been difficult at best. If I ever get rid of my vampires, believe me that stuff will be in there. ;)

Bump'n Jump looks interesting. I haven't played it, but the description makes it sound sort of like Spy Hunter.

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Drop everything and play it!
Matt Barton wrote:

Bump'n Jump looks interesting. I haven't played it, but the description makes it sound sort of like Spy Hunter.

Holy crap! I can't believe you never played that. I played that a lot in the arcade, on my Atari 2600, and on my C-64. I've since gotten most other home conversions of it as well, including for the Intellivision and ColecoVision (which supports the steering wheel, though the arcade machine used a joystick!). The Japanese version was called "Burnin' Rubber" and it was a fine C-64 game!

Get playing mister! ;-)

(by the way, the Atari 2600, Intellivision and ColecoVision home versions were great pre-crash translations, so definitely worth checking out.)

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

n/a
Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Holes
Bill Loguidice wrote:

Holy crap! I can't believe you never played that.

Ha, there are definitely holes in my experience. A lot of of was just random--maybe a disk we got wouldn't load, or whatever. I still managed to play most of the important games on the C-64 and Amiga, but of course not everything. I really wish we'd gotten a DOS machine instead of the Amiga 3000; that was just dumb.

One nice thing about doing these videos and books is that it gives me an excuse to crank up oldies I haven't played and see firsthand what all the fuss was about.

If you guys remember, though, I did post before I made the video asking for any input. I do my best, but your experience is often very helpful. That said, my next game will be Deja Vu and the other MacVenture games (ICOM Simulations) Shadowgate, Uninvited, etc. So please, let me know what games you consider important to mention in that context (beyond obvious ones like Sierra/LucasArts/Cyan stuff). I'd be especially interested in earlier GUI-based adventures that utilized the mouse and windows.

n/a

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.