Mario Kart 64: A Classic Racing Game for the Nintendo 64
Mario Kart 64 is a kart racing video game that was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1996 in Japan and 1997 worldwide. It is the second game in the Mario Kart series and the first to feature 3D graphics and four-player support. The game lets players choose from eight characters from the Mario franchise and race on various tracks with different themes and obstacles. Players can also use items to attack or defend themselves from other racers.
The game was developed by Nintendo EAD and published by Nintendo. It was a commercial and critical success, selling over nine million copies worldwide and becoming one of the best-selling games for the Nintendo 64. It also received positive reviews from critics, who praised its gameplay, graphics, sound, and multiplayer mode. The game has been re-released on various platforms, such as the iQue Player, the Virtual Console for the Wii and Wii U, and the Nintendo Switch Online service.
Mario Kart 64 is considered one of the most influential and popular games in the racing genre, as well as one of the best games in the Mario Kart series. It introduced many features that would become staples of the series, such as drifting, mini-turbos, weight classes, new items, and new characters. It also inspired many other kart racing games and spin-offs, such as Diddy Kong Racing, Crash Team Racing, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, and Mario Kart Arcade GP.
Mario Kart 64 features four game modes: Grand Prix, Time Trial, Versus, and Battle. In Grand Prix mode, the player competes against seven computer-controlled racers in a series of four races. The player can choose from four difficulty levels: 50cc, 100cc, 150cc, and Extra. The Extra mode is unlocked by completing all the cups in 150cc and features mirrored versions of the tracks. The player can also choose from four cups: Mushroom, Flower, Star, and Special. Each cup consists of four tracks with different themes and obstacles. The player earns points based on their finishing position in each race and the one with the most points at the end of the cup wins.
In Time Trial mode, the player races alone on any track and tries to set the best time possible. The player can also race against a ghost of their own or another player’s performance. In Versus mode, two to four players can race against each other on any track with customized rules. In Battle mode, two to four players can compete in one of four arenas and try to pop each other’s balloons using items. The last player with balloons remaining wins.
The game features eight playable characters from the Mario franchise: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Wario, and Bowser. Each character has different attributes that affect their speed, acceleration, weight, handling, and traction. The game also features a variety of items that can be obtained by driving through item boxes on the tracks. Some items are offensive, such as shells, bananas, and lightning bolts, while others are defensive, such as mushrooms, stars, and ghosts. Some items are exclusive to certain characters or positions in the race.
The game uses 3D graphics for its environment design and employs advanced techniques such as bilinear filtering and mipmapping to create smooth textures and realistic lighting effects. The game also features dynamic camera angles that change depending on the situation and a split-screen mode that allows up to four players to play simultaneously on the same screen.