Mario Kart, The first racing game to feature Mario and the rest
the original eight characters were: Princess, Luigi, Mario, Toad, Koopa Troopa, Bowser, Donkey Kong and Yoshi. Each with there own different attributes of steering, acceleration, power and special moves (which could only be used by the computer player) my favourite character of all in this game was Koopa Troopa, his acceleration wasn't great but he could corner with the best of em... anyway here's my review...
Gameplay: 9 (out of 10)
Gameplay is divided into the following three modes: Mario GP (Standard race v computer) and is available in either one or two player modes and divided into 2 Speed settings, After winning Star Cup on 100cc you unlock special cup, when you win special cup on 100cc you then unlock 150cc mode. Next mode is Time Trial, which I believe is just a one player thing, where basically you go round the maps with no opposition and try and beat your previous scores, very good form of practice, without the worry of being hit by the usual projectiles such as shells, heatseakers etc :) You also have the option to race against your ghost (The ghost takes exactly the same route that you took on the last map) so you can try and beat your own time.
Finally the next mode is Battle mode, this is a multiplayer mode and cant really be played on your own (It's a shame they didn't add computer opponents for this mode) each player starts with three balloons, every time you are hit by your opponents weapon you lose 1 balloon. A pretty wide range of game modes, maps and characters to keep your interest going.
The only thing I have against the gameplay are the controls.. I couldn't say honestly what it is about them, they just don't really feel right on corners *confused*
This game however, due to the weapons, is something you can play again and again, you can become an expert and due to the weapons still not necessarily win. If your in 8th place, the powerup you pickup will generally be better than if you were in first. For instance you would say get a Star (Makes you invincible, Faster and knocks enemies into a spin out if you hit them) or lightning (Shrinks all enemies making you able to drive over them and make them generally slower), where in first you would get something crappy like a Banana Skin or Feather (Gives you a jump).
An excellent set of the coolest race-tracks you'll ever see, Koopa Beach is especially good, and so is Rainbow road.
To summarise, this game is very addictive, the sort you can play again and again, I would recommend it as a multiplayer game, as its always nice to shoot at friends (With non-lethal projectiles, designed to annoy) ;)
Sound and music: 10 (out of 10)
The classic mario themetunes? no no no, Mario Karts comes with its own set of themetunes, which are actually very good.. Each track has a different themetune, from the light happy sound of donut plains, to the more sinister sounding theme of bowsers castle, also some very decent sounds on the weapons, the sound of hitting an enemy is pretty satisfying :) drop a banana, get half way round the track, and see the poor guy in 7th spinning on your map screen. The engine sounds, weapon sounds, and power-slide (using the L or R buttons on the top of your gamepad to round corners better) are all unique and for the time, very very good quality! Another fine set of themes from nintendo.
Graphics: 10 (out of 10)
For its time, this game was a graphical masterpiece, all the tracks with there unique scenery and detail look excellent, from the snow and ice pools on vanilla lake to the beach, pools, grass and sea of Koopa Beach, excellent colourful environments and good colour and details on all the characters, with smooth flowing ingame graphics, intros and ending sequences, this makes the game the success it was. The graphics as well as the racing is well tuned, for example you can see its obvious that Mario is Smaller than say Bowser or DonkeyKong, and that Toad is even smaller still.
Do racing games really need a story? ;) you could always just go on the simple but effective story written by myself:
Well the guys from the games decided to stop fighting for the Mushroom Kingdom and Yoshi's island etc, and that they should work out there differences and have a wholesome kart race... and they did! Koopa Troopa, Mario, Luigi, Toad, The Princess, Bowser and DonkeyKong all decided to race. And that was that really...