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Mario Kart: Super Circuit

aka: Mario Kart Advance
Moby ID: 4941
Game Boy Advance Specs

Description official descriptions

This GBA conversion brings together elements of both Super Mario Kart (the original SNES classic) and the N64 sequel, Mario Kart 64.

  • Much like the SNES title, coins lying on the tracks can be collected to boost the speed of the kart.
  • All of the characters from MK64 are included (Mario, Luigi, Toad, Donkey Kong, Bowser, Wario, Peach, and Yoshi)
  • In multiplayer, up to 4 players can play classic and battle modes using either one cartridge and 4 GBA's or 4 cartridges and 4 GBA's for the full list of characters to choose from.
  • Weapons include the classic green and red shells and the purple spiked shell.
  • 20 new tracks, using elements from both past titles.

Spellings

  • マリオカートアドバンス - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Game Boy Advance version)

68 People (44 developers, 24 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 91% (based on 45 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 61 ratings with 4 reviews)

Red Koopa-Shells other GBA racers!

The Good
FUN!!! Really. I thought that hooning around endlessly in a little kart would get monotonous, but I never tired of blasting the opposition!!!

The Bad
The lightning powerup that I only got once and the computer karts kept blasting me with! I showed them though. ^^ And, in 150cc, you really start to wonder who granted Bowser his driver's licence, the maniac. Other than that, some tracks were insanely hard (especially secret ones) and others almost impossible. But really, all that adds to the thrill of the race!

The Bottom Line
You'll have so much fun playing this you'll never want to stop!! Seriously addictive. I even had my little brothers cheering for me at one stage!! ^
^

This game absolutely rocks!!!

Game Boy Advance · by Suzie Pendlebury (2) · 2003

Retro fun but with a new twist.

The Good
The original Mario Kart was one of the best racing games on the SNES in its day and still has great gameplay even today, beating many of the poor 'Kart' game imitators hands down so it's great to see a return to the gameplay of the original but with even more control. There are 20 new tracks to race around which is lover-ly, time trial, cup races, quick races, 3 difficulty levels and loads of gameplay are all in here. If you have friends with a Gameboy Advance and Mario Kart, then you can race head to head with up to 4 of you, or you can battle one another just like the SNES title. As if that wasn't enough, there are extra tracks locked away in the cart. These bonus courses comprise every track from the original SNES version which makes for 40 tracks. Basically this is a classic title and a new one in the same package. Graphics and sound are some of the best seen on the GBA so far with smooth movement and sampled sounds.

The Bad
The nature of racing games means that at some point frustration will kick in. Getting all the way to the last track in a cup and totally stuffing it up is infuriating. Also, the harder modes can be a real pain because at times you can be attacked by multiple racers all at once leaving you spinning out of control long after everyone has overtaken you. On a personal note, I really don't like the mario universe characters. Of course this is very personal but if you don't like Mario, then you're gonna be less interested in this title immediately but this shouldn't deter you.

The Bottom Line
The best Kart game to date. And it's portable too. If you like a bit of zany racing fun then pick this up. It's the perfect handheld title.

Game Boy Advance · by Sycada (177) · 2001

Great handheld racing game

The Good

  • Great gameplay like we've come to expect from the Mario Kart series after Super Mario Kart & Mario Kart 64. Short races (never more than 3 minutes per race) with plenty of action, improbable comebacks, short-cuts and power-ups (on some tracks you can get up to 3 power-ups per lap). Races are exciting till the end as racers in the bottom half of the pack get better power-ups than those in the top half. The race-leader is especially vulnerable with all the red & purple shells fired by the other racers and the boo power-up also slows down the race-leader. If you play against the CPU the 50 cc & 100 cc classes are rather easy, but the 150 cc class is pretty hectic and you'll need quite a bit of knowledge of the track (know the shortcuts etc.) to win. During the race you must collect coins to increase the speed of your kart while other racers try to bump into you, which makes you lose coins. I definitely had a lot of fun while playing this game.
  • Mario Kart Super Circuit has a lot to offer and you won't get bored with it very fast. I spent a huge amount of time playing this game. There are 20 new tracks divided into five cups. To unlock the special cup you need to finish first in each of the four regular cups, You must do this for each of the three engine classes. When you've also won the special cup you can unlock all the 20 tracks of the SNES original by collecting 100 coins in each of the Super Circuit cups. If you want to challenge yourself some more you can then try to score a triple-star rating for each of the 30 cup/engine class combinations. Your rating is determined by the amount of points scored, your lap times, the amount of coins collected, the amount of power-ups used (less is better) and the amount of continues used. You can also try to beat the computer's times in the time-trial mode and play against another player (via the link cable) in a single race or in the classic battle mode.
  • Graphics are bright & colourful, which works fine with the GBA screen, and are a vast improvement over those of Mario Kart for the SNES. The action is smooth and the 150 cc class gives you a good sense of speed. The new tracks are longer, more complex and look better as well. There are several new unique themes, see for instance Sky Garden, Ribbon Road and Yoshi's Desert, which all have their own set of graphics and music. On some of the tracks the scenery changes during the race, for example the sun sets while you complete your laps or a volcano erupts and darkens the sky
  • Of course the handling of the karts is not realistic, however this doesn't mean that it is shallow. It takes a bit of practice to make the most of your time-trial attempts. Besides knowledge of the track, you also need to get used to the handling of the various karts and how they respond to the different surfaces of the various tracks. Your choice for a particular character really influences the handling of your kart. I enjoyed the fact that you can now powerslide through corners by holding down left (or right) on the d-pad & the right shoulder button. A good powerslide (either a couple of seconds or 180 degrees or more) gives you small speed boost so it's worthwhile to practice this. Another change to the gameplay is the ability to block incoming shells by holding down the left shoulder button after you've collected a shell or banana. However you can't look behind you anymore.


The Bad

  • Sounds & Music are up-tempo and upbeat which fits a Mario game. I think the sound-effects are well done and like the majority of the songs but after a while some the tunes start to get on my nerves as they are rather intense and hard to ignore (and can't be turned off). I can imagine it's really annoying to sit next to someone who's playing this game. Sometimes the music makes it hard to hear an incoming shell.
  • Mario Kart games are excellent multiplayer titles, but the nature of the GBA hardware makes it likely you'll mostly play this game on your own. You can play this game with up to four people but if you want the full range of options you'll need 4 GBA's, 4 game cartridges and a matching number of link-cables. Of course that's not going to happen very often. Anyway since most people will probably play this game on their own it's a bit disappointing that you can't play the battle mode against the computer.
  • One aspect of the original Super Mario Kart that annoyed me was that the A.I. drivers would somehow magically receive multiple power-ups per race (like Luigi getting 3 star power-ups in one race). I always felt that the A.I. was cheating. In this version the A.I. drivers need to hit item-blocks to get power-ups just like you (at least I think they have to). If you're not too far ahead I think you can prevent them from getting a power-up by driving through multiple item-blocks at once (the item-blocks will return after a little while). However some parts of the race still feel scripted; I've played some races in which a red shell came after me in exactly the same corner on every lap or in which one the race-leaders gets two star power-ups in a row, which never happens to you when you're in front of the pack.
  • There's only room for ten ghosts from the time-trail mode on the cartridge. So after a while you have to delete your old achievements to save your latest accomplishment.
  • While it's not extremely hard to win a golden cup in the 150 cc class, playing on this difficulty level can be frustrating if you're a perfectionist and aiming for those double / triple star ratings.


The Bottom Line
Mario Kart Super Circuit is another strong entry in the Mario Kart series. It offers a ton of gameplay and the short action-packed races work well on a handheld. It's a game with lots of replay value and one of the better GBA titles.

Game Boy Advance · by Roedie (5221) · 2007

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The Game Boy Advance version of Mario Kart: Super Circuit appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Awards

  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – Game Boy Advance Racing Game of the Year
    • 2004 – Game Boy Advance Game of the Year
    • 2004 – Game Boy Advance Sports Game of the Year

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  • MobyGames ID: 4941

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

Nintendo 3DS added by ResidentHazard. Wii U added by Michael Cassidy.

Additional contributors: Joshua J. Slone, gamewarrior, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added September 3rd, 2001. Last modified June 27th, 2023.