This Day in Entertainment History: Mario Kart 64 Released (February 10th, 1997)

The original Super Mario Kart was a big success when it originally released for the Super Nintendo, and its sequel would be a massive hit as well.

Originally known as Super Mario Kart R, Mario Kart 64 was released in the United States on February 10th, 1997, following a late 1996 release in Japan.

The original Super Mario Kart was a big success when it originally released for the Super Nintendo, and its sequel would be a massive hit as well.

Originally known as Super Mario Kart R, Mario Kart 64 was released in the United States on February 10th, 1997, following a late 1996 release in Japan.

Like its predecessor, Mario Kart 64 involves various characters from the Mario universe racing through highly stylized tracks, some based around Nintendo settings. Not only do characters race against each other, they can use items like shells, bob-ombs and bananas to attack or affect other racers.

The game—and entire Mario Kart franchise--is extremely popular as a multiplayer game across a wide audience. There is even a battle mode, that forgoes the racing and involves trying to pop three balloons of competitors to win.

Mario Kart 64 brought the 3D graphics to the series, although the actual racers were 2D sprites based on 3D renders.

Several fan-favorite tracks debuted in Mario Kart 64 later appeared as “retro” tracks in future installments of the franchise such as Mario Raceway and Bowser's Castle.

The newest installment in the Mario Kart franchise, Mario Kart 8, is set to be released later this year exclusively for the WiiU.


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