05 February 2010
Around the same time that my brother left for college, my mom got rid of our cable. My brother, always an avid gamer, took most of his newer gaming systems with him to the University of Delaware. I was going into my junior year of high school. Though once I beat Mindsweeper in eight seconds and went through the typical obsession with Snood in middle school - computer and video games weren't really my thing. But now my brother was gone, it was only my mother and me in the house and we had no TV! How was I going to procrastinate on doing my US History homework with so few distractions? Then I found my brother's Super Nintendo had been left behind in the basement, and with it - Super Mario Kart.
I always loved Super Mario Kart and it had always belonged to my brother, meaning I only ever played with him where his superior gaming skills left me out of most of the harder rounds or in Eighth place (the lowest of the game) where he would spin laps around me. And now here it was - forgotten - it was mine!
Obsession ensued. I usually chose to drive with Toad - the mushroom player with a red and white cap. I could have picked Toad because he was light, because he took turns easily and had decent acceleration. But no, really I think I picked him because he was small and so was I. Why didn't I choose Princess Toadstool - the only female character? Because, come on - that's just too obvious. My brother, in fact, often played with Princess because she did have the best acceleration in the game. I remember Donkey Kong being very heavy and I wasn't used to a lot of extra weight. Mario was boring - what's the fun of Mario coming in first place - his name is on the box. Luigi was just kind of there, a sub par Mario. Yoshi was my second choice, or was it Koopa Troopa? I don't remember but in racing games it's usually best to choose a supporting character.
I am now 25 and have not played SMK in many years but recently my brother came to visit me in Brooklyn and reminded me of my brief obsession with the game in the Fall of 2002. He told a story I'd never heard about how one of his most crestfallen moments was when he returned home for Thanksgiving break and his little sister could beat him at Super Mario Kart. That's when I remembered - I had been good. Really, really good. I could swerve quickly around Rainbow Road without falling off the sides, I knew you needed to break when going around a turn, and I could skid over mud or ice without drowning. I have no idea if my skills still remain but a friend just got the new MarioKart for Wii. Time for round two?
By Fia Alvarez