Mario Kart 64 speeds onto Wii U Virtual Console

One of the greatest multiplayer titles in existence, Mario Kart 64, is available on the Wii U Virtual Console today. It seems like this game should have come out sooner, considering it was on the original Wii’s Virtual Console a while ago, but better late than never. For $9.99, Wii U gamers can relive the Nintendo 64 classic.

Nintendo released a statement on its website:

“With improved courses and a revolutionary head-to-head four-player mode, Mario Kart 64 is sure to win the heart of any race-driving fan. The game includes 20 different courses filled with dips, valleys, jumps, tunnels and bridges. Smooth, precise control will bring players back time and time again for freewheeling fun.”

Without a doubt, the option for 4-player multiplayer action truly made this a must-have party game. While there is strategy to Mario Kart, inexperienced gamers can pick it up and play along easily enough too.

To make this article sound less like an advertisement though, there are a few drawbacks to the game. For one, contrary to the above statement, the steering usually felt a tad slippery. Also, the graphics did not age well.

In addition, players used to the newer Mario Kart entries may find the lack of characters in this one limiting.

And, yes, there is the feeling that the game does not want people to win or lose. Like most Mario Kart titles, rubber-band mechanics are in play, especially because of the dreaded blue shell. The best player may not win.

On the positive side, the game has a nice mixture of courses, as the above press release stated. Also, players who do not like falling off will be pleased to know Rainbow Road is railed up on both sides.

Adding the red sparks to the power drifts is a nice touch too, and helps keep races interesting. Gamers will want to keep getting those sparks on the turns, as it means the kart will receive a short boost.

Plus, the battle mode give extra playability if gamers are tired of actual racing.

According to the website, the Wii U version is compatible with the Wii U GamePad, Wii U Pro Controller and the Wii U Remote Plus + Classic Controller.

What would be great is if Nintendo could take some of these classic games like Mario Kart 64 and somehow add an online feature for those who need it, as a game like this is begging to be played with real people.

For $9.99 though, Mario Kart 64 is not a bad deal, particularly for gamers who can get friends together often. It might be less interesting for single players, but still an enjoyable experience overall.

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