It’s true, until this year (2021) I had never really played Super Mario Kart. I can remember watching other kids playing it at the Super Nintendo kiosks in Sears or Walmart, but I never got a turn. I didn’t personally own an SNES until 2001, and to be honest playing Super Mario Kart wasn’t a top priority back then. When I started hunting for video games in my adulthood Super Mario Kart didn’t cross my path as much as you might think. It did pop up from time to time in retail stores, for a retail price, but I always held out hope that I would run across it at a thrift store or flea market for much cheaper. I figured what fun is hunting a game if it’s trapped behind glass at a retail price?
Many seemingly ubiquitous games such as A Link to the Past and Super Mario 64 all gave me the slip when it came to tracking them down in the wild. Of course I want to add them to my collection but it was rare to see a copy of them sitting in a flea market booth or on a thrift store shelf at a reasonable price. Well, sometimes you have to bite the bullet and just get things done, and that’s why I chose to buy Super Mario Kart off ebay. To be more accurate I placed an on a whim bid for a Super Famicom version of Super Mario Kart and ended up winning it for a fraction of the price of a US version of the game. I honestly didn’t think I would win so I placed the minimum bid and let it go, only to be informed a few hours later that I had won the auction. When it arrived I was pretty excited to give it a try, as I honestly didn’t know what to expect. As I said previously I’ve seen Super Mario Kart being played and I do own, and have played, many of the other games in the series, but not THE Super Mario Kart on the Super Nintendo, or in this case Super Famicom.
When it comes to playing import games on my North American Super Nintendo I have two ways to approach it. First I can use my Super 8 which offers no restrictions on cartridge regions whatsoever, but it’s not something everyone will have laying around. My second choice is to take a cheap game like Madden 95 and just swap the ROM boards. This allows the Super Famicom game to be played inside the North American console without any modifications while also giving the finger to a Madden game. After a quick Google search I found there really isn’t much different about the Super Famicom version, short of the Japanese text and some things Nintendo of America decided needed to be censored in the US version. I just used the clean memory code on the title screen and away I went. How do I like Super Mario Kart? Well that’s a story for another day.