All week my apartment complex has been hosting “beginning of the semester” events. Last night they capped off the first week back at school with a Mario Kart 64 tournament.
Because I teach a class about video games, I had just the costume for the occasion: classic Luigi! Everybody was super excited when I walked in.
Unfortunately, my entrance didn’t match my playing ability. I volunteered for the first round of 4 player verses and promptly lost in the first round, on Moo Moo Farm, no less!
Naturally I chose Luigi, but I don’t really like Luigi all that much, so by the time I figured out how to control with his character the race was over.
Oh well! My roommate won the tournament, and afterward I did much better in the pick-up matches, using Peach, of course.
A lot of serious gamers don’t like the Mario Kart series because of it’s randomness and balance. Mario Kart is one of those games that rewards people for being bad. If you are toward the end of the pack, you get better power-ups than the guy in first place. Thus, the guy in first place has a very difficult time staying in first place because so many people are gunning for him.
I understand that concern; however, Mario Kart has always been about fun more than fairness. About 20 people participated in the tournament; about half were decently good at Mario Kart. A few were terrible. But even the people who had to be told “A is for acceleration, B is for break” had a lot of fun.
And despite the “unfairness” of Mario Kart, the best players still find a way to win.