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 Kart Fighter
I used to know this guy who thought he was going to make the world's coolest video game. He'd always tell me about what it was going to be about, how cool it was going to be, and so forth. However, there are reasons that games programmed by just one or a few people suck, and Kart Fighter is at least eight of them.

With that overly long joke out of the way, you're probably not asking yourself "Just what is Kart Fighter?", but I'm going to answer that question anyway. Basically, it's the characters from Super Mario Kart in a shitty NES fighting game. Not only that, but the characters have almost exactly the same moves - everyone has a fireball and some sort of charge/spin attack, for example, except for Mario and Luigi, who have a very obviously stolen dragon punch. As you can imagine, this doesn't exactly make for an engrossing game. Most fights consist of just mashing buttons. If you're a jumpy sort of fighter, like me, what usually ends up happening is that you waste 3/4 of the round jumping over the enemy as they slide around.

So, the gameplay stinks. The graphics stink too. The characters don't look quite right - is Donkey Kong always this gay? And each character has maybe six frames of animation total. Yay!

But where Kart Fighter fails - Control, gameplay, graphics, music, and fun - it manages to succeed in one aspect: It's entertaining. For some reason, this game is in sub-English, so that instead of fighting Mario, you find yourself fighting someone called MARI. Yes - Mari. No, I don't know either.

Since the most interesting part of the game is the way the various characters have been butchered, let's take a closer look at them.

Here's Bowser. He's actually named "Koopa", amazingly. And now he's about three feet tall. And, for some reason, his stage is... the desert from Mario 2. Yes, pick the one game Bowser ISN'T in, and make a stage from that his background. Ahhh... right.

Princess Toadstool is "Peach" in this game, which I hate. Her stage is the cloud bonus area from Super Mario 3, but the music has been sped up enough to give you an aneurysm. Not only that, but she has a miniskirt on. Not only does she have a miniskirt on, but she has a miniskirt with leg slits on, thus again proving that if you're going to have a fighting game with women, they have to be dressed like sluts. Christ, don't they sell pants in Super Mario World?

Luigi is what he always is, a green loser version of Mario. Luigi's stage is a bridge over lava. I was sort of hoping you could knock your opponent in when you win, or at least molest them, but such is not the case. Pretty stupid place for a fight, if you ask me, which nobody did. I'll be quiet now. TESTING ALHBALBHAH.

The koopa trooper is now named "NOKONOKO", which I guess makes about as much sense as anything else in this game. His stage is the same as Bowser's, and he looks pretty unhappy about it. Also note that if you have two "NOKONOKO"s face off, one is green and one is purple. I guess making the second one red would've made Baby Jesus cry or something.

Then there's Donkey Kong. Man, does he look gay. Suddenly I'm glad I never brought Donkey Kong Country. Also notice that his stage is somewhere from Mario 3, which is about as stupid as you can legally get.

Here's Yoshi, or as the game calls him, "YOSSY". For some reason, he's still wearing his saddle, so I kept wanting to jump on him and ride him around. Not only that, but his stage is, for some reason, the first stage of the crappy NES Little Nemo game. Look, I don't know, okay?

You may remember Toad as "The shitty guy from Mario 2 nobody used because he can jump about three vertical inches". Here he's called KINOPIO. His stage is a forest, which would be fine if he were Donkey Kong. But then again, that would make too much sense.

And finally, Mario is now MARI, apparently. He's exactly like Luigi except he's red, and the top half of his face doesn't display quite right on the character selection screen. Bah.

Well! Wasn't that a fun and magical journey? You now know everything, and probably more, than you need or ever wanted to know about this game. I'm sure all this information will stay with you forever, so that years from now you'll forget your husband's birthday, but remember that Toad is, somewhere, somehow, named KINOPIO.

Now get outta here!

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Written by Evk and posted on 12-06-00.
This article is 2000 Nick Hammer.

Salamando's Stove is all a big ol' 1999-2000 Zach Francks and Nick Hammer.