Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

How to Rule the (Rainbow) Road

Since I was a little kid, I’ve been captivated by a wide variety of video games (albeit, a little too captivated at times), but very few have stuck with me long-term. One of the few that has is Mario Kart.

A simple overview: Mario Kart is a racing game. Players choose characters from a variety of icons in the Nintendo universe, and choose their racing vehicle from dozens of comical cars and bikes. They race around Nintendo-universe-inspired tracks, and can pick up different items along the way. Mario Kart is played with a classic controller – imagine a Playstation or Xbox controller -and there are a few strategies that can take your game to the next level.

The first is drifting. Drifting is a maneuver that allows players to take turns much tighter while gaining a boost of speed. By tapping and holding the right trigger, the player starts the drift, which increases the sharpness of the turn. The longer the drift, the bigger the boost at the end of the drift. This boost is often referred to as a “mini-turbo”. This technique is easy to learn, but difficult to master.

The second is an idea called “bagging.” Derived from the term sandbagging, bagging is a strategy in which a player intentionally performs poorly in order to get into a low place in the race. Mario Kart is coded so that the worse you are doing, the better items you get. On some tracks, there are huge shortcuts that you need certain items to use – items you can only get in a low place.
By bagging, and then waiting until the end of the race to use your items, you can speed by players right at the end of the race.

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The last technique is something called the “combo strategy,” and this is entirely dependent on seeing which combination of carts, wheels, gliders, and character works best for you. Some combos are lighter, but not as fast. Some charge a mini-turbo faster, but don’t allow for accurate and speedy cart handling. It all depends on what you like and what you’re comfortable with, but the best players learn to play with a variety of different combos.

There are so many different strategies and techniques to master in Mario Kart – shock dodging, bullet extension zones, vector and motion gliding, lining, trailing, and so much more – and if you play long enough and are dedicated enough you can eventually master all of them. If you haven’t played in a while, hopefully this reignited your passion for the cartoonish yet deceivingly compliHocated racing game, and if you’ve never played, hopefully this made you want to start.

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