A Weekend of Mario Kart on the Switch

I still have my Super Nintendo sitting next to the TV in my room (because the 90’s ruled & and I can’t let things go). Technically, it was my brother’s, but mi casa es su casa and whatnot, so now it’s mine. Even after playing on every PlayStation & Xbox console, my unwavering loyalty belongs to Nintendo. Maybe it’s a nostalgia thing- or maybe it’s because greatness never dies.

Anyways, the Nintendo Switch entered my life a few months ago. It was a combination of laziness and the desire to play the arcade version of Mario Kart that led my boyfriend, Tre, and me to Target one Friday evening. Once we entered the gaming section and saw the Switch, it was over. I looked at the little compact box containing the goods, and noticed that it was the last one on the shelf. We looked at each other and nodded, ultimately leaving the store with the Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe & good ol’ Street Fighter II.

After having this around for a while now, I can tell you that the Nintendo Switch is a beautiful thing, but it’s also the techiest drug I’ve ever experienced. It’s impossible to play just a few minutes of something on it. When it gets turned on, the world stops for a minimum of two hours at best.

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Here are 23 things that happen after you spend your first weekend playing Mario Kart on the Switch:

  1. You buy Joy-Con wireless wheels to facilitate your steering. But once you get home and take them out of the box, you don’t think they’ll work because they’re so light, tiny & plastic-y (emphasis on tiny).
  2. You initially turn using the wheel, but then realize that sucks. So you stick to using the joystick for turns.
  3. You spend a lot of time learning how to drift so you can boost around corners and zoom past your enemies. Muahaha.
  4. The Joy-Con wheels are now an extension of your body. Your hands and the plastic have morphed into one.
  5. You carefully select and customize your vehicle after each full race. There’s countless karts, wheels, and gliders, which means you have endless combinations with different speeds and handling differences. You have to find the right one to annihilate everyone.
  6. You get angry when you start a race and realize the game isn’t letting you go off the track to find shortcuts.
  7. It takes you 15 Grand Prix races to realize that every time you want to make an “illegal” maneuver, a yellow light pops up on your car antenna.
  8. You learn that yellow light is indicative of smart-steering.
  9. Smart-steering is a thing? Lame. Off.
  10. You can’t get through Rainbow Road without falling off the map every five seconds.
  11. Oh wow, haha okay, never mind, turn smart-steering back on.
  12. You are 50 races in now, you don’t care about your vehicle anymore. You give up on customizing and just press OK three times in a row to get to the course.
  13. You finally get to first place and start feeling proud of yourself, only to get hit by an ink attack, slip on a banana, and immediately get shrunk by lightning. You go from 1st to 9th place.
  14. You throw your controllers in frustration.
  15. Things only get worse as you try to get back on your feet. It’s a domino effect of doom.
  16. How is it possible that the green shell hit you straight on right before the finish line? A red one is understandable- but a green one? PREPOSTEROUS. The game is rigged. Everyone is against you.
  17. You have to buy a new set of Joy-Con wheels because your old ones mysteriously start malfunctioning. Weird.
  18. You see the blue shell approaching and realize that there are some things you can’t control in life. Sometimes you just have to surrender and accept your fate.
  19. You yell a lot of mean words. And sometimes it’s not even at the person next to you (Attn: Toadette).
  20. You move on from races to battles.
  21. You realize you spent so much wasted time on the races when the battles were just sitting here waiting for you to realize their worth.
  22. Battle mode is a gift from the gods.
  23. You never knew you had a maniacal laugh until you played Bob-omb Blast. Raining hellfire on your frenemies brings you unexpected ecstasy.

See, racing is nice, but this game is meant to be played in battle mode. My chances of placing 1st in the races are slim to none when I race against Tre. He’s the superior driver (sigh), and even though I already know that, our races still leave me upset and frustrated- and I will quit if I can’t win at least 1 out of 5 races (a person can only take so much).
But ohhh, my friends- in battle mode, it’s anyone’s game. The playing field is level, and the concept is so simple and fun, it never gets old. There is nothing more satisfying than being this cheerful angel of death catapulting (and gently placing) explosive bombs all around your frenemies.

I found my niche in battle mode, but still dip my foot in the racing pond (because ~variety~). There’s nothing like trash talking, even while you’re sitting in 12th place.

The Nintendo Switch, and Mario Kart, are sacred treasures.

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