Six years after the announcement, Super Nintendo World has finally – after major coronavirus – related delays – opened its doors (albeit apparently not quite officially) in Universal Studios Osaka. As a result, video footage of the park is starting to appear online – including a complete first look at the Mario Kart tour, which has been something of a mystery until now.
We’ve known Super Nintendo Worlds Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge tour would be swept away inside the park̵
In fact, most of the 20-minute video is spent exploring the winding line leading to the Mario Kart ride, but it’s a fascinating ride nonetheless, full of Easter eggs and iconic sights right from the start. It’s about a six – minute mark that things pick up significantly, but then the queue settles into Bower’s wonderfully realized library where Mario’s arch-nemesis has honed his racing knowledge.
There are strategy boards attached to the walls, elaborate models of famous tracks, haunted paintings, even shelves stacked with comic sporting names such as “Siblings rivalry and how to exploit them”. And from there we are led through a Bob-omb factory to witness a Mario Kart TV show explaining the rules of the trip and more.
Finally, around 3:30 pm, it’s time to embark on the actual trip, and it’s an impressive piece of technical work, if nothing else, combining HD projections, physical sets, motion-enabled maps, AR-enabled glasses who seamlessly projects Mario and friends onto the stage as they wind their way in and out of sight – and everything is tied together by a shell-throwing, scoring mechanic who makes the trip a full-fledged game.
Granted, the rather pedestrian speed and claustrophobic sets are largely the opposite of the expansive adrenaline rushes I envisioned when the ride was announced, but there is no denying that it has been pulled off with remarkable style – and that the Rainbow Road sequence is an absolute anesthesia. And if you’re curious about the rest of the Super Nintendo World, Universal Parks News Today has a wealth of extra material showing other attractions.
Of course, those who can not come to Osaka do not feel too given up. Additional Super Nintendo Worlds, each with different tour options and layouts, are currently under development and will eventually open in Orlando, Hollywood and Singapore – although there is no fixed word on when these other parks will be completed.