Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan was once opened this week, and Universal has lifted the embargo for early coverage of one of the park’s biggest attractions: a Mario Kart ride.
The people who work on Mario Kart: Koopa̵
Full Mario Kart Ride recording
Let’s talk about the queue area before we even come. Man, that sucker is it long. It took the person who took this video more than 15 minutes just to go through it and watch the orientation video on how to lock the headset in place – and it looks like they attended a press day or something where there was virtually no one in line in front of them . Imagine standing in line for hours, slowly slipping inch by inch toward the vehicle. It may sound like heaven to some, but to me it sounds like a nightmare. At least there are many details to admire in the elaborate recreation of Bowsers Castle, including his library, which has books with funny titles such as “Sibling Rivalries and How to Exploit Them” placed on his shelves.
As for the ride itself, I just want to come out and say it: this video makes it look pretty dirty. Years of playing Mario Kart have connected this experience with speed in my mind, and this is a looting, almost winding ride that does not feel propulsive in the least. But – and this is a big and important caveat – sticking a camera lens through a pair of AR glasses is not the same as wearing them on your head, so I imagine that driving on this does not seem almost as flat and boring as this video dictates.
Still, there is a sense of chaos here that seems like it will be difficult to overcome in any context. Mario Kart can feel chaotic at times, but as a player you are able to exercise a level of control over what happens; For Koopa’s challenge to be functional, it must minimize the amount of control you have, resulting in what appears to be a smaller version of something like Toy Story Midway Mania on Disney’s California Adventure.
Super Nintendo World was scheduled to open on February 4, 2021, but was recently delayed indefinitely due to COVID-19.
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