Add Mario Kart to the list of Nintendo franchises Retro Studios had a hand in. The Texas team also worked with Samus when they created Metroid Prime and most recently completed Donkey Kong Country Returns. Retro Studios is helping Nintendo develop Mario Kart for Nintendo 3DS by designing some of the game’s courses.
Mario Kart runs at a smooth 60 frames per second, Miyamoto lauded during a developer’s conference at E3. I played a bit of Mario Kart today and the game’s framerate felt fluid, even with the 3D depth slider at the max. If you played a Mario Kart game before you know what to expect, kart races with red koopa shells.
The main addition in Mario Kart is a hang glider attached to your kart. Before a race starts, players can customize their car by selecting a body, wheels, and a glider from three reels. After soaring off a ramp, the glider automatically pops out and allows players to steer their kart in mid-air. One of the courses I tried had rings made of coins to fly through.
Shigeru Miyamoto really liked this feature. During a developer’s conference, Miyamoto said gliding was fun and jokingly called the Nintendo 3DS game Mario Kite.
Mario Kart is slated for release this holiday season on Nintendo 3DS.