Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan was once set to open this week, and Universal has lifted the embargo for early coverage of one of the park’s biggest attractions: a Mario Kart ride.
The folks who work at Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge hand out augmented reality goggles to the guests, and an early visitor has shot a video through those goggles to approximate the experience of what it’s like to be on the ride. Check it out below.
Full Mario Kart Ride Footage
Before we even get to the ride, let’s talk about the queue area. Man, that sucker is long. It took the person who shot this video more than 15 minutes just to walk through it and watch the briefing video of how the headset should be locked into place – and it looks like they attended on a press day or something where there was practically no one in line ahead of them. Imagine standing in line for hours and hours, slowly snaking inch by inch toward the ride vehicle. That probably sounds like heaven for some, but to me it sounds like a nightmare. At least there are tons of details to admire in the elaborate recreation of Bowser’s Castle, including his library, which has books with amusing titles like “Sibling Rivalries and How to Exploit Them” positioned on his shelves.
As for the ride itself, I’ll just come out and say it: this video makes it look pretty shitty. Years of playing Mario Kart have linked that experience with speed in my mind, and this is a plodding, almost meandering ride that does not feel propulsive in the slightest. But – and this is a huge and important caveat – sticking a camera lens through a pair of AR goggles is not the same as actually wearing them on your head, so I imagine actually riding this will not seem nearly as flat and dull as this video implies.
Still, there’s a feeling of chaos here that seems like it will be difficult to overcome in any context. Mario Kart can certainly feel chaotic at times, but as the player, you’re able to exert a level of control over what’s happening; for Koopa’s Challenge to be functional, it has to minimize the amount of control you have, which results in what appears to be a lesser version of something like Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney’s California Adventure.
Super Nintendo World was supposed to open on February 4, 2021, but was recently delayed indefinitely due to COVID-19.
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/Film – ‘Slash Film: Video: See Universal Studios Japan’s Full Mario Kart Ride at Super Nintendo World’
Author: Ben Pearson
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February 3, 2021