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Mario Kart 64 Race Tracks (US) :: Review by Jon Turner

Mario Kart 64 Race Tracks (US) Album Title: Mario Kart 64 Race Tracks (US)
Record Label: Nintendo of America
Catalog No.: 2100-Fall97
Release Date: April 1, 1997
Purchase: Buy at eBay


In my personal belief, this CD is a much better buy than Mario Kart 64 Greatest Hits Soundtrack (US) because it contains all of the music from the game, plus eight hidden bonus tracks. In many ways, this CD is the big banana for Mario Kart 64 fans, but in some ways it becomes downright annoying, meaning the Japanese Mario Kart 64 Original Soundtrack could be considered as a superior alternative.

First the cons. All of the tracks, including the bonus tracks, have an awfully long dead space before the music. What I'm saying is that the CD counts down 15 seconds or 20 seconds (ugh!) before actually starting the music. I don't know what Nintendo was thinking, but I believe this was one of their corny tricks to make you think that this CD is longer than it actually is. The fanfares, which are bonus tracks 22-28, are only brief, unmusical motifs that are downright awful to listen to. So much for 20 seconds of dead space! Also, some of the voices on track 29 are irritating, and tracks such as "Koopa Castle", "DK's Jungle Park", and "Banshee Boardwalk" are far from memorable, with very little variation.

Now the pros. The other tracks are excellent in composition. They are racing tracks, but with a humorous touch, which is suitable for Mario and his pals (and enemies!). The tracks range from victorious ("Victory Lap"), bebopping ("Kalimari Desert"), and furious ("3 Raceways / Wario Stadium"). On the voice track, Wario is the astounding success, even beating out the excellent voices of Mario, Luigi, and Toad. He sounds mean and grouchy, but humorous nonetheless, when he bellows "I'm-a Wario! I'm-a gonna win-a!" If you are a diehard Mario fan and love the game Mario Kart 64, I strongly recommend adding this or, preferably, its Japanese counterpart to your collection.

Overall Score: 7/10