Mario Kart 7 is out now around the world, and to celebrate the release of Mario's latest racing outing Nintendo UK shelled out on a launch party at London's Sports Café this past Wednesday. Nintendo Life editor James Newton was there.
The café's interior was decked out in Mario Kart livery, with stacked tyres and plenty of 3DS systems set up to demonstrate the latest MK outing. Attendees were divided into categories — press, developers, PR and so on — with special corresponding lanyards: ours was the golden mushroom, an early portent of our spectacular speed.
To qualify for the semi finals, we had to register our fastest time on three laps of Cheep Cheep Cape in the time trial mode. After a few practice rounds we set a fairly respectable 1:56:249 time, putting us near the top of our group, though one early competitor managed a spectacular 1:52:530. Spurred on, we set another time of 1:55:350, enough to secure us a spot in the semi final.
After an hour of psyching ourselves up we were beckoned to the stage by Formula 1 commentator David Croft for our semi-final. We were assigned a character — unfortunately ours was Toad — we took on seven other competitors at Wuhu Mountain Loop. By this point our opponents' engines were fairly well oiled, let's say, and we had no problems racing into an early lead, maintaining our advantage until the final section where we foolishly misjudged our landing and found ourselves overtaken at the last. Still, a second place finish was enough to get us through to the grand final.
The following three semifinals saw several Nintendo staff ousted from the competition by the best and brightest from the industry, setting up a final eight for Mario Kart supremacy.
Among the competitors in the final was Ubisoft double-whammy Wayne Greenwell and Nate Fury and Yoshi-loving husband and wife team Thomas and Mairéad Ralph. With a cameraman in close attendance to capture all the action — plus Official Nintendo Magazine's Nintendo TV crew filming the whole event in 3D — the pressure on our man was mounting.
The final took place on Toad Circuit, and with the eyes of the crowd — including famous faces Alexandra Burke, Lemar, Jack Whitehall and more — on the competitors, it was our editor James Newton who once again made a quick start for an early lead, dropping banana peels to scupper our opponents.
Slowly our lead was chipped away: a spiny shell here, a red shell there, but approaching the final bend we were still in front and heading towards a glorious victory over our industry peers. That's when our earlier eagerness to drop banana skins came back to haunt us: on the final bend we ran into one of our own mushy mines, providing Ubisoft's Nate Fury with a small enough window to squeeze past and race to the finish line, denying us first place right at the chequered flag.
We were still able to step onto the podium with our head held high, proudly receiving our medal — made from real metal, by the way — and taking our applause from the crowd.
With our medal around our neck and the cheers ringing in our ears we made our exit — after rubbing our achievement in the face of the defeated, of course — safe in the knowledge that our editor is the second-best Mario Kart player in the UK video games industry.
James, you are beast, I have nothing else to say on the matter
Grats! Sounds like you had an intense race.
Toad is one of the better characters, not use to lightweights?
Congratulations, James! Sounds like you had a great time.
"Mario Kart 7 is out now around the world.."? But it's not out in NA or Japan, yet... right?
Hopefully we will get to see your achievement soon via Nintendo Video!
Only second best? 'Tis a sad tale, indeed.
Beaten by your own banana, plunged by your own peel, fried by your own fruit... figged by your own Newton.
Argh, I've slipped over far too many of my own banana peels. I don't know what's worse: knowing that I've sabotaged myself with the game's most avoidable weapon, or knowing that every single one of the other racers got around it with ease.
Congrats and commiserations. I blame the spiny shell.
I admire your humbleness in the article
Wow only 2nd place you suck James. I was mind controlling the first place winner from my Tingle towers
You did us proud, James.
My proudest moment ever.
@13. Awesome James! Now you have to build a cabinet for it.
Can't wait to play you Online, James! Based on that Medal, you'll probably be number 2 in the community. (Just Kidding, You'll Be #1)
@warioswoods LOL FIGGED BY YOUR OWN NEWTON
@James I think you deserve one of the real Mario Kart's for you winnings!
Reminds me of once when I was playing Game Cube Double Dash all-cup circuit, with Diddy Kong and Bowser junior in the bullet blaster. On the last course, rainbow road, first lap, I had diddy plop down a HUGE King Kong sized banana (in the middle of a sharp, narrow turn), which explodes into several smaller bananas when hit. Miraculously, nobody hit it. 3rd lap, I smacked into that very same banana, wiped out, then hit one of the smaller bannanas it emitted, wiped out again, and fell off the course, bumping me nearly to the back of the race. I managed to recover quickly enough to finish 2nd place behind the koopas, and lost the whole cup by one point.
So yeah, my own gigantic banana cost me the gold. It didn't help much that the Koopas were always either in first place or directly behind me in second...
Hey whos the lovely next to mario up there ? lol I say mario is the winner from that pic haha anyways good to know NL reppin hard , youve done us proud keep up the good work
@gameday her name is Alexandra Burke, she's a popstar over here
@Aqueous Actually I normally use Koopa Troopa but I just don't like Toad
I'm so jelly right now.
@James That is epic ^_^
well done james!
Nate Fury, that rascal!
Nicely done. (^._^) b
@Stardust: Funnily enough, my own gigantic banana often gets me the gold.
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