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Gran Turismo. Forza. Names that inspire warm fuzzies in car enthusiasts across the gaming spectrum, with their wide varieties of real-world automobiles and courses, and layer upon layer of customization and tweaking possibilities.
Super Mario Kart really brought things to a head, however. Goofy weapons and creative courses merged with characters I already knew and loved? Check, please. I played Super Mario Kart as much as, if not more than, Super Mario World over Christmas break after receiving a much-coveted SNES, fighting hard to unlock and blow my way through the Star Cup. By the end of that week off from school, I'd gotten to the point where I was making up lyrics for the victory music of my two mains, Luigi and Koopa Troopa. "I told you so! Doot-doo, doot-doo-doo."
I was entranced by WipeOut, particularly by how minute differences in handling and maneuver timing could spell victory or disaster, and at the sheer creativity of the courses on the whole. I plunged headfirst into WipeOut and WipeOut XL, and my reaction time and control savvy came out that much the better for it. WipeOut also did wonders for my trigger finger, teaching me to strategize my item use and discards for optimal benefits.
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