In all the talk of graphical downgrades no one seems much preoccupied with 'why?'. Why build something and then proceed to tear it down, piece by piece, in the hope that ever more diminished expectations about the final product won't be severe enough to...
Gameplay: The game works quite fluid but the AI must fart to proplell them at speeds not possible in those Go Karts to catch up when I am a lap ahead. The weakest point in the entire game is how much the game cheats. The game is quite agravatign if you get pissed easily.
Controls: They are good, but you can break off a stick pretty quick trying to power slide.
Graphics/Sound: Great, they mixed Pixels [worked better than Polygons for the Karts] and 3D polygons. The Tracks look nice but they are kinda bland. The sound is okay the music is annoying after a while and you cant tell what some characters are saying at times [did Toad say "Oh #### when he pased that guy!].
Multiplayer: This is where the game shines, you have battle mode which lets you fight using the items or you can do a 4 player race with your friends. This is why you buy the game, but get a big TV.
Replay Value: The multiplayer kept me coming back for 10 years!
Overall: Fun if you dont get mad easily, otherwise get the swear jar.