First look: Mario Kart: Double Dash

Nintendo releases the first gameplay information on its long-awaited GameCube racing game. First screens inside.

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Nintendo has today released the first gameplay information on the GameCube version of Mario Kart via its official E3 Web site. The game will boast a number of new features, the most obvious and intriguing of which is that each kart is manned not only by a driver, whose attributes will affect the handling of the kart, but also by a second character that will be responsible for handling power-up items and weapons. In addition to six regular items that are available no matter which character is riding shotgun, each character will have access to a further eight items that are specific to them. Players will be able to have their two characters switch seats on the fly, which could make for some quite tactical racing since every change will alter both the handling of the kart and the items available.

Also, according to a report in the latest issue of Famitsu, a number of Nintendo characters that haven't previously appeared in Mario Kart games will also be making up the numbers on the starting grid. The 16 characters confirmed for inclusion in Mario Kart to date are as follows:

Baby Luigi
Baby Mario
Birdo
Bowser
Bowser Jr.
Daisy
Diddy Kong
Donkey Kong
Koopa Paratroopa
Koopa Troopa
Luigi
Mario
Peach
Wario
Waluigi
Yoshi

Famitsu's report also hints at support for up to eight players using two GameCube consoles, although no more specific details are available at this time. We'll bring you more information on the GameCube version of Mario Kart when we report live from E3 in LA next month.

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