Mario Kart Bonus Disc Impressions

We check out the preorder bonus disc for the latest Mario Kart.

As the release of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! approaches, we've gotten hold of the demo disc included for those who preordered the game, and we've sampled its collection of game demos, trailers, and downloadable Fire Emblem content.

As we reported earlier the disc will contain five game demos. The Mario Party 5 demo contains five minigames; they are Pushy Penguins, Coney Island, Button Mashers, Shy Guy Showdown, and Dinger Derby. The F-Zero GX demo is a three-lap race around the Mute City track in the Blue Falcon. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles demo lets you play as Leonardo in the second area of the game, The Streets. The Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike demo is the now-familiar Battlefield Hoth level, as seen in store kiosks and the game's own presell disc that was released earlier this year. Finally, the Sonic Heroes demo of Sega's upcoming action game--starring its beloved blue mascot--features an intro movie, two levels, and two separate teams to try out. The demo is essentially a localized version of the demo we played at this year's Tokyo Game Show in September. In addition to the game demos, the preorder disc contains several trailers for first- and third-party games currently on the market or due to hit the market soon. The first-party trailers are for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, 1080 Snowboarding, Kirby Air Ride, and Pokémon Colosseum. The Pokémon Colosseum trailer shows off a mix of footage from the expected stadium combat, and it also offers a look at the original adventure mode that presents some 3D action to whet the appetite of fans who are longing for a new entry in the series for the GameCube. The third-party trailers show off Electronic Arts' Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup and NBA Live 2004, in addition to THQ's Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom.

However, the most significant extra on the disc, especially for Game Boy Advance owners, is the downloadable content for the recently released Fire Emblem. Downloading the Fire Emblem content is a simple matter of connecting your Game Boy Advance to the GameCube by using the GBA/GC link cable and following the onscreen prompts. After some brief animation, it takes just a few moments to grab the extras. You can't actually access the items unless you have a save at chapter 12 or later, but any save file that meets this criteria allows you to transfer your full selection of items into the game. The extras include two new soundtracks to play in the sound room, a host of stat-boosting items, and four new weapons that can each be wielded up to 60 times apiece (which represents a substantial increase over the weapons-usage that is ordinarily available). Additionally, there's a new sword and two new items that feature special uses. Using these items won't make you unstoppable, but they offer a nice midgame boost.

The Mario Kart: Double Dash!! bonus disc is available when you preorder a copy of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! The game is slated to ship next week for the GameCube.

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