Twice as many racers; but is it twice as fun?

User Rating: 8.5 | Mario Kart: Double Dash!! GC
The Good: Plenty of Mario flare, nice track design, great multi-player, the nice addition of different karts and characters.

The Bad: This game may be a little too different for some players, enemy AI can be predictable, your karts can't 'hop'.

Introduction: Mario Kart Double Dash is the first, and probably only Mario Kart game to strike the GameCube. It is similar to other Mario Karts in the same way, although the there are some noticeable differences. The biggest difference of course is that you can race with two Mario characters on one kart, so there is plenty of action and things to keep an eye on. But is it really that much different from other Mario Kart games?

Presentation: The presentation in Mario Kart Double Dash, I love it. Every course in the game presents a wonderful Mario feel, and everything is smooth and perfect. There are many characters to unlock and they all are well known throughout te Mario Universe. This game has a wonderful feel that is what makes Mario games... well... Mario games!

Graphics: The Graphics in Mario Kart DD are done well. The courses are beautiful and colorful, and its really great to look at. There are many things off to the side of the race track in which you can take notice of, and they all have that wonderful Mario appeal. The character models although, look a little bit ugly in comparison to other Mario games. The karts themselves look pretty good though, but they good have had more touching up on them. The game however, never slows down so it is really great to play if you want something fast.

Sound: The sound in Mario Kart is good. The engines have similar noises, with heavier karts having a deeper noising, while light karts produce smaller noises. The music has a lot of variety, but they sometimes repeat at another level so it would have been nice if you had different tracks in different levels.

Gameplay: This game is a joy to play. Everything is done smoothly, and it is just so polished that you can't help but love it. There are two characters in which you must choose to ride on you karts, which you must also choose. There are about twenty characters, sixteen tracks, and about seventeen karts to choose from. Although not every character can ride on every type of kart. For example, heavy characters such as bowser can only ride on heavier karts, and light characters can only ride on light karts if another light character accompanies them. Each weight class had there own strengths and weaknesses. The light characters have a nice acceleration, so they won't slowdown when running off course. They however, can be pushed aside by other characters who have heavier karts. Medium karts are well; they have average of everything; they can push lighter karts but can get pushed by heavier ones. The heavier karts however, they have a low acceleration so they can have some major slowdown on the grass. They usually can't get pushed off from the track so they have that advantage. They have the largest amount of top speed so they can have an advantage over the other weight classes. The light karts in the end are probably the easiest to control, with the heavier karts being more difficult. Newcomers would be better off to start off with the light weights. Now about actually racing! Well you start off with the simple 1, 2, 3, GO of course. The large A button is to accelerate, so if you press it at the right moment you can achieve a boost. A Double Dash is possible in Multiplayer (scroll down for more information). Its easy enough, first one to the finish line in about (usually) three laps wins the race. Easy enough. Now the only thing that makes Mario Kart so different is the items. There are many different items that you can shoose from, with each one possessing different powers and abilities. You have Mushrooms, which gives you a boost; Koops Shells, which knock your oppent; Bananas which make you opponents slip; Star Power, makes you go faster and provides invincibility for your kart. There are more of course, but there are other things to explain. Now what is great about Mario Kart DD's items is that each player has there own special item. For example. Mario can use Fireballs, Peach uses Heat Power, and Yoshi can pummel you with his Egg Ball. These are all great and new additions to the game, and they can help out in tough situations. Another thing that differentiates Mario Kart from the past games is drifting and snaking. When you are drifting along turns, you can manipulate the control stick right and left, and you will eventually get a small boost in which you can pull ahead. The boosts are small, but they help out a lot. Drifting and snaking is the key into becoming a better racer. Now about the modes. There are many different modes in Mario Kart. First one is Grand Prix, in which you race against eight opponents to compete for a cup. Each cup has four races, and only three are available in the beginning (with five later). The are also three engine classes that you can start with, and each one is a little bit different. (With 50CC being the easiest, and 150CC/Mirror Mode being the hardest). Pretty easy to understand. Second, there is Time Trials mode in which you try and get the best time possible. You can then save ghosts onto your memory card in which you can race against to improve your times. And of course, Mario Kart wouldn't be Mario Kart without:

Multiplayer: Yes probably the highlight of Mario Kart DD. In Multiplayer, you can race with up to four players. You can only race in Grand Prix mode however when there is two karts. This meaning that two people must control one Kart in order to race in Multiplayer. If there are only two players, you can race Grand Prix anyhow.. There is also a VS mode, but there are no computers racing alongside you, so its a little setback. As well, there is the Battle Mode. Battle Mode has three different Modes in which you can choose from; Balloon Fight, Bomb-Omb Blast, and Shine Thief. In Balloon Fight, each character has three balloons in which you try and pop by attacking your opponents with items. Bomb-Omb Blast is.... a Blast! Basically, each character collects Bomb-Ombs and hurls them at the opposing player until they are completely defeated. Very Fun. The Last One is Shine Thief, in which the characters try to steal a Shine Sprite and the others try to get it back. Whoever has the Shine Sprite when the Time Limit reaches 0 wins. Now, Mario Kart DD has a Lan Mode, but it is pointless. You can hook up with 16 players, but you need four GCNs and Four TVs so its.... kind of dumb. Value: Mario Kart DD is the only Mario Kart game on GCN. It is fun and fast, and will last you for a while. There are characters to unlock, races, and engine classes. The Multiplayer provides a wonderful experience that anyone will love. If you are a fan of Mario or just racing games; this game is for you