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Gamecube Reviews: Mario Kart: Double Dash!


Mario Kart: Double Dash! Screenshots

The Final Say!

Mario Kart: Double Dash!
 - reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Score: 9.8/10 
Distributor: Nintendo

Move over Gran Turismo, I never quite loved you anyway, here's the clear winner in the racing sweepstakes for sheer fun, Mario Kart Double Dash! Now whilst that's a bit of an overstatement, this game is sensational fun and has to be experienced to be believed.

I must say that this is my first time playing a Mario Kart title and despite all the good things, I had heard about the 64 version, I'd never gotten around to sitting down with the game. This great game doesn't take huge steps from it's predecessors so I have heard, so please realise that this review and it's score are written by someone whose hands on experience with the 64 version was limited.

This fun game will work it's magic best when you are playing with friends as you can share a kart and one of you goes weapons master and the other one drives. A simple press of the Z button by each player and the roles are reversed and you see both characters swing from their seats and into the new job at hand. The gameworld races by in all Nintendo's finery and the graphics are absolutely sweet and sturdy with a constant framerate helping the gameplay along nicely.

There are numerous tracks and about 20 characters to choose from. I found my personal favourite team to be Mario and Yoshi in the Yoshi Kart. You will find your own personal combo to suit your interests as well, but be aware that your choice will affect the quality of your game, as the game takes into account the weight of characters and the vehicles that they can use. It forces you to think just a little as each combination will have a different outlook to the way you take on the title. It's a clever idea and one that will have most gamers trying out different characters just to see what happens.

Whatever you do, it's best to mention that you should change drivers as much as possible as both characters have the ability to pick up special weapons and other powerups based on character type. So for best results, or at least to have a greater choice of weapons, you would not choose Mario and Luigi together unless you were happy with the powerup those two together provide which is essentially the same thing.

As is to be expected from a first party Nintendo title, Double Dash looks magnificent and you do not see a drop in framerate at any stage in the game at all as mentioned previously. There is enough in the title to make it fully worth your purchase and I can guarantee that it's a title that you will put into your Cube even after you think you have played the game inside out making it a title that is a must have.

I think the strength of this game lies in the fact that it's easier for the beginning gamer to pick it up and start having fun immediately. Or even for the more experienced gamer who wants to just turn on their Cube, have a quick race then turn it off again. The pick up and play factor counts heavily in the favour of the title and often after the playthrough for this review have I found myself switching it on for a quick race either in single player or against a mate.

There are several cups to be played through on a variety of different horse powered Karts. Playing in Gran Prix mode allows you to unlock more tracks in order to progress and finishing certain stages allows you to access some of the secret karts that the game has hidden up it's sleeve. There are not many things to unlock though, so Easter Eggs hunters will be disappointed.

Once you've made your way through the racing proper it's worth checking out the Battle modes that are available. Whilst they look simplistic and for that matter to be honest, they play simplistically as well, they are quite fun and good for that quick play. They are however something that will not keep you entranced by the title after experiencing the goodness of the main title and the play options that it has to offer.

All things said and done, this game is a must buy. It has all the hallmarks of the quality we've come to expect from Nintendo and with fun easy to pick up racing gameplay that is highly addictive. I can guarantee that any Cube owner who gets this game will not be disappointed.

- Tory Favro


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