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Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Package Art

Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Without going into sixteen thousand words about how much a game performs, letís take a step back and look at it this way. Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is like any other Nintendo title. It doesnít need to live up to any sort of hype. As with any other Nintendo title, it lives off of the gamersí love for the franchise or simply the developers themselves; they never need that much hype to prove that theyíre amazing. Mario Kart has always provided the addictive gameplay that Nintendo fans demand and crave. I can tell you right now that itís amazing. I can also tell you that youíll need to buy this game if you havenít already. What kind of Nintendo fan would I be if I didnít thoroughly enjoy a Mario Kart game? The only way they can screw this genre up is by not sticking to the roots of the simple play mechanics. Thatís the bottom line. So, youíll either need to read a bit of this review if youíve already played the game or drop what youíre doing, sell some plasma, and pick this up now.


In a word, supremely delicious. Even if you canít count, youíll be able to bask in the amazing graphics that have been created for this generationís offering of Mario Kart. Each racer is endowed with beautifully smooth textures which never cease to amaze me. The course design is excellent, but not nearly as memorable as those found in the original. However, thatís not to say that there are plenty of great courses that will irritate you or make you fall in love such as Sherbet Land (so much hatred) and Daisyís Cruiser (loviní it strong). The environments that are found in each track are amazingly created from all the different charactersí worlds. Everything looks nicely polished and there is only a little bit of slowdown that can be found in the most intense multiplayer modes. Nothing too unpredictable, but everything looks beautiful nonetheless.


Everything is put together with care. The music, the sound effects, and the voices all bring the wonderful character of the Mario Kart series to life. Perky, upbeat tempos set up an excellent soundtrack for the insanity that comes with the frantic pace that the game provides. Thereís nothing here thatíll cause nasty tumors in your ears, but thereís just nothing that memorable except for the main theme. The sound effects are comprised of plenty of cartoonish crashes, explosions, squealing tires, and then some. The voice work is a dramatic twist from what was found earlier in Mario Party 5, but these voices actually fit the scheme even better than they did there. The sound is produced nicely and everything is crystal clear. Moving on.


Honestly, thereís just not much to say here because thereís not a whole lot to mention about the gameplay. There are only two single player modes and while they are limited, they can easily provide dozens upon dozens of hours of gameplay, just for the sheer enjoyment. The grand prix mode allows you to race your way through three different cups in three different difficulty settings. Racing through these takes some skill, especially in 150cc, the most difficult of the available modes. Given the challenge level, thereís incentive enough for plenty of replay. Thereís also the time trial mode which is basically, well, a time trial of every course and cup. Race your ghost in order to meet your record time on each course. While not nearly as fun as the grand prix, it still provides plenty of fun, especially if youíre trying to break a friendís record.

You have the choice between several different racers such as Mario, Luigi, Daisy, Peach, Bowser, DK, Baby Mario, etc as well as a few unlockable characters. After choosing your driver and your teammate, youíll be able to choose between a few carts with the addition of a few unlockables. Most donít necessarily look like carts, but they do the job plenty fine while providing some style. Controlling each racer is easy enough. Youíll have one person to drive and one person to throw weapons, which works surprisingly well and adds enough innovation without spoiling the taste of the classic play mechanics. Maneuvering through each track is easy enough, especially with the powerslide. Everything is simplistic and more fun than anything Iíve played all year long. This may not be the game that highlights what the GameCube can really do, but itís certainly enough of a reason to pick one up during the holiday season.


Thereís plenty here that will keep you playing Mario Kart: Double Dash!! well into next year. Cooperative play is everything youíve wanted. Having a gunner on your side is great and provides plenty of entertainment aside from the normal VS multiplayer modes. Sure, the VS is still fun, but the co-op is where itís at. If you can name a game wherein cooperative play wouldnít make a game better, Iíll eat my MKDD instruction booklet. The battle maps are nowhere near as memorable or as exciting as the original SNES version. However, theyíre still plenty fun and can be extremely exciting with four players or more. Itís all about the LAN, baby.


There you have it. Did you really need me to tell you that this is one of the best titles available today on the Nintendo GameCube? Itís obviously not perfect, but from what Iíve played, perfection is not an issue if you enjoy the hell out of it. With the excellent visuals, quality Nintendo charm, and hours upon hours of replay value, thereís just nothing to hate about this game... except for Sherbet Land. So much hate! Now, if youíve been waiting for the reviews to ride in before purchasing this game, I bet you feel really silly right now. To remedy it, youíll need to drop what youíre doing right now and pick this game up.

Oh, and get me some Fritos while youíre out.

final score 9.7/10

Staff Avatar Austin Starr
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"If life's not beautiful without the pain / well I'd just rather never ever even see beauty again"

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