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Mario Kart: Double Dash! (GC)

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  • The SNES version is still the best
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      27.02.2011 17:31
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      Not as good as Mario Kart Wii, but certainly a fantastic, cheaper alternative

      Mario Kart Wii may have stolen the headlines with its wireless steering wheel control, but Mario's held his driving licence for much longer than that, appearing in racing games on a variety of Nintendo's consoles.

      On the Gamecube, that incarnation took the form of Mario Kart Double Dash!! (complete with annoyingly ungrammatical extra exclamation mark!). Although it stuck fairly faithfully to the formula already established by the series, it introduced one major innovation: your kart is driven by not one, but two Nintendo characters (hence the "Double" in the title). Other than that, it's very much business as usual: drive around a series of tracks, pick up objects to help you and hinder your opponents and finish with as high a placing in the race as you can.

      The beauty of Double Dash is that it is just so easy to pick up and play. Controls are very well thought out and you will naturally find your fingers gravitating to the right buttons. Indeed, my copy of this game was missing the instruction booklet but even so, the controls are so intuitive that I picked up them up instantly without this causing a problem. I would certainly recommend getting a Gamecube controller to play this, though, as the controls were optimised for this controller and the game works a lot better with one.

      The easy controls complement the instantly addictive game play. The basic goal (race and finish in as high a position as you can) is easy to understand, whilst the array of objects you pick up introduces a tactical element as you can only carry up to two at once, so you need to decide when to deploy them for maximum advantage. At any point in a race, you can switch between your two characters (since different characters have different abilities) although, to be honest, this has always felt a bit like a gimmick to me, and doesn't make much real difference to your handling or driving.

      For once the artificial intelligence (AI) of the computer characters is absolutely spot-on. On the easier levels, they are fairly simple to overtake or hit with the objects you have collected. As you progress through the game, they become far more aggressive, blocking you, deliberately driving you off the road and targeting you with the items they have collected. The one big gripe is that sometimes the AI can be a little unfair. There can be times when you are hit in rapid succession by three or four different items and if this happens, you can easily see your race position slip from 1st to 5th in a matter of seconds - very frustrating when you have spent three laps getting into a strong position.

      Thanks to the AI, the one player game (often a weakness of racing games) is tremendous fun to play and a real challenge. True, you'll breeze through the earlier courses and even later ones won't hold you back too long, but the varied computer AI means that each game plays very differently and that will keep you coming back for more.

      Of course, like any game, it's always more fun to play against your mates and here, Double Dash excels, allowing up to 4 people to play simultaneously (assuming you have enough controllers, of course!). The rest of the racing roster is then made up of computer controlled characters. It's here the game really comes into its own, as you can take a perverse delight in using a negative power-up on you mate, then racing past them as they struggle to control their kart! The one player mode can be pretty competitive (I have often been caught out cackling madly when I've just unleashed a particularly nasty power-up on an opponent); doing this in two player mode, however, is even more fun as you can gloat in person!

      Track layouts are imaginative and varied. Set in a variety of locations lifted from different Nintendo franchises they really capture the feel of those games. There's also a pleasing variety in the tracks. Some are short and fast, requiring you to race flat out; others have hairpin bends, patrolling enemies or narrow ledges which need to be negotiated carefully. This means that you will need to develop a driving style appropriate to each one - racing flat out all the time is just not an option if you want to win. Combine this with the strong computer AI and you have a game which will challenge you and which plays differently each time.

      As you'd expect from Nintendo, the graphics and sound on Double Dash are excellent. At first glance, I thought the camera was a little too close to the back of your kart, but once you get used to it, this works very well, giving you a clear unobstructed view of the track ahead. There is still a slight downside in that you can't see behind you, so if someone fires a power-up at you, the first you know about it is when usually you are hit. There's virtually no opportunity to try to take evasive action, which can be slightly frustrating.

      More generally, the graphics are bright, cheerful and full of colour and character. The roster of characters features loads of Nintendo favourites (Mario & Luigi, Donkey & Diddy Kong) etc. all of whom are instantly recognisable. Despite their cartoon-like appearance, the graphics are well-suited to the game and capture the sense of fun which Double Dash is all about. There are plenty of nice little touches too, which really add to the competitive spirit. If you play as Yoshi the Dinosaur, for example, he will pull tongues at opponents as you overtake them.

      Importantly, there's a real sense of speed to the game and the 3D perspective is genuinely zippy. There's also a noticeable difference in speed between the different engine classes of vehicle (50cc, 100cc and 150cc) and hitting a speed ramp sees your kart increase its velocity to crazy levels. Those who say the Gamecube/Wii can't handle fast 3D graphics should take a look at Mario Kart.

      Sound, too, is appropriate, with jolly, jingly little tunes accompanying each course and you'll soon find you're unable to stop yourself whistling along to them. There's a pleasantly meaty roar to the kart engines, whilst again, there are nice little touches that enhance the atmosphere. Taking Yoshi as an example again, if you get too close to an object, he will utter a plaintiff little "uh-oh", whilst Diddy Kong gibbers in terror! It's little humorous touches like this that really bring the game to life and make it so much fun to play.

      Double Dash might not be as graphically polished as Mario Kart on the Wii, but it's still tremendous fun. Whether you're playing on your own or have a few mates round, its strong game play, intelligent computer racers and good track design make it great fun. Better still, it's a lot cheaper than Mario Kart (it can be picked up second hand for around £8) and, being a Gamecube game, it can be played on the Wii.

      If you already own Mario Kart Wii, then there's probably not much point in buying this, but if you don't and you're looking for a cheaper alternative, then this comes highly recommended.

      © Copyright SWSt 2011

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        13.04.2010 13:51
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        Don't dismiss it, just because you can't jump in the screen and drive the car yourself! ;)

        I think I have some kind of addictive personality because I go through phases of being addicted to 'stuff'. At the moment I am addicted to Ebaying every single item in my home, prior to that I was addicted to Avon repping and just after Christmas, I discovered my sisters old Game Cube in the spare room; yes you guessed it, I got addicted to that! I'm not really one for having a console, I last had the original X-Box, for which I had Fifa and Crash Bandicoot. I would get home from work at 4.30pm and play until 4.30am, so it just had to go. I can remember right back to the Master System and Alex the Kid, which had me up until all hours and when I had a NES Mario Kart would keep me up all night, then I would go to school and all I would think about would be getting home for more Mario Kart. My parents were just as bad, I would eventually give in to exhaustion, go up to bed, and I would hear der der dem de dem dem (you know, the Mario Kart menu music) then they would play until I got up to go to school again! And don't even get me started on Tetris on the Gameboy

        So, when I came across the Game Cube, I was seriously in two minds about even connecting it to my TV, as once that was done... well I wouldn't stop playing until I'd completed the game that came with it, Mario Kart Double Dash; then that huge void would well up and I would feel all weird and empty. However, I couldn't help it I gave in and connected the GC, and switched on Mario Kart.

        I don't profess to know what I am talking about when it comes to computer games, however, I do know that I will play and play and even search hints/tips websites to help me complete it, as I get frustrated. I beat all the boys at Fifa and I won't stop until I am the best - this is probably why I get addicted!

        The game menu on start up is pretty simple for Mario Kart. It first welcomes you and then you have to select whether you want a 'Battle', a 'Time Trial' or a 'Cup'. A Battle consists briefly of 2 players battling it out around a course to complete challenges, such as popping balloons or blowing each other up with Bob-ombs, etc. It's over in minutes and more annoying than anything else, so I do tend to avoid these. Next a Time Trial involves racing to beat your own score, not competitive enough for me! So, it's the Cup/League for me each time.

        As usual with computer games there are settings menus in which you can change the functions of the controller buttons, turn the sounds on / off, set up split screen options, etc. I am always so desperate to play the game that I just crack on past these. So, once you have selected Cup, you have to select the speed. I don't know whether I am slightly anal about doing this, but on Mario Kart I like to complete each speed level, so I begin with 50cc, other options are 100cc and 150cc. The following screen takes you to the character select. As this game is entitled Double Dash, you have to select two characters; one to drive and one to throw items. The inside tip here is, and you will observe this from the character pairs the console generates, you need to choose one heavy-ish character and one light character. I usually go for Mario and Baby Mario (super cute!). Then you choose your vehicle. Now for me, again this is important. Each character has a signature cart and depending on who you choose first, depends on which carts you will be offered. Here, you will see the combination of characters and carts and the speed, agility, acceleration marks out of 5. This information doesn't come up if you're playing 2 player, so if you want to get the perfect combination, go in on single player and check it all out, make your decisions and then re-enter the cup mode on 2 player. Just a little bit annoying!

        You can only play up to 2 players on one console, but using LAN you can connect up to 8 consoles, with 2 players per console, making for a 16 player game! Wow, I can hardly comprehend that... I suppose it's like the last step before X-Box Live but I have no interest in that, I would rather have everyone round and interact - you know like the good old days, rather than talking through a headset to my next door neighbour and a range of people I don't know.

        Ok, so you have selected your characters and are almost ready... you now need to select your cup. You have the usual Mario Kart cups, i.e. Mushroom, Flower, Star getting progressively harder to the Special Cup which features the dreaded Rainbow Road course! Choose your cup (I always have to go in logical order, so 50cc > Mushroom, Flower, etc then 100cc > Mushroom, and so on!). Every track seems to be familiar, but still intricately designed; trimmed lawns, sea views, over-sized mushrooms and diving penguins on ice. There are a couple of unlockable exceptions and I will leave these as a surprise for you! Now the game begins... Depending on when you accelerate when the Cloud is starting the race, depends on whether you get a mini-turbo start. I tend to press the accelerate button just as the traffic lights turn from Amber to Green. Some people really annoy me by saying that if you tap your start button constantly then you get a turbo start; but you actually only get a turbo start this way by tapping at the right point. It's pot luck! Argh. Makes me mad!

        Now you're off and this is where I will leave you; its down to skill and driving here. A few tips though; firstly, if you need a speed boost, switch drivers and instantly switch back, if you manage to get blue sparks, a mini-turbo is performed on course! Also, if you get a really good item like a red shell (which will definitely find the player in front and knock them out), but you don't want to use it yet, then switch players, as if you get hit while you're hanging on to the item, only the rear driver loses their items, not the front one! Every character has special items, for example Mario has a Dog Ball and Chain, which when he releases flies round the course spinning everyone, very useful. Yoshi has an Egg which not only spins the players in it's path, but steals their items. Then there's the usuals, like lightening and invincibility, which you only tend to get if you're in last place.

        Each time you complete a cup in first place - either you or player 2, you unlock special items including carts and new characters as well as special items. Once you have completed all 4 cups at 150cc level you unlock the all-cup tour, which is all 16 tracks starting with the Luigi Circuit and ending in Rainbow Road, with all the other tracks in random order in between. Complete this and you will unlock Mirror Mode, which is all of the cups including the all-cup tour in reverse - very difficult to accomplish, as by this stage you will be able to do most of the cups blindfolded!

        Finally and most devastatingly, when you finish the Mirror Mode, you are presented with a screen which thanks you for playing! And that is it! You've completed the game and although you're desperate to click restart and begin all over again, you can't face it. So, that's the end of Double Dash. We went on to try and fill the void with Mario Kart for the Wii, but the gameplay was far too difficult, we just kept coming 8th! That'll be it for me for consoles for a while now at least!

        Version on Version: Based on the predecessor of Double Dash, which was Super Mario Kart, it is much more finely tuned, despite being essentially the same game. It carries forward a lot of similar features but the Double Dash makes you feel as though you are playing a more developed and modern game; if your nostalgic for Super Mario you will certainly take to this super game.

        Playability: The game tracks and characters move fantastic and the controls are really responsive. There are a variety of play modes available, despite my distinct preference for the Cup route. It's really suitable for all ages from young children to older adults; the simplicity of the controls makes it very accessible.

        Visual Effects: A bright colour palette, eyes and mouths randomly placed on trains / buses / glaciers etc and carefully animated characters which don't fail to capture your attention even from behind! All of that coupled with the small touches like sparks from the wheels, the way in which characters fall out of carts when hit, the heat waves and the clouds of dust make for a really interactive viewing.

        Sound Effects: Aw, these are so cute, well - the track-on-track music first up is completely unrelenting, and eventually you'll block it out or go mad! But the character noises are adorable, particularly baby Mario and baby Luigi! The voice work is really good and apparently features many of the voice artisits from the original version of the game. There are also noises from the track like screeching round cornes, tyres on tarmac and of course beep beep!

        Game Duration: If you set out to complete this game I would say at least 150 hours! That's every track, every speed, the unlocked levels and mirror mode.

        Nowadays there's so much to choose from, so much more inventive and enticing games that Double Dash has probably had it's heyday - but for me, it remains a firm favourite not only because of the nostalgia it evokes, but also because it's a solid, quick loading, stable game that keeps you interested. If you fancy it, get on Ebay, there's hundreds being sold and plenty include the console too!

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          06.04.2010 15:29

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          A smashing game, definitely worth a play - especially if you remember the epic Mario Karts for N64!

          This has got to be a must-have game for anybody who owns a Nintendo Gamecube! If you remember the banter so many people experienced through Mario Karts on the N64, you need to play this game!
          Of course, the usual characters - Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi .. etc - are all in this game, but there are also some others you may not see all the time - baby Mario, baby Luigi, Daisy and Birdo, to name a few.
          They each have their own car - some need to be unlocked - and a special shared by them and their team mate.
          Team mate? Yep, they race in pairs. But you don't need to stick to the obvious combinations - e.g. Mario and Luigi - you can pair up whoever you like! One character drives, while the other shoots their weapons from the back. They can switch positions at the click of a button, and although can only collect boxes when at the back, can hold their weapons whilst sitting in the front.
          Some of the tracks featured on the N64 are on this game - although a bit different - for example, bowzers castle and rainbow road. But some tracks will be new - e.g. baby park.
          You can play up to four players, but can do grand prix with a maximum of two.
          There are four speeds. 50CC, 100CC, 150CC and Mirror Mode. Mirror Mode is basically 150CC, and it's as though you're looking in a mirror! Can be very confusing. Mirror mode must be unlocked, as must one of the track sets.

          A very fun game. that will bring hours of fun to anyone!

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          19.09.2009 13:51
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          brilliant racing game especially for all

          This is one the great mario kart games. In this game you always get to chose 2 charcters in each kart and this adds a new element to the game. the gameplay follows the similar styles of all the previous games. 8 player races around tracks along with power ups to help or hinder you along the way.

          The game has 3 different difficulty modes, and you have to chose a pair of characters. The characters you chose along with your kart of choice will affect the weight, top speed, and acceleration of the kart.

          The game takes place with you taking part in several cups by winning the races and coming high up enough in the rankings and then you unlock the next cups. By geting gold trophies on different tracks and difficulties you unlock new characters and new tracks and the mirror mode eventually (where the tracks are all reversed).

          The in game music is good and sometimes gets stuck in your head and the graphics are fine and has a good frame rate and looks good on my hdtv.

          The game has excellent multiplayer options with up to 4 players going head to head in battle modes, or racing it out in grand prix or single races. There is also a co-op mode where one drives and the other fires weapons can be fun, and you can switch around jobs too mid race.

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            03.09.2009 21:31
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            A wonderful racer

            I'm a huge fan of the original Mario Kart 64, and am quite protective over its integrity, so the thought of a remake made me both excited and nervous. Fortunately, the GameCube remake, Double Dash, matches, if not exceeds the original game, with enhanced visuals and even more racetrack craziness!

            There are a plethora of characters to choose from, but you have to pick two characters, and the weight of the characters affects which vehicles you can pick. There's a lot more consideration to things like drag and weight than the previous game, which just asked you to pick a character and race. The idea with the two characters is that one of them will drive the vehicle, whilst the other will lob the various power-ups you collect at the other drivers. All of the famous power-ups are back, thankfully, such as the red shells, which chase anyone in front of you, and the notorious blue shell, which will attack whoever is in first place.

            This isn't a straight remake of the previous game, though - there's a bunch of new tracks, as well as all of the old favourites, and perhaps most notoriously, the impossibly difficult Rainbow Road track, which seems to take everyone about half an hour to get through! The tracks have also been enhanced thanks to the greater capabilities of the GameCube, meaning things are more perilous than ever!

            Not to mention, all of the famous modes are back, like Battle Mode, where you and a friend have balloons, and you have to use the power-ups to try and burst each other's balloons. Given how long it's been since the last Mario Kart came out, this is a welcome reboot that has a lot of the same, but also improves on it with extra maps, a fairly challenging 1-player mode (which requires that you beat all the maps in Mirror mode aswell!), and splendid visuals. I can't imagine any fan of the original not liking this.

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            10.05.2009 14:59
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            A fantastic game which deserves its status as a classic for the GC

            The concept of Mario Kart - Double Dash! is a racing game where the kart you control has two Mario characters in it. One character controls the weapons you can pick up, whilst the other controls the driving.

            Though the one player mode is well done and I have no complaints about it, it is in the two player game modes that this game comes to life. There are two two player modes: race or battle. Race is just what you would expect, except that you have two cars even if you have four players. This means that you compete in pairs, one person controls the weapons whilst the other drives. You can switch roles by both pressing the z button at the same time.

            The battle mode is a better multiplayer mode in my opinion. There are three modes: balloons, shine thief and bombs. On shine thief there is a sort of shiny ball that you have to pick up and whoever is holding onto it at the end wins that game. Bombs is where you just have to kill each other with bombs. I personally do not like these two modes.

            Balloon Battle however is far better. You start with three balloons which are lives and whoever is the last standing wins. You destroy other players balloons by hitting them with weapons but you can also steal balloons off them.

            If you still have a GameCube seek out this classic of a game!

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            11.08.2008 18:59
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            Non stop fun

            This is the first mariokart game that I played. It quickly became my favourite gamecube game. There are two characters per kart. The Karts come in small, medium and large. The smaller the kart the smaller the characters need to be. The characters come in pairs (e.g. Mario + Luigi, Birdo + Yoshi) but you can pick any combination of characters you want. Each character has their own Kart and special weapon although any character can use any Kart.

            There are three difficulties. 50cc(easy), 100cc(medium) and 150cc(hard). On the first two difficulties the computer generated opponents come in their pairs (Mario + Luigi, Birdo + Yoshi) but on 150cc the opponents can be any combination of characters in any car.

            In Grand Prix there are 3 cups to start with, Mushroom cup, Flower Cup and Star Cup. Each Cup contains three tracks each. Mushroom Cup is the easiest and Star Cup is the hardest.

            When you win a Gold Trophy on one of the Cups you get a new car, cup or set of characters. This means the game remains varied throughout.

            The game is bright and fun. It can be played over and over again as the tracks and characters can be varied. There is also multiplayer where you can race, battle or do the grand prix. You can play with up to 4 players. On the Grand Prix you can work together where one player is one character in the cart and one player is the other. This means one player drives and one throws weapons. You can also play against each other.

            Overall the game is fun and entertaining. Good for groups and individuals.

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              15.07.2008 16:26

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              A must have game for all gamecube owners and probably the best mario kart ever!

              This is an absolutely fantastic game and quite possibly my favourite Mario Kart game of all time, having played all of them so far! The graphics are really beautiful and I don't think they will ever appear dated as some do. The gameplay is similar to the classic Mario Kart style but there is something of a twist with two characters sharing the same Kart. Admittedly the game does not have a long shelf life, with only a limited single player game, but when you get some friends around to play together, you really see what makes this game great as it has endless replayability in this respect. The levels are colourful and fun, with plenty of moving parts that add to the interest of the level, such as the cannon that launches you into the air. The controls are simple enough for anyone to use but there is still enough skill involved in driving that an experienced player does have some advantage, although this can be changed at any time! In my opinion therefore, it has a perfect learning curve.

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              03.07.2008 23:54
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              Definitley one to purchase for hours of entertainment!

              I loved this game, with its classic characters, exciting circuits and hidden level! Mario has always been popular, and I was not disappointed with this game at all. I liked the graphics, which, although not as good as those on some consoles, were more than sufficient for the game, and certainly did not detract from the game play. I think that the best thing about Mario Kart was the hidden level, once you win the Star Cup. Cars are usually unlocked when cups are won, so to gain a new level was a very pleasant surprise. The races are relatively easy at 50cc, and then get harder at 100cc and 150cc. This game also features some mini games. These are less exciting but they are good for an occasional play of something different, and can help the driver to practise skills and gain more skills for the real races! Overall, I loved this game!

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                30.04.2008 21:41
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                A fast, frantic and fun game that is great to play with a group of friends

                This is a fantastic game for the Gamecube and I got loads of gameplay out of it after playing it countless times. It is a really fun game to play and the multiplayer is great fun to play with some friends. The whole idea of this Mario Kart game is that you can choose two characters to have on your kart. This way, you can hold more items and there are more options too.

                Each character has their own special items. For example, Bowser or Bowser Junior can get a huge spike. When you deploy this, it can hit other racers and bring them to a halt. The mario brothers can get the large black dog to pull them faster whilst hitting anyone in front out the way. You are more likely to pick up better items if you are towards the back of the group in races.

                In case you hadn´t gathered, the whole idea of the game is racing. There are different cups that contain different race tracks. Each race track is quite unique and has different music, scenery and all the rest. It can get really frantic and fast at stages with items that can be picked up such as mushrooms, giving you boosts and loads more to add to the fun. Some tracks are quite interactive with moving parts to them or boosts that will increase your speed.

                Overall, it is a very fun game to play in a group, and also fun in the single player. There is quite a bit to complete, but you can endlessly play the multiplayer (with some friends) if you complete the single player. For £13.99, you can buy this game at amazon.co.uk second hand. This isn´t a bad price, but you may be interested in the new version for the Wii, which has lately been released.

                Thanks for reading,

                Carbon

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                  12.09.2006 16:28
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                  a must have for all cube owners

                  mario kart double dash allows you to have two characters in each kart one driving and the other to fire your weapons at the opponents. for mario kart standards it is dissapointing as the handling isnt too good but its is still by far the best racer on cube. the graphics are brilliant and the sounds is just as good and with fun tracks to race around it is a must have for all cube owners

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                    01.09.2006 21:16
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                    Dont buy this game unless you want to be dissapointed

                    For a mario kart game, this was rather poor.

                    First thing i noticed was the handling was vile, it was like driving a boat. Secondly The item system was worse than poor, it had so many flaws and one of the main flaws was personalised weapons, which made certain characters WAY too powerfull, that being said i liked the thought of personalised weapons but they didnt use the system correctly.

                    The graphics are nice in this game but sadly, that was the only thing it had going for it. If you want a better game i would suggest getting mario kart super circuit for the GBA and getting a GBA player for the cube.

                    Very poor

                    2/10

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                      27.08.2006 21:11
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                      Good for Parties

                      Back when Nintendo 64 games were still selling a Game popped up called Mario Kart 64. Now here comes the (sort of) sequel Mario Kart double Dash!

                      Controls are pretty much like any car game (Gas-A, Brake-L or R triggers, throw weapons Y or X)

                      In this you can control 2 people... 1 person drives and the other person Throws wepons like bombs, bananna skins and even EGGS! Each character has their own special weapon. To switch people tap the Z button. There are 16 characters all together from the Mario Series and you can mix any of them together. There could be very odd pairs like Mario and Wario or Donkey Kong and Bowser it's unlimited pairs.

                      The graphics in this game are very great as are the cars. Each character has their own track and they all look beautiful. I most like the Wario track because it really shows his personality. Plus there are a few tracks that are don't suite any character but they still look stunning.

                      Though 1 player games aren't very good the multiplayer really is the star of the show. It just really fun playing with mates. You have 3 tournaments with 4 races each. Each tournament is harder than the first and their are three difficulties. They are very short and too easy. The time trials are a waste of time as the leader boards are empty. The only thing you could do is set times for your mates. The downfall to Mario Kart DD is that theres no storymode. If it had a story mode like Crash Team Racing where you can explore and do lots of races. You can have up to 4 friends in multiplayer or go broadband.

                      If you like the N64 version of Mario Kart then you'll like this game.

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                        22.03.2006 22:08
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                        Great racing game

                        This game is definitely an improvement on Mario Kart 64, but that isn't a critism on MK 64. Mario Kart 64 was great since it was the best it could've been for the N64 console. Double Dash is an improvement in the sense that there is more to it, which is expected on a console like Nintendo Gamecube.

                        The characters to choose form this time are: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Toad*, Toadette*, Boswer, Bowser Jr., Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Koopa, Paratroopa*, King Boo*, Petey Pirhana*, Yoshi, Birdo, Wario and Waluigi.
                        *must be unlocked to play.

                        Since you choose two characters, you can make any combination of character you like, but you can only use a kart which is suitable for both eg. if you choose a light and heavy character you must use a heavy kart. While racing, one character drives, while the other stands on the back of the kart and uses items to slow down opponents. The controls for this are a bit tricky at first, but after playing for just a little while they are easy to get used to.

                        Heavy karts are slower, but can easily knock lighter karts out of control. The lighter karts are faster and accelerate quicker.

                        There are new items as well. You get the shells, which do different things when fired, and also mushrooms to give you a boost while racing. New items include a shield, usable by Daisy, Peach, King Boo or Petey Pirhana only, which will take any item you pass, or are hit by.
                        Each character has their own special item, with Petey Pirhana and King Boo being able to use all specials. (They are the last characters to unlock.)

                        There are all new tracks on this game, and the cups featured are, as with MK 64, Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, Star Cup and Special Cup. Again, you compete in these on Grand Prix mode to win a trophy. Tracks range from a theme park (the shortest course) to Bowsers Castle which features pits of lava and thwomps which try to flatten racers. To complete the game, you must win gold on all modes including Mirror, where the tracks are reversed.

                        Time trial mode allows you to try and beat your own, or a friends, best time. You are allowed three mushrooms per time trial. Versus mode allows two, three or four people to race against each other and battle mode now has three different types of battle. One of them is the balloon mode, where you must keep at least one balloon to survive. Another is shine thief, where you have to find and keep the shine sprite until the end of the battle. There is also bob-omb blast, but I'm afraid I can't remember what you do on this one.

                        Overall, this game is very enjoyable to play alone, but even more so when played with friends. I'd recommend it to anyone.

                        It's available fairly cheap. I bought my copy when it first came out, so it cost me £30. However, now it is available for roughly £15 or so.

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                          15.01.2006 21:44
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                          Anyone who owns a gamecube will like this

                          Now, I’ve been on this site for three months, and so, I decided to put some extra effort into this review in the hope that i'll at least get nominated for a star. I know quantity is not everything, but hopefully, you’ll like the quality of this review too. Over the weekend (3 months ago now, when I started this review) I decided to pop into my favourite store for games: gamestation. I was just browsing through the shelves with a twenty-pound note in my pocket seeing what bargains there were, when Doubledash was there for just £12.99, or two games for £20 in the preowned section. It was £26 before, so I thought that I might-as-well. After all, my cousin katygriff has it, and I loved it then.

                          1-4 players
                          3 blocks on memory card (plus more for ghost data)
                          Broadband
                          3+
                          Developer is Nintendo

                          Like most racing games, there is not much of a story, and it certainly doesn’t say anything on the back cover neither, so its not for the most in depth gamers. What you do though is, for no reason concerning a proper story, is race.

                          There are only 12 races throughout the game, set into 3 cups.

                          The mushroom cup:

                          Luigi circuit- like an oval shaped race. You race up and down (obviously) the course dodging a few things left in your path, and back round. There are a few speed slabs on the floor that speed you up for a certain amount of time. You even can pass people going in the other direction in some parts of the race if you are fast (or slow) enough, just adding to the havoc. You have to avoid some large moving things on the track (metal biting balls-Chain Chomp)

                          Peach Beach- a kind of B shaped course where you ride along the beach. There are a few things that try to chase you along the beach, and there are also waves washing in on the beach making you slow down. You can hit them with an item.

                          Baby Park-7 short laps of an oval course with a few speed slabs. My quickest lap if around 14 seconds. Not much to say. Watch out when someone throws something because it bounces off the walls. Try to beat my time and post it, I’ll post my exact time

                          Dry Dry Desert-The most challenging in the mushroom cup. You race through a desert with some sand storms that sucks you in if you’re stupid enough to go too near to them, and some weird worm-thingy’s that move from side to side. There are also some giant quicksand whirlpools that suck you in sometimes and spit you out again. Not my favourite but still quite fun.

                          Now it’s on to the next racing cup

                          Flower Cup:

                          Mushroom Bridge-A backwards B shaped course that has traffic so you have to dodge it. Its pretty normal, has tunnels and road. It is 3 laps, which lasts about 42 seconds. Nothing really out of the ordinary.

                          Mario Circuit-A weird shaped course with some chain chomps. 3 laps. Quite normal. It’s brightly coloured and there are some tunnels and weird bends in the road.

                          Daisy Cruiser-You race on a gigantic boat with a weird shaped course. You race around a pool, down some steps and through a dining room with moving tables, and then up some more steps. You can also use a shortcut down a latch.

                          Waluigi Stadium-Again, the last and the hardest of this specific cup. It has 3 laps. Weird shaped and made out of a few squares (cross-over).. Like Tiny Arena in Crash Team Racing. There are ramps that have speed bumps on and there is a lot to avoid-biting flowers and fireball thingy’s.

                          Now it’s time for the final four races.

                          Star Cup:

                          Sherbet Land-3 laps; racing in snow and it is a squiggly oval shape-like track. You have to avoid skiing enemies on the ice. You slide on the ice. I like this one; it is one of my favourite tracks.

                          Mushroom City-3 laps where you race in a cap filled city. It has a track that is like 2 crossover squares and there are multiple paths full of sharp turns. It is good but confusing.

                          Yoshi Circuit-3 laps and it is shaped like an outline of Yoshi, so there are obviously quite a few turns. They are not sharp though. There are Yoshi helicopters flying around. It is a bit like a very cartoony Gran Turismo race really with tunnels and lots more.

                          DK Mountain- There are 3 laps and warp pads that shoot you to another place on the course. It has a long straight stretch and then you wind down it on your way back. There are narrow lanes and quite sharp turns. Avoid rocks and broken parts of the track. It looks like a long track but you warp through loads of it. Set in a jungle

                          That is it for the races, now lets get on with the rest.

                          The graphics, for one are great for the gamecube, if a little too bright. 9/10

                          The sound is also very good because it goes with the light hearted game theme. The music is crazy so it justblends well with the gameplay.8/10

                          Life Span however is not very good. Since, unlike the DS version there is no widely used online mode, (Many gamecube gamers aren't connected), just multiplayer (offline), the only thing that will keep you going will be the difficulty setting. Since the races are pretty short, 12 races is not enough. Time Trial mode is good though. 7/10

                          Gameplay though is fantastic because you can choose between the brilliantly thought out characters with different karts.

                          Now, the playable characters are-

                          Mario, Luigi, Daisy, Peach, Yoshi, Birdo and Waluigi-All drive medium karts.

                          Diddy Kong, Paratroopa, Koopa, Baby Luigi, Baby Mario, Bowser Jr. all drive light karts

                          Donkey Kong, Bowser and Wario all drive heavy karts.

                          Now, you may be wondering what i'm on about so;

                          Light Karts aren't very fast but their acceleration is. They lose a lot of speed when they go off track.

                          Heavy Karts are very fast but have a slow acceleration and can make other lower powered karts bounce away when hit.

                          Medium Karts are (you've guessed it!) in the middle.

                          However, since there are 2 people to a kart, you can mix. If you have one heavy driver, its always a heavy kart no matter what you mix with. If you mix a medium with medium or medium with light it is a medium kart, and it is a light kart only when 2 light drivers are mixed together.

                          They all have different karts e.g. Donky Kong's looks like a barrel.

                          They also have special weapons. Yoshi & birdo have eggs, Bowser and Bowser Jr. bave bowser's shell. Wario and Waluigi have bombs. Baby Luigi and Baby Mario have chain Chomps. Paratroopa and Koopa have triple shells to throw, Daisy and Peach have protection hearts. Donky Kong and Diddy Kong have giant banana's to toss and Mario and Luigi have fireballs.

                          The weapons are also very fun. You collect them in see through crates. You get double or single. They are:

                          Green shells-move in straight lines when thrown
                          Red shells-seek out karts
                          spiny shells-heads for and hits leader
                          mushroom-speed burst
                          star-makes you become temporarily invincible
                          banana-when drove into you slip
                          fake item-looks like a weapon crate and it knocks you down
                          triple mushroom-3 speed boosts
                          thunderbolt-strikes all opponents, they spin, drop their items and shrink in size making them smaller

                          Time Trial modes also let you race your ghost.

                          Altogether, it is a thrilling game with a choice of some of Mario's most imaginative friends that is a must have for all Mario or racing fans and every single gamecube owner should consider it.

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