Blast from the Past: Mario Kart Double Dash!! (GameCube)
You wouldn’t expect that this could possibly be anywhere near as fun as its successors, especially with its latest title in the series Mario Kart 8 being as popular as it is, but as soon as you start this classic up it’s a reminder that just about all Mario Kart games will test your skill and you’ll fall in love all over again.
Honestly I only entered the Mario Kart series with Mario Kart DS, which completely blew me away and since have acquired Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart 7 (3DS), Mario Kart 8 (WiiU) and most recently Mario Kart: Super Circuit on the GameBoy Advanced. Each new Mario Kart surpassing the other in new modes, new items and new racers, but when it boils down to it each title still retains that zany fun that all Mario Kart fans have grown to love.
As soon as I fired up Mario Kart Double Dash!! I noticed something immediately different from the other titles I’ve played – you have to choose two racers for per Kart. A DUO OF RACERS at your disposal!! Now I’m sure most of you have played the more recent titles in the Mario Kart series, so the question comes to mind as to why they would do this. The answer is simple – It’s a “Double Dash” of course!!
If you thought it was crazy karting around a track with one racer to control then wait till you utilize both racers, one to drive and one to use the games power items. The best part is that you’ll be able to switch the racers at any time during the race.
Racers, Karts & Items
Mario Kart Double Dash!! features a wide array of characters, karts and of course items to assist you in your goal to become the number one Mario Kart racer. Notable characters include the usual Mario, Luigi & Princess Peach but also Princess Daisy, Yoshi, Birdo and King Boo to name a few. The Karts unfortunately aren’t much to choose from as in recent titles but it’s still a lot of fun to race with. The items, like the karts, are also limited compared to the newer games in the series, but the thing that sets it apart from the others, for me, is that you’ll receive your normal items that everyone can make use of such as the different coloured shells as well as special items which only certain characters can utilize – such as Bowser’s shell that only Bowser and Bowser Jr can use. Shoot this shell out and it’ll flatten anyone in it’s path
There are three championship cups with four tracks each, rounded off with a neat 12 tracks for Mario Kart Double Dash!! Or so you would think early on, but with most Mario games the ‘princess is always in another castle’ right? That is where the fourth cup comes into play. The Special Cup is the fourth cup included in Double Dash but can only be accessed once you complete the 100cc Star Cup. The Special Cup includes an additional four tracks and also has most Mario Kart fans “favourite” track Rainbow Road. That brings Double Dash’s track selection to a smooth 16 tracks. Note that there is a fifth cup however this cup includes all the tracks from the previous four cups.
With regards to different modes in the game I was surprisingly happy to find the usual modes available which included Grand Prix, Time Trial, Versus, Battle and to my SHOCK a LAN play mode allowing for multiple GameCubes to be hooked up. The game does support 1-4 players on one console and more than 4 players on the LAN play mode so you can be sure you’ll need a lot more than just one or two GameCube controllers. Finding one of those LAN adaptor add-ons might be a tougher ask in 2015. One of my favourite things about the multiplayer options is that it allows you to play co-op with a friend on one kart. This means that the screen does not split into two, where one of you drives and the other uses the power items. It really put’s a twist on co-op and I’m sure it broke up a lot of friendships in the process all those years ago.
All in all I thoroughly had a BLAST from Nintendo’s PAST with Mario Kart Double Dash!!. A lot more than I thought I would. I have to admit I found myself at first missing the hop feature that the newer titles allow you to do, especially when flying off ramps but after about 30 minutes into the game I realized that Double Dash is every bit as fun and frustrating as any of the other Mario Kart titles and keeps that element of competitiveness and also adds the co-op element to it quite well. It may not be as high definition as Mario Kart 8 but the soundtrack and graphics still bring quite a bit of enjoyment and nostalgia from the early 2000’s. This title, in my opinion, has aged well and I see myself going back to it a lot more in the future to appreciate where Mario Kart has come from, but also due to this Mario Kart title being the only one with the exclusive duo racers option.