Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mario Kart Memories, pt. 4 - Mario Kart Double Dash!! (GCN)

This is part four of a feature on the history of Mario Kart. We're almost half-way! Time to look at Mario Kart Double Dash!! for the Nintendo GameCube.

Mario Kart Double Dash!! really throws things for a loop by having two riders on every car. So, if you have four people playing, there can be two on each kart: one drives, and one throws items. Players can swap places at any time, so you don't have to drive every race if you don't want to. This is a really neat departure from the standard Mario Kart gameplay. Plus, if two players share a kart, the item thrower can also punch passing drivers and steal their items. Yet another reason why Mario Kart ruins relationships.

Another cool feature of Double Dash!! is that characters have unique items. For example, Toad and Toadette have the Golden Mushroom. This is not a new item, but only Toad and Toadette can get it. Mario and Luigi can throw fireballs, Yoshi and Birdo can throw eggs, and Wario and Waluigi can throw bombs. Plus, there are some new special weapons. Bowser and Bowser Jr. have the Giant Green Shell, which works like the standard green shell, but is humongous and spiky. Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong have the Giant Banana. Again, like the standard item only huge. And Baby Mario and Baby Luigi get the Chain Chomp, which carries you around the track for a short period of time, taking out enemies in the way. Sweet. Plus, there are double item blocks you can find that will snag two items: one for each of your characters.

Mario Kart Double Dash!! is also one of only three games that use the broadband adapter. If you have four GameCubes and four TVs, you can have 16 people playing at the same time. That's pretty stinkin' awesome.

As is expected, Mario Kart Double Dash!! has some really great tracks. They're probably the most elaborate Mario Kart courses up to that point. And of course, no Mario Kart game would be complete without an epic soundtrack. Rainbow Road, Mushroom Bridge, Peach Beach, and pretty much all the other tracks have great tunes to race to. It's an all-around good time with this game. If you can find it, buy it, because it's a blast! And if you have a Wii, you can probably play it (some Wii's made in the last couple of years do not have GameCube compatibility).

First Played: I was a little late to the party for this Mario Kart. So, the first time I played it, I was the passenger while my brother was driver during the All-Cup Tour (which is a really cool mode; you play every track in the game as a GP). This wasn't on easy mode, either. This was 150cc Mirror Mode. Playing every track. So I (literally) got a crash course in Double Dash. I was Toad (duh) and I believe my brother was Bowser Jr. Two small characters teamed up to save the world. It reminds me of that stupid movie where the two midgets take some jewelry to a volcano and there's a meth user chasing them the whole time. It's not the Hobbit... um... oh! Rocky! That's it. Glad I remembered that.

Luckily, I was able to not ruin everything. There's a lot of responsibility when you have to sit there and throw bananas at people. Yup. I did manage to make us fall off the track a few times, though, by trying to punch someone and flying off the edge instead. Hey, I'm just doing my part. Fortunately, I was not so much a hindrance as to lose the GP. We got first place, and in doing so, unlocked the golden parade car for use. I'm so good.

Best Track: Baby Park - Sometimes simplicity is the best option. Baby Park is simply an oval, and yet it is the best track in the game. Because it's short, you do seven laps instead of three. Also, items can travel across the median, so if you have shells, prepare for a gauntlet of pain, brother! Seriously, this track never gets old. Because it's short, anyone can get hit by anything at any time. First place is never a guarantee. (Although, one time, my cousin and older brother and I played this track for several hours. My cousin got third place every time except for one, when he got second place. I totally LOL'ed out loud.

Best New Item: Chain Chomp - If you play as Baby Mario and/or Baby Luigi, you may receive the Chain Chomp item. This sucker is epic! It simply runs around the track with you in tow, taking out any enemies in its path. After it's taken you a ways, it will break free and run away, sometimes taking out even more opponents. It's a rare item, but it's awesome. So if you play as Toad and Baby Luigi, you have pretty much the second-best team in the game (Toad and Bowser Jr. is the best team because the Giant Green Shell is quite common). Be warned, however. Because of the ability to punch, this item can be stolen until you activate it. So activate it already, ya dungus.

(Mario Kart Double Dash!! is not yet available on Virtual Console, but is playable on most Wii's, provided you have a GameCube controller)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised I haven't played this game very much. I think I've only played it a couple of times. Sounds pretty awesome :)