news\ Sep 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Saturday Gaming Retrospective - Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Mario Kart: Double Dash!! – Nintendo GameCube
By Dakota Grabowski

Changing the formula had repercussions

The fourth installment in the Mario Kart series made a few daring changes that split the fans into two groups: those who enjoyed two riders per kart and those who opposed.

What were its cultural impact and/or importance?
Back in 2003, the Nintendo GameCube wasn’t exactly starving for new releases. The year prior, Metroid Prime released, along with the awkward Super Mario Sunshine. For 2003, Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, and F-Zero GX. So in terms of first-party published titles, Nintendo had their fans covered.

Even though there wasn’t a glaring hole in the Nintendo lineup, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! released and sold well. Reaching nearly 7 million sold units, it’s undeniable that Mario Kart: Double Dash!! was a bonafide hit for Nintendo and the GameCube.

The primary goal for Nintendo was to deliver another worthwhile title for its rabid audience, and if the sales of Double Dash!! are any evidence, they exceeded that goal with flying colors. The problem was that the changes left some estranged, wondering why Nintendo changed up the basic formula of a single rider in a kart.

Luigi tires of Waluigi’s antics

What areas of gaming did it advance?
Mario Kart Double Dash!! did one thing well: it packed a unique multiplayer experience to the genre and series. Having the ability to control a single kart with another friend riding in the backseat was an entertaining approach. Players could switch back and forth between who drives and who threw the usable items within the game. Often, frustration would set in as sitting in the back of the kart was never as appealing as driving the car. Allowing 16 players to play at one time (if players had Broadband Adapter and connected eight consoles), the technical aspects of the multiplayer was there, but this was barely ever an attribute that was used unless you showed up at tournament featuring the game.

While it wasn’t an advancement, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! also featured a record-high 11 new characters to the Mario Kart series. From Bowser Jr. to Baby Mario, the series had plenty of characters to choose from. Too bad not many people cared about many of the additions.

Luigi finally gets to ride back seat with a beautiful woman at the wheel

Does it stand the test of time?
As a racing title, Mario Kart Double Dash!! does not stand the test of time. It’s shallow with boring track designs, abysmal voice-acting, and too much power-sliding. On top of that, the single-player mode is tedious and a pain to play through by your lonesome.

As a multiplayer title, Mario Kart Double Dash!! is a triumph with fun to be had around every corner, so long as you have someone to play with. Luckily, the game still looks impressive and holds up well on the graphics end.

Mario Kart Double Dash!! Review by Louis Bedigian

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