previews\ May 15, 2003 at 8:00 pm

Mario Kart: Double Dash - GC - Preview

E3 2003 - Hands On


Nintendo’s presence at the E3 in Los Angeles this year was all about connectivity. Whether hooking a Game Boy Advance through the GameCube, or linking several GameCube’s together via a broadband adapter, the idea is to get players to interact with each other.


Mario Kart exemplifies that experience.


This is, essentially, an arcade racer. But it is far from a solo effort, and in fact, is exactly the type of game that will draw racers from almost every age group. Even hardcore first-person shooter fans will find this game bright, colorful and innocently fun.


Here is the outline of the game, in a nutshell: this is kart racing with up to eight racers with each vehicle holding two occupants – one to drive and one to attack and divert your opponents.


The game features Mario, Luigi, Peach, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Yoshi, Birdo, Wario, Waluigi, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Bowser, Bowser Jr., Koopa and Paratroopa. You can pair them up any way you see fit, and because each character can wield certain, special and unique items, you can swap them around (driver and attacker) at any time.


Then the idea is simple – pick a race course, and go. The player interface is simple and easy to use, and players will find powerups along the course that can be used to increase their chances of winning, or attack the other drivers.


This is arcade-style racing brought home to the console platform, and it is a delightful experience.


The graphical elements are bold, three-dimensional, lush and colorful. The sound is solid as well. But Mario’s appeal has never diminished, nor does this style of game play. This is a fun-filled title that offers challenge, laughter and solid entertainment value. Mario Kart Double Dash is a great ride though the real winner is the game player.


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