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Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Preview By: AJ Middleton

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Racing
Est. Release: 11-17-03
Posted: 8-19-03

After years of waiting, the next installment of the Mario Kart series has come to the GameCube.  Meet Mario Kart: Double Dash!!; a game that it bound to add more twists to videogame racing as we know it.

The main thing that will separate MK: DD from past Mario Karts or Diddy Kong Racing is that one vs. one is no more.  Now, each car contains not one character, but two.  Pick from Mario, Peach, Luigi, Baby Bowser, Wario, Diddy Kong, Koopa Troopas, and many more.  And the best thing is that there are no assigned pairs; you can pick any team that you want to race with.  Hey, that means that we may be able to see Bowser and Peach work together!

Donít get too excited, for picking your racers shouldnít be a careless action.  The character in front of the kart is the driver, and therefore handles the vehicle.  From the sound of it, the famous (or infamous) racing stat called ďhandlingĒ will most likely be based on the driver.  The character in the back seat serves as the attack unit on the kart.  They will be in charge of the legal cheating, having the ability to throw various items at opponents.  There are 6 different items, plus 8 others that can only be used by specific characters.  Donít like the passengerís choice of weapons?  You can switch the position of the riders at any time.

The game looks visually exciting, with a variety of courses and karts.  The courses vary from highways to tropical getaways to jungles.  Iím sure that each track has its own signature difficulty.  The appearance of the kart depends on the rider.  For example, Yoshiís kart has a stunning resemblance to him, and DKís looks like a barrel.  Itís an interesting twist that hasnít appeared in any past Mario Karts.

Of course the game has multiplayer.  Up to 4 players can play using the same TV and GameCube.  You and your friends can race or duke it out in a battle arena.  But notice how I specified on the same TV and ĎCube.  Thatís because MK: DD takes advantage of the GCNís broadband adaptor.  Get online, and you can play with up to 8 other players.  Letís see if those idle message board threats hold up nowÖ

With several months to go (not counting delays) Mario Kart: Double Dash!! already looks great.  Many have complained about the speed of the game, but weíre confident that Nintendo will fix that issue before the game ships in November given how universally complained about itís been.  Even if racing games donít usually whet your appetites, it will probably be worth a rent just to try out the broadband technology.

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