Gaming

My GameCube Library: Mario Kart Double Dash

Mario Kart DD
image: lukiegames.com

In this series I will go over all the games I remember playing as a kid on my Gamecube. Some were good, but most were bad, but all of them have a special place in my heart.

Every human has crossed paths with a Mario Kart entry at some point in their lives, and one of the first entries that I was exposed to was Double Dash for the GameCube. This is a game that I was fond of, but never too good at because the 150cc difficulty kicked my ass. Something that I have noticed about the game is that it is the most expensive version of Mario Kart to purchase today. I am not completely sure why that is the case, but I do know that it is the most popular for tournaments due to the different mechanics and the fact that this is the most “different” Mario Kart.

Double Dash is different in the sense that there are two racers on one vehicle and there’s the possibility of getting a double item block and there are special items that are specific to characters such as Chain Chomps and Yoshi eggs. Double Dash is also different in the way it handles steering and accelerating. The steering is very sensitive and is a drastic change from other Mario Kart games as any slight move can send the driver off the track. The acceleration is different as the start boost is repeatedly tapping A rather than holding A sometime in the start countdown, which is much harder than it may seem. The drifting is the best in the series in Double Dash simply because the GameCube L and R buttons are very satisfying to press down to perform a drift. Releasing that drift and shooting in front of competitors is very energizing and incredibly fun to pull off.

The tracks in this game have become staples in the series as some of the best, as Baby Park, DK Mountain and Yoshi Circuit make their first appearances in this game. The other tracks are very good as well, but there are two tracks that I can point to that I could live without, being Sherbet Land and Mushroom City. The music is very infectious on all the tracks and menus and are tunes that I could listen to regularly. The battle maps in the battle mode are also good because they are much smaller compared to future maps, and they allow for chaos to ensue at a moments notice.

The ability to choose two characters for your race adds a layer of strategy to the game that is crucial if you want to play competitively. The combo you choose to race with can make or break the race, due to the special items that are unique to a duo. When I play, the usual duo I choose is Baby Mario and Yoshi, as Baby Mario’s Chain Chomp can knock competitors off the map if you fall too far behind, and Yoshi’s egg acts like a red shell but contains a slew of other items that fall onto the track once the egg hits another racer. There are many combinations that a player can choose from, but what you choose can really affect how you place.

Double Dash isn’t my favorite game in the series, but it is definitely a great Mario Kart game. The only true way to experience this game is with a Nintendo-made GameCube controller as it will be the best way to get the most from the game. There are a lot of reasons to come back to this game, and if you can snag it, it is a must have for the system.

Next time on the finale of My GameCube Library, we go on vacation and I give my ranking of all the games that I have covered.

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