A steady diet of Nintendo videogames helped make me into the videogame reviewer that I am today. Ever since I heard those first few notes of SUPER MARIO BROS. I've been hooked. Through the days of Super Nintendo and N64, I've stood behind Nintendo. My first writing job was for a Nintendo 64 website. The MARIO KART series is extremely popular, and has spawned its own genre of titles attempting to achieve the greatness of the original and its N64 sequel.
MARIO KART: DOUBLE DASH doesn't revolutionize the series. However, it is more the adequate addition to the series. As usual, the game features the Mushroom, Flower, and Star Cups, with a Special Cup and a Mirror Mode also available for unlocking. There is also an All Cup Mode that challenges drivers into a marathon.
The biggest change in the series revolves around the drivers. While before the big difference was how their karts handled, that has been changed. Now each driver has a weight class, and you must select two. One of which drives the kart while the other handles weaponry. You can switch between the two at any time (in order to store a weapon). Each driver has a weight class, and you must pick a kart that can handle the weight of your heaviest driver.
The kart weights are similar to the previous games, where heavier karts have a higher top-end but don't accelerate or handle well, and lighter karts don't have a high top speed but dash off the line and handle well. Also there is a set of special weapons (like the triple shells) that only certain characters can access. Therefore your selection is important in what extra weapons you'll get to use.
The battle mode is back, and along with the typical balloon pop mode that was in the old games, there is now a "Shine Thief" mode along with a "Bomb" mode. In Shine Thief, there is a shine in the level and a timer. As shine is held, the timer counts down. Whenever you hit the person with the shine, the timer gains some time and you can pick up the shine. The person carrying the shine, when time runes out, wins the game. The "Bomb" has players throwing massive amounts of bombs at each other and is very very tense probably my favorite of the new additions to the game.
There's also an excellent co-op mode that allows one player to drive and another to gun and control the power sliding. It's a great way to play, and I logged a lot of the game in this mode with my girlfriend.
MARIO KART: DOUBLE DASH!! is a fantastic game that no GameCube owner should be without. I enjoyed it and my girlfriend absolutely loved it. Dash out to the store and get it now.