Sunday, September 16, 2007

Mario Kart Double Dash First Impressions

I got my second GameCube game yesterday: Mario Kart Double Dash. The game is a lot of fun, and despite feeling like an expanded version of Monkey Race, it is very addictive. The graphics, whilst not being Metroid Prime, are still really good. The sound is really good, hearing your characters voices echo when in tunnels is a really nice touch and some of the music is as good as the original Mario tunes.

At first the game feels a little easy, I completed the first cup in a matter of hours, and there are only 3 cups. However, the second cup, kept me going for some time, and I still haven't completed the last cup. Plus, I discovered that you can alter the car power (I think) to make it even harder. Completing certain things unlocks characters and cars, further extending the game. Furthermore, the time trials are far more addictive than they are in normal racing games because it isn't just about taking corners well, it is about going up golden gate bridge esque sides to shave off a few milliseconds off time.

The tracks, although some what limited in number, are very diverse in style. You will go from city centre to a high speed trek down a mountain, and everything in between. Plus, being a Mario game, the tracks are much more interesting than normal racing games, you will be dodging boulders and cars, avoiding sudden pits and being blasted huge distances at 195mph.

For those who are unaware, MarioKart features weapons to shoot your opponents with. These weapons add a nice twist to the game, allowing for a much more balanced game if you get stuck in last place. The weapons are varied and amusing. Featuring a huge ball and chain to being able to shoot fireballs or drop bananas for opponents to slip on.

The game lets you mix and match two characters and a car to your liking. Each character has its own special weapon and cars each have their own strengths and weaknesses. This choosing forces players to think about how they drive and offers additional challenges to veteran players.

Overall, the game looks good, I hope to complete this in time for the new Mario Kart, coming to the Wii next year. I will post a full review when I have had more time to play with it, but current impressions are good.

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