344: Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

This is where you'll find threads specific to the games we're covering in Volume Six
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JaySevenZero
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344: Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Post by JaySevenZero » December 31st, 2017, 3:27 pm

Here's where you can leave your thoughts regarding Mario Kart: Double Dash!! for possible inclusion in the podcast when it's recorded.

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xbenblasterx
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Re: 344: Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Post by xbenblasterx » May 4th, 2018, 10:34 pm

They always say 'your first Mario Kart is also your favorite' and this certainly rings true for me. Double Dash was the sole game included in the bundle when i first got my Game Cube and being the young kid that i was at the time it was many months until i recieved another game and so many hours of Double Dash were played, many enjoyable hours. I must have experimented with every possible duo before finally setteling on my best partnership of Baby Mario and regular Luigi. I raced those tracks time and time again, discovering all the hidden routes and besting the ai on every difficulty.

There have been better iterations of Mario Kart in the series, but Double Dash will forever be my favorite.

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Steve Arran
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Re: 344: Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Post by Steve Arran » June 17th, 2018, 1:05 pm

Double Dash is quite possibly my favourite instalment of Mario Kart. I had played the original on the Super Nintendo as a lad but had missed the N64 iteration due to my teenage jump to the playstation. I would’ve loved to have had two consoles, but they were hella expensive back then for a kid with no disposable income! Consequently, at nineteen years old, studying abroad, and playing on a then girlfriends Gamecube, made Double Dash my first experience with a 3D Mario Kart. And it was everything that I could have wanted it to be, with the added bonus of playing with an awesome lady in the driver or co pilot seat.

At the time the graphics seemed to ping with almost Pixar levels of gorgeousness. These were the characters as I had wanted them to look on the SNES, and they moved as fast as lightning in comparison to the 16bit original. The best part was that there were dozens to choose from, and they could be used in any combination that a lapsed Nintendo fanboy could imagine. I can remember being ridiculously OCD with my choices at first: Mario and Luigi, Toad and Toadette etc. There was no way Wario and Princess Peach were going to team up, it just seemed wrong! But, after a while, when I’d played this game for more hours than I think is healthy, my selections relaxed and I began to make up mini narratives for myself. Maybe Mario and Bowser were working together to ensure that Donkey Kong, back to his old barrel throwing plumber squashing tricks* didn’t win the tournament and carpet the mushroom kingdom with endless banana plantations. It could happen! That race has to have prize money! Maybe Big Boo was driving around having possessed Yoshi’s cart because he wanted revenge against another driver who had killed him in a previous race. Dark stuff, I know, but I had a lot of time on my hands!

My go to choice, however, ended up being the red and green koopers, driving around in either the red or green kooper car, depending on my mood. They were slick and speedy and I liked to imagine them as the plucky underdogs, trying to make a name for themselves and get out from under the yoke of their King Kooper master. I became quite expert at boosting around the many brilliantly designed tracks with those little guys. This wasn’t really down to skill, more because I was at university abroad, and had nothing much to do with my time once my classes had ended other than get good at this game.

And boy did this thing have plenty to get good at. Time trials, mirror mode, battle areas, I relished them all. My then girlfriend actually got really annoyed as I’d gotten better at the game than her - though she did much better in her uni work than I did so it was a fair trade off I’d say. On occasions when we’d face off on the race track(pretty much every night), if I really wanted to rub my newfound skill set in I’d choose a Wario WaLuigi combo. Nothing adds insult to injury more than being beaten in battle mode by those two sleazeballs. However, as much as we would faux argue over a cheeky blue shell deployment or a banana stealthily slipped inside a bonus item box, we would always go back to playing combo mode, and unleashing our skills on the unsuspecting racers of the mushroom kingdom. If only we could have played this online! We would have conquered worlds.

Mario Kart Double Dash reminds me of an amazing time in my life, where the summer days were as vibrant as the GameCube's graphics and life was as simple as a spin around The Baby Park. I have yet to go back to any other iteration of Mario Kart, or back to the place where I studied abroad. The latest games do look as vibrant and as fun Double Dash though. Maybe now I’m an adult I can justify spending money on more than one console? Or maybe I’ll spend it on a flight to the good old US of A and relive some of my college days. I could always take a Nintendo Switch with me :)


*yes, I know, he’s not the same Donkey Kong.

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Re: 344: Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Post by ReprobateGamer » July 9th, 2018, 5:47 pm

Double Dash was the first Mario Kart I owned - at the time of writing in July 2018, it remains the only Mario Kart I've owned.

The character swop mechanic was a great addition to kart racers, and my choice became the very aggressive Red Koopa/Baby Bowser combo on Waluigi's cart ... anyone playing against me quickly learned to hate Baby Park ... but this was one of a few games around that timespan where I could just randomise my characters and still stand a good chance of winning against most people (Crash Team Racing and Tekken 3 were two others)

The drift mechanism was easily picked up and I remember being surprised as different cup types kept being unlocked - a friend coming over was surprised that the title screen on my copy was not the same as his and he couldn't get the idea that the title screen would change if you had completed the game.

There was a gap of several years where this was collecting dust and I've recently come back to it as my daughters are now old enough to hold a game cube controller - it's been very disappointing to me that I'm struggling to time my drifts at 100cc, though I think having my youngest as the second character on the same kart may have something to do with that as we used to play solo control almost exclusively. Graphics are showing their age but actually hold up reasonably well and the music is the upbeat bop it always was.

The battle mode was fine but limited - the races having much more appeal than the few maps where you could try to pop balloons.

It's nice to come back to this game and have it actually hold up to the nostalgia filter - the character swop feature hasn't been in the series since and whilst I have tried both the 3DS and Kart Wii (on the wiimote control "shudder") I find the controls on Double Dash to be the most responsive and the game generally to be much more enjoyable to play than either those titles. I find also the original now to be just a little restrictive - I wonder how much of this is because Double Dash is my 'first' ...

Not owning a Switch (yet?) means I don't see this changing from being my favourite at this time but I think it certainly stands as a decent kart racer and worth keeping the Wii (or even a gamecube) for

(Contraversial) Three Word Review - More Big Shells

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Re: 344: Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Post by nath_h » July 9th, 2018, 9:44 pm

My first and overriding memory of this brilliant game comes from a house party at a friend who was away at university in Bournemouth. He was in to his second year of university and had arranged a massive house party, no idea what the occasion was but he was a student so there probably wasn't one. Anyway, me and four of my mates made our separate trips down to Bournemouth, to re-unite the Magic 6 (the epic name for our friendship group).

Upon meeting, we were in the games room and booting up the Gamecube, I will never forget how much I loved that console. At this time (circa 2009), there were newer consoles available but upon seeing Double Dash on the side, having never played it (somehow), it had to go in the console straight away. What followed was an epic session of catching up and gaming between six great friends, a friendship which lasted through as many blue shells as the night could throw at us.

Anyway, the following night was the house party. The party was in full swing and after meeting many new faces and drinking a lot of beer all I could think of was that I wanted to get back on Mario Kart. Me and one of my likeminded friends headed back to the games room and the room was packed with party guests who were deep into a Mario Kart session. We joined in as soon as we could grab a pad. Soon another of my close friends joined. Then another...then another. Soon all six of us were in the room and we had driven out every person originally in there.

I'll never forget when we realised that we had driven everyone out. We just didn't care. We had four control pads, six eager players, an endless supply of beer and some blue shells. What a weekend.

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