Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Mario Kart is the best, right? Let’s find out
We’re not claiming we’re always right here at Nintendo Life, but we’ll certainly fight as hard as we can to defend our bad opinions as we do good. Today, thanks to the recent re-release of old Mario Kart tracks in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Passwe’re thinking back to the old Mario Karts…and that means discussing our feelings on Mario Kart: Double Dash!!The surprisingly strategic double kart racer has debunked the Mario Kart formula in its way Mario Kart 8gimmick about gravity. Spoiler alert: We love it. Most of.
Is that a good idea or a bad idea? We will never tell.
However, we will let you know our detailed thoughts on why we love Double Dash so much, almost 20 years after its initial release. It may not have the sharpest graphics, or the most playable characters, or the widest selection of courses (but why would you need anything other than Baby Park?) but it’s still a Pretty stellar entry in the Mario Kart series that isn’t afraid to shake things up.
So get your engines back on track, because it’s time to raise the big flag that gets the races on. Hey let’s go!
Kate Gray, Screenwriter (Baby Mario / Baby Luigi)
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! perhaps the only time a Mario Kart game has added an extra layer of strategy, with the addition of dual drivers. Of course, there’s a lot of strategy in the games – between the race, the shortcuts, and the items (and when to use them!), the games are essentially a three-round competitive puzzle.
Double Dash’s drivers can be switched at any time, and they can also hold items, which means you can essentially ship an item for later. There is also the additional strategy option of choosing two drivers from the same “team” – such as Baby Mario and Baby Luigi – to unlock an additional optional item unique to each team. For example, Babies Mario, which has access to Chain Chomp, can put you in the lead while also chompin’ over all your enemies.
Which brings me to another reason I love Double Dash (not Baby Park, the GOAT track): More than any other Mario Kart game, it’s easy to win back after a sudden corner. the back with a well-timer combination banana-lightning. Some items, especially team-specific items, are designed to push you ahead in many places, or at least seriously damage other racers’ chances. Or both.
This dynamic rubber band means that 1st Place never feels locked in, like it sometimes does in Mario Kart 8 – anyone, at any time, can abruptly end up ahead of the rest. again, only to drop to 8th place thanks to an unfortunate delay-misalignment. It’s intense until the end of each race, which is something I can’t really say about the MK8, where I’m usually 1st for almost 3 laps without much of a challenge. Is that a brag? You bet so. (*Toad voice*) I’m the best.
Ollie Reynolds, Screenwriter (Bowser / Bowser Jr)
Almost 20 years after its release, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Probably still the biggest change the franchise has ever seen. Mario Kart Wii introduced motion controls and brought the surprisingly intuitive Wii Wheel into the limelight, but as someone who has worked in video game retail, you can bet I’ve seen one number grubby Wii Wheels in my time – so I can do without them.
Meanwhile, Mario Kart 8 has cool anti-grav features, but to be honest, aside from the speed boost you can get by crashing into other players, it doesn’t really add anything unique to the overall gameplay. However, Double Dash introduced a unique, strategic element with its two-player karts, allowing you to control item usage like never before.
On a more personal note, however, Double Dash contains some of my favorite elements from the entire series. The combination of Bowser and Bowser Jr gives you a so amazing The spiked green shell, if you’re lagging behind the rest of the racers, will wipe out many in one go if you’re precise enough. Not only that, but the game also includes one of my all-time favorite hits with Waluigi Stadium, a course full of obstacles and ramps that I’ve replayed more times than I’d like to admit. (Nintendo, you need to include this in the Booster Course Pass!).
Double Dash has its fair share of opponents to its release; Its somewhat clumsy drift mechanics take a bit of getting used to, and some of the courses feel a bit simplistic by today’s standards, but for me, it was the first Mario Kart I’ve ever played. correct joined and will remain a favorite company. Am I blinded by nostalgia? Probably. But I’m also right.
Gavin Lane, editor (DK/not-DK)
When it comes to ‘best’ Mario Kart, I assume it’s always the one you played with the most with three friends and perhaps a few cold drinks. In that case, it’s hard to go wrong with any of them, and for me it was Double Dash in college.
I love MK64 (my first Mario Kart), but the combination of novel courses and fully 3D characters in Double Dash really makes an impression. Mount DK and Baby Park stick in my mind like classic songs: the former is remembered for the race to the barrel, the cute toothed volcano, and the treacherous shortcut in front of the bridge final (not to mention the incredible viral video this ramp generates – see below); the second is for its maddening madness.
Just switching characters and items is a joy really makes this entry feel more profound than the others. Pressing ‘Z’ to change drivers and watching them jump between seats really makes the upgrade from the MK64’s 2D blocks so tangible. Slide into a corner, drop a banana skin in the back to wrap someone on your tail, switch characters, activate your saved Starman and speed off drift, get past a trap place carefully and enter some poor soul about to cross the line – What a feeling! It enhanced the strategy in an extremely satisfying way that I have not experienced in any other entry.
Double Dash might still be unfair (again, see below), but it does give you a fighting chance to beat your opponent if you swindle through its namesake gimmick.
Alana Hagues, Staff Writer (Toad / Toad)
I spent a silly amount of hours on Double Dash as a kid. Honestly, the GameCube as a whole is the console that I have formed many of my oldest gaming memories with, and I cherish that era immensely. And indeed, my love for Double Dash has grown over the years.
The final Mario Kart-like Double Dash has a really special gimmick. Sure, anti-gravity is fun and allows for creative airport design, and things like Mirror Modes, customizable vehicles, and paragliding have all been in every game since they were introduced. So why oh why didn’t Nintendo bring back having two racers!? You can do your standard against races with one or three friends, but why not team up with one of your friends and have them sit in the back and throw items at you? When someone in control turns around, they can also swipe at another kart if they’re close enough and steal their item. Brutal!
I always choose Toad and Toadette who made the first appearance in this game! The Mushroom Head Duo is a pretty noisy pair that always annoys my friends, especially whenever I get their signature item the Golden Dash Mushroom. This gilded mushroom gives you infinite boost for a certain amount of time, so those sneaky blue shells that pushed me four places down the ranks felt like nothing.
I still had the original copy of Double Dash and a GameCube on launch day, so I booted it up after playing through the Booster Course Pass – and geez, I’m annoyed! My old save file from 2008 (how was it 14 years ago?) Completed every single mode, with King Boo and Petey Piranha to boot, and despite being twice as old, I could only win a first place at 150cc of the 12 courses I’ve replayed. Edema. It’s fine, it’s not a LAN party, but I don’t like being surrounded by NPCs for a few hours. What are these Mario Kart Wiimy bike did for me.
If you still need to convince yourself that Double Dash is the best Mario Kart game, I mean, come on, it has the best DK Mountain, Dino Dino Jungle, Baby Park and Bowser Castle in the series?
Tom Whitehead, Associate Editor (um, see below)
I was asked to contribute to this because I’m strange and don’t have a GameCube. No, really, and I still haven’t, I’ve missed an entire generation of consoles (PS2 and OG Xbox too) and played pretty exclusively on a crappy PC back in the day. It’s just how it is.
For me, yes, Double Dash!! always looked like an oddity, only played it briefly at some get-together years ago. I had to ask others to explain the whole point of having two characters in a kart; it looks great from a single player perspective, to be fair, with strategic options that add to the racing feel. However, in Co-Op? As a younger brother, I felt like I would forever be in the backslash, which was unappealing to me.
My experience with this series is with Nintendo 64, Wii, 3DS, Wii U, and Switch entries, after which, I’ve spent hundreds (thousands, actually) hours. In those games, Mario Kart isn’t just a fun time, it’s a brutal struggle ‘only strong exists’. Played a bit of MK8 Deluxe online today and it’s been a humbling experience, but still keeps me coming back. Part of what I love is the simple formula to play – just you, your vehicle of choice, and whatever items the RNG Mario Kart gods give you. It’s basic and classical, with anti-grav and all that jazz really just making the tracks more interesting. The core game loop, and the way items are used, haven’t changed for me in decades.
I’m sure Double Dash!! that’s great, but maybe there’s a reason Nintendo only went with that approach once and didn’t go back. Sometimes perfectly tuned simplicity is better.
We all disagree on whether or not to Double Dash!! is a great twist on an established series, but there’s at least one thing we can all agree on: the Mario Kart rules. Whether we all fit a rule or not most of doesn’t matter, as long as we can continue to play together!
But now is your time to voice your opinion and we hope it gets Spice in the comments – so let us know what you think about Double Dash!! is a win or a misstep in the poll below!
Here are some more gentle Mario Kart readings for you as well: