The newest Mario Kart game is on it way out from production cycle to hitting the shelves and with that comes another reason to buy a WiiU . But as we eagerly wait for this latest 60fps current generation racing game I want to take this time to cast our eyes to the past and talk about the best Mario Kart game in the series and why -for me at least- every game after it is a disappointment.
Imagine it is the year of 2003 and my family just received our Nintendo Gamecube and my brothers and I were all excited to get our hands on the newest multiplayer Mario Kart game. We had the N64 before the Gamecube so we were use to our favorite Nintendo characters rendered with 3d models, but what we were not prepared for was the next (at it’s time) gameplay for Double Dash.
If you do not remember, or could not figure it out from the title of the game, Double Dash introduced the new mechanic for each player to choose two characters to race with, imagine an Extreme edition of the buddy system. Ever from that young age (middle school) I knew that the Double Dash gameplay mechanic was something special.
On top of the new upgraded graphics, and expanded roster of racers, each character had a special -personal- item that only they can get from the item boxes. Between the personal items and the light/medium/heavy weights system you had to weigh your options of what to do even before the race actually began. Can you justify building your team with two special items you wanted if it meant sacrificing the ability to choose the kart with the desired stat you wanted.
More importantly if you were clever enough you could also try to countering your opponent’s character picks, in our family this one Mario Kart game was reaching dangerously close to competitive Pokemon or Mario Party levels of complexity and strategy.
Not like it mattered, my go to pick was always Peach and Birdo, a weird combination but between Peach’s orbiting hearts that not only absorbed any enemy projectiles but transferred it into your inventory and Birdo’s homing egg that hatch three helpful times once it hits an enemy that is ahead of you it created a perfect balance of attack and defensive items.
After I went through all the amazing game changing chances to gameplay from Mario Kart 64 to Mario Kart Double Dash, imagine my disappointment when my family picked up Mario Kart Wii.
This game regressed back to one characters, with generalization of the special items and this is not mentioning the motion controls built in the game. While I have complained about Nintendo in the past about choosing which features and extras to add and drop in the next generation of Pokemon (Be MOP #319) the change from Double Dash to Wii was a flat out regression of gameplay in the racing series. The only good that came out Mario Kart Wii was that it made me love the Wii’s backward compatibility.
But that was games was ten years ago and from the screenshots and videos I seen of Mario Kart 8, it looks like it might woo be back to playing Mario Kart games with my family and friends when I eventually buy a WiiU.
While I am do not regularly go to the internet to beg gaming companies for current generation remakes of my favorite videogames but it would not mind a WiiU re-release of Double Dash as a belated ten year anniversary celebration.
Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays