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It is hard to argue that Mario has been busy lately. Indeed, he has almost abandoned his platformer roots to brawl it out in Smash Bros, go RPG style in Mario and Luigi and, of course, hit the track in the infamous Mario Kart series. The latest entry of that series has just hit the Game Cube in the form of Mario Kart: Double Dash.

Visuals:

Mario Kart packs a mixed bag of visuals. Some of the environments are lush and beautiful, but most karts and characters feature bland textures and poor animation. Mario (not to mention several other characters) don\'t even sport real mouths, only drawn-on flapping lines that slightly match dialogue. Of course, this only irritates picky players, but it is frustrating that this game doesn\'t push the hardware by any stretch of the imagination.

Sound:

The sound is fantastic! On tracks you can hear background noises such as a crowd, rollercoasters and birds. All the characters have voices, including Mario being played by the same actor that first gave him speech in Mario64---and none of the acting comes off bland. Although, some of it is repetitive, such as every time Princess Daisy passes someone she feels the urgent need to introduce herself, and after the 232nd \'Hi, I\'m Daisy\' players feel like they want to beat her over the head with a chair.

Game Play

Contols are very well done in this game, and yet very straight forward. The game is split into 3 classes (50 cc 100cc and 150cc) which require growing skills on the controller, so players start out easy and gain talent rather quickly. A new addition to the gameplay mechanics of Mario Kart is the two person kart. Every kart now hosts 2 riders, one in charge of weapons and the other in charge of driving. Each character can hold a weapon, so players can keep a hard hitting weapon with the driver to use at a good time, without making themselves vunerable to other drivers. To switch roles, players need only to tap the Z button and driver and weapon weilder make the switch.

Each kart is rated based on Speed, Weight and Acceleration. Speed is pretty much standard, how fast you go. Weight is how well players can push everyone else around. If you have excelent weight, you can push others off the road or ram them and steal weapons from them. Acceleration is of course how fast you can pick up speed. The karts are split into 3 groups, small, medium and large. Small karts have excelent speed, decent acceleration and low weight. Large Karts have aweosme speed, horrible acceleration and weight like you would not believe. And, of course, the medium karts are the balance between the two, usually having decent stats in every area. Each kart does have slightly skewed stats though, and it is odd that the specific riders do not affect the karts (ie you COULD use Mario and Luigi on Mario\'s kart, but if you kick Luigi off and switch him for Baby Mario {a lighter character} your kart weight rating does not change).

Appropriateness

Unless you consider your friend hitting your ride with a red shell offensive, there is nothing negative to be found here.

Final Score

sound 95 A gameplay 100 A Appr 100 A Visuals 95 A

Overall 97.5

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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