Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
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One of Nintendo's flagship series, which in 1992 helped spawn a new style of whimsical racing games, makes its long-awaited GameCube debut with the release of Mario Kart: Double Dash For those unfamiliar with the series, play involves selecting a character -- each rated in such areas as acceleration, speed, and handling -- and then competing against friends or computer opponents on an assortment of courses inspired by locales from previous Nintendo games. New to this installment is the addition of go-karts with two seats, allowing players to select two characters instead of one. The character behind the wheel is responsible for steering and acceleration, while the character in back tosses out a collection of six offbeat power-ups, from banana peels to turtle shells, as well as eight character-specific items. The object is still to use these power-ups to delay the opposition long enough to reach a first-place finish. Players are also free to switch character positions at any time during the race, to take advantage of a particular character's special abilities on offense or their superior skills while driving. Featured characters in the game include Mario, Luigi, Peach, Baby Mario, Yoshi, Birdo, Wario, Waluigi, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Baby Luigi, Koopa, Bowser, Baby Bowser, and Paratroopa. As in previous games in the series, Mario Kart: Double Dash features a variety of multiplayer modes, where up to four players can race each other on a split-screen or battle it out in specially designed arenas. The courses can be played at different times of the day and feature dramatic changes in elevation as well as varied terrain.