Thankfully, Double Dash!! has got everything right--indeed this is probably the best first-party sequel so far for the GameCube: the graphics are excellent, the power-ups are more insane than ever and most importantly the handling of the karts is excellent, with the powerslide of the SNES original all-important once more.
The big new gimmick for Double Dash!! is the fact that there are customised karts for you to drive, all of which can seat two characters. This ensures a surprising amount of tactical depth as you can switch the characters around mid-race in order to access each one's unique special weapons. As ever with Nintendo games, the gameplay is perfectly balanced so that the use of power-ups never overshadows the need to be a skilful driver. Indeed, the improved AI of the computer players is immediately noticeable as they move around the tracks in a highly intelligent manner, moving out of your way and blocking you off when necessary.
Of course the real draw with any Mario Kart game is the multi-player mode and this is as insanely enjoyable as ever in either race or battle mode. Indeed it's better than ever as you can now have up to 16 people playing at one time if you link up your GameCubes using broadband adapters. --David Jenkins