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Edge Looks Back At Its Controversial Mario Kart Double Dash Review

Edge famously awarded Mario Kart: Double Dash on the Gamecube a mediocre five out of ten when it reviewed the game back in 2003. The publication has now decided to take a look back at some of its more controversial reviews to see whether or not they were right to dish out such harsh scores. Here’s what they have to say about Mario Kart: Double Dash.

What we said: “There are 16 courses on offer, and one of them is a ten-second dodgem track…  even if you are the best karter in the country, you still cannot guarantee anything. It is often an acceptable game, an average one. The co-operative mode, in which one player drives and the other throws stuff, is neat, though mostly redundant given that most pairs will prefer to drive a kart each. Mario Kart isn’t a racing game any more. It is a party game, and anyone buying it for anything more than frantic, foolish, social fun will grow tired of being cheated very quickly indeed.” [5]

What we got wrong: That ten-second dodgem track, Baby Park, is Mario Kart at its brilliant, chaotic best; if you thought a blue shell up the backside with the finish line in sight was as maddening as Mario Kart gets, try spending the final lap weaving in and out of banana skins only to be hit by a green shell that’s been bouncing around the course since lap one. The co-op mode served one Edge spouse as a gentle introduction to a series that had always appealed from afar but frustrated in the hands.

What we got right: Few would contest that Mario Kart – on Nintendo’s home consoles at least – is now more party game than pure racer. It remains, by some distance, the worst game in the series, with no real sense of speed and, Baby Park aside, some lacklustre track designs.

91 thoughts on “Edge Looks Back At Its Controversial Mario Kart Double Dash Review”

  1. Meh. I loved the co-op and I’ve wanted it back ever since, and I much prefer this one to MK64, SMK, or the GBA one. Track designs are a bit meh though.

      1. Um, I thought the game was fine? I played it all the time as a kid and had a lot of fun with it. I’m not a cynical asshole who criticizes every flaw in video games because I’m greedy for something that’s absolutely perfect.

    1. Same, edge is still too harsh. All the power-ups and characters in the game more than made up for bad track design. I remember it fondly!

  2. Well it’s not the best Mario Kart out there, and certainly not my favorite, but it’s definitely not the worst in my opinion. My least favorite has to be MK64. The mechanics just seemed horribly overdone and the AI’s were overpowered. I could be usin a golden Mushroom and still goin at the same speed as my CPU opponent. That game was extremely overrated

    1. Finally someone with some sense! Come on people, even Super and Super Circuit were more playable than 64, which had terrible physics, some well-thought but poorly-executed tracks* and the most boring Rainbow Road of all. It has a good soundtrack, but that isn’t exactly uncommon in the series.

      * Some of the 64 tracks became brilliant when they were remade for DS, Wii or 3DS, but were terrible in their original form.

    2. I loved the double dash, and I can´t see why anybody liked mk64.
      smk was the hardest of them all and the one where your skills matter

    3. Edge making this statement is great for Video gaming. Plus both your comments are as should be, on point for double dash is epic.

    4. “The AI’s were overpowered.”
      Suddenly thinks of the first mario kart where every character ai keep
      using their powerup ,WITHOUT TOUCHING A POWER BLOCK!

    5. I agree with you on MK64. I really cannot understand the hype around the game. The tracks were sick! But game mechanics, ugly 2d models, and the AI just made it hard for me to come back to the game after later versions came out.

      1. my second fav, only to the original super mario kart. i miss the days of sitting with my bros in front of the good old snes and spending hours racing each other in that game

    1. Bro I am with you, to this day I play this game with friends. Honestly I think its the best in the series, I do not know why everyone hates it so much.

  3. All this show that reviewers don’t know what the hell they are talking about and pick apart on the smallest details.

    Which is why I just ignore them.

  4. I’m baffled how anybody can, in good conscience, call Double Dash the worst in the series when Super Circuit exists.

    1. I actually enjoyed Super Circuit. Not the best tracks, but many were very original and I loved the soundtrack

    2. This /\ It’s not that Super Circuit is a bad game, it’s just far too technically inferior to the true 3 dimensional mario kart games to compete with them.

  5. Double Dash was the best Mario Kart game. I’d say it was Mario Kart Wii, but this 12 racers thing just fucks up the game. A red shell and you lose 4 positions. Double Dash was just amazing. This special item thing was only in Double Dash and it’s very nice. I mean, isn’t a bowser shell badass? Or a chainchomp in control of a baby? There’s no way it wasn’t the best, how can you tell it was the worst?

    1. The opening movie looks good and the game is still playable, I think it looks better than MKWii. I think these new games on Wii U should look amazing

  6. Ahh mario kart double dash… the game i played and still play on a late night… i love this game! and i wish there was a sequel to this version on wii u!

  7. EDGE you have the chance to become gamings true print representatives. Humbling yourselves is a perfect start, unlike corrupt and dunderheaded game informer. The wonder of the Wii U has rubbed off on you I see.

  8. Sickr, I have a question not related to this topic. Can you use the Wii U pro controller to play Wii games? I want to buy Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Do I have to get a Classic Controller Pro or can I use the Wii U Pro Controller? Any help is appreciated. Sorry if my question is stupid.

    1. While I firmly believe that there’s no such thing as a stupid question I am going to give you your answer by asking you a question which should help you arrive at your answer.
      Can you use the Wii remote to play GameCube games on the Wii?

      Answer that question and you will have your answer.

      1. I understand what you mean, but I also don’t think it’s that simple with this one. I don’t know where I got this crazy idea that it would work. My thinking was this: the Brawl supports the CCP and GC controller, the WUPC is basically the same controller with the buttons remapped and wireless. Just wishful thinking on my part I guess. Now I gotta invest in some Classic Controller Pros.

    2. At first glace, id say no, but thinking about it, its a really good question. By that time the pro controller is out, the WiiU will be out too, and thats backwards compatible with Wii games. But you cant used GC controllers in the WiiU, so im gona say yeah you probably can use the pro controller, if its for the WiiU. And for buying it for the Wii, i doubt it, but just use a GC controller

  9. “Few would contest that Mario Kart – on Nintendo’s home consoles at least – is now more party game than pure racer. ”

    That’s exactly the fucking point of a Mario Kart game. If you want a racing game, you should play, let’s say, Gran Turismo, Forza, or Trackmania. Someone who blames Mario Kart for being completely chaotic, random and sometimes unfair didn’t understand that this is the only reason to play the game. Because you can’t predict if you’ll win, even if you’re better than the others (you’ll still have an advantage though). And that’s what makes this series interesting.

  10. I loved Double Dash! I don’t think it’s as good as MKWii, but this was still a fantastic game. Baby Park was my favourite!

    1. So you’re saying you didn’t play any of the first 3 console Mario Kart games? Double Dash and 64 only have 16 tracks and the original for SNES only had 20.

  11. Double Dash is easily my favourite! Juggling two items added a sense of strategy and tactics I’ve never really felt in any of the others. Yeah it’s a bit slow and certainly veered towards more party-oriented novelty yet I think all the better for it. Mario as a straight-up, skills-based racer? Too sterile.

    Really great for this retrospect, I had no idea it was scored so low; definitely a Negative Norma doing the original review!

  12. Mario Kart is best played with friends.

    Mario Kart Double Dash is the most fun when playing with friends.

    So… Double Dash is actually the best Mario Kart. The number of tracks and racers is irrelevant. Whether or not it feels like a racing game or not is also irrelevant, because it has always been a party game. It has always been about having goofy fun with friends. Having unique special moves for different characters was great. Having two people on one kart was great.

    Every other Mario Kart is same old same old compared to Double Dash.

  13. Mario Kart Double Dash was the best by far. The two drivers on each kart and their special items guaranteed much more variety than I’ve seen in all the other Mario Kart games.

  14. To be fair Mario KArt DD was not everything I was hoping a Gamecube MK would be… it seemed way limited that it could have been. With that said, however, looking back to Mario Kart 64 after playing MKDD is a bit painful. Its not great, but its still good. And led to the great versions that came afterwards.

  15. I loved MK64 the most because it is the only MK in home console that relies on racing first and not items.
    GP 2 player was the best.

    MKDD is probs my 2-3 best MK.
    The tracks were somewhat…meh…
    MK Wii was fun at first but then it just got boring.
    And so annoying hearing the characters make their noises all the time -.-

  16. Ah, This is one game we enjoyed when we acquired it on the Gamecube – it was a unique concept for what it was, and certainly was an ambitious addition to the Mario Kart brand!

    And no, we shall not sink to doing that one expected pun – it seems far too obvious!

  17. I loved playing double dash, some of my fondest video game memories come from that game. I still love it, it feels like the most chaotic mario kart game with the physics, double items and exagerated animations. Sure it was a little slow, but it also has some truly great tracks and the best mario kart music in my opinion.

  18. Double Dash was my favorite MK game. It’s actually one of the two racing games I’ve ever enjoyed (the other being Air Ride). Co-op races made this game great.

    1. Also the Bowser Shell took up SOOO much space on that baby theme-part level, it was so great. It went through the middle too, so you could practically hit anyone with it. Ahh, good times.

  19. MKDD was a lot of fun- not perfect, but nowhere near bad. My favorite combo was Diddy + Red Koopa (name?). If i was behind: red shells. In 1st place: gargantuan banana! My friend forbid me from using the Combo after a while. I agreed ‘cuz it was like takin’ candy from a baby who invited you to his house to play some games but by the end of the night hates your existence…lol

  20. While Double Dash was a great game, it doesn’t come as close as fun as DS, Wii, and Mario Kart 7. My main problem with the game is the lack of a lot of tracks. While 16 is a good number, there could have been at least one more cup; plus a single player VS mode would be nice.

    I mainly like DS, Wii and 3DS’s versions of Mario Kart because of the online game play. There is a way to get Double Dash working over the internet, but it was not designed for that.

  21. Wow. It was the best in series …these people are crazy…I felt Like it was the most innovative, fun, Mario kart! Where’s double dash 2! For 3ds :)

  22. What! I felt like it was the most refreshing in the series…very innovative and a blast to play! :) …I want Dd 2 ! Nintendo make it happen! Please?

  23. Looking back at mario kart snes and mario kart 64 , i agree that double dash became more of a party game than a race game (it was also quite easy compared too the others in the MK series, or maybe its just me ) , but i still enjoyed playing this game .

  24. Double Dash better than MK64? wow, a lot of graphics whores here obviously.

    DD was like the prettier-but-retarded half sister of MK64, handicapped to the max, next to no strategy or skill needed, heck there wasn’t even much of a sense of speed most of the time. Still a fun multiplayer game though, just distant last amongst MKs.

  25. You’ve got to be crazy to call this the worst in the series. It may not have more than 16 tracks or as many playable characters as the newer releases, but it’s all around a great game. I never play with two people in one kart, because no one wants to just sit in the back and throw power-ups, so I don’t really care for that aspect of the game. But everything else in my opinion is great. I loved the specialty power-ups, the drifting mechanic, and the uniqueness of the karts and tracks. The newer Mario Kart releases try to appeal to a younger audience by making the karts fly or go under water, but in all honesty even though it looks cool, it doesn’t make the game any more fun in my opinion. The battle mode is hectic with too many people on such a small map, but I do like that there are so many tracks to race on and many different kart combos. Double Dash will always be in my top games list, even though it will never see the competitive aspect in tourneys, like SSBM. Also a random interesting fact that many people do not realize this but you can play up to 16 (8 karts) players on DD if you have the right equipment for the gamecubes, which there are only a couple other games on the gamecube that are capable of this.

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