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'Mario Kart: Double Dash' (NGC) Launches Today

by Thomas on Nov. 17, 2003 @ 6:03 a.m. PST

The holiday season's most anticipated video game, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! for the Nintendo GameCube, is gassed up and ready to roll. The game, which launches today, brings high-octane competition to the couches of America. It continues the tradition of rich graphics and multiple challenging courses, while bringing entirely new racing modes, weapons and strategies into play.

Mario Kart remains one of the best-loved series in video game history, having sold more than 23 million units worldwide during the past 11 years. When Mario Kart: Double Dash!! launched in Japan on Nov. 7, it immediately raced to No. 1 on the sales charts, selling twice as many units as the No. 2 title.

"Mario Kart: Double Dash!! will be the hottest game of this holiday season," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "Whether players battle one-on-one or race against a group of friends, the game sparks friendly rivalries that keep them coming back to this No. 1 franchise."

Competition proves fiercer than ever due to better track design, faster karts, increased AI and twice the probability for chaos. The co-op mode offers a new way to team up with a friend and compete against other friends, as one player drives and the second player in the kart doles out damage.

The co-op mode, in conjunction with a LAN connection, allows up to 16 players to compete at one time. Up to eight karts race at once, with one player driving and the other handling items and executing slide-attacks from the back seat. The two players can swap places to strategically use power-ups for maximum impact.

Players can race against one other in "Versus" mode, or try to beat their best times in time trials. The popular battle modes have been expanded as well to include Bob-omb Blast and Shine Thief, in addition to the original Balloon Battle. Bob-omb Blast is an all-out game of bombardment on wheels with the winner being the one to "tag" their opponents the most. Shine Thief mode is a high-speed version of "capture the flag," as players try to avoid opponents' weapons and grab the target "Shine" before the clock runs out. Within each type of battle mode game, players can choose from a variety of levels, including Pipe Plaza, which is full of warp pipes to zip karts out of (and sometimes even into) danger.

No matter what mode players opt for, they get to choose from a host of Nintendo characters to help them during races, including Mario(TM), Luigi, Wario(TM), Donkey KongĀ® and Peach. Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is available now at an MSRP of $49.99, and is Rated E for Everyone.

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